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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.

Ted Ligety Inspires Next Generation in Park City

By Megan Harrod
August, 16 2018
Ted Ligety competes at the Olympics in PyeongChang
Ted Ligety competes in the giant slalom at the Olympics in PyeongChang. (Alexis Boichard/Getty Images)

Former Park City Ski Team athletes including Olympic champion Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) and brothers Andrew and Max Miller (Park City, Utah) recently joined two-time Olympic medalist freeskier Nick Goepper on Park City Television (PCTV) to talk summer training, Ligety's new family addition and the relocation of his business Shred Optics to Park City, fashion, and what's next for all three athletes.  

Andrew Miller is currently on the development team, while younger brother Max is a part of the National Development Group. Both boys looked up to Ligety growing up, and all three athletes have skied for Alpine Director Jesse Hunt - whether while he was the director for Park City Ski Team or alpine director at U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

 

Athletes to Shine Bright in New York City

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 15 2018
Jonny Moseley introduces athletes at last year's New York Gold Medal Gala.
Jonny Moseley introduces athletes at last year's New York Gold Medal Gala. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard will host its 52nd annual New York Gold Medal Gala at the Ziegfield Ballroom in New York City on October 25, 2018. Ski and snowboard stars will descend on the Big Apple for an evening which plays a critical role in helping these athletes achieve their goals of being the Best in the World.

“The passionate support from our New York community and everyone who flies in from around the world always makes the New York Gold Medal Gala a festive celebration of our athletes’ journeys to become the Best in the World,“ said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “Each year I am astounded and humbled by the generosity of this community. Without support like this, historic Olympic moments such as those we witnessed during the 2018 Winter Games wouldn’t be possible. This year’s Gala will be a culmination of all of that hard work and a chance to look forward to the next four years.”

The New York Gold Medal Gala will raise nearly $2 million for U.S. skiers and snowboarders through the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation – a critical element of funding for the United States’ national governing body of ski and snowboard sports. The Gala’s storied history began in 1967 as the Ski Ball, which sought to benefit alpine athletes on the U.S. Ski Team. Today the tradition continues as a celebration of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s greatest ski and snowboard champions. It has become a staple of the New York City social philanthropic scene and provides a grand send-off for athletes before the start of the competition season.

This year’s event will be hosted by Gala favorite and Olympic legend Jonny Moseley, gold medalist at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games for moguls skiing. The event chairs are U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation trustees David Saunders, John Townsend III, and Dani Virtue. The event will be sold out, such as the demand for tickets, and participants will have a chance to celebrate some already iconic moments from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, such as Red Gerard’s gold medal in slopestyle snowboarding and Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggin’s historic gold medal in cross country skiing. The night’s program includes a silent and live auction as well as a spectacular technology and dance fusion performance by iLuminate.

The evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with a White Carpet immediately preceding. This is a great opportunity to connect with some of the Best in the World. Athletes attending so far include Jessie Diggins, 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist, cross country; Kikkan Randall, 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist, cross country; Red Gerard, 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist, slopestyle snowboarding; Alex Ferreira, 2018 Olympic Silver Medalist, halfpipe skiing; Arielle Gold, 2018 Olympic Bronze Medalist, halfpipe snowboarding and Kyle Mack, 2018 Olympic Silver Medalist, big air snowboarding, plus many more Olympians and rising stars. Based on competition and training schedules, athlete appearances subject to change.

For ticket purchase and live auction information, please click here.

To stay up to date on the New York Gold Medal Gala happenings, search #NYGoldMedalGala on social media.

Waterville Valley to Host 2019, 2021 U.S. Alpine Championships

By Megan Harrod
August, 14 2018
Waterville Valley to Host U.S. Alpine Championships

The nation’s best alpine ski racers will descend upon New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley Resort in 2019 and 2021 for U.S. Alpine Championships - the biggest race the resort has hosted since the White Circus visited in 1991 when Julie Parisien won the World Cup giant slalom.

Waterville Valley Resort will play host to the slalom, giant slalom, and parallel slalom events March 23-26, 2019. The parallel slalom event will be a new addition to the U.S. Alpine Championships calendar.

“The introduction of the parallel event into the U.S. Alpine Championships tech week is an effort the alpine department has been advocating for and is excited about,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Director, Jesse Hunt. “It’s a format that spectators understand and enjoy. With the introduction of more parallel events in the World Cup, as well as the team event in the Olympic Games’ calendar, it’s important we begin to place more focus on the event. The inclusion of parallel into U.S. Alpine Championships is proof of our commitment to developing our young talent to reach the podium for this discipline at all levels in the future.”

At this point, the plan is to run the current FIS format for the parallel event:

  • Qualification: one-run, single-pole “traditional-style” SL (120-200m VD), for each gender

  • Heats: two-run, dual paneled SL for 32 athletes (80-100m VD; 5 heats), per gender

FIS is currently considering modifications to their format, which will be determined at the fall FIS meetings. Based on these conversations, format and qualification details will be modified accordingly for U.S. Alpine Championships.

“We are looking forward to bringing elite ski racing back to Waterville Valley Resort,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “The membership and fan base in the east is vast and extremely engaged with the sport, and our athletes love competing in front of them. Julie Parisien had a commanding and inspiring World Cup victory there in 1991, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard is excited to bring some of the best ski racers in the world, like two-time Olympic gold medalists Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn, back to the resort in hopes that they too will inspire the next generation.”

Waterville Valley Resort shares the enthusiasm for hosting the event. “This will be the biggest race that Waterville Valley Resort has hosted since our last World Cup in 1991. The whole team is excited to be bringing elite racing back to Waterville Valley,” says Waterville Valley Resort’s President and General Manager, Tim Smith. “I know our guests and pass holders won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these athletes in action.”

Julie Parisien Skis Giant Slalom at Waterville Valley in 1991
Julie Parisien competes in the World Cup giant slalom at Waterville Valley in 1991. 


The downhill, super-G and alpine combined events will take place prior to the Waterville Valley events, and the venue will be announced shortly. Much like the 2015-2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States. That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.

About Waterville Valley
Waterville Valley is a four-season resort set on 540 private acres surrounded by 360° of National Forest. Sitting atop the 4,004-foot Mt. Tecumseh, “New Hampshire’s Family Resort” features 265 acres of skiable terrain, a vertical drop of 2,020 feet, 60 trails, 11 lifts, and 74k of groomed Nordic terrain nestled in the valley below.  Shuttles provide easy access to year-round events, shopping, and dining in the Town Square as well as a variety of lodging options, including country inns, condominiums, and all-suite hotels. This year Waterville Valley Resort continues on Phase II of a multi-year capital improvement and expansion project. For more information, visit waterville.com.

Bergoust, Kavunov Return to Coach U.S. Freestyle Team

By Lara Brucker
August, 13 2018
Ashley Caldwell, the reigning female aerial World Champion, was coached by Kavunov in the EADP
Ashley Caldwell, the reigning female aerial World Champion, was coached by Kavunov in the EADP

The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team welcomes two familiar faces to their aerials’ coaching roster. Dmitriy Kavunov has joined as Head Coach of the Elite Aerials Development Program (EADP) in Lake Placid and Eric Bergoust has joined as World Cup Aerials Coach in Park City. Both Kavunov and Bergoust have storied aerials careers and are excited to be back with the organization.

Kavunov comes from a gymnastics background and was an aerialist in Uzbekistan from 1982 to 1984. “There was no official team at that time, it was more like a club,” Kavunov said. “Me and a couple of guys would go out and practice ourselves.”

In 1985, after the first sanctioned FIS World Cup Aerials event, the discipline became an official sport in the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) and Kavunov became the team’s coach. It was during this early time of aerials in the USSR that Kavunov started coaching Lina Cheryasova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), who won gold at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. “Lina was the athlete that put Dmitriy on the map,” noted Todd Ossian, head aerials coach for U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

In 1992 Kavunov went back to Uzbekistan to coach aerials until 1999 when he moved to New York to coach gymnastics. During his time in New York, he worked with the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). From there Kavunov coached the Canadian aerials team for six years, the last two of which he worked specifically with their development program. In 2008 Kavunov helped start the EADP for U.S. Ski & Snowboard and was with the program until 2010. For the next eight years Kavunov contracted with the Russian Federation, working through two Olympic cycles.

It’s come full circle now for Kavunov with U.S. Ski & Snowboard as he returns to running the EADP. “I’m excited to be back with the EADP, which I helped start. Without the EADP there wouldn't be a opportunity for aerial athletes to train for Olympic-level competition since there are [few] club-level aerials teams in the U.S,” Kavunov  said.

“We’re so excited to have Dmitriy back. He helped build our current team,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard C-Team Aerial Coach Emily Cook. “He’s coached our two current World Champions and Grand Prix Champion. We’re looking forward to him being a part of that process for new athletes.”

Following Kavunov’s departure from the EADP in 2010, Eric Bergoust took up the mantle of head coach until 2013. Bergoust was an aerialist on the U.S. Freestyle Team from 1989 - 2006.  He competed in four Olympics (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006) and won gold at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games Nagano, Japan. Bergoust has consulted with U.S. Ski & Snowboard for the past five years and is now back as the World Cup Aerials Coach.

“It will be fun to work with the national team athletes that I coached during my time at the EADP,” Bergoust said about being at U.S. Ski & Snowboard full time.

“Having Bergy back with [us] is so awesome,” Cook remarked. “He was an amazing teammate and I am really looking forward to coaching with him full time now. He has a massive technical knowledge of the sport and the athletes are so fortunate to be learning from one the best.”

Bickner 11th in Courchevel Grand Prix

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 12 2018
Kevin Bickner
Kevin Bickner finished 11th in summer Gran Prix competition in Courchevel, France, Saturday. (Tom Kelly)

Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill.) finished 11th in the HS135 at a Summer Grand Prix event in Courchevel, France, Saturday.

Bickner sailed 125.0 meters in his first jump, and his second was 122.0. Russia's Evgeniy Klimov won the event with jumps of 132 and 129 meters.

"We should be satisfied with that result against this strong field of competitors, but there is still some space for improvement," said Bine Norcic, men's ski jumping head coach for USA Nordic. "We are confident to go to the next events and I am sure that this 11th place was not the best one of the season." 

RESULTS
Men's Large Hill Individual

“Winning at Every Level” Revisited with the Return of Jesse Hunt

By Megan Harrod
August, 7 2018
Bode Miller and Steven Nyman Share the Podium at Beaver Creek in 2006
Bode Miller and Steven Nyman share the podium at Birds of Prey in 2006. During Hunt's tenure, the Team experienced great success on all levels, from NorAm to World Cup - on both the men's and women's teams.

Alpine Director Jesse Hunt rejoined the U.S. Alpine Ski Team at the helm, as Alpine Director this spring - a role he formerly occupied from 2002-09. He recently sat down with Sean Higgins from Ski Racing Media to discuss his past success and his future plans for the Team, including Project 26. 

During Hunt's previous tenure as Alpine Director, the U.S. Alpine Ski Team had an 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.

"One of our efforts is to support development the way it needs to be supported because it hasn’t been supported to the level it needs to be supported. I think that’s something that I’ve identified and the organization has identified and I think the country as a whole has identified,” Hunt explains. “The question now is how do we move forward with a sustainable approach to development and support it financially the way it needs to be supported and still take care of athletes that are further up in the system.” 

Hunt believes that, though it is a tough time right now, there is also a great opportunity. “That’s really what compelled me to get back involved. I feel like I can make a difference and I feel like I have enough experience to understand where the resources need to go and how they need to be deployed and how we can affect some change and move the program.”

Read the full story on SkiRacing.com

Hendrickson Considers Postponing Retirement

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 4 2018
Sarah Hendrickson
Olympian Sarah Hendrickson may postponing retirement after the FIS added large hill events to the World Cup calendar. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Rest is important to ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson, as it is to any athlete. But she says the idea of rest is more than a necessity, it's something she relishes; part of her brand, one might say.

But this season, it's taking on a new meaning.

Midway through last winter, over which Hendrickson finished 19th at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, she was approached by Sleep Number, a manufacturer of luxury mattresses.

"They've been a great partner," she said of her sponsor at the USA Nordic Summer Soiree at Jeremy Ranch Country Club. "I sleep a lot – like, 9 to 10 hours every night."

... Read the full story by Ben Ramsey in the Park Record

The Rehab Race

By Elise Saarela
July, 31 2018
Tom Rowley is recovering from an ACL tear
Tom Rowley works out at U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Center of Excellence to recover from his ACL tear.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, is currently booming with athletes for summer strength and conditioning sessions. Rehabbing athletes are specifically making the Center of Excellence their home for the summer. With 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. sessions at least five days a week, these rehabbing athletes are working vigorously with our high performance staff to get back onto the snow.

“The gym essentially becomes your life,” says mogul skier Morgan Schild (Pittsford, N.Y.). Schild is recovering from her second ACL tear, which happened last March during the first World Cup event after the Olympics. The first time she tore her ACL, it took her 12 months to recover, which is double the time it typically takes athletes to reach a full recovery. This time around, she is working hard to get back on snow earlier. “I want to be that one story that comes back in six months, is on the snow in seven and is competing at nine. That would be my ideal plan.”

Mogul skier Tom Rowley (Long Beach, N.Y.) shares teammate Schild’s desire for getting back on snow. Rowley is also recovering from an ACL tear. “At this point I am ready to move on. I want to get back to how I was,” Rowley reflected.  

Rowley sustained his injury on his first run of his first event last season in Finland, crushing his 2018 Olympic Games dreams. However, it has also been a huge motivator for Rowley to get back into shape and get back on the snow. “It was definitely hard missing the Olympic season,” says Rowley, “I hopefully want to work my way back to where I was and be around for the next Olympic year. It’s hard to say - it’s four years away - but it’s pretty tough to miss that one and I feel like I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try to go for it.”

After dislocating his shoulder at a snowboardcross event in Austria, Hagen Kearney (Telluride, Colo.) is also looking forward to his future and is more than ready to be healthy and strong again. Kearney has been on the team for six years, but has never experienced an injury of this magnitude until now. He explained that there have always been rehabbing athletes in the Center of Excellence, but he never truly understood what the process was like until just a few months ago.

“For me, it’s been a full circle experience,” says Kearney. “My awareness has been expanded. It’s cool to now experience what many other athletes have experienced in the past, it has given me a bigger awareness of what it means to be an athlete. I need better self control. I need to not get ahead of myself and to be more patient.”

Kearney is 11 weeks into his rehab and hopes to be fully recovered by six months. “I try to just accept being patient and believing that when I do come back, I am going to be reborn. I am looking forward to that moment.”

Rowley also spoke to the significance of being a part of the team as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete - especially one recovering from injury; “It’s easier to motivate yourself when you have someone doing it with you,” said Rowley. “I was here [Center of Excellence] alone for the majority of the winter, so it was kind of hard to get myself out there. Going through a workout when you’re all alone isn’t the easiest thing to do when your pretty bummed anyway. I appreciate my team a lot more because of it.”

The takeaway from each athlete is a newfound appreciation for their abilities as an athlete. Schild, Rowley and Kearney now truly appreciate what they can do when they are healthy, and are thankful for the ability to be world-class athletes.

“This injury process really opens your eyes to why you love the sport in the first place,” said Schild. “To me, it’s laughing with my friends on powder days and just being able to ski in the first place, with no competition in mind. Going back to the root of it is always fun and always will be.”

With the finish line well in sight, U.S. Ski & Snowboard rehabbing athletes are pushing forward with the optimism and perseverance of a champion. There is no doubt they will come out stronger than they were, hungry for more snow and for more success.

Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined Titles Awarded at L.L.Bean U.S. Championships

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
July, 31 2018
Kevin Bickner
Kevin Bickner soars to gold in the HS134m event at the L.L.Bean U.S. Ski Jumping Championships. (Tom Kelly)

Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill.) and Nita Englund (Florence, Wis.) were the top U.S. finishers in HS134 competition at the 20th annual Springer Tournee/L.L.Bean U.S. Championships at the Utah Olympic Park on July 27. Taylor Fletcher (Park City, Utah) and Tara Gereghty-Moats (West Fairlee, Vt.) won their respective nordic combined U.S. titles.

U.S. athletes now move on to Europe next to complete their summer training prior to the kickoff of the World Cup season in Lillehammer, Norway in December.

“I’m excited to go over to Courchevel and see how I compare to the rest of the world right now,” said Bickner, who also won the Springer Tournee in 2015.

“We’re coming off a good training this spring and summer and we’re all ready and looking forward to getting some more competitions under our belt,” noted 2018 Olympian Ben Loomis, who finished second to Fletcher at the Springer Tournee.

RESULTS
Men and Women’s HS134
Men and Women’s HS100 Nordic Combined