No 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)

Masters Welcomes Coaches with a Complementary Membership

By Lauren Beckos
June, 8 2023
Willy Camp Coaches at the Masters Summer Fun Nationals Race on Mt. Hood
Willy Camp Coaches at the Masters Summer Fun Nationals Race on Mt. Hood

All U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Coaches can add a complementary Alpine Master membership to their cart when they renew their membership or contact member services to have it added. Thank you for your hard work and dedication in your sport! We hope you will check out the Masters schedules and events and join us for a race.

There are many benefits to participating in a masters race as a coach:

  • Participation in one masters race earns you 2 continuing education credits. This can be used once every two years. Submit using the continuing education request form after the race. See the framework instructions for more information about continuing ed credits that you are required to get to maintain a current coach's certification.
  • Practice what you preach. Doing what you teach your athletes gives you insights that you don't get from the sidelines. It is informative, valuable, and makes you a better coach.
  • It’s YOU time! Have fun! Remember how exhilarating it is to feel the speed, rhythm, and adrenaline of a ski race. Reconnect with why you first fell in the love with alpine ski racing.
  • Set a course and then get to race it! Contact the masters event organizer to see if a course-setter is needed if you would like to set. (The masters course-setting matrix is available here.)
  • No special gear needed besides a FIS-legal helmet! Masters do not have ski requirements. Throw down on those cheater GS skis or any other skis you've got in your quiver that you love!

Masters racing provides opportunities for adults of all ages and abilities to compete against their peers in alpine ski races across the United States. Masters is a multi-generational, passionate, fun-loving group. Come for the races, stay for the life-long friendships and love of the sport.

For more information about the Masters group in your area:

Division    Website
Central Division
Eastern Division (New England)
Eastern Division (Mid-Atlantic)
Eastern Division (Southern)
 Far West 
Pacific Northwest 


For more information regarding the Masters program please visit


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.

Paine Elected to FIS Council 

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 6 2024
Dexter Paine
The new FIS Council poses after the election in Iceland. (FIS)

PARK CITY, UT (June 7, 2024) - U.S. Ski & Snowboard proudly announces Dexter Paine's election to the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) Council. This decision, made at the FIS Congress meeting on June 5, 2024, is a testament to Paine's unwavering dedication and significant contributions to snowsports. 

“I am honored to be elected to the FIS council,” said Paine. “I plan to work collaboratively to ensure the growth and prosperity of our sports, always putting our athletes first. With my experience in the Olympic and Paralympic world and connections within the U.S. network and the FIS council, I feel confident I can provide a unique perspective moving forward and continue to uphold the council's values while acting on the tremendous potential we have.” 

Paine, a trailblazing figure in skiing and snowboarding, has dedicated more than 30 years to national and international governance. He currently serves as a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Board of Directors, is on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation Board and is involved in the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games bid, a preferred host for 2034. Paine was also Chairman of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors for 13 years, was on U.S. Biathlon’s Board of Directors for four years and has been involved as an Executive Committee member of three FIS World Championships. He was previously a member of the FIS Council from 2014-22. Beyond the snowsports realm, he boasts 25 years of investment experience and 35 years in the private equity industry, demonstrating his leadership and expertise that transcends industries. 

“Dexter is known for his vision, dedication and knowledge of snowsports and is highly respected for his commitment to the athletes and their futures,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “I’ve seen what Dexter can do in this world and the leadership and trust he provides. I am grateful to have him on the FIS Council and look forward to working with him as we chase the momentum and continue advocating for the interest of our athletes and federations worldwide.”

“Dexter brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the FIS Council,” said Kipp Nelson, Chairman of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors. “He is well respected in the industry and we know that he will continue to bring positive change to our sports, which he is also very passionate about.”

Effective immediately, Paine will serve on the FIS Council and work alongside existing and newly elected council members, upholding the mission, vision and values of FIS and the Olympic and Paralympic movement.

Elected Council Members

  • Deidra Dionne (CAN) – reelected 
  • Tove Moe Dyrhaug (NOR) – new member 
  • José María “May” Peus España (ESP) – new member 
  • Anna Harboe Falkenberg (DEN) – new member 
  • Michael Huber (AUT) – new member 
  • Freddy Keirouz (LBN) – new member 
  • Karin Mattsson (SWE) – new member 
  • Tzeko Minev (BUL) – reelected 
  • Aki Murasato (JPN) - reelected 
  • Alexander Ospelt (LIE) – new member 
  • Dexter Paine (USA) – new member 
  • Jean-Philippe Rochat (SUI) – new member 
  • Flavio Roda (ITA) – reelected 
  • Fabien Saguez (FRA) – new member 
  • Enzo Smrekar (SLO) – reelected 
  • Franz Steinle (GER) – reelected 
  • Fiona Stevens (NZL) – reelected 
  • Martti Uusitalo (FIN) – reelected

Women’s Birds of Prey, World Cup Finals at Sun Valley Headline 2024-25 U.S. FIS World Cup Calendar

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 4 2024
sun valley
Sun Valley Resort to host the Stifel Sun Valley Finals in 2025. (Steve Kornreich/U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

PARK CITY, Utah (June 4, 2024) – The International Federation of Skiing & Snowboarding (FIS) has officially confirmed 11 FIS World Cups in the United States for the 2024-25 season, headlined by the first ever back-to-back men’s and women’s FIS Alpine World Cup speed races on the historic Birds of Prey track at Beaver Creek and the FIS Alpine World Cup Finals at Sun Valley Resort.

In addition to the men’s Birds of Prey that has been hosted by Beaver Creek since 1997, the women will have the chance to race the renowned speed track in December the weekend after the men at the women’s Stifel Birds of Prey presented by United Airlines. It will be the first time the women have raced on the iconic Birds of Prey course. The race will mark the first time many of the Stifel U.S. Ski Team women will race a World Cup on home snow, including top speed athletes Lauren Macuga and Bella Wright. The resort is also poised to welcome back the winningest alpine skier of all time Mikaela Shiffrin as she chases her 100th World Cup win just a few miles from her home in the Vail Valley. 

“I love racing in the States—racing at Killington has been so important for our sport, and now the women get to have several stops in North America,” said Olympic champion and 97-time World Cup winner Mikaela Shiffrin. “I have a lot of great memories skiing in Beaver Creek, particularly from World Champs in 2015. It’s an iconic World Cup speed track with a best in the world course crew – the Talon Crew – and the surface is always incredible. It’s so great we’ll be closing the season at Sun Valley with Stifel Sun Valley Finals too. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the next generation of skiers seeing and experiencing the World Cup in our country. It is so impactful and essential for the growth of our sport here at home.”

The men will race at Beaver Creek the weekend prior, kicking off their speed season with the annual Stifel Birds of Prey presented by United Airlines, racing super-G, downhill and giant slalom. The giant slalom race is back in Beaver Creek for the first time since Stifel U.S. Ski Team athlete Tommy Ford found his first World Cup victory on the track in 2019. The races will highlight local favorite River Radamus, top downhill skier Bryce Bennett and Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochran-Siegle.

“The opportunity for women to race speed on the historic Birds of Prey course in Beaver Creek is thrilling!” said Olympic gold medalist and most successful U.S. downhiller in history Lindsey Vonn. “I love that the women will be racing on the same track as the men, and I can’t wait to cheer them on in a place that is very special to me.”  

The alpine World Cup Finals are also returning to the U.S. for the first time since 2017 with Idaho’s Sun Valley Resort hosting the Stifel Sun Valley Finals. The event invites the top 25 athletes from each alpine discipline, likely including Swiss phenoms Marco Odermatt and Lara Gut-Behrami, Italian force Sofia Goggia, Brazil’s Lucas Braathen, and many Stifel U.S. Ski Team athletes.

“Bringing the World Cup Finals back to the U.S. and to a storied resort like Sun Valley is exciting for the U.S. fan base,” said six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller. “As someone who grew up with World Cup races nearby, having U.S. Ski & Snowboard continue to host events like this and raise the level of competition regularly is crucial for the continuation of our sport and inspiring the next generation of skiers. I can’t wait to watch.”

“Finally a World Cup Finals on home soil!” said two-time World Cup winner Bryce Bennett. “I’m excited to have the Finals in Sun Valley Idaho this season! It couldn’t be in a better location with a community that values and supports World Cup skiing with the same enthusiasm as the Europeans.”

The 2024-25 U.S. FIS World Cup circuit will again begin on the east coast in Vermont with the alpine women racing giant slalom and slalom at the Stifel Killington Cup. 40,000-plus fans are expected to cheer on the Stifel U.S. Ski Team women, including six-time Stifel Killington Cup champion and winningest skier of all time Shiffrin, and tech podium stars AJ Hurt and Paula Moltzan. 

In addition to the four alpine events, the United States will have three freestyle World Cups. An aerials World Cup heads to the historic 1980 Olympic site of Lake Placid Jan. 18-19 for the first time since 2019. New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort, known as the birthplace of freestyle skiing, will host a moguls and dual moguls World Cup Jan. 25-26. This comes after the mountain’s successful first freestyle World Cup last season. Competition continues with the fan favorite Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley Feb. 6-8 with moguls, aerials and dual moguls World Cups. This event is a staple on the freestyle schedule and draws an enormous crowd year after year. Both events will be headlined by the strong women’s Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, who regularly finished on the podium throughout the 2023-24 season.

The FIS Ski Jumping World Cup circuit will head to Lake Placid for the third time since 1990, Feb. 8-9. For the first time, the event will feature both men and women for mixed team and individual jumps. The women’s event will be an addition to last season’s calendar. Top U.S. athletes to watch include Erik Belshaw and Josie Johnson, both silver medalists at the 2024 Junior World Championships. 

Additionally, there will be three freeski and snowboard World Cups in the U.S. this season, with locations to be confirmed. 

“We are thrilled to have a robust domestic World Cup calendar once again,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “To have 11 events on home snow spanning across the country, is a testament to the growth of our sports and the fanbase following our athletes. Plus, the addition of two alpine events, including a two-weekend Birds of Prey with both men’s and women’s races and the Stifel World Finals in Sun Valley, showcases the significant value in bringing the world’s best to the U.S.” 

“As a proud supporter of the skiing community, we are thrilled to partner with U.S. Ski & Snowboard to bring more World Cup events to the United States,” said Ron Kruszewski, chairman and CEO of Stifel Financial, the title sponsor of all four alpine events this coming season. “These events not only showcase the incredible talent of athletes from around the globe but also provide an opportunity for American fans to experience the excitement of world class competition on home soil. We are committed to fostering the growth of winter sports in the U.S. and are honored to play a role in making that happen.”


Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2024: Stifel Killington Cup, Killington, Vermont; women’s slalom/giant slalom
Dec. 6-8, 2024: Stifel Birds of Prey presented by United Airlines, Beaver Creek, Colorado; men’s super-G/downhill/giant slalom
Dec. 14-15, 2024: Stifel Birds of Prey presented by United Airlines, Beaver Creek, Colorado; women’s super-G/downhill
March 22-27, 2025: Stifel Sun Valley Finals, Sun Valley, Idaho; men’s and women’s downhill/super-G/giant slalom/slalom

Jan. 18-19, 2025: FIS Freestyle World Cup, Lake Placid, New York; aerials
Jan. 25-26, 2025: Waterville Freestyle Cup, Waterville Valley, New Hampshire; moguls/dual moguls
Feb. 6-8, 2025: Intermountain Health Freestyle International, Deer Valley, Utah; moguls/aerials/dual moguls 

Dec. 14, 2024: Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, TBC; halfpipe
Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2025: Visa Big Air presented by Toyota, TBC; big air
Feb. 2-5, 2025: Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, TBC; slopestyle/halfpipe 

Feb. 7-9, 2025: FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Lake Placid, New York; individual large hill HS 128/super team large hill HS 128. 


2023-24 Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team Awards

By Sadie Texer - Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team
May, 28 2024
Athlete's snowboards in Laax.

(PARK CITY, Utah) - U.S. Ski & Snowboard officially announces the 2023-24 Snowboard Awards recipients.

Nominated and voted on by the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athletes and staff, the awards highlight a standout team member in four categories: Athlete of the Year, Best Comeback, Rookie of the Year, and Staff Member of the Year. The pool of candidates is drawn from both pro and rookie teams across all three disciplines, including slopestyle, snowboardcross, and halfpipe. 

“The winners of each category represent the best of the best from the 2023-24 season,” said Hydro Flask Snowboard Team Sport Director, Rick Bower. “The nomination and voting process was tight for each award, which shows the incredible amount of respect athletes and staff have within the team. We are so proud of the culture this team has established across all three disciplines and are excited to watch as they continue to build on this upward momentum.”

Congratulations to the following athletes and staff!


Red Gerard

  • 2024 Aspen X Games; gold (slopestyle)
  • Edmonton World Cup; third place (big air)
  • Visa Big Air presented by Toyota; third place (big air)

Maddie Mastro

  • 2023-24 FIS women's halfpipe World Cup rankings; second overall
  • 2024 Dew Tour; gold
  • Calgary World Cup; second place
  • Secret Garden World Cup; third place
  • Toyota U.S. Grand Prix; third place (Copper Mountain)
  • Toyota U.S. Grand Prix; third place (Mammoth Mountain)



Alessandro Barbieri

  • Youth Olympic Winter Games; silver
  • Winsport Calgary Nor-Am Cup; first place

Rebecca Flynn

  • FIS Junior World Championships; first place (big air)
  • FIS Junior World Championships; third place (slopestyle)
  • Youth Olympic Winter Games; silver (big air)
  • Sun Peaks Nor-Am Cup; first place (slopestyle)
  • Sun Peaks Nor-Am Cup; second place (big air)
  • Stoneham Nor-Am Cup; second place (big air)



Chase Blackwell

Showing consistent improvement and skill progression throughout the season, Blackwell put down the "best run of [his] career" at the prestigious Laax Open and walked away with a career-best fourth-place finish.

Maddie Mastro

Sidelined by a crash in Calgary, Alberta at the end of the 2022-2023 season, Mastro battled back to display some of the best halfpipe riding of her career, earning a spot on the podium in every competition she entered throughout the 2023-24 season.



Bea Kim

In only her first season at the pro level, Kim earned her first World Cup podium at the Laax Open and finished third overall in the 2023-24 FIS women's halfpipe World Cup rankings.

Levko Fedorowycz

Along with first-place results at two Nor-Am Cups and a National Championship win, Fedorowycz improved 10 spots in the FIS halfpipe World Cup rankings over the course of the 2023-24 season.



Missy Konig - Team Manager

From booking flights to organizing schedules and everything in between, Konig is a well-loved Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team staff member. Her dedication to athlete's well-being and commitment to the organization's success doesn't go unnoticed.


2024 Outside Festival Hosts 'The Summit'

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 24 2024

Release courtesy of Outside. 

DENVER, CO  – Outside Festival, the inaugural outdoor gathering featuring incredible music,
immersive experiences, and inspiring films and speakers, coming to Denver June 1-2, is thrilled to announce an
extra day with THE SUMMIT presented by Outside For Business, an inspirational event for outdoor industry
professionals taking place on Friday, May 31.

“Outside and partners see a future where the inaugural festival can not only be the premier annual destination
for the everyday outdoor enthusiasts, but also for industry global outdoor thought leaders that are working on
new ideas to cultivate creativity and build a better, and more inclusive future for the outdoors, " said Robin
Thurston, CEO of Outside.

Acting as a true kick-off to one of the most anticipated events of the summer, THE SUMMIT will take place at the
Denver Art Museum and serve as a day of inspiration and education for seasoned and aspiring outdoor industry
professionals to join critical conversations that are paramount to the future of the outdoor industry.

“The outdoor industry is at a pivotal moment where, given the right resources and connections, it has the
potential to flourish into a powerful force in not only economic development and conservation but also in
stewardship, workforce development, and the intersection between public health and wellness, ” said Luis
Benitez, Trust for Public Land’s Chief Impact Officer. “The Outside Festival and THE SUMMIT are building a
framework where combined voices and interests can blossom.”

Attendees can expect a robust line-up of speakers from political and business sectors aimed at educating and
inspiring across three critical tracks: sustainability (climate and conservation), inclusion (access and equity), and
creativity (marketing, leadership, and trends). Conor Hall, leading the charge for Colorado's Outdoor Recreation
Industry, underscores the vital economic contribution of the outdoors to the state, “(the outdoor industry)
amounts to over $62 billion and provides employment for more than 500,000 individuals, constituting 18% of
Colorado's workforce. The necessity of amplifying the industry's voice, in the Outside Festival and now THE
SUMMIT serves as a platform to unite and empower both industry players and the community they serve.”
Early-bird tickets to THE SUMMIT that include all meals and a two-day GA pass to the Outside Festival start at
$495 for a limited time. In addition, also held on the same day, Friday, May 31, industry retailers, media, and
other VIPs won’t want to miss The Big Gear Show and (e)revolution Show industry day to check out up-and-
coming gear, attend industry-specific education sessions and stick around for an industry social gathering.
Attendance is FREE. For more information and to register, please visit or
Sponsors for THE SUMMIT include the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, the Denver Art Museum,
The Conservation Alliance, and the Trust for Public Land.

# # #

Media Contact:
Austyn Dineen, Backbone,
Photo and Video Assets (Credit Outside)

About Outside Festival
The first-ever Outside Festival will take place in downtown Denver from June 1-2, 2024. This new event is a one-of-a-
kind celebration of everything outdoors, featuring music, films, speakers, and gear. The festival is designed for beginners
and experts alike, with experiences and inspiration for climbers, hikers, cyclists, skiers, and the everyday recreationist.
The Outside Festival is driven by a partnership between Outside Interactive Inc, The State of Colorado’s Outdoor
Recreation Office, and Visit Denver—all with a shared desire to make the outdoors more accessible and more inclusive.
For more information, including tickets, please visit

About Outside Interactive Inc.
Outside Interactive Inc. is the premier destination for outdoor inspiration, activation, and reward. Each month, Outside
reaches 80 million of the most active consumers in the world across its network of 25 media, digital, and technology
platforms, creating an experience for both longtime adventurers and those just getting started. Outside’s mission is to
get everyone outside. Outside’s subscription offering, Outside+, bundles best-in-class storytelling, videos, gear reviews,
mapping apps, online courses, discounted event access, and more to help people experience healthy, connected, and
fulfilling lives. Learn more at

Olympian Alice Merryweather Announces Retirement

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
May, 23 2024
Alice Merryweather celebrates after her Olympic run. (Getty Images)

2018 Olympian and long-time Stifel U.S. Ski Team member Alice Merryweather has officially announced her retirement from alpine ski racing. 

After much grief, deliberation, anger, and ultimately, acceptance, I have decided to retire from World Cup ski racing,” said Merryweather in a recent social media post. “Saying this breaks my heart. But without the support of the U.S. Ski Team moving forward, I don’t see a realistic path towards achieving my World Cup and Olympic dreams.”

Merryweather joined the team in 2015 after earning a spot on the junior world championship team in 2014 and 2015. After skiing to impressive results, she quickly made her World Cup debut in 2016. She then raced on home snow at the Killington Cup the following season; the rest is history. In 2017, Merryweather was crowned the Junior Worlds downhill champion. 

In 2018, Merryweather was selected to represent the United States of America for the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, where she competed in the alpine combined and slalom events. Merryweather was also a member of the 2019 World Championships team. In her career, Merryweather overcame a large leg injury she sustained in a summer training camp in 2019. This injury kept her out of the starting gate for two seasons but Merryweather was determined to return to the World Cup start gate. She fully recovered and skied an entire World Cup speed season in the 2023-24 season. 

“Thank you first and foremost to my family. To my parents, who drove me around New England throughout my childhood so that I could pursue this crazy sport, and to my brother, who instilled in me a drive and competitive spirit that I still cherish today, every opportunity I have had in this career is because of you guys. Looking forward to starting a new chapter."

2024 Congress Notes

By Sam Damon
May, 16 2024
Eastern Regio Congress Notes

Eastern Region staff has aggregated some summary notes from this year's USSS Congress. This isn't intended to be an overview of some of the more major topics that were discussed. For a more exhaustive set of meeting minutes, agendas, and proposals, please see the USSS Congresss FTP site.


FTP site:

Congress Notes:

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announces Annual Awards for 2023-24 Season

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
May, 16 2024
Julius Blegen Award, the evening's highest honor, is awarded to Walt Evans. (Steven Vargo//U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

PARK CITY, Utah (May 16, 2024) – U.S. Ski & Snowboard is proud to announce the winners of its annual awards program, honoring individuals and organizations that have greatly impacted the world of elite skiing and snowboarding. This year’s list of winners includes those who have shown talent in sports, coaching and more to foster the growth of skiing and snowboarding. 

The highest honor of the evening, the Julius Blegen Award, was given to Walt Evans. The award is presented annually to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard member who contributed his or her outstanding service to the sports of skiing or snowboarding in the United States. Evans has been in the ski industry for more than 50 years, impacting all aspects of the sport. He has a rich history in alpine racing, where he was part of the University of Wyoming’s NCAA championship team. After his racing career, Evans spent time as the national sport director for the U.S. Ski Association and Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, eventually becoming the development director for the U.S. Ski Team. More recently, Evans has made a lasting impact as the Aspen Valley Ski Club program director. He officially took a step back from the industry in 2016. In years past, Bruce Crane, Bob Dart, Thelma Hoessler, Dexter Paine, Chuck Heckert, Spencer Eccles and many others have been recognized with this award. 

Stifel U.S. Cross Country athlete and three-time Olympic medalist Jessie Diggins won the highest athletic award, the Beck International Award, based on outstanding performance in international competition. Diggins took home the FIS overall and distance Crystal Globe for the second time in her storied career. It was her most successful season to date and included setting a record for the winningest World Cup season in U.S. history for a cross country athlete. She also took home the Stifel Cross Country Athlete of the Year award and the Team Athletes Giving Back Award for her work with Share Winter Foundation. 

The 2024 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Coach of the Year award went to Stifel U.S. Cross Country Team coach Kristen Bourne. Bourne, a former professional cross country athlete herself, has helped propel this team to new heights in the 2023-24 season. 

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, under the leadership of Scott McGrew, took home the Club of the Year award due to its program strength across development and coaching.

Other noteworthy recognitions include alpine athlete River Radamus (2024 Buddy Werner Award), Foreste Peterson (2024 Eileen Shiffrin HERoic Development Coach of the Year Award), Jeremy Forster (2024 John J. Clair Jr. Award) and many others who continue to inspire the current and next generation of skiers and snowboarders. Find the full list of winners below. 


U.S. Ski & Snowboard Julius Blegen Award: Walt Evans

The Julius Blegen Award is given annually to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard member who contributed his or her outstanding service to the sports of skiing or snowboarding in the United States. It is designed to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution over a sustained period of time on behalf of the vision and mission of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. The award began in 1946 in memory of Julius Blegen, a former treasurer of the NSA from 1937-42 and first president of the Central U.S. Ski & Snowboard, as well as the American Olympic coach in 1932. 

Walt Evans has been in the ski industry for more than 50 years, impacting all aspects of the sport. He has a rich history rooted in alpine racing, where he was part of the University of Wyoming’s NCAA championship team. After his racing career, Evans spent time as the national sport director for the U.S. Ski Association and Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, eventually becoming the development director for the U.S. Ski Team. More recently, Evans has made a lasting impact as the Aspen Valley Ski Club program director. He officially took a step back from the industry in 2016. 


2024 Beck International Award: Jessie Diggins 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Beck International Award, its highest athletic award, is presented to a competitor based on outstanding performance in international competition during the past season. The Beck award was inaugurated in 1931.

Jessie Diggins, a three-time Olympic medalist, capped off her historic season winning the overall and distance FIS Crystal Globe. She won six World Cups and landed on the podium 12 times throughout the season along with winning the famed Tour de Ski, the cross country ski version of the Tour de France. Her leadership within her team is also highlighted by the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team’s best season in history. 

2024 Westhaven Award: Jill Firstbrook 

The Westhaven Award is a lifetime achievement award, recognizing an outstanding FIS technical delegate for his or her service. The donors of this award are Fraser and Teddy West.

Jill Firstbrook has worked in almost every area of the ski industry, from coaching to program direction. Firstbrook now acts as the alpine program director at Mount Sunapee, New Hampshire where she continues to lead the program with force.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard International Coach of the Year Award: Kristen Bourne

Kristen Bourne is the D Team and World Cup coach for the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. She was a competitive skier herself in college on the D1 circuit. After college, Kristen moved to Oslo, Norway where she continued racing and interning at the Norwegian School of Sports Science. She began coaching with the national team in 2022.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Development Coach of the Year Award: Colin Delaney

Colin Delaney is the head coach of ski jumping and nordic combined with the New York Ski Education Foundation. His leadership within the program has helped his athletes soar to new heights. 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club of the Year Award: Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation - Scott McGrew 

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, under the leadership of Scott McGrew, is the 2024 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club of the Year. SVSEF has consistently produced strong athletes across all disciplines, many moving to the national team and beyond. 

2024 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion Award: Schone Maillet - Winter4Kids 

The award is focused on recognizing a person, group, organization, or program that has contributed significantly and sustainably to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in skiing and snowboarding. 

Winter4Kids, headed up by Schone Maiilet in Vernon, New Jersey, was founded out of a Share Winter initiative with a mission to introduce 100,000 kids to winter activities. The main values of the program include creating a safe space, empathy, embracing individuality and fostering a sense of belonging. 

2024 Development Club of the Year: Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation 

Mt Bachelor Ski Education Foundation’s success across its development programs speaks volumes about the culture, staff and structure of the club. It has programs across alpine, cross country, freeski and snowboard. 


2024 Paul Bacon Award: PJ Jenick

U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Paul Bacon Award is given to an individual or group for the greatest contribution to U. S. Ski & Snowboard in the field of race organization. It was originated by the Bacon family and U. S. Ski & Snowboard Rocky Mountain Division in memory of Paul Bacon, an outstanding contributor in the field of race organizing.

PJ Jenick is the alpine race coordinator with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. He is a former NCAA racer for Western State College, as well as a USSA Level 4 certified technical delegate and chief of race. He also sits as the Vice President on the Rocky Mountain Ski Race Officials board. 

2024 John J. Clair Jr. Award: Jeremy Forster

U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s John J. Clair Jr. Award is given for outstanding service that benefited the U.S. Ski or Snowboard Team. The award was originated by the Long Island Ski Club in memory of John Clair.

Jeremy Forster has worked within the ski industry for more than 20 years with two decades stemming from time at U.S. Ski & Snowboard ranging from event manager to the sport director of snowboard, freeski and freestyle. Forster has a longstanding commitment to the industry and bettering athletes.

2024 Bud & Mary Little Award: Dexter Paine

The Bud and Mary Little Award is presented to an individual who has contributed significantly to U.S. Ski & Snowboard skiing or snowboard interests through a long-term involvement in the FIS or Olympic sports communities, internationally or nationally. Dr. Amos R. “Bud” Little was a noted ski racer, coach and U.S. Ski Team doctor, and he served as an influential leader with the International Ski Federation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

As a visionary leader with a deep commitment to skiing and snowboarding and its athletes, Dexter Paine has been involved in governance at both the national and international levels for decades. He served as a member of the FIS Council Executive Committee from 2014-22 and has acted as an ex-officio honorary member from 2022 to the present. He was also Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors (2006-19) and was on U.S. Biathlon’s Board of Directors (2020-24). Paine currently serves as a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Board of Directors (2021-present), is on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation Board (2002-24) and is actively involved in the Salt Lake City 2034 Olympic Winter Games bid. 

2024 Buddy Werner Award: River Radamus 

The Wallace “Buddy” Werner Award is given to the outstanding U.S. Ski & Snowboard competitor who demonstrated leadership and good sportsmanship in national or international competition. It is presented in memory of Buddy Werner, an outstanding U.S. alpine racer who was killed in an avalanche after the 1964 Olympics at the height of his ski career.

River Radamus had his career-best World Cup season in 2023-24, securing his first podium, had his best results in super-G and giant slalom and made a surprise comeback in the slalom discipline. Not only is Radamus’ career on the rise but he is also an excellent teammate, regularly supporting and promoting others over himself.

2024 West Family Award: Lucy Conklin 

The West Family Award is given annually to recognize an outstanding dedicated U.S. Ski & Snowboard certified official for the year and/or over numerous years, from the 'grass root' membership – the lowliest gatekeeper on up. The donor of this award is the Fraser and Teddy West family.

Lucy Conklin spent decades of her life working in the ski industry wearing a number of different hats, including as a race administrator with the Far West division for many years. Conklin’s skillset, organization and knowledge of the industry helps the division run effortlessly. 

2024 Russell Wilder Award: Bill Van Gilder

U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Russell Wilder Award is given annually to recognize the most outstanding effort in focusing the interests of American youth on the sports of skiing or snowboarding. 

Bill Van Glider has been a technical advisor with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and a technical delegate with FIS for decades. It is Gilder’s dedication to the sport that helps events and athletes succeed. 

2024 Team Athletes Giving Back Award: Jessie Diggins - Share Winter Foundation 

Many U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team athletes donate time, money and their persona to various charitable and nonprofit endeavors. The award includes a $5K grant to the athlete's charitable cause or organization and was born through the generosity of an anonymous Trustee donor. 

Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team athlete Jessie Diggins serves on the board of the Share Winter Foundation where she helps kids discover snow sports for the first time. The program enables kids to learn, build confidence and more in the world of skiing and snowboarding.

2024 Eileen Shiffrin HERoic Development Coach of the Year Award: Foreste Peterson 

A former Stifel U.S. Ski Team athlete and NCAA All American, Foreste Peterson uses her expertise to elevate the careers of talented women development athletes, many of whom had their first World Cup starts this season. Peterson is well-loved by her athletes and staff and continues to be an inspiration.


2024 Adaptive Athlete of the Year: Brenna Huckaby 

Paralympic medalist Brenna Huckaby had seven wins and 10 podiums across the 2023-24 season, winning the banked slalom, snowboard cross and overall Crystal Globes. Huckaby is a leader in the Para snowboard world, serving as a mentor and advocate for women in the sport. A mom of two young daughters, she uses her platform to speak openly about parenting, overcoming cancer, mental health and body positivity. 

2024 Stifel Alpine Athlete of the Year: AJ Hurt 

AJ Hurt had a tremendous breakout season on the World Cup tour, consistently shattering her personal bests. She ended the season with two World Cup podiums: a third in slalom and a third in giant slalom. She was key in helping the women’s tech team secure one of their best seasons, winning the Nations Cup in slalom for the second year in a row. 

2024 Stifel Cross Country Athletes of the Year: Jessie Diggins & Gus Schumacher

Jessie Diggins had a career-best and historic season, winning the overall and distance FIS Crystal Globe, the Tour de Ski and capturing 12 podiums. She was a pivotal member of the cross country team, leading the team to their best ever season. 

Gus Schumacher made a splash on the cross country tour this season, consistently finishing in the top 10. Then in front of a home crowd, Schumacher won the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis, securing his first victory and the first U.S. men’s cross country World Cup win since 1982. 

2024 Stifel Freestyle Athlete of the Year: Olivia Giaccio (moguls) & Winter Vinecki (aerials)

Olivia Giaccio had the season of a lifetime with consistent performances, personal bests and never-before-dones across the board, including attempting and landing the first cork 1080 in women’s competition history. She stepped on the podium nine times and finished third in the moguls, dual moguls and overall season standings. 

Winter Vinecki won three individual World Cups and helped lead the U.S. to a team win in Changchun, China. On top of competing triples consistently, a rarity among women, Vinecki also perfected her doubles technique to make her hard to beat in all aspects of the sport. Vinecki finished the season second overall, only 42 points behind first place. 

2024 Stifel Freeski Athletes of the Year: Rell Harwood & Alex Ferreira 

Rell Harwood landed in the top 10 of every World Cup she entered this season, secured two X Games medals, taking second place in the knuckle huck and third in big air.

Alex Ferreira had a perfect World Cup season, winning all five World Cup events, along with the Dew Tour and X Games. It was the first time for anyone to achieve the feat in freestyle skiing. He rightfully took home both the overall and halfpipe Crystal Globes.

2024 Stifel Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year: Erik Belshaw 

Erik Belshaw had a strong year on the ski jumping circuit where he placed second overall in the individual HS102 event at the 2024 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships, taking home the silver medal and becoming the first ever American man to reach a ski jumping podium at Junior Worlds.

2024 Snowboard Athlete of the Year: Maddie Mastro 

Maddie Mastro had a dominant comeback season after injury. She podiumed in every World Cup final she competed in and was second overall in the World Cup halfpipe rankings. She also took first at the Dew Tour, her first time back on top of the podium in five years.


Alpine International Coach of the Year: Ian Garner

Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team Men’s Head World Cup Tech Coach Ian Garner has been with the organization for more than 15 years, consistently pushing the athletes to be their best. He capped off the 2024 season aiding River Radamus to his career-best season.

Alpine Development Coach of the Year: Lisa Perricone 

Lisa Perricone, a first-team All-American from the University of Colorado Boulder, has been a coach with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail for over a decade. Her commitment and passion for the sport are evident in the success and drive of the club’s athletes. 

Cross Country International Coach of the Year: Kristen Bourne 

Kristen Bourne, the D Team and World Cup coach on the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, helped the team to their best season to date. A former cross country skier herself, her expertise shines through, along with her enthusiasm and passion for the sport. 

Cross Country Development Coach of the Year: Adam St. Pierre

Adam St. Pierre helped the Montana State University cross country team achieve new heights. The bobcats achieved multiple second team All-America honors at the NCAA Championships as well as placing fifth overall for the team. One of the cross country athletes on the team also won the RMISA MVP for women’s nordic skiing. 

Freestyle International Coach of the Year: Stanislav Kravchuk 

Stanislav Kravchuk helped the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials team soar to new heights and wins this past season, seeing eight podiums from five athletes.

Freestyle Development Coach of the Year: Laurie Mooney 

Laurie is the director of Winter Park’s Freestyle & Freeski Team. She is currently the development coach for the freestyle team, helping to build the next generation of moguls athletes. 

Freeski International Coach of the Year: Matt Voss

Matt Voss, the athletic development manager at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, works closely with the Stifel U.S. Freeski Team on strength and conditioning. And the conditioning is working, with the team collecting three Crystal Globes from Alex Ferreira, Mac Forehand and Alex Hall, as well as the Nations Cup this season. 

Freeski Development Coach of the Year: Brian McCarthy

Brian McCarthy, the freeski program director for Wy’East Mountain Academy in Oregon, works with the athletes and staff, regularly moving kids up to Project Gold and national team-level camps and projects. 

Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Development Coach of the Year: Colin Delaney

The head ski jumping/nordic combined coach with the New York Ski Education Foundation, Colin Delaney is known to bring his club’s participants from development to national team status. 

Snowboard International Coach of the Year: Danny Kass

Danny Kass, an Olympic halfpipe silver medalist himself, has been a big source of expertise for the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team this season. Kass led the 2023-24 halfpipe team to five World Cup podiums and did so while fostering a positive team environment, known for being the go-to DJ at the top of the pipe.

Snowboard Development Coach of the Year: Chris Laske 

Chris Laske is currently the freeski and snowboard director with Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. He is a crucial part of the club’s development pipeline, helping his athletes reach new heights in their development. 


Alpine Club of the Year & Snowboard Club of the Year: Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

Under the direction of John Hale, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is recognized as both the alpine and snowboard club of the year. The program consistently produces strong athletes that feed into the national team pipeline and the NCAA circuits. It is clear that their development programs thrive with the club’s alpine skiers claiming multiple podiums at the recent SYNC Series U16 Juinor Championships qualifiers as well as the club’s snowboarders claiming multiple top-10 finishes at the FIS Junior World Championship big air competitions. This is the fifth time the club has won the alpine award and the second time it has won the snowboard award.

Cross Country Club of the Year: The Loppet Foundation

The Loppet Foundation works hard to connect people to the outdoors and grow experiences in various sports, including cross country. The Loppet Foundation was integral in the success of the Stifel Loppet Cup this past season. 

Freestyle Club of the Year: Northstar Freestyle Team

Under the leadership of Nat Schirman, Northstar at Tahoe has found a strong system in the development of its freestyle athletes through strong staff, terrain and more.

Freeski Club of the Year: Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club

Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club has seen strength amongst its coaches and development strategies under Erik Knight, with shining athletes such as Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira and world champion Hanna Faulhaber emerge from the program.

Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Program Director Todd Wilson consistently produce strong ski jumping and nordic combined athletes, utilizing its renowned venues to produce national team athletes. Seven national team athletes on the U.S. Ski Jumping Team and U.S. Nordic Combined Team hail from the program. 

Smith Awarded US Nordic Olympic Women Gold Rush Award

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
May, 2 2024
sammy smith
Sammy Smith competes at the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota during the 2023-24 season. (NordicFocus)

In recognition of her outstanding performance and versatility, Sammy Smith of the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team has been awarded the US Nordic Olympic Women (US NOW) Gold Rush Award. The Gold Rush Award is an annual award that celebrates exceptional achievements and versatility among cross country athletes and is awarded to a World Cup woman athlete who demonstrates outstanding qualities of grit and grace throughout the year.

The accolade celebrates Smith's exceptional achievements, highlighting her as a standout athlete of the season. Previous winners include Smith's teammates Novie McCabe, Julia Kern, Rosie Brennan and Jessie Diggins, who have demonstrated exemplary performance and dedication to their sport.

"The award is not meant to recognize what happens on the race course directly," said Alison Owen-Bradley, the founder of the Gold Rush award and a pioneer of elite level women's cross country skiing in the U.S. said in an interview with FasterSkier. "Rather, the recipient is selected for the award by exemplifying and showing grit and the grace that it takes to be successful. It's what happened behind the scenes to get the result, not the result itself."

Smith has firmly established herself as a regular contender on the World Cup circuit. Notable accomplishments include securing a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Planica, Slovenia the 2023-24 season and eight top 30 finishes on the World Cup stage. In Smith's first World Cup sprint, she made it to the heats, a feat rarely achieved by athletes so young on the circuit. From there, her results kept getting better, marking her as one of the team's top sprinters. While Smith gives it her all out on the snow, she is constantly striving to be better and brings those with her in the process. Using her grit to turn her frustration into a learning opportunity is one of Smith's many strengths. 

"She is a teammate we knew we could always count on," said Kern, a past-recipient of the award and a current teammate of Smith. "Her grit, grace and poise inspire us to believe we can chase after multiple dreams and always be present for the team."

Smith's ability to navigate challenges with composure and determination has been commendable. Smith is a once-in-a-generation athlete. Outside of skiing, she is an elite soccer player who will begin her college career this fall at Stanford University. In high school, Smith represented the U.S. at the Under-17 Women's World Cup as a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women's National Team and then competed with the U20 Women's U.S. National Soccer team. She took home Idaho Soccer Player of the Year in 2022-23, Idaho Girls Cross Country Player of the Year and Idaho Girls Track and Field Player of the Year in 2020-21. Alongside her sisters, she is also a founder of GO BIG Inc., a nonprofit that provides resources and opportunities for underprivileged youth. 

"I’m so grateful to have received the Gold Rush award," said Smith. "It was such a privilege to get to compete on the World Cup circuit this season and to really get to know the other athletes. It truly is the most fun, inspiring and humble group of people I have ever been around, and I hope to have many more seasons competing with them!"

Balancing commitments between skiing, soccer and academic pursuits, she has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for time management and dedication, but beyond her achievements, Smith has proven herself to be a valuable team player, offering support and encouragement to her teammates at every turn. 

"Sammy handled the pressure of racing on the highest cross country ski level, balancing school and soccer, traveling to a new country every week, all while being incredibly thoughtful and a present teammate," said Kern. "She was always the first one to offer help to anyone needing an extra hand, join for a team jog or try out group tactics with teammates during race preparation. On the tough days, Sammy brought her positive energy to lift up the spirits and introduced soccer juggling circles to change up the monotony of life on the road for the team." 

In recognition of Sammy's exemplary performance and dedication to her sport, she is a deserving recipient of the US Nordic Olympic Women Gold Rush Award. Congratulations, Sammy!