Breakpoints

No Retina
Retina
XS Screen (480px)
SM+ Screen
SM Screen (768px)
SM- Screen
MD+ Screen
MD Screen (992px)
MD- Screen
LG+ Screen
LG Screen (1200px)
LG- Screen
XL+ Screen (1600px)

Sustainability

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, a national and global leader in snow sports, is committed to addressing climate change and stewarding sustainability of winter sports. Millions globally are inspired by winter sports and enjoy healthy, active lifestyles in winter environments. Climate change threatens our winter environments with receding glaciers, rising sea levels, volatile weather cycles and less snowfall.

Coaching Strategy Unveiled: Mammoth Spring Camp

By Andrew Gauthier
May, 21 2019
Sarah Brunson and JJ Thomas
U.S. Snowboard Rookie Team athlete Tessa Maud and Coach JJ Thomas at training camp in Mammoth Mountain, California. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

While many of us are swapping skis and snowboards for bikes and beaches, the athletes of the U.S. Snowboard and Freeski Teams are firing on all cylinders at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in California’s Eastern Sierra. As an official training site of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Mammoth Mountain has opened their doors to 57 U.S. Team athletes and 20 staff, including coaches, trainers, and videographers for Mammoth Spring Training Camp.

Members of the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Pro and Rookie Teams are swarming to the acclaimed Unbound Terrain Park for three weeks of full-tilt training. With world-class terrain, amazing conditions following an 700+ inch snowfall season and consistent May snow to replenish, U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes and coaches have quite the formula for success.

However, it’s not all that simple. Coaches and athletes must work together in order to take full advantage of these critical weeks on snow. Athletes lapping the park and pipe is not the only thing going down over the course of camp. There are strategic plans in place that are unique to each athlete and coach and are being executed as we speak. The pathway to the top is riddled with challenges and having a well thought out process to get an athlete to reach their potential is imperative. We recently caught up with U.S. Snowboard and Freeski Head Coach Mike Jankowski in hopes he could lift the veil on his approach to coaching at Mammoth Spring Camp without giving away too many secrets to success. Jankowski has coached for 15 years with U.S. Ski & Snowboard in multiple capacities and his tacit knowledge is second to none.

One very interesting point that came from conversations with Jankowski was the idea of timing. Much like a business, sustainable growth is key, even with athletes of this caliber. If an athlete tries to progress too fast, or without a plan, results could reach diminishing returns. As Mammoth Spring Camp is the first camp of the 2019-20 season following U.S. Freeski and Snowboard team nominations, there are different goals than you might see at camps closer the heart of competition season.

“Everything is about periodization and making sure you are doing the right thing at the right time,” said Jankowski. “This Mammoth Spring Camp has a particular set of goals that would be much different than you would see at a camp in October. In Mammoth, we want to first wrap up the previous year of competition. We want to ensure everything that’s happened has been addressed and that we have learned from all our past experiences. We do answer the questions, what have we done well and what could we do better? To address this, we encourage a lot of coach to athlete meetings to make sure everyone is feeling good. Also, this first camp sets the foundation moving forward. What are the rules of the road with each individual athlete? It’s not a one size fits all, it’s a lot of relationship building, goal setting, and discovering how we are going to get there. It’s not just about the goal, but about the path.”

2018 Junior World Champion and Dew Tour bronze medalist Toby Miller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) shared his insight on his personal experiences thus far at camp.

“Working with Rick Shimpeno, Ricky Bower, and JJ Thomas is incredible,” said Miller. “Before every camp, we sit down and discuss my short and long term off-season goals which will lead me into the competitive season. After discussing those goals we form a plan of attack on how we are going to turn those goals into reality. I would say the biggest and most important thing we all have is mutual trust. If they tell me it’s time to try a trick, I know I can trust their judgment. If I say I’m gonna try a new trick, they trust that I am ready. We understand each other well and it makes our relationship very productive. We all have such an amazing relationship which I believe is very important when it comes to coaches and athletes. I feel very fortunate to be able to travel around the world with such an amazing and talented group of coaches!”

Miller touched on the importance of setting both short and long term goals. According to Jankowski, understanding how goals can differ between athletes is critical for success. Therefore, how each coach tracks progress must be catered to the individual.

“Not everyone is going to be able to get new tricks on snow right away,” said Jankowski. “If some athletes don’t learn any new tricks at camp, it doesn’t mean they were unsuccessful. If they are developing trust with their coaches, fundamentals or foundation skills in order to bring new tricks to snow eventually, that’s success! Also, developing trust in their teammates and getting the culture dialed in is also a success at camp. These elements are huge to their long term development. It’s important to have a balanced view of the short and long term when evaluating an athlete's progress.”

If setting personal plans and timelines for each athlete of the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Team wasn’t a big enough challenge, there are also other variables at play.. Coaches and athletes face a huge gap in experience and age within the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams. As an illustration, 27-year-old U.S. Freeski Pro Team member and Olympic Gold medalist Joss Christensen (Park City, Utah) will be skiing alongside 16-year-old U.S. Freeski Rookie Team member Hunter Henderson (Madbury, N.H.). 29-year-old U.S Snowboard Pro Team member and double Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.) will be sharing lift rides with 17-year old U.S. Freeski Rookie Team member Addie Gardner (Riegelsville, Penn.).

“There are multiple dynamics to consider," said Jankowski. “There is the pro-to-rookie relationship. Not only do we strive for pros to offer feedback to younger athletes, but by the end of camp, we also hope rookies feel comfortable going to the pros for advice. Taking it one layer deeper, there are even veteran rookie athletes welcoming new rookies onto the team and bringing them under their wing a bit. Then there is the athlete to coach relationship which is key. It’s all of these interactions that make for a productive 360-degree relationship.”

Dialing in culture, building relationships, and setting specific plans for each athlete are all major critical success factors when evaluating a training camp. However, athletes and coaches can not execute these plans without proper resources. That is where Mammoth Mountain comes in and continuously delivers. There are numerous elements to what makes the U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Mammoth partnership critical to athlete success.

“The massive amount of snow is, of course, a huge help,” said Jankowski. “It’s one of the snowiest places in North America and the fact they are building what we want to progress safely and quickly is invaluable to our program. For example, having the airbags on the snow in multiple scenarios is crucial. There’s a landing airbag for the jump and there are two airbags for the landing of the halfpipe. All the on-snow venues are simply incredible. Off snow, Mammoth also provides a ton of value. We have a great set up in the lodges and we are able to all stay together as a team. We eat together,  conduct video review, and continue to build culture. This is very important to building momentum that will carry us through the season. It really is the whole Mammoth Package that makes it special. We don’t have to worry about all the nuts and bolts, It’s truly a plug and play.”

Mammoth Spring Training Camp will continue through June 2nd as members of the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams cycle through for their fair share of training. Be sure to follow all the Mammoth Camp highlights at the accounts below.

FOLLOW MAMMOTH SPRING CAMP
Facebook

@MammothMountain
@MammothUnbound
@USSkiandSnowboard

Instagram
@MammothMountain
@MammothUnbound
@USFreeskiTeam
@USSnowboardTeam

Twitter
@MammothMountain
@MammothUnbound
@USSkiTeam

Hashtag
#MammothCamp
 

Dartmouth Propels U.S. Ski & Snowboard Athletes to the Next Step

By Megan Harrod
May, 20 2019
Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Next Step Program 2019 Class
Members of the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Next Step program 2019 class pose for a photo following the two-week course. (Rob Strong)

Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall had just finished a 20-year cross country ski racing career and would be diving into retirement at just 36-years-old. Navigating the transition from elite-level competition to everyday life can be both challenging and daunting for athletes; fortunately, the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Next Step program helps athletes bridge that gap and make transition a bit smoother.

Dartmouth’s Next Step program is a general management certificate program specifically designed to support, educate and empower athletes and veterans alike in their transition beyond the world of competition and service. A two-week collaborative learning experience, Next Step brings elite athletes and military veterans together to help them identify, amplify, and strengthen their leadership, organizational, communication, strategic, problem-solving, team-building, and operational skills and aptitudes.

In the program, athletes learn the basics of business curricula and how to effectively apply their valuable, relevant skills, and experiences to the business world as they begin the next step of their careers. The four former U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes who  participated in the program this spring - including Randall, Keaton McCargo (moguls), Foreste Peterson (alpine), and Kaylin Richardson (alpine) – walked away with the ability build on and translate their athletic experiences to the business world in ways that successfully accelerates their progress towards a rewarding, meaningful business career.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Director of Athlete Career & Education (ACE) Julie Glusker, often champions the notion of “whole athlete development”, advocating to broaden the scope of athlete development and support beyond just athletic ability. Tuck’s Next Step program is just one example of this concept in practice.

“We are thrilled to have had four of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes from alpine, cross country, and freestyle attend the Tuck Next Step program this past April,” noted Glusker. “We received really positive feedback from each of our participants about the relevance and purpose of Next Step; the program and curriculum was geared around learning current business practices, identifying and utilizing experience and aptitudes intrinsic to athletes, and honing and fostering networking skills. Our athletes loved the academic learning and social development aspects of Next Step – and even enjoyed the daily morning group workouts.”

 

Kaylin Richardson reflects on her Tuck experience.


Peterson, a former U.S. Ski & Snowboard alpine athlete, who went on to become a high-achieving student-athlete at Dartmouth College and now skis for the independent “Team X” in Park City, Utah, understands the importance of building knowledge and a network that will help her transition to the next stage in her life when she’s ready to make that leap.

“Next Step was an eye-opening, exhausting, yet a totally inspiring and rewarding experience,” said Peterson, who continues to compete at the NorAM level, but has also had FIS Ski World Cup starts in during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. “The days were long and jam-packed but there was not one lecture, workshop, presentation, group activity, or social event that I didn’t take something away from or find valuable. The program instilled an unprecedented confidence in me that I attribute not just to the new tools and skill sets I acquired, but to feeling an overwhelming sense of community amongst all of the transitioning athletes and military personnel in the program. The connections made and relationships forged across multiple networks were a huge asset in and of itself.”

Additionally, program participants found the program material relevant and transferable. Freestyle alumna McCargo reports that the curriculum was “extremely transferable to many areas of life even if you don’t intend to work in business or get an MBA.” She even noted that she’d love to encourage former teammates, and even some of her former coaches, to participate in the program, adding that “any transitioning athlete should take part in this program. The information and experience are of extremely high importance.”

Both the network and the self-discovery are two of the biggest takeaways for McCargo and Peterson. “The community at Tuck and the diverse group of people in my cohort really made my time there. Everyone was so friendly and committed to helping each other,” reflected McCargo. “Transitioning, whether it be from sport, the military, or from one career path to the next is hard; it is nice to know that there are others like you and that you have support.”

For many elite-level athletes, fear and stress are common emotions they encounter when considering making the leap to the unknown. They will be leaving behind something they’ve known and lived for such a large part of their lives. Peterson felt that the future was always a source of tension, but that “there was a self-discovery component incorporated into the program that I found to be particularly powerful.” Throughout the program, Peterson could feel her tension lifting. “I can honestly say that I not only have a newfound clarity for what I want that ‘next step’ of my life to look like, but I feel genuinely excited and eager to take the necessary actions to navigate what lies ahead and make my vision a reality.”

 

Foreste Peterson reflects on her Tuck experience


Many spectators and enthusiasts of sport believe an Olympic gold medal to be an athlete’s pinnacle performance. For Randall, then, it must have been challenging to come off such a high at the end of her career and redirect her mind to life after skiing. Ever-optimistic and always up for a challenge, Randall took it all in stride. In fact, she made the most of every minute during the two-week program, including every coffee and lunch break, to take engage in opportunities for meaningful conversations with her fellow classmates.

“Transitioning after my 20-year career in ski racing has been a bigger undertaking than I expected, and it was so comforting to be able to talk through challenges and compare experiences with my fellow classmates in the Next Step Program,” said Randall. “Prior to going through this program, I never would have appreciated the parallels between elite athletes and military veterans, but it turns out the two groups have quite a lot in common and make a pretty powerful group together.

From the moment I walked onto the Dartmouth campus I was impressed with how well-organized the program was and how welcomed I felt. I immediately connected with several of my classmates, and it was impressive how our class bonded over the two-week program. We made the most of every minute during the two weeks, every coffee  break and meal time was maximized with meaningful conversations amongst our cohort.”

 

Kikkan Randall reflects on her Tuck experience


Randall was impressed with the curriculum and the teaching staff’s ability to present such an impressive volume of relevant content that would apply directly to new careers. Along with that, her peers were inspiring. “All of my fellow students were dedicated, bright and inspiring people,” Randall noted. “While we had common experiences and struggles, everyone brought something unique to the program. I learned as much from my classmates as I did from the professors and guest speakers.”

Glusker hopes this program will become a “meaningful tradition and strong heritage for our athletes as they navigate the possibilities of transition beyond sport,” and encourages athletes – both current and  former – to seek out opportunities that will aid them in creating valuable life skills and creating meaningful connections.

 

Moguls Returns to Snow at Squaw Valley

By Lara Carlton
May, 20 2019
Olivia Giaccio
The moguls team scopes out KT-22 at Squaw Valley (Photo: Olivia Giaccio)

Warmer temperatures usually signal the end of the ski season, but for athletes on the U.S. Ski Team, winter never truly ends and warmer temperatures mean chasing snow around the globe. The U.S. Moguls Team held their first on-snow camp at official U.S. Ski & Snowboard training site Squaw Valley, May 2-15. With 682 inches of snow so far this season, Squaw provided an ideal return to snow with perfect spring skiing conditions, allowing the team to train 12 days during the two-week camp.

The focus of this camp was skill development. “This is a chance to break down the athletes’ ski skills and rebuild them without the pressure of competition,” explained U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Head Moguls Coach, Matt Gnoza. By analyzing last season’s scores, and training, and competition skiing videos, Gnoza, and his team worked to address issues that needed tackling in the off-season.

Training days started early with an 8 a.m. lift load to take advantage of the morning conditions before the afternoon temperatures really started cooking things up. The team had access to an exclusive 250-meter moguls course next to a groomed run of the same pitch, making the transition from flat work to moguls very smooth. Skills focused on during this camp included absorption, timing, and edging. After formal training, athletes took advantage of Squaw’s amazing terrain and free-skied off of the KT-22 lift.

Eight team members made the trek out to California including new team nominees Nick Page (Park City, Utah), and Alex Lewis (Carlisle, Mass.).

“I was very impressed with Nick and Alex,” said Gnoza. “They have a great skill set and work ethic - their home programs should be proud.” Page hails from Park City, Utah, and was part of the Wasatch Freestyle Team. “Nick has a drive and a dedication for greatness that is hard to find. No matter the training conditions, Nick will be out there giving his full effort to get better, and it is a pleasure to coach him. I’m excited to see where he’ll go in the future,” said Wasatch Freestyle Coach Bryon Wilson, former U.S. Ski Team athlete, 2010 Olympic bronze medalist, and the 2018-19 Freestyle Coach of the Year. Lewis comes from the East and skied with Killington Mountain School. “Alex’s natural ability is surpassed only by his relentless work ethic. He could not be more deserving of this opportunity. I look forward to seeing him take this very big next step in his career,” said KMS Freestyle Program Director Kris Pepe.

Because moguls skiing is such a dynamic sport, and athletes each attacked the course in their own way, each athlete had different personal focuses they worked on. Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.) tackled ankle flexion and hip mobility. Olivia Giaccio (Redding, Conn.) spent time on weight shifting and timing. Tom Rowley (Long Beach, N.Y.) worked on softer absorption and upper body mobility. With individualized, tailored training, the moguls team is building a diverse, deep field of athletes, setting them up for success in 2019-20.

This is the third year running that the moguls team has been able to take advantage of Squaw Valley’s stellar snowfall. What makes this camp particularly productive is how Squaw sets the team up for success with lodging and gym facilities right at the base of the hill. “When we come to Squaw we can have a singular focus on training,” said Gnoza. “I’m very happy with the progress made at this camp, the athletes worked hard and skied with focus and purpose every run. I want to thank the Squaw crew for all their help in making this camp so successful, we’re very grateful that Squaw Valley is such a great partner to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.”

The moguls team heads next to Mt. Hood, Ore., for the first of a series of on-snow camps to be held at Timberline in these next summer months.

Off-Season With U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Hailey Langland

By Andrew Gauthier
May, 20 2019
Hailey Langland at X Games
Hailey Langland at the 2019 X Games in Aspen, Colo. (ESPN Images - Gabriel Christus)

As a very successful competition season comes to a close, U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes take to the off-season, each with their own unique programs. In a three-part series, we caught up with Olympian and X Games freeski gold medalist Maggie Voisin (Whitefish, Mont.) and teammates Toby Miller (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.) and Hailey Langland (San Clemente, Calif.) from the U.S. Snowboard Pro Team to find out how they will mentally and physically regroup for the season to come. Whether battling back from injuries, an inevitable part of performing at the highest level of action sports, or tackling hobbies that are simply impossible to participate in when traveling across the world to compete, every rider has a different outlook on what is the most beneficial approach to their time off snow.

To close out the series, we have, Hailey Langland who takes us through her plans for the summer ahead.

U.S. Snowboard Pro Team – Hailey Langland

Despite recovering from a shoulder injury, Langland was still able to achieve a milestone that most freeski and snowboard athletes only dream of, an X Games medal. Her smart riding, smooth style and effortless landings earned Langland her third X Games podium with a silver medal in January 2019. Immediately following the competition, a thrilled Langland shared her thoughts on her success.

“I kept forgetting that I was still coming back from an from injury. The only thing I wanted to do was have fun and get some old tricks back on a course that I really liked. I ended up having the best practice I had had in a long time and went on to land both of my first two runs. I was so overjoyed. I realized we are at X Games and we can’t really leave anything behind. With all the girls throwing down, I decided to step up my run and it paid off miraculously. I accomplished way more than I thought I would accomplish, so I am extremely happy.”

As Langland mentioned and much like Voisin, she is also focused on rehabbing throughout her summer from an injury suffered in the Tahoe backcountry which required a Bankart and Hill-Sachs repair on her right shoulder, but that will not slow her down at all. She still plans on embracing her time off snow to the best of her ability. A typical Summer where Langland is healthy would look a bit different and would be full of activities.

“When I'm home in the off-season, I always try to go outside for at least a few hours,” said Langland. Whether I walk, bike, or surf. Spending time outside in the sun is very important to me.”

However, she may just be able to sneak in that valuable time in the sun before the snow starts falling again and her window closes.

“Unfortunately, this summer I will spend most of it rehabbing my shoulder again,” she said. “But I am planning on snowboarding down in New Zealand in August, and hopefully get to do some surf trips before the summer is over.”

There’s no doubt that Langland’s thirst to get back on snow and in the water will fuel her rehab. Langland’s love for surfing is more than just recreational, it’s about the challenge and the variables you need to overcome.

“I love to surf,” she said. “I'll go everyday if I can. I love it so much because of how challenging it is after snowboarding all winter long. they're so many different aspects to it. Not only do you have to be physically strong to do it, but you also have to think about wave selection.”

In this off-season series, we discovered many differences between Miller, Voisin, and Langland. However, one thing that remained true for all three U.S. Ski & Snowboard stars is the fact that spending time with loved one’s reigns supreme. For anyone that believes professional athletes are in the clouds or lose touch with the important things in life, think twice, as these athletes have their priorities straight.

“My first priority is always to spend time at home with my family and friends,” Langland said. “When you are competing all winter, it’s so refreshing to spend time with the people you love.”

Don’t miss your opportunity to follow Langland through her year-round snowboarding journey on social media (see accounts below). She will be working hard with goals to both enjoy the end of her summer, but also get back on snow in shape and ready to ride come the start of the competition season. With Langland finding success in the midst of her rehab, we can only imagine what she’s capable of when she is at 100%!

That’s our insight into what one of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s premier athletes will be up to this summer. If you aren’t already following Maggie Voisin and Toby Miller, check out the links and follow their adventures throughout the off-season.

HAILEY LANGLAND ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook:
@langlandhailey
Instagram: @haileylangland
Twitter: @yung_hails

TOBY MILLER ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook:
@TobyMillerReal
Instagram:  @tobymiller
Twitter: @itstobymiller

Part 2: Off-Season With Toby Miller

MAGGIE VOISIN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Facebook:
@maggiervoisin
Instagram: @maggie_voisin
Twitter: @maggie_voisin

Part 1: Off-Season With Maggie Voisin
 

HomeLight Announced as U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Latest Tier 1 Global Partner

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 15 2019

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the National Governing Body (NGB) of Olympic ski and snowboard sports in the USA, announced today a new partnership with HomeLight, the San Francisco-based real estate technology company.

“We are thrilled to welcome HomeLight into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard family,” said Tiger Shaw, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s President and CEO. “We know that the team we choose matters more than anything, and so does HomeLight. HomeLight’s entire company is focused on identifying and working with the best teams in order to achieve the best possible results for customers during one of life’s most important moments, buying or selling their home. It’s a natural fit.”

HomeLight will be the title sponsor for the Ladies’ FIS Ski World Cup at Killington, the HomeLight Killington Cup. This event will be the only domestic stop on the World Cup tour for the women of the U.S. Ski Team, including two-time Olympic gold medalist and global superstar Mikaela Shiffrin. The highly anticipated event draws over 40,000 spectators over three days annually, and for many fans, the event signals the beginning of the ski season.

HomeLight will also be an associate sponsor of the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup at Beaver Creek and the FIS COOP Cross Country World Cup event in Minneapolis, part of the 2020 Fastenal Parallel 45. The Cross Country World Cup event will be the first time since 2001 that cross country skiing has been competed at the World Cup level on American soil, and for many U.S. Cross Country skiers, including Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins, will be the first time they ski a World Cup race on home snow.

Additionally, these events will serve as the platform for the “HomeLight Scoring and Speed Insight,” a feature in each telecast, viewed by millions of fans watching at home, that will highlight not only how these events are scored but also the importance of speed in landing podiums.

“We’re proud to support athletes who are pursuing their dreams on the slopes, ramps, half-pipes, and cross-country tracks, and particularly as the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team brings World Cup events home to the U.S.,” said Drew Uher, HomeLight’s CEO. “It takes skill, dedication, preparation, and commitment to be the best, and the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team is among the best in the world. We can’t imagine a better partner and, just like we do for our real estate clients, we look forward to bringing speed and performance insights to ski and snowboard fans across the country.”

###

About HomeLight
HomeLight empowers people to make smarter decisions when buying or selling a home. Since launching in 2010, HomeLight has connected thousands of clients with top local real estate agents, investors and online resources. With offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix, HomeLight conducts business nationwide. HomeLight is backed by Zeev Ventures, Menlo Ventures, SGVC, Citi Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Crosslink Capital, Montage Ventures, GV, Innovation Endeavors and more. For more information, visit www.homelight.com.

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2019, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org.

 

Alpine Collegiate Forum Kicks Off Annual Congress

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 14 2019
Collegiate Forum

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) for ski and snowboard sports in the U.S., wrapped day one of its annual Congress  Tuesday, May 14, in Park City, Utah, with an alpine “Collegiate Forum,” an evening event featuring a coaches panel hosted by U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Development Director Chip Knight.

The goal of the Collegiate Forum was to bring together a range of people from across the alpine ski racing community including college coaches, athletes, parents, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard staff to network, to learn more about college skiing and to hear details comparing and contrasting different college programs, including the offerings of the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA). Among the discussion points were how NCAA Division 1 alpine skiing fits into U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s national development pipeline.

The event was streamed live and is available to watch on demand via this link.

“It was a great way to start our 2019 Congress, covering a topic that is of huge interest to many people involved with ski racing across the country,” said Chip Knight, himself a former NCAA coach and World Cup athlete. “The relationship between our national development program and the NCAA system is important and it was great to have the chance to debate and discuss this topic with a range of people with huge investments in the development of young American athletes.”

Picking up on this theme was U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s President, and CEO, Tiger Shaw, who said “as a former college athlete myself, I understand the importance of the relationship between the NCAA and elite levels of skiing. There are multiple pathways to the highest levels of the alpine World Cup - some have made it through this route to the top and it is critical to understand its role in all stages of development. Education is important to Americans and the U.S. Ski Team has a long history of developing the whole athlete, funding athlete career and education programs that, ultimately help make better athletes. At the same time, many understand that it takes complete commitment to make it to the top ranks. This discussion was both lively and interesting as it touched on many aspects of the work we are all doing to be the best while keeping the interests of the athletes first and at the heart of everything we do.”

Edie Thys Morgan has compiled a collegiate ski racing history and reference paper which provides much detail on college racing, available for download HERE.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard appreciates the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in helping athletes see their dreams come true.

Todd Ossian Retires as Head Aerials Coach for U.S. Ski Team

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 14 2019
Todd Ossian

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced today that Todd Ossian is retiring as head aerials coach for the U.S. Ski Team, a position he has held since 2010. Emily Cook has been named interim aerials head coach during this transition period. Cook has been a part of the aerials program for 20 years: 17 as an athlete and three as a coach. A formal head coach announcement will be forthcoming this fall.

Ossian leaves the organization for an opportunity to relocate his family to the Pacific Northwest where he will be able to spend more time with his two young sons. “This has been my dream job,” says Ossian. “Leaving this is really, really hard for me. But I’ll never be able to look back and say I made the wrong choice because I had the opportunity to be with my family.”

Ossian found aerials skiing when his family relocated to Lake Minnetonka, Minn., where they lived five doors down from the Beddor family. Six Beddor family members were aerialists on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and they had constructed a set of water ramps on the lake. When Ossian first saw them, it was love at first sight. “I saw this and said, ‘I want to do that.’” In exchange for trampoline coaching, Ossian babysat the many grandchildren, one of which was Matt Saunders, who coached alongside Ossian from 2012-18.

Finding passion in skiing at Minnesota’s Buck Hill, Ossian was part of the Buck Hill Freestyle Team. “The skiing there isn’t the most exciting, so you either start skiing gates or go to the aerials site.” Between his freshman and sophomore year of high school, the Ossians moved to Denver much to Todd’s delight. “I was way into skiing at that point – it’s all I cared about.” He joined the Winter Park Freestyle Team where he was coached by freestyle legend Chris Seemann.

He made the U.S. Ski Team in 1993 after graduating from high school. Sadly his career as an athlete was short lived after breaking his hip in 1996, providing an opportunity for him to attend college. Enrolling at Colorado State University, Ossian studied Speech Communication and graduated in 1999. Wayne “Wayno” Hilterbrand, head coach of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, offered Ossian the position of aerials development coach during his final semester, which he started upon graduation. Coaching for the U.S. Team until 2001, Ossian worked with athletes such as Ryan St. Onge, Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, Jana Johnson, Matt Saunders, and Tim and Wes Preston.

Ossian was offered the head aerials coaching position for Australia in 2001, which he held until 2007. In Australia He enjoyed much success, working with aerials powerhouses such as Olympic and World Champion Alisa Camplin, Olympic Champion Lydia Lassila and World Champion Jacqui Cooper. The Australians only fielded a women’s team and during his tenure with Australian athletes winning Olympic gold and bronze, World Championship gold and bronze, as well as multiple World Cup victories.

Needing a break from a travel schedule that had him away from home for more than 230 days a year, Ossian stepped back from aerials in 2007 to take the events manager position for the Competition Center at Winter Park Resort, overseeing their winter and summer programming. In 2010 he received the news that Jeff “Flash” Wintersteen, head freestyle coach for the U.S. Ski Team, and Matt Christensen, head aerials coach, were both leaving, which created the ideal opportunity for Ossian. “I had always wanted to come back to coaching and the opportunity to come back with the U.S. team was the dream job.”

When he started back at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the U.S. Aerials Team was pretty small. Borrowing from knowledge gained in Australia, Ossian focused on recruiting and talent identification, growing the newly formed Elite Aerials Development Program from six to 12 people. When athletes from this program, a class including Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, Va.), Mac Bohonnon (Madison, Conn.), Kiley McKinnon (Madison, Conn.), Mike Rossi (Long Valley, N.J.), Jon Lillis (Pittsford, N.Y.) and Alex Bowen (Springville, N.Y.), started moving through to the national team the U.S. enjoyed substantial success. “It was pretty amazing with the EADP kids coming through. If it wasn’t one, it was the other that started to have success.”

During Ossian’s nine-year tenure as aerials head coach the U.S. earned nine FIS Rookie of the Year awards, three World Cup titles, two World Championship silver medals, two World Championship gold medals and two FIS Nation’s Cups. He also played a huge role in the redesign and renovation of the Utah Olympic Park water ramps as well as instrumental in putting in the super trampoline at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence.

Ossian was inducted into the World Acrobatic Society in 2016 for coaching accomplishments, including coaching Matt Chojnacki and Ashley Caldwell. Chojnacki holds the World Record for “most somersault and twist combination for a freestyle aerial jump” when he successfully performed a half-rudy-full-full, four flips and four twists, the hardest trick that has ever been landed by anyone in any acrobatic sport ever. Caldwell landed a full-double full-full, three flips and four twists, during the 2017 FIS Freestyle World Championships, becoming World Champion and the first female to land that trick in competition.

Ossian’s coaching philosophy has been that of equality. “This sport is really scary and I sincerely care about every athlete on the team. I’ll always take pride in that I’ve never tried harder with one athlete over another, whether you’re the last or the first person on the team. I never had favorites. I think to have success the athletes have to know that their coaches care about them. Especially in this sport because it’s really dangerous, they need to know we’re in this together.”

When looking to the future of the team he’s built, Ossian is excited to see what his athletes will accomplish. Many of the ones that came through the EADP program are coming into their prime age, as the average aerials Olympic medalist is 28. “These guys are going to be just under or right there in 2022. There is amazing chance for several of them to do well in Beijing and the addition of the team event is really good for the sport. The U.S. has a great chance to do well.

“This has been my dream job and my dream sport,” he continued. “When you take a step back and look at what we’re doing, what are we doing? We’re skiing into a 16-foot tall kicker doing triple backflips. And that’s amazing, how cool is that? It can’t get any cooler than this, except for hanging out with my two kids. If they start doing aerials, then I’m in heaven.”

“When Todd took the reins of our program, we were in a rebuilding mode, both in terms of the athletes who could win immediately, and in the long-term depth of our team,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Sport Luke Bodensteiner. “He told me that in five years, he would build the world’s best team. Five years later, he did that, winning the aerials Nation’s Cup. His team achieved great heights; back-to-back World Cup titles, nations cup trophies, and double World Championship gold in 2017. Todd’s personal commitment to the development, safety, health and wellbeing of our athletes has been remarkable. He’s left an indelible mark on the history of our team, but his legacy will carry on to the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, through the athletes he’s had a hand in developing.”

Thirty-Eight Athletes Nominated to 2019-20 U.S. Alpine Ski Team

By Megan Harrod
May, 13 2019
38 Athletes Named to U.S. Alpine Ski Team
A total of 38 athletes have been nominated to the 2019-20 U.S. Alpine Ski Team roster and A, B and C team athletes will be fully travel-funded, and will go into prep period camps with the ability to focus purely on athletics. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced its U.S. Alpine Ski Team nominations for the 2019-20 season. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on published selection criteria in the prior season.

Double Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) and three-time FIS Ski World Cup winner and veteran Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) headline the list of both accomplished and emerging athletes into the 2019-20 season. Coming off a historic 2018-19 season that saw Shiffrin rack up an impressive 17 World Cup victories, four Crystal Globes (overall, slalom, giant slalom, super-G), and an astounding 83% podium percentage, 2019-20 is bound to be another edge-of-our-seats season.

Double Olympic champion and 3x overall victor Mikaela Shiffrin will headline the women's team.
Double Olympic champion and three-time overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin will headline the 2019-20 women's alpine team. (Marco Gober - Alpe Cimbra)


The 2019-20 season will feature World Cup Finals in Cortina d’ Ampezzo, Italy from March 18-22, 2020. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a favorite classic venue on the women’s World Cup circuit where our women’s speed team has enjoyed a lot of success, and also the site of the 2021 FIS Ski World Championships.

“I am pleased to share that our A, B, and C team athletes will be fully travel-funded for the 2019-20 season and will be able to go into prep period camps with the ability to focus purely on athletics,” said Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. “Thanks to commercial sponsors, the Bob Beattie Travel Fund, USOC Direct Athlete Support, dedicated trustees and donor gifts to our Foundation, as well as dedicated fundraising activities carried out by athletes, multiple arms of the organization have been working together to make this happen. The organization has also made significant headway in our efforts to decrease travel costs at the development team level, where members will be responsible for no more than $10,000 in travel and training costs with their team.”

The 38 athletes nominated will be supported by a strong coaching staff, committed to “building a positive and professional staff around our athletes,” as Hunt recently said when numerous 2019-20 season staffing additions were announced. Notable staffing additions include Randy Pelkey taking the helm on the World Cup men’s speed side, alongside longtime U.S. Ski Team men's coaches Scotty Veenis and Josh Applegate. On the men’s World Cup tech side, Will Courtney joins Forest Carey and Ian Garner as an assistant coach and strength and conditioning coach. Ryan Wilson will join Carey and Garner to focus on supporting men’s slalom at the World Cup level. Matt Underhill will lead the Europa Cup team on the men’s side. Katie Twible joins the women’s NorAm coaching staff, working with Magnus Andersson and Kris Shampeny.

River Radamus double gold at Val di Fassa, Italy Junior World Championships.
Our men's team put together a best in the world performance led by double-gold winner River Radamus in Val di Fassa, Italy this past season at FIS Ski Junior World Championships. 


Athletes nominated to the team already opened the season with their first on-snow training camps in late April at official U.S. Ski & Snowboard training sites Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley, Calif., as well as physical testing at the certified U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence in South Lake Tahoe, located on the Barton Health medical campus and officially unveiled as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence in 2018.

Each athlete accepting the nomination to U.S. Ski Team receives world-class program support, along with access to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Center of Excellence, as well as athletic benefits including an elite coaching, sport science, sports medicine, and high performance staff, and education opportunities.

An official U.S. Alpine Ski Team team announcement will be made in the fall.

2019-20 Alpine Nominations
(Hometown; Club; Birthdate)

A TEAM
Men
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1992)
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR; Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation; 3/20/1989) 
Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1988)
Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 8/31/1984)
Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard/Sundance Ski Team; 2/12/1982)

Women
Breezy Johnson (Victor, Idaho; Rowmark Ski Academy; 1/19/1996)
Alice McKennis (New Castle, Colo.; Sunlight Winter Sports Club/Rowmark Ski Academy; 8/18/1989)
Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation; 8/17/1988)
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 3/13/1995)
Jacqueline Wiles (Aurora, Ore.; White Pass Ski Club; 7/13/1992)

B TEAM
Men

Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club; 3/27/1992)
Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation; 6/15/1991)
Brian McLaughlin (Waitsfield, Vt.; Dartmouth College/Green Mountain Valley School; 6/24/1993)
Sam Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine; Carrabassett Valley Academy; 5/27/1996)
Kyle Negomir (Littleton, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/3/1998)
River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 2/12/1998)
Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School; 9/5/2000)
Luke Winters (Gresham, Ore.; Sugar Bowl Academy; 4/2/1997)

Women
Keely Cashman (Strawberry, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 4/4/1999)
AJ Hurt (Carnelian Bay, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 12/5/2000)
Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.; Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School; 10/5/1996)
Paula Moltzan (Prior Lake, Minn.; University of Vermont/Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail; 4/7/1994)
Nina O’Brien (Edwards, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team; 11/29/1997)

C TEAM
Men

Cooper Cornelius (Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski Club; 6/20/1999)
Bridger Gile (Aspen, Colo., Aspen Valley Ski Club and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/15/1999)*
George Steffey (Lyme, N.H.; Stratton Mountain School; 8/8/1997)

Women
Abi Jewett (Ripton, Vt.; Green Mountain Valley School; 1/10/2000)
Katie Hensien (Redmond, Wash.; Rowmark Ski Academy; 12/1/1999)
Galena Wardle (Aspen, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; 4/24/1998)

DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Men

Jacob Dilling (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, 10/19/1999)*
Kellen Kinsella (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 8/7/2001)*
Isaiah Nelson (Wayzata, MN.; Buck Hill Ski Racing Club; 4/3/2001)
Jack Smith (Sun Valley, Idaho; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; 4/24/2001)*

Women
Lauren Macuga (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard; 7/4/2002)*
Ainsley Proffit (St. Louis, MO; Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy; 3/21/2001)
Emma Resnick (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 7/23/2003)*
Alix Wilkinson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 8/2/2000)*
Zoe Zimmermann (Gilford, N.H.; Burke Mountain Academy; 5/16/2002)

*Newly named to the U.S. Ski Team

Seventeen Clubs Achieve Podium Certifications

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 12 2019
Bruce Perry
Bruce Perry competes at the 2019 U.S. Freestyle Moguls Championships.

Seventeen clubs across the USA have achieved certifications in 2019 in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s podium certification process, a key element of the work done by U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s sports education department. Seven clubs achieved recertification and 10 earned new certifications. Club certification is a process of self-assessment, peer-evaluation, certification committee review and organizational improvement in partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, to assist its clubs through assessing club leadership, operations, and athletic programming and performance. The seventeen clubs will be recognized May 13 at the annual U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club Excellence Conference, held in Park City, Utah.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard offers three tiers of certification: bronze, silver, and gold. All certifications involve a comprehensive organizational assessment that places clubs on the path of continual improvement with ongoing club development resources and opportunities provided by the NGB. Through the podium certification process, U.S. Ski & Snowboard works in close collaboration with member clubs to recognize excellence and to understand the challenges and opportunities that exist for clubs in every corner of the country.

“Judging by the caliber of the clubs we worked with this year, it is clear the future of our sport is in good hands,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Club Development Manager, Ellen Adams. “The demonstration of professionalism and commitment to a culture of excellence was apparent to our certification team, and the delivery of a vast array of programs in line with best principles and practices was evident in the clubs we visited. We are excited to see that clubs who were part of the inaugural program four and five years ago have used the program to work toward established goals, and embraced the experience of applying for recertification in their effort to always be improving. The record number of new clubs starting the process with Bronze certification this year is a true cause for celebration. Congratulations to all for their achievements.”

Member clubs represent a vital component of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s talent pipeline, where many Olympians first put feet to snow. Club Certification is a rigorous process designed for the clubs that want to verify and demonstrate their understanding of the best principles and implementation of best practices of their club. Not included in this year’s count are two clubs whose recertification applications are in progress (one gold and one bronze) and three clubs who are on track for new bronze level certifications.

COMPLETED QUADRENNIAL RECERTIFICATION
GOLD

Green Mountain Valley School
The Loppet Foundation
Bridger Ski Foundation
Winter Park Competition Center
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
Sugar Bowl Academy and Ski Team

BRONZE
Snowbird Snowsports Education Foundation

ADVANCED FROM SILVER TO GOLD
Team Gilboa
Team Summit

NEW BRONZE LEVEL CERTIFICATIONS
Attitash Alpine Educational Foundation
Bogus Basin Ski Education Foundation
Granite Peak Ski Team
Loveland Ski Club
Madison Nordic Ski Club
Mount Sunapee Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard Programs
Silver Run Ski Team
Wy’East Mountain Academy