U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names Top Clubs For 2021-22
U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognized its top clubs as a part of its annual awards. The Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team was named overall Club of the Year for the second time, having been honored in 2019. Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club was recognized as Development Club of the Year.
“Clubs are the entry point for skiers and snowboarders into the sport and a vital part of our athletic pipeline. We’re proud to recognize the achievements of these clubs across all of our sport programs.”
– U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.
California’s Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team was recognized as the overall Club of the Year, an honor it also won in 2019. The Development Club of the Year award went to Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club.
“These clubs really set a high standard of excellence for others,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club Manager Ellen Adams. “Mammoth Mountain, as overall Club of the Year, has long been a productive club for a wide array of local programs and consistently pushing athletes to the top level in the sport. As Development Club of the Year, Eldora Mountain was recognized for its engagement in development programs and contributions to the sport regionally.”
Additional organizational awards, including Athletes of the Year, will be announced throughout the latter half of June.
2022 OVERALL CLUBS OF THE YEAR
OVERALL CLUB OF THE YEAR
SNOWBOARD CLUB OF THE YEAR
Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team (Gold Certified Club)
Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team (MMSST) was recognized as overall Club of the Year, as well as Snowboard Club of the Year - both for the second time. MMSST was acknowledged for its dedication to creating the best winter sports program in the nation through long-term athlete development, excellent programming, and a commitment to supporting its athletes. The program is led by Ben Wisner, who was also acknowledged as overall and snowboard Development Coach of the Year.
The success of Mammoth’s multisport program is based on several key factors. First, MMSST is highly engaged in coaches' education, ensuring that everyone on staff has at least level 100 certification. Secondly, it has made a serious commitment to progression with its high performance center. It is also an active participant in hosting events from local to national to international level.
In snowboard and freeski, MMSST has developed some of the most skilled athletes in the country, including Olympic champion Chloe Kim.
MMSST has also excelled in partnering with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USASA to hold vital events. This past season, Mammoth played host to a snowboard World Cup which doubled as an Olympic qualifying event. It also produced USASA and Rev Tour events, plus a Project Gold camp for park and pipe.
DEVELOPMENT CLUB OF THE YEAR
Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club, Boulder, Colo. (Silver Certified Club)
Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club (EMSC) was selected as the second recipient of the new Development Club of the Year Award. The honor is presented annually to a club recognizing its alignment with U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete development standards.
EMSC was founded in 1975 and now offers programs in junior race, core, and ability. In addition to alpine, it also integrates a ski and snowboard freestyle/freeride program, the EMSC Free Team, offering slopestyle, big air, ski and snowboard cross and big mountain.
One of the key elements of EMSC’s selection as Development Club of the Year was its work in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard club certification program. In summer 2020, EMSC earned its bronze certification. It then took feedback from the bronze review, focusing on areas for improvement and this past season achieved silver certification.
One of the strengths of EMSC is its very active and engaged board which works with staff leadership in increasing the impact of its mission through a carefully-developed roadmap to realize its vision. It has established a strong relationship with the mountain, ensuring well-maintained and accessible competition and training venues. In addition, it has fostered a strong relationship with parents.
All programs from Youth Ski League to FIS are closely aligned with U.S. Ski & Snowboard training systems. EMSC is also known for its collaboration with other clubs.
2022 SPORT CLUBS OF THE YEAR
Adaptive - Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Sun Valley, Idaho (Gold Certified Club)
One of the most noted multisport clubs in America, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, was awarded the Adaptive Club of the Year Award. SVSEF was honored for its commitment to excellence at all levels of the sport, notably their integration of para-athletes into their teams.
Among the athletes in the SVSEF program are four-time Paralympic medalist Jake Adicoff and three-time medalist Sam Wood. Both are well integrated into the SVSEF cross country Gold Team program to not only benefit their training but serving as mentors to other athletes. First-time alpine Paralympian Jesse Keefe grew up in the SVSEF program from a young age.
The Gold Team is led by coach Chris Mallory who customizes elements of their training that is unique to Para cross country. He also served as a coach and wax technician for Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
SVSEF has provided a roadmap for how to provide quality opportunities for more athletes in their community while also continually striving for competitive success across all areas of the sport.
SVSEF is a two-time winner of the overall Club of the Year Award (1999, 2013) but it is its first time winning Adaptive Club of the Year.
Alpine - Team Summit Colorado, Copper Mountain, Colo. (Gold Certified Club)
Team Summit Colorado was named Alpine Club of the Year. Under the leadership of Executive Director CB Bechtel and Alpine Director Aldo Radamus, the club has developed a strong culture in its alpine ski racing program and has created cost-effective, local programs for Summit County athletes.
Team Summit was recognized for providing a place in its program for every athlete to find their own level of excellence. The result has been Team Summit athletes achieving notable success and finding the podium at every level. Out of this past season, Team Summit qualified four athletes to the National Development Group, as well as qualifying three athletes each for the U18 and U16 national championships.
The club is an active participant in hosting divisional relationships, utilizing its relationships with several local resorts. Its volunteer officials are well educated. Radamus and other club officials are also active on divisional, regional and national committees, as well as engaging in national projects - always looking for ways to help grow the sport.
Cross Country - The Loppet Foundation, Minneapolis (Gold Certified Club)
The Loppet Foundation, which offers year-round outdoor activity programs in the heart of Minneapolis, has been selected as Cross Country Club of the Year. The club was recognized for its continuing work to achieve its mission during the pandemic.
This past season, The Loppet Foundation hosted a safe, motivating and competitive junior championships as national competitions were reinstated. It employed a thorough and thoughtful COVID-19 mitigation plan that followed U.S. Ski & Snowboard standards, conducting a successful event for 600 junior athletes and staff. The Loppet Foundation also implemented venue improvements resulting in a very high level of racing in the heart of a metropolitan area.
Athletically, Loppet Nordic Racing excelled on its home course winning the junior national club award and helping lead Midwest Division to second place.
Following the unfortunate cancellation of the FIS World Cup in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, The Loppet Foundation has persevered to continue to offer strong programs and to be a vital part of the national cross country racing scene.
Freeski - Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Aspen, Colo.
The Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) was awarded the Freeski Club of the Year Award for its commitment to developing and supporting top-tier athletes and coaches. A longstanding program in the Roaring Fork Valley dating back to 1937, AVSC’s mission is to coach and inspire kids to excel while promoting a community of passion, grit and mountain culture. AVSC presently has over 350 freestyle and freeski athletes with 55 coaches. About 45% of freeski athletes receive financial support from the club’s scholarships and grants.
AVSC has developed a well-rounded training program for freeski athletes in the community, including the opportunity to train at their state-of-the-art tramp, airbag and ramp facility, on-snow glacier camps locally in May and June and a full complement of in-season programs in Olympic sized pipes and jumps used for X Games and other world-renowned competitions.
During the winter, AVSC athletes not only train on snow but also hone their tricks at the local gymnastics facility. Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club has a keen focus on progression and instituted an in-house qualification program similar to that of Aerials that requires athletes to achieve high repetitions of tricks and qualify jumps on airbags before allowing new tricks to be performed on snow.
Continuing education for coaches is a high priority for the club, with frequent workshops for coaches on important topics like first aid, mental health awareness and more. AVSC is also active in events, this past season hosting a Rev Tour and USASA Series competitions.
These efforts result in a well-rounded program that impacts a broad range of passionate young freeski athletes. It has also made AVSC one of the biggest contributors to the U.S. Freeski Team with four athletes this past year including two-time Olympic medalist Alex Ferriera.
Freestyle - Stratton Mountain School, Stratton, Vt. (Gold Certified Club)
Stratton Mountain School (SMS), a notable multisport club program, was awarded Freestyle Club of the Year. SMS was the overall Club of the Year in 2020 and has also won cross country, freeski and snowboard Club of the Year prior to this.
It was a strong season athletically for Stratton’s freestyle program with 100% of eligible team members qualifying for U.S. Junior Nationals and 60% for U.S. Nationals. SMS had one of the largest representations on the NorAm Cup with seven athletes, and their athletes took both male and female MVP in the Eastern Division, along with the men’s Eastern Mogul Champ title.
Stratton Mountain School has long been dedicated to excellence and is a U.S. Ski & Snowboard gold-certified club. The club's programs are committed to the Long-Term Athlete Development model and regularly host trampoline and on-snow camps for local athletes. SMS is also active on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard regional competition calendar.
The growing program, led by Eastern Division Freestyle chair Deb Newson, has had to react to the changing landscape during the pandemic. To make up for time lost the past two seasons, Deb took her team to camps and comps all around the world, including Idre Fjäll, Sweden in November, Apex, B.C. in December, Aspen and Steamboat Springs, Colo. in January, Sweden Europa Cup in February, and Palisades Tahoe in April. Some SMS athletes were on the road for over 100 days but were still successful in getting accepted to top college programs. With talented coaches and a multitude of recent successes, Stratton Mountain School's recruitment efforts are more successful than ever, and this club will only continue to grow and contribute to the sport of Freestyle."