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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.

NBC Sports To Broadcast 150+ Hours of Alpine Coverage

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 19 2018
Birds of Prey NBC
NBC will broadcast the 2018 Birds of Prey on both NBC and the NBC Sports Networks. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

STAMFORD, Conn.  NBC Sports will showcase 150-plus hours of 2018-19 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup programming, including nearly 90 hours of coverage on the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, and more than 70 hours spanning NBC, NBCSN, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and the Olympic Channel app.

Additional FIS Alpine Skiing coverage will also be available on NBC Sports Gold – NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming product – and the Olympic Channel digital platforms. Among the events exclusive to NBC Sports Gold are the season-opening races in Soelden, Austria on October 27-28. Further details will be announced Monday, Oct. 22.

U.S. Olympic gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn, and Ted Ligety, as well as Steven Nyman, Travis Ganong, Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Tommy Ford headline the U.S. Ski Team in 2018-19. Vonn, a three-time Olympic medalist, is four wins away from tying Ingemar Stenmark’s World Cup record of 86 victories, which has stood for nearly three decades. The 34-year-old recently announced that she plans to retire following the season, whether she breaks Stenmark’s record or not. Shiffrin, who won gold in giant slalom at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and has three Olympic medals to her name, is the two-time defending overall World Cup champion.

NBC Sports’ 2018-19 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup schedule also includes events in Lake Louise, Alberta (Nov. 24 – 25, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2); Killington, Vt. (Nov. 24 – 25); Beaver Creek, Colo. (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2); St. Moritz, Switzerland (Dec. 8 – 9); Wengen, Switzerland (Jan. 18 – 20); and the FIS World Alpine Skiing Championships in Åre, Sweden (Feb. 2 – 17).

The season culminates with more than 15 hours of coverage of the 2018-19 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Soldeu, Andorra, beginning March 13.

STREAMING COVERAGE OF FIS ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide streaming coverage of the 2018-19 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup events airing on NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

All linear coverage on NBCSN will stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. All linear coverage on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will stream on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app, in addition to NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Follow the latest Alpine Updates for broadcast and streaming schedules.

Zermatt Wrap: Bring On World Cup Season

By Lara Carlton
October, 18 2018
Olivia Giaccio  Zermatt Training Camp
Olivia Giaccio and her teammates tackled a full top-to-bottom mogul course in Zermatt, Switzerland. (Olivia Giaccio/Instagram)

The U.S. Moguls Ski Team wrapped a very successful annual training camp in Zermatt, Switzerland, on October 16. The idyllic resort town provided a home away from home for athletes and staff on their journey to podiums this competition season.

While it has been a busy summer of training on the water ramps at the Utah Olympic Park, and at three on-snow camps at Mount Hood, Ore, Zermatt was the real kick-off to the season, providing the first opportunity for athletes to ski a full mogul course (220-260 meters with a top and bottom jump). Additionally, the Zermatt course also met the International Ski Federation (FIS) competition standards and provided an opportunity for athletes to work on their whole performance.

“Zermatt is one of my favorite places to get back on snow after a long summer of training. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it also has a training site that offers a ton of different challenges each day. From various snow conditions to white-out blizzards, it forces you to mentally prepare yourself for anything the season may throw at you.” - Casey Andringa, U.S. Moguls A Team.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Those who’s down in whoville like Christmas a lot

A post shared by Casey Andringa (@butteredt0ast) on


Why Zermatt? “From late September through October, Zermatt is the place to be as it is one of the only mogul courses open for training,” explained U.S. Ski & Snowboard Moguls World Cup Coach Caleb Martin. “Zermatt provides dry, winter snow, similar to what athletes will ski on during the competition circuit. This is different from our summer camps in Squaw or Mount Hood, where we’re skiing in ‘corn’ or slushy conditions.”

Considered a high altitude training site at 12,000 feet above sea level (more typical for competitions is around 7,000-8,000 feet), the course at Zermatt offers great training as the contours of the slope change. The top half of the course is an easy-moderate pitch of 22-25 degrees, while the bottom half rolls over to 28-30 degrees. This translates into an easier top jump scenario with a more difficult bottom air approach.

“Because of the change in slope and different jump scenarios, athletes are challenged to use different techniques and tactics, helping to make them well-rounded skiers,” Martin explains.
 


(Tess Johnson/Instagram)


Training camp is broken into four-day blocks: three days of training followed by an “off” day. During the first two blocks, athletes work on skills in the flats, moguls in sections and increase the degree of difficulty in their jumps. Throughout the camp, the number of top-to-bottom runs steadily increases as fundamental training in sections decreases. By the last days of training, athletes are skiing at least six top-to-bottom runs: what they would expect to perform on a competition day.

“In World Cup competition athletes can ski up to four runs during a mogul competition and up to six runs during a dual mogul competition (not including the two to three warm-up runs they take before the competition starts),” U.S. Ski & Snowboard Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza explained. “By skiing top to bottom runs in training, the athletes can put together the skills they’ve worked on in specific areas like jumps and turns, and combine them to work on their entire run package.”

Athletes look forward to this particular camp each year as they get to put together all of their summer training into actual ski runs.

"I started performing a new trick: a back full twist. I just started doing this trick on snow this summer, so it felt really good to put in in a top to bottom run on a difficult course," Tess Johnson, U.S. Moguls A Team

It takes a village to create champions, which is why a full complement of staff travels with the team to Europe. On site at Zermatt was head coach Matt Gnoza; strength coach Josh Bullock; mogul coach Caleb Martin; aerial coach Vladamir Lebedev; physical therapist Chuck Williams; and nutritionist Allen Tran. It is this crew’s job to prepare and inspect the training course and landings each day, provide on-snow coaching, leads morning warm-ups, and after-ski strength and conditioning care, provide physical therapy care and review video and training plans each evening with the athletes.

A typical training day starts at 7:30 a.m. for Gnoza, Martin and Lebedev when they meet at the base of the lift to load for course prep. Athletes load by 8:30 a.m. and begin their warm-up routines by 9 a.m. with coach Bullock. After some flat ski work and a course inspection, athletes begin on-course training by 10:15 a.m and ski until about 1:15 p.m., averaging between 12 and 20 jumps and 10 runs a day. Coaches will stay until 2 p.m. when the glacier closes to prepare the slope for the next day. Athletes have a short break to eat and change before working with Williams in physical therapy sessions, and or strength and conditioning workouts with coach Bullock, which start at 2:30 p.m. and run until about 5 p.m., when athletes and coaches review video from the day.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The boys are back in town.

A post shared by Brad Wilson (@wilsfreestyle) on


“Zermatt is by far my favorite training camp. The course is always really tough, which I enjoy and think really helps us prepare best for the upcoming season. Zermatt is such a crucial camp for our team because it’s the first look at a World Cup level course for the season. We kind of get to see how we’re looking against every other country.” - Jaelin Kauf, U.S. Moguls A Team.

Training in Zermatt is a clash of opposites: the scenery is spectacular, and the challenges are even more so. To get on snow from town, staff and athletes take a gondola and two aerial trams to get to the top - commute times can sometimes run as long as two hours. And because Zermatt is one of the only mogul courses open at this time of year, there can be 200-plus athletes from across the globe all vying for practice time. All of those skis on the same snow causes erosion on the course to the point that the glacial ice starts coming through between bumps and jump landings, which get packed out rapidly.
 


(Tess Johnson/Instagram)


While these extraneous factors can cause the impact of training on athletes’ bodies to be that much more intense, the opportunity to be back skiing full runs is priceless.

“Zermatt is an important time in the prep period to combine skill-based training from earlier this summer with strength and endurance work done in the gym to start to see the end product develop in top to bottom runs,” Gnoza said. “Once athletes get up to speed in their top to bottom training, we can try different trick combinations and tactics. We eventually come up with a ‘run package’ that they can perform any time and any place that has the potential to put them on the podium.”

"I have a few new tricks up my sleeve as well as improved skiing technique that I was able to integrate into my competition runs on a consistent basis. I feel as though I'm coming away from a productive three weeks more prepared than I've ever been for the competition season ahead." - Olivia Giaccio, U.S. Moguls A Team

So what is next for the Moguls Team? After their jetlag wears off they will be back training in Park City, Utah at U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Center of Excellence. Then it is off to Kaprun, Austria, for their next training project. The U.S. Moguls Team competition season kicks off December 7, 2018, in Ruka, Finland, with their season-opening World Cup event.

Keep up with the U.S. Moguls Ski Team on Facebook and on Instagram.
 

Cross Country Staff Announced Named for 2018-19 Season

By Reese Brown
October, 18 2018
Matt Whitcomb and Chris Grover
U.S. Cross Country Team Coaches Matt Whitcomb and Chris Grover at 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team today announced their coaching and support staff for the 2018-19 season that begins in Ruka Finland with the first FIS World Cup on November 24 & 25.  The Season will be highlighted by major events including the Tour de Ski and the World Championships in Seefeld, Austria.  

The World Cup coaching staff has been incredibly consistent in the years leading up to PyeongChang and now leading into a World Championship year.  Chris Grover enters his ninth season as head coach and is joined by veteran coaches Matt Whitcomb and Jason Cork. 

"The stability of the staff has created a platform upon which we’ve been able to build better and better support for the athlete.  We have a staff that knows what it takes to support medal-winning skiers at the World Championships." - Chris Grover

On the development side, Bryan Fish has been promoted to Cross Country Sport Development Manager.  This is a new position and will allow Fish to continue as the driving force with the development pipeline and become a larger player in the national cross country scene.  He will be supported by new hire Mackenzie St. Onge, a recent Dartmouth Graduate. 

Cross Country Coaches and Staff
Head Coach:  Chris Grover
World Cup Coach:  Matt Whitcomb                           
World Cup Coach:  Jason Cork                                             
Cross Country Sport Development Manager:  Bryan Fish                           
D-Team Coach:  Gus Kaeding                                                                                  
Cross Country Sport Coordinator:  Mackenzie St. Onge                  
Communications Manager:  Reese Brown

Service Staff
Head of Service:  Oleg Ragilo           
World Cup Service:  Jean-Pascal Laurin
World Cup Service:  Andrew Morehouse      
World Cup Service:  Tim Baucom                             
World Cup Service:  Eli Brown     
     

U.S. Alpine Ski Team Staff Announced for 2018-19 Season

By Megan Harrod
October, 17 2018
Sasha Rearick takes over as men's development coach.
Sasha Rearick, shown here celebrating with Ted Ligety following his 2012 Soelden World Cup victory, takes the helm as the men's development head coach for the 2018-19 season. (Getty Images)

The U.S. Ski Team announces its alpine coaching staff for the 2018-19 season, which kicks off with the first FIS Ski World Cup event of the season in Soelden, Austria October 27-28. The season features two domestic U.S. FIS Ski World Cup events, including a women’s tech series at Killington, Vt. and a men’s speed and giant slalom series at Beaver Creek, Colo. The pinnacle event will be the World Championships, hosted by the magical town of Åre, Sweden. 

Jesse Hunt rejoined the U.S. Ski Team as alpine director in spring 2018, a role he formerly occupied with the team from 2002-09. During Hunt's previous tenure as alpine director, the team had incredible depth and talent, featuring now-alumni Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, and Julia Mancuso, as well as current team members Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) and Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah). “Winning at every level” became the mantra associated with Hunt as NorAm titles, World Junior Championships, Olympic and World Championship medals, and World Cup globes were all secured while he was at the helm of the program. With a renewed focus on development as a result of findings from “Project 26”, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development initiative, Hunt looks to make a cultural shift and get back to that “winning at every level” mantra.

Speaking of “winning at every level,” a notable shift for the alpine staff includes former men’s head coach Sasha Rearick, who has moved to the men’s development team. He, along with Marjan Cernigoj—who leads the women’s development team—will bring their vast industry knowledge across all levels to this young squad of up-and-comers. Former U.S. Ski Team athlete Dane Spencer joins the men’s alpine speed team staff under John "Johno" McBride, while former men’s speed assistant coach Pete Anderson will bring his expertise to the men’s Europa Cup team. He will be joined by Martin Andersen and Josh Benge.

Karin Harjo will once again be working with the women's speed team, along with Chip White. Harjo remains to be one of the few female coaches on the World Cup circuit. Last season she moved over from women's tech to women's speed and made an immediate impact, receiving great praise from White as well as the athletes. During the 2018 season, the women's speed team boasted the fastest women's downhill team in the world. Harjo brings a unique perspective and great energy to the group...she's the perfect combination of hardworking and humble. As she told the Associated Press last year prior to the Olympics, "I didn't choose to be a coach because I was female. That's where the gender part to me is actually kind of foreign. It's like, 'Well, why wouldn't I do this?' We have the opportunity now to become whatever we want to be. That's the mentality I've brought into coaching and into the sport."

Karin Harjo chats with Lindsey Vonn after Vonn's 82nd career win in Are, Sweden. 
Karin Harjo chats with Lindsey Vonn after Vonn's 82nd career win in Åre, Sweden in 2018. 


Anticipation is building for the upcoming season with Vonn chasing Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time win record of 86 World Cup victories (she currently has 82 to her name) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) going for her third-straight overall World Cup title and her fourth consecutive World Championships slalom gold. Ted Ligety will be fighting to reclaim his World Championship giant slalom gold, Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.) are both returning from injury to World Cup action, and keep an eye out for podium-potential athletes Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.), who are looking to pick up where they left off last season. These athletes are joined by a host of up-and-coming talent—all looking forward to an exciting season of ski racing that lies ahead.

Information on how to watch the 2019 FIS Ski Alpine World Cup will be released in due course.

Former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Marco Sullivan dials in his Birds of Prey line with Coach Scotty Veenis.
Former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Marco Sullivan dials in his Birds of Prey line with Asst. World Cup Speed Coach Scotty Veenis in 2014.


2018-19 ALPINE STAFF
Chief of Sport: Luke Bodensteiner
Alpine Director: Jesse Hunt
Alpine Development Director: Chip Knight
Alpine Communications Manager: Megan Harrod
Alpine World Cup Medical Coordinator: Gillian Bower
Alpine Europa Cup Medical Coordinator: David Quammen

MEN
Team Manager: Gwynn Watkins

Men’s World Cup Speed
Head Coach: John McBride
Assistant Coach: Scotty Veenis
Assistant Coach: Chris Beckmann
Assistant Coach: Dane Spencer
Fischer Ski Service: Leo Mussi
Ski Service: Thomas Buergler
Ski Service: Giorgio Gay
Physiotherapist: Sam Eiler

Men’s World Cup Technical
Head Coach: Forest Carey
Assistant Coach: Ian Garner
Assistant Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach: Joshua Applegate
Head Ski Service Ted Ligety: Alex Martin
Ski Service: Danijel Andesilic

Men’s Europa Cup
Head Coach: Pete Anderson
Assistant Coach (Tech): Martin Andersen
Assistant Coach: Josh Benge
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Michael Bingaman
Ski Service: Marko Skube
Ski Service: Jesse Cassidy

Men’s Development
Head Coach: Sasha Rearick

WOMEN
Head Coach: Paul Kristofic
Team Manager: Meghan Arigo

Women’s World Cup Speed
World Cup Speed Head Coach: Chip White
Assistant Coach: Karin Harjo
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Bob Poehling
Physiotherapist: Sara Chavez
Ski Service: Zoran Knezevic
Ski Service: Gregor Koprivnik
Ski Service: Dusan Kaps

Lindsey Vonn
Head Coach: Alex Hoedlmoser
Physiotherapist: Lindsay Winninger
Strength & Conditioning: Alex Bunt (Red Bull)
Press Manager: Claire Abbe Brown
Head Ski Service: Heinz Haemmerle

Women’s World Cup Technical
Mikaela Shiffrin
Coach: Mike Day
Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jeff Lackie
Atomic Ski Service: Johann Stroebl
Physiotherapist: Regan Dewhirst

Women’s World Cup Technical and Europa Cup
Head Coach: Magnus Andersson
Assistant Coach: Kris Shampeny
Ski Service: Miguel Oveido
Ski Service: Bart Mollin

Women’s Development
Head Coach: Marjan Cernigoj
 

2018-19 Snowboard and Freeski Staff Adds Depth

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 16 2018
PyeongChang Freeski Slopestyle Olympic Silver Medalist Nick Goepper with Head Coach Mike Jankowski at the 2018 Olympics.
PyeongChang Freeski Slopestyle Olympic Silver Medalist Nick Goepper with Head Coach Mike Jankowski (U.S. Ski & Snowboard).

The U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams have announced their staff for the 2018-19 season, which continues with the FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Cup big air in Modena, Italy on Nov 3.

The U.S Freeski & Snowboard Team welcomes Ashley Deibold as halfpipe, slopestyle, big air, and parallel giant slalom sport development manager. As a longtime industry veteran and 2012 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Domestic Coach of the Year, she is ready for the challenge ahead. Deibold has large shoes to fill replacing Abbi Nyberg, who recently left the organization after 17 years to spend more time with her young family.

“I am very excited to return to an industry I have so much passion for,” said Deibold. “Helping athletes achieve their dreams is a joyful way to spend my days. I feel very lucky to be in this position. Although Abbi is irreplaceable, I look forward to the opportunity and challenge of carrying on and expanding upon the amazing work she has done."

Additionally, Katie Fieguth shifts her role as freestyle program manager to sport development manager for snowboardcross and skicross along with moguls and aerials.

Continuing on the theme of athlete development, other notable changes within the coaching staff are focused on the rookie teams. Nichole Mason has joined U.S. Ski & Snowboard as snowboard national development coach for slopestyle and big air. Mason joins U.S. Ski & Snowboard following five years of coaching at Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, where she was the 2017 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Domestic Coach of the Year, and Development Coach of the year.

“Being hired onto the U.S, Ski & Snowboard Team felt like a huge recognition for the work I have put into all the athletes over the years,” said Mason. “I am now in a position to give back and watch them go from rookies to professionals and hopefully onto the Olympic Team.”

Furthermore, the rookie teams continue to add new faces with the addition of Dave Euler and Jeremie Livingston. Euler, formally the head freeskiing coach at Team Park City United, will serve as the freeski slopestyle and big air national development team coach. Also, Livingston, formally head freeskiing coach at the Winter Park Competition Center, will serve as the freeski halfpipe national development team coach.

Last but not least, JJ Thomas, Shaun White’s coach throughout the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and 2002 Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist joins U.S. Ski & Snowboard as the snowboard halfpipe national development team coach, adding another layer of depth and experience to the staff.

“I’m very excited to officially be part of the U.S. Snowboard Team,” said Thomas. “The team has supported me through my career as an athlete and now as a coach. I knew it was the right step for me to become an official member of the program. The support that they offer on and off the snow is unmatched.”

Following the Modena World Cup, U.S. Freeski Team athletes will head to the Stubai World Cup slopestyle competition Nov 22-24, while U.S. Snowboard Team athletes will move onto Beijing, China for the Air & Style Big Air World Cup event Nov 23-24. Both teams then head to Copper Mountain, Colo. for the first halfpipe competition of the season at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Dec. 6-8, which also serves as a FIS World Cup event. The FIS World Cup snowboardcross season kicks off in Montafon, Austria, Dec. 14-16 and alpine snowboarding in St. Moritz, Switzerland Dec. 8-9.

2018-19 Snowboard & Freeski Staff

Snowboard and Freeski Director: Jeremy Forster
Snowboard and Freeski Head Coach: Mike Jankowski
Halfpipe, Slopestyle & Big Air Team Manager: Jess Luscinski
Snowboardcross Team Manager: Alexis Williams
Snowboard & Freeski Team Communications Manager: Andrew Gauthier
Sport Development Leader- HP/SS&BA/PGS: Ashley Deibold
Sport Development Manager - MO/AE/SBX/SX: Katie Fieguth

Medical & Sports Science Staff

High Performance Dietitian: Allen Tran
Senior Sports Psychologist, USOC: Alex Cohen
Clinical Specialist: David Quammen
Clinical Specialist: Jen Kimball
Freeski Slopestyle Team Physical Therapist: Carly Brooks
Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air Athletic Trainer: Jason Switzer
Snowboardcross Athletic Development Manager: Tschana Schiller
Freeski Halfpipe, Slopestyle, Big Air and Aerials Athletic Development Coach: Brett Kelly
Snowboard Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air Athletic Development Coach: Matthew Voss

Snowboard

Halfpipe, Slopestyle & Big Air Head Coach: Mike Jankowski
Slopestyle/Big Air Pro Team Head Coach: Mike Ramirez (Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team)
Slopestyle/Big Air Pro Team Head Coach: David Reynolds (Mt Bachelor Sports Education Foundation Snowboard Team)
Halfpipe Pro Team Head Coach: Rick Bower
Halfpipe Pro Team Coach: Rick Shimpeno
Slopestyle/Big Air National Development Coach: Nichole Mason (Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club)
Halfpipe National Development Team Coach: JJ Thomas
Snowboardcross Head Coach: Peter Foley
Snowboardcross Coach: Jeff Archibald

Freeski

Halfpipe, Slopestyle & Big Air Head Coach: Mike Jankowski
Slopestyle Pro Team Head Coach: Skogen Sprang
Slopestyle Pro Team Coach: DJ Montigny (Killington Mountain School)
Slopestyle Coach/Technician: Clark Coombs
Halfpipe National Development Team Coach: Jeremie Livingston (Winter Park Competition Center)
Slopestyle/Big Air National Development Team Coach: Dave Euler (Team Park City United)
Halfpipe Pro Team Head Coach: Andrew Woods

U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Staff Named for 2018-19 Season

By Lara Carlton
October, 15 2018
U.S. Moguls Team Head Coach Matt Gnoza with Casey Andringa at the 2018 FIS Visa Freestyle International Deer Valley
U.S. Moguls Team Head Coach Matt Gnoza with Casey Andringa at the 2018 FIS Visa Freestyle International Deer Valley. (Steven Earl Photography)

The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team has announced its staff line-up for the 2018-19 season. The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team includes moguls and aerials athletes, and, as a main highlight of their forthcoming event calendar, athletes from both disciplines will have the chance to compete on home soil during the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freeski and Freestyle World Championships February 1-10, 2019, in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s own backyard in Park City, Utah.

Todd Ossian returns for his eighth season as head coach for the aerials Team, as does C-team coach, Emily Cook, now in her third season. Joining U.S. Ski & Snowboard full time as World Cup coach is Eric Bergoust. New addition Peter Toohey joins as the team’s athletic trainer and Bret Kelly returns for his third season as strength & conditioning coach.

Matt Gnoza leads the Moguls Team as head coach, marking his fourth season in the position. Caleb Martin returns for his fourth season as World Cup coach and is joined by Vladimir Lebedev in his first season with U.S. Ski & Snowboard as World Cup coach. Chuck Williams enters his fourth season as the Team’s physical therapist and Josh Bullock returns for his second season as strength & conditioning coach.

The competition season for Moguls kicks off December 7, 2018, in Ruka, Finland, with the season-opening World Cup event. Aerials will compete in their first World Cup event in Lake Placid, New York, on January 19, 2019.

Freestyle Staff:
Program Directer: Jeremy Forster
Team Manager: Alexis Williams
Sport Development Manager: Katie Fieguth
Communications Manager: Lara Carlton

Aerials:
Head Coach: Todd Ossian 
World Cup Coach: Eric Bergoust
C-Team Coach: Emily Cook 
Athletic Trainer: Peter Toohey
Strength & Conditioning: Bret Kelly

Moguls:
Head Coach: Matt Gnoza
World Cup Coach: Caleb Martin
World Cup Coach: Vladimir Lebedev 
Physical Therapist: Chuck Williams
Strength & Conditioning: Josh Bullock

The End of An Era: Lindsey Vonn

By Megan Harrod
October, 11 2018
Lindsey Vonn End of an Era

Speaking at an event for Chase Ink today in New York City, Olympic champion and winningest female alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) announced that the 2018-19 season would be her last—whether or not she breaks Ingemar Stenmark's World Cup win record. 

With 82 career FIS Ski World Cup wins, just four shy of Stenmark's all-time record of 86 wins, Vonn declared for the first time that she would retire following this season. As the NBC Sports Olympic Talk article written by Nick Zaccardi following the event said,

"If I get it [the record], that would be a dream come true,” Vonn said before a speaking event for Chase Ink in Manhattan. “If I don’t, I think I’ve had an incredibly successful career no matter what. I’m still the all-time winningest female skier."

Last season, Vonn had five World Cup victories, despite a rough start to the season with a crash in Lake Louise—which is often referred to as "Lake Lindsey" because she's won an unprecedented 18 World Cup races at the venue (14 downhill and 4 super-G wins). In 2015, Vonn grabbed a hat-trick of victories at Lake Louise.

“Lindsey Vonn is truly an icon of world sport," reflected U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. "The news today that the forthcoming season will be Lindsey’s last is to be celebrated. We all have a chance to watch an incredible athlete end her glittering competitive ski racing career by writing a record-breaking new chapter. That is an appropriate way to pay homage to this chapter of Lindsey’s life.”

Vonn just needs five victories this season to surpass Stenmark's record and go down in history as the winningest ski racer of all-time. She will focus on speed in her final season, starting in only super-G and downhill events. Her first World Cup this season will be Lake Louise next month from November 30-December 2, 2018, featuring two downhills and a super-G.

Needless to say, this will be a season fans will not want to miss. 

Read the full article on olympics.nbcsports.com.

Saas-Fee Camp Kicks Off For Snowboard & Freeski Teams

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 11 2018
Brita Sigourney Trains at the Stomping Grounds
Brita Sigourney trains at the Stomping Grounds in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. (The Stomping Grounds Park)

The northern hemisphere winter season has kicked off at the Saas-Fee Stomping Grounds in Switzerland, the training camp for U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s slopestyle, big air, halfpipe, and snowboardcross athletes.

They may be a long way from home, but they will certainly not be lonely. A total of 57 athletes including nine Snowboardcross, 25 halfpipe, and 23 slopestyle athletes are putting in work on the glacier ahead of the competitive season, which continues with FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Cup big air in Modena, Italy, Nov 3.

 

This is not the first time U.S. Ski & Snowboard slopestyle, big air, and halfpipe athletes flocked to Saas-Fee to prepare for the busy season of competition ahead. They have been heading to Saas-Fee for training and competition on and off for eight years.

“I’m always hyped to be heading back out to Saas-Fee,” said U.S.Freeski Team veteran Bobby Brown (Denver). “It’s always awesome coming out here. It’s an amazing park, beautiful town, and great times with my teammates. It’s going to be an unreal two weeks.”

Red Gerard
Olympic Champion Red Gerard enjoys some quality slopestyle training at the Saas-Fee Stomping Grounds. (The Stomping Grounds Park)

 

However, for snowboardercross athletes, Saas-Fee will be a new experience. The last time they trained at Saas-Fee was in 2005. Also, it’s rare for numerous disciplines to be represented at the same camp and location. This makes for an interesting dynamic.

“We are stoked to be in Saas-Fee for the first time,” Said Sochi Olympic bronze medalist Alex Deibold (Salt Lake City). “All the other teams have been raving about what a great spot it is, and it will be fun to spend some time on snow with the freeski and snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle crews.”

U.S. Snowboardcross Head Coach Peter Foley echoed that sentiment saying: “It’s great to have everyone interacting from the different U.S. teams here. It really ups the level for everyone to see their teammates working hard and it’s cool for them because they aren’t always at the same place at the same time on snow. This year, the course they have built is the best it’s ever been in Saas-Fee. There are a few different start options and the jumps and berms are full-size.”

After a summer of hard work in the gym building strength, flexibility, and stamina, the athletes shift focus in Saas-Fee to dialing in their tricks, techniques, maneuvers, air awareness, and style. These elements of skiing and snowboarding cannot be replicated in the four walls of a gym or training facility. Although U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah offers many quality resources including a world-class gym, water ramps, trampolines, airbags, and even a skateboard park, there is still truly nothing like the real thing.

Athletes will be training on snow through October 20 in Saas-Fee, working with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s coaching staff daily, putting in the hard work that will pay off in competition.

“It’s extremely important to utilize every day,” said Foley. “You need to be smart and stick with your plan being conscious of not trying to overdo things or trying to accelerate progression so much that it becomes counterproductive.”  

Following the Modena World Cup, U.S. Snowboard Team athletes will move onto Beijing, China for a World Cup big air event, then to Copper Mountain, Colo. for the first halfpipe competition of the season at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Dec. 6-8. The FIS World Cup snowboardcross season kicks off in Montafon, Austria, Dec. 12-16.

Follow U.S. Ski & Snowboard and our athletes on social media for sneak peeks into training camp at the Saas-Fee Stomping Grounds.

Facebook: @USSkiandSnowboard

Instagram: @USFreeskiTeam, @USSnowboardTeam

Marjan Cernigoj Talks Shop: Women's Development

By Megan Harrod
October, 10 2018
Women's Development Team
Marjan Cernigoj (second from right) was hired as head women’s development coach in May. From L-R: Brett Jacobson, Ainsley Proffit, Keely Cashman, Nellie Rose Talbot, Zoe Zimmermann, Brynne Hitchcock, Nicola Rountree-Williams, Cernigoj, and Shaun Goodwin pose for a photo while training in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

In late May, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced the appointment of Marjan Cernigoj as head women’s development coach and counterpart to head men’s development coach Sasha Rearick. Since coming on board, Cernigoj has been on snow with the women’s development group across the globe, hard at work improving communication between all levels of the program, including regional director, club alpine directors, club coaches, personal coaches and the management of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

With renewed focus on development at U.S. Ski & Snowboard as a result of “Project 26,” the organization has brought in club-level athletes and invitees to train with U.S. Ski Team coaches, staff and Development Team athletes in an effort to create consistency in their approach to development that coincide with the U.S. Ski Team’s philosophies. This group has been deemed the “National Development Group” (NDG). To ensure the Team’s philosophy filters down to the club level, key club coaches have also been included as an integral part of these projects.

What do these projects look like on the ground? This summer, it all started with camps at Squaw Valley and Mammoth, Calif., Timberline Lodge, Ore. and Saas-Fee, Switzerland, with Development Team athletes, NDG athletes, and invitees.

Rearick took a men’s development crew to California, and shortly thereafter, Cernigoj was hired as Rearick’s counterpart on the women’s side and hit the ground running with development projects in early June. Their first joint project was the on-snow camp at Timberline Lodge Ski & Snowboard area in Mt. Hood, then Cernigoj had a short break before hopping the pond to Saas-Fee in August. We caught up with Cernigoj while in Saas-Fee to talk shop.

Alpine Press Officer Megan Harrod: So you’re in the lovely Saas-Fee, Switzerland - how is it there?

Marjan Cernigoj: We are kind of stuck in this cycle where nights and mornings are really good, and in the afternoons the thunderstorms come in...but all of the snow on the glacier is unbelievable. A week before we came, it was raining at least four out of the seven days, so yeah - it was super warm and there were some thunderstorms but this weekend it is just unbelievable. I can’t say how good it is for us.

Megan: I know you kind of hit the ground running with a camp in Hood with a large group there.

Marjan: I will start at the beginning. So, I got hired on June 1st, which was actually quite late for the preparation season so I had to learn very quickly what “Project 26” was all about, and what the new development format consisted of...it took me quite a while to learn all the moving parts but I think I am getting better and better at understanding of the entire project. I definitely learn when I am on the ground you know from the athletes, coaches, program directors and so forth, but also the valuable thing is I read about the background, the support fundamentals, the budget, programming, and just the philosophy of the Development Team. The first project was at Mount Hood. I went there to learn from Sasha because it was his project. When I heard that he was going to have it there I wanted to invite as many girls from the Development Team as I could, though many of the athletes had already committed to the other projects in South America, New Zealand, and Europe. I was able to start working with three Development Team women, and a couple athletes I invited from different U.S. club programs. While I was there, I think I learned a lot about the whole philosophy by meeting the directors, coaches, regional staff, and regional directors. In that sense, that camp was a huge learning curve for me. The project was really fun. We worked hard. There was a lot of work on basic fundamentals from day one to the very last day, so it was a fun project to be involved with and I hope the athletes also liked it and learned a lot.

Megan: Can you give me a sense of how that camp went and then how the crew is doing at this Saas-Fee camp?

Marjan: The second project, in Saas-Fee, is my first standalone project. I invited two club coaches here with me is Shaun Goodwin from Vail - who is Nicola Rountree Williams’ personal coach - and Brett Jacobson, Head Women’s U19 FIS Coach at Sugarbowl Academy. Additionally, we are sharing an athletic trainer from Sugarbowl Academy, Brandy Barna (who is the High Performance Coordinator, Asst. Athletic Trainer and U19 Women’s Asst. Coach). She is a shared resource with Magnus Andersson’s group - the B and C Teams - and that’s been outstanding for the girls. She is really really good,  so it’s a really positive set up we have here.

Megan: How has your progression has been in terms of training days at Saas-Fee?

Marjan: The Saas-Fee project kind of encompasses everything- you know, the strategies the Development Team is about. It provides added exposure; we have a really high-quality training menu. It emphasizes the fundamental skills of giant slalom and slalom. As an added benefit, we were able to secure four days of super-G as well. We can hardly believe ourselves here on the ground. There are numerous world cup teams up here, and it’s a great environment. The Swedes, Slovenians, and Swiss are here and there are national teams more coming.

Megan: That’s great. So what have your training blocks looked like?

Marjan: We arrived in Europe on the 14th of August. We made a plan to start with a good block of giant slalom because Mount Hood was very focused on slalom and we wanted to catch up on the fundamental work of giant slalom. We were super successful, I think, in these past five days. So five days was just a lot of giant slalom, directive freeskiing, short giant slalom courses in a contained environment, 21-meter courses all the way up to 26-meters and on various terrain, including moderate terrain, steeper terrain, rolly terrain and the best slopes up here on the south side glacier. Since we’ve been training with Magnus’ group, we are able to get the very best courses. We have been really lucky the past five days with the giant slalom progression. We have done some crossover training with him, which was also in the plan, and a huge benefit for our women. We are also doing afternoon conditioning together - not on a daily basis, but whenever our programs align. These five days were really good quality with high intensity and high volume. From there, we are starting a four-day progression in super-G. We are the only one on the hill that has a four-day reservation, top to bottom, in Saas-Fee. It’s incredible.  

Megan: Have any of the athletes really surprised you in a positive way or are there any standout performances happening during training sessions?  

Marjan: You know, I am seeing the progression. I mean, for me, seeing these athletes from Mount Hood until now, I can really see the changes already happening just because of the volume and quality of progressions we have done. There are a couple of girls here that really stand out, but I’d hate to single out any of them. We are super stoked that everyone is getting along well and working hard. They all have a lot of fun together. We have a volleyball court at the hotel, and whenever they have the chance they are just pounding this volleyball back and forth and just overall it’s a really positive experience so far. The level of skiing is great, but of course, everybody needs the corrections to get to the higher level of performance and execution of the technical and tactical elements both.

Megan: And has there been any connection with any of the other national teams? Or have you guys watched or connected with any of them at all - the Germans, Swedes, and/or Slovenians?

Marjan: Absolutely yes. We were training one full day next to the Swedish World Cup Team - with [Olympic gold medalist] Frida Hansdotter and everybody else - and we had a parallel course, so we can watch the video of those athletes and see where we stack up because the courses were completely identical. We were able to shoot a lot of video, and in the afternoon compare the basic athletic stance to everything else we wanted to see between technical and tactical performances. It was invaluable.

What’s next for Cernigoj and the women’s development crew? They’ll hit the slopes at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colo. in early November. Cross your fingers, but it appears that Mother Nature is being kind to Copper - with a dusting of snow already on the ground, and the snow guns blasting.

Athletes Involved with Saas-Fee Project:
Keely Cashman (U.S. Ski Team)
Brynne Hitchcock (Park City Ski & Snowboard Club)
Ainsley Proffit (U.S. Ski Team)
Nellie-Rose Talbot (U.S. Ski Team)
Nicola Rountree-Williams (U.S. Ski Team)
Zoe Zimmermann (U.S. Ski Team)

Staff:
Brady Barna - High-Performance Coordinator, Asst. AT, U19 Women’s Asst. Coach, Sugarbowl Academy
Marjan Cernigoj - Head Women's Development Coach, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team
Brett Jacobson - Head Women’s U19 FIS Coach, Sugarbowl Academy
Shaun Goodwin - Nicola Rountree-Williams' Personal Coach