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Sugarloaf to Host 2019 U.S. Alpine Speed Championships

By Megan Harrod
October, 9 2018
Sam Morse Super-G
Local Sugarloaf, Maine, hero Sam Morse competes in the super-G at U.S. Alpine Championships hosted by Sugarloaf in 2017. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard / Reese Brown)

Sugarloaf, Maine, is no stranger to playing host to the Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships, but in 2019 the resort will look forward to hosting the first-ever Toyota U.S. Alpine Speed Championships. From March 16-21, 2019, the best alpine skiers in the nation will ski down Narrow Gauge in downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.

Domestic events such as the U.S. Alpine Championships are a vital part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development program and key to the success of “Project 26”, the organization’s long-term plan to produce the Best In The World in alpine ski racing. The U.S. Alpine Championships also enable top club athletes from regional programs around the United States to see how they stack up competitively against U.S. Ski Team veterans from the FIS Ski World Cup Tour. As an International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned event, the U.S. Alpine Championships are also open to foreign athletes.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced in August that Waterville Valley will host the Toyota U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, including slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom March 23-26, 2019. Sugarloaf is thrilled to bring elite-level ski racing action back to their mountain, home to U.S. Ski Team member and Sugarloaf-sponsored athlete Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, Maine).

Racing will take place on Sugarloaf’s legendary Narrow Gauge trail, which was also the site of a 1971 World Cup event. It will be the seventh time Sugarloaf has played host to the championships following successful events in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017, but this will be the first official “U.S. Alpine Speed Championships” with downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.

“Sugarloaf has always been an excellent resort partner with a challenging, high-caliber track,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “As I’ve said before, the east boasts a high percentage of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard club membership base, and therefore the fans are wildly passionate about the sport. We look forward to heading to Sugarloaf in March 2019 for the first official U.S. Alpine Speed Championships.”

Sugarloaf is equally looking forward to once again host the event. “We couldn’t be prouder to host the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships at Sugarloaf” said Ethan Austin, Director of Marketing at Sugarloaf. “As the home of one of the only homologated downhill course in the East, Sugarloaf has a long history as a proving ground for the world’s fastest skiers. We’re excited to see the nation’s best test themselves on the world famous Narrow Gauge once again.”

Sugarloaf, along with Carrabassett Valley Academy, has long been a hotbed of ski racing and the development home of stars like Olympic champion Bode Miller and World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark. Sugarloaf’s proud racing heritage stems from years of hosting world-class competitions. The mountain has staged many Junior Olympics and Eastern Cup (development level) events. In 1971, Sugarloaf held men’s and women’s World Cup races and also hosted the first official FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in 1984.

Much like the 2015 through 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 Sugarloaf
Located in Carrabassett Valley, Maine Sugarloaf is largest ski area in the East, and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East, as well as the number one golf course in Maine, according to Golf Digest. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. For more information, follow:,, and

Event Schedule
March 16     Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 17     Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 18     Downhill (NorAm Cup Finals) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 19     Downhill (National Championships) - Sugarloaf - Maine
March 20     Alpine Combined (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 21     Super-G (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 23     Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 24    Parallel Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 25    Women’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 26    Men’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.

2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle, Freeski World Championships Breaking Boundaries Youth Film Contest Winners Announced

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 9 2018
Breaking Boundaries Hero
“Pushing the Boundaries" by Jack Price with feature athlete Rodney Koford was named the winner of the 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest.

PARK CITY, Utah – Jack Price (Bozeman, Mont.) and feature athlete Rodney Koford (Park City, Utah) were named the winner of the 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest for their short film titled “Pushing the Boundaries.”

The film contest was open to young filmmakers ages 21 and younger to tell their own stories about breaking boundaries. The concept of “breaking boundaries” is one that is very familiar to athletes in the world of competitive snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing as it to relates to a core goal of each discipline, progression. Aubrie Walker (Park City, UT), was named runner-up, communicating a powerful story she called “Despondent.” Each young filmmaker had a unique take on the contest, inspiring those who watch their films in very different ways.

“Winning this contest means a lot to me because it was my first documentary-style film contest I have ever entered,” said contest winner Jack Price. “I really felt like AK and my story could be told in an interesting way. I am going to Film school at Montana State next year so this gives me a lot of confidence in my ability to succeed there. My message for this film was to highlight how two people can come from different backgrounds and be so similar in their ambitions. I am very proud of the video as a whole and it got me excited to make more videos like this in the future.”

The 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest were hosted in partnership with The Park City Summit County Arts Council, the Park City Film Series, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Winners were selected by a panel of judges including the partners mentioned above, local freestyle/freeski athletes and other leaders in the arts and film community local to Park City. Jack will receive a cash prize of $2,500 as well as an exclusive experience embedded with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s content department for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. He will have the chance to work with both the in-house content team as well as the host broadcaster feature team capturing behind the scenes stories of the World Championships in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s hometown of Park City, Utah. Walker will receive a $500 cash prize and two VIP tickets for up to four events of the championships.

“This has been a fantastic project for the Organizing Committee for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships,” noted Calum Clark, U.S. Ski & Snowboard chief of systems and operations. “Our hope was to connect with a different aspect of our community and celebrate the diversity and creativity of young filmmakers to blend arts with sports. Our community partners of the Park City Summit County Arts Council and the Park City Film Series were amazing to work with coming up with this competition and motivating young filmmakers to submit films.  We were so impressed by the number of responses that were submitted and amazed at the quality of the films that were produced.”

Winner: Pushing the Boundaries by Jack Price with feature athlete Rodney Koford, available to view online:

Runner-Up: Despondent by Aubrie Walker, available to view online:

About Park City Film Series

The Park City Film Series is Summit County’s only non-profit Art House Cinema. Since 1995, they have been presenting a curated selection of independent, foreign and documentary films on the weekends, using film as a medium to entertain, inspire and educate patrons. The organization’s mission is to create community through film.

About Park City Summit County Arts Council

Founded in 1986, the Park City Summit County Arts Council is one of the oldest arts and culture organizations in Park City. In the past three decades, the Park City Summit County Arts Council has advocated for and secured significant funding for arts and culture, as well as incubating numerous arts and culture organizations. The organization has built audiences for established and emerging artists and helped promote Park City as a world-class cultural tourist destination. Most importantly, the Park City Summit County Arts Council has helped make art part of the Park City community.

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is an Olympic sports organization providing leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders and elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide, encouraging and supporting all its athletes in achieving excellence wherever they train and compete. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. Established in 1905, U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund athletic programs that directly assist athletes in reaching their dreams. The organization is based in Park City, Utah.

For original rules and regulations visit

Youth Film Contest Winner Pushing The Boundaries


Youth Film Contest Runner Up Despondent


Making History: Vonn Featured in TIME

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 4 2018
Lindsey Vonn Featured in TIME

Olympic Champion and winningest female alpine ski racer of all time Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) was recently featured in a TIME special project called "Firsts"—about women who are changing the world, alongside legends like Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Serena Williams, Aretha Franklin, Danica Patrick and Sheryl Sandberg. 

As the piece introduces these incredible women, it reads, 

‘She broke the glass ceiling.’

"What a jagged image we use for women who achieve greatly, defining accomplishment in terms of the barrier rather than the triumph. There she is up where the air is thin, where men still outnumber women, but where the altitude is awesome. Our goal with Firsts, which we will continue to update as new barriers are broken, is for every woman and girl to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to her that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular."

Vonn is listed as the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing, and in the piece she talks about how her heroine—and Olympic gold medalist—Picabo Street and how she waited three hours in line to get Street's autograph in Minnesota. That meeting was a catalyst for Vonn, as Picabo was the reason she wanted to become a ski racer. She walked away with a purpose, and her father helped her create a plan to make that dream a reality. 

Watch the full video on

Two-Time Olympic Medalist Weibrecht Featured in AP

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 4 2018
Andrew Weibrecht Sochi Podium 2014

Two-time Olympic medalist Andrew "Warhorse" Weibrecht (Lake Placid, N.Y.), who retired in May from the U.S. Ski Team, recently sat down with John Kekis from the Associated Press to catch up on life after the White Circus and what that looks like for Weibrecht. 

Weibrecht, known most notably for his signature renegade dark horse-style, turned heads in Beaver Creek, Colorado on Birds of Prey in 2007 when he skyrocketed from bib 53 to land a top 10 finish with a wild ride in crazy conditions. In his true dark horse fashion, he'd peak at the most opportune of times, under the most intense pressure—like at Vancouver, when he snagged bronze in the super-G and Sochi when he grabbed the silver in super-G, sharing the podium with teammate Bode Miller. 

In fact, Weibrecht uniquely grabbed two podiums on the Olympic stage before he even podiumed at the FIS Ski World Cup level. That came in what was Weibrecht's best season on the World Cup, in 2016, when he shared the super-G podium with teammate Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah) in Beaver Creek, and then landed on the coveted Hahnenkamm podium in super-G, taking second place behind Norway's Aksel Lund-Svindal. In 2016, Weibrecht was in the running for the super-G globe. 

“The timing of the Olympics was very fortuitous,” said Weibrecht, whose Olympic medal streak ended in PyeongChang in February when he failed to finish. “Those just happened to be the times that I was peaking in my career, for whatever reason. From Sochi on for a couple of years it was a great run for me.

“The things that really halted my development — if I could do it again, I would just get hurt less,” he added with a laugh. “That was always the limiting factor. When I would get injured, then I’d have to start the process over again. I got good at it because I did it a lot. I think that having that process down so well I could have gotten back to where I wanted to be athletically, but I’m just at a different place in my life.”

Read the full article at

Shiffrin and Proffit Combine Forces to Raise over $350K

By Megan Harrod
October, 2 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin St. Louis Fundraiser
Mikaela Shiffrin poses with St. Louis fundraiser host and U.S. Ski & Snowboard trustee Ron Kruszewski and CEO and President Tiger Shaw (Rob Westrich/Westrich Photography).

St. Louis, Missouri isn’t the first city that comes to mind when one thinks of skiing, but this past Friday the St. Louis ski community came together to raise over $350,000. Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) and hometown gal herself—new U.S. Ski & Snowboard Development Team member—Ainsley Proffit (St. Louis, Mo.) joined forces to raise funds for athletes of the organization going into this big World Championship season.

The event, hosted by U.S. Ski & Snowboard trustee Ron Kruszewski, was presented by Stifel Financial Corporation. Kruszewski serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Stifel. Through generous donations and a silent auction featuring Team gear, Olympic gear, and local St. Louis experiences and art, over $350,000 was raised to help offset athlete costs. There was great food, dancing, and entertainment by DJ Nune and a band from Kansas City called “Lost Wax”—all enjoyed by the 200-plus guests. The St. Louis community came out in full force, excited to support the athletes.

Outside of the obvious VIPs—Shiffrin and Proffit—Kruszewski was the VIP of the night, as he is a huge supporter of the Team and the driving force of the event. Standing at the door, greeting everyone with a smile as they walk in, Kruszewski instills a personal touch to the party as the ultimate host. This was the fourth time he hosted the event, and with each passing year, it has been more successful than the last. This year, the event truly had a community feel, with so many familiar faces as well as some new faces.

Shiffrin—who has been on a three-week stretch of travel across multiple time zones, going straight from a speed camp in El Colorado and Corralco, Chile to Chicago and then over to Milan—had just a couple of days home before she jumped on a plane to St. Louis for the fundraiser. She WOWed the crowd with her relaxed, fun and light disposition, and even showed them some moves on the dance floor.

Mikaela Instagram Post - St. Louis Event

Proffit attended the fundraiser with her parents, who are St. Louis locals. She fell in love with skiing at Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Wildwood, Missouri, where she was introduced to racing through NASTAR. As she said in a recent interview, “Skiing is a great sport for all ages, and offers a great time for families. While you’re skiing at Hidden Valley, you must check out the NASTAR course. It’s such a fun race held there every weekend. I took hundreds of runs on that course; it’s one of the things that got me hooked on racing.”

Ainsley Instagram Post - St. Louis Event

Shiffrin will now have some time to relax and train in the gym at home before she heads over to Europe for some on-snow training and then to kick off the FIS Ski World Cup season in Soelden, Austria on October 27th, 2018. Proffit will be skiing in the NorAm series this season, so make sure to keep an eye on her!

If you’re interested in donating to the athletes of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, click HERE.


Aerialists Soar at Utah Olympic Park

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 2 2018

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard aerials team began their seventh and final water ramps training camp at Utah Olympic Park on September 28. Athletes will jump on average between 15-20 jumps per day, depending on the degree of difficulty. With 15 jumping days in each camp, aerialists of the U.S. Ski Team will execute 1,575 - 2,100 jumps before they even start on-snow training.

Patient Notes: Pain is Temporary

By Breezy Johnson
September, 30 2018
Breezy Johnson - Patient Notes, v.2

Editor's Note: 
Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) recently sustained an ACL tear that has sidelined her for the 2019 season. Throughout Johnson's road to recovery, she'll be sharing the ups and downs of rehabilitation here in a column of her own, entitled "Patient Notes," in hopes that you will follow along for the journey to learn how challenging it is both physically and mentally to return to snow at the elite level. Being an injured athlete can be challenging and lonely, and we're hoping that by writing this column, Johnson will be able to stay connected to the community and her sponsors.

Johnson kicked off her series with a poignant pre-surgery piece and with Patient Notes: Volume 2, she brings you all the post-op nitty gritty. She's thankful for your support and invites you to follow along on her Instagram. All of the words below are Johnson's thoughts, prior to finding out about the ACL tear, straight from her journal to your computer screen.

Enjoy the journey, 

Alpine Press Officer


9/20/18: 17 days post injury, day of surgery

Pain is Temporary

Pain is temporary. 17 days ago my life was sliced open, today my body was. I am beginning to hope that both of those wounds may now begin to heal. When I was first diagnosed with my ACL tear they told me that I could wait, they said ‘you don’t need to make any decisions now.’ They told me I could have surgery at Thanksgiving ‘well maybe not that late,’ they admitted. I had not wanted to wait. We did our due diligence in trying to find the best surgeon and the best procedure but if I could have done that and gotten the surgery done the day after I found out I would have been thrilled. Almost two weeks of waiting, two weeks of pitying myself, two weeks of nerves over my first surgery (yes my first), was almost more than I could bear. But now that is over and I can finally begin to climb the large mountain in front of me. The journey back to the top of the downhill track can begin.

I feel good. Perhaps for the first time in weeks, I can answer with that (my response thus far has been a simple okay). I have some pain but physical pain is nothing new in my life. What I now struggle with is holding myself back in these first few weeks. I have to take it slow, something I have never been good at (f***ing fast is my preferred speed). But my body can’t keep up with my mind. If it could, I probably wouldn’t be in this predicament to begin with. So, I resign myself to doing everything I can, within the parameters of what I can. Quad sets and ankle mobs I see you.

It’s been hard to see people skiing though. It’s hard because I have that split second of ‘I’ll be back there soon in Chile’ and then the crushing realization that I will not be back with them soon. In some ways, the surgery has helped with that too. Not because now I feel like I will be back soon, I certainly do not. But because I have felt fine these past few weeks. These past few weeks I had two working legs beneath me, two so seemingly strong and healthy legs that the children of my orthopedic surgeon could not believe that I was injured. Pain, while difficult, allows me to finally know that something is wrong, something is holding me back. I don’t forget only to feel the blow of what has happened all over again. Now there is simply the dull ache of pain coming from my knee and my heart.

Unfortunately, with that pain comes a twinge of regret that I despise. I occasionally wish it had all gone differently. I wish I could have slept past my alarm on September 3rd. Occasionallyand this aggravates me the mostI wish I had skied that turn differently. I know it is useless, which makes me frustrated that I am holding onto such useless thoughts. It makes me frustrated because I know that the reason I hooked the gate and fell in the first place was that I wanted to improve, I wanted to learn, I wanted to become a winner. For good and bad that takes risk, and no one ever got fast at ski racing by playing it safe. And part of why ski racing, and speed skiing, in particular, are difficult is because they require courage. They require risk.

But luckily painboth mentally and physicallyis not something that will last forever. Pain is better than loss...and a season, in the grand scheme of things, is a small loss. Pain also drives me. I move forward trying to focus myself and pain, both the mental and the physical, is sharpening that focus and spear-heading my goals. They are not goals that I originally anticipated setting, but they are goals nonetheless. And goals, in both times of heartbreak and times of victory are critical in helping us move forward. People tell me that I will come back stronger, and my goals are what will make that happen. So it’s back to the drawing board and now time for some new goal setting for the 2018-2019 season.

I know that this may have been rambling and incongruous piece; give me a break I’m on oxycodone after all. But that’s where I am, piece number two of "Patient Notes" and I already feel restless and distinctly not patient but I’m working on it. Maybe I’ll feel better by volume three. Probably not...but maybe. Let me know if you guys have any questions and I will try to answer them.

Until then I’ll try some deep breaths, and keep working on what I can control.


Breezy Johnson - El Colorado Crash

Mikaela Shiffrin Featured on Freakonomics Podcast

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 29 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin Featured on Freakonomics Podcast

Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) is featured in the popular Freakonomics podcast in a series entitled “The Hidden Side of Sports" among elite sports' greats like Lance Armstrong, pro beach volleyball player and Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson, and more. 

In the most recent episode, called "Here's Why You're Not an Elite Athlete," athletes talk about what separates the good from the great. "There are a lot of factors that go into greatness, many of which are not obvious," the intro reads on the Freakonomics transcript page for the episode. "A variety of Olympic and professional athletes tell us how they made it and what they sacrificed to get there."

"Maybe you’re an obsessive sports fan. Or maybe a more casual fan, and you follow just a couple sports or teams. Maybe you pay no attention to sports, and you only see it when the Olympics are on someone else’s TV. Whichever the case: when you do see those athletes, it’s easy to think of them as existing solely in that context. A full-grown adult. Wearing a uniform. Performing under extraordinary pressure. Focused on a highly specialized task that has zero to do with daily life, or at least your daily life. But is that who those people really are? And how did they get so good at this thing they do? When you see them on TV, all you’re seeing is the outcome. But what were the inputs? We understand that elite athletes represent some magical combination of talent and determination. But what about, say, luck?"

At around the 20:30 minute mark of the episode, you'll hear Shiffrin talk about what makes ski racing different from other sports, and what sets her apart from her competitors. It's worth the listen. Make sure to tune into the whole "The Hidden Side of Sports" series for more insight from Shiffrin and other elite athletes. 

Listen to the podcast on

Minneapolis To Host FIS Cross Country World Cup in 2020

By Reese Brown
September, 28 2018
World Cup is coming to Minnesota
Jessie Diggins was key to securing a FIS Cross Country World Cup for Minnesota. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The International Ski Federation (FIS) today officially confirmed that Minnesota will host a World Cup cross-country ski event in Minneapolis in March 2020.  U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the Loppet Foundation will serve as hosts of the World Cup event, taking place at the new ‘The Trailhead’ facility in Theodore Wirth Park.

“A Minnesotan who brought home a gold medal has now helped us bring home the World Cup,” said host committee co-chair RT Rybak. “Now it’s time for Minnesota too, once again, show we host big events better than anyone.”

Cross country ski champion Jessie Diggins is a native of Afton, Minnesota, and the first American athlete to win a gold medal in Olympic cross country ski competition; she and teammate Kikkan Randall won the women's team sprint at Pyeongchang earlier this year. Diggins was key to securing this international competition for Minnesota.

“Hosting a round of the World Cup is our chance to show skiers from around the world how Minnesota embraces winter - through sport and through our hospitality,” said Diggins. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard and The Loppet Foundation are excited to host a world-class competition and share our state with athletes from around the world. We’re equally excited to give ski fans from around the US a chance to see the action up close for the first time in nineteen years! I am so proud to represent Minnesota as one of the first American athletes to win Olympic Gold in cross country, and now to bring the sport I love to the state I call home.”

“When Jessie called me and asked if the Foundation would support her dream of bringing a cross country World Cup event to the U.S., my team and I responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’” said John Munger, Executive Director of the Loppet Foundation. “Her ask was a no-brainer for us because we, too, have dreams of sharing this spectacular sport with the world. That’s why we’ve worked hard over the last 16 years to elevate cross country skiing, and adventure sports widely, starting in our own backyard.”

“Everyone at U.S. Ski & Snowboard is delighted that we and the Loppet Foundation are able to formally confirm that the cross country World Cup will be coming back to the USA in March 2020 and to one of the great hotbeds of cross country skiing in Minneapolis,” commented Calum Clark, Chief of Systems and Operations for U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “A lot of hard work has gone into making this announcement possible, from the Loppet Foundation team in Minneapolis to the International Ski Federation (FIS), but none more so than from Minnesota’s own Jessie Diggins and the whole U.S. Cross Country Ski Team whose efforts, especially in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, were the catalyst for the compelling concept to bring the world’s best cross country skiers to the city of Minneapolis.”

On the heels of successfully hosting Super Bowl LII, the WNBA All-Star Game, and now preparing to host the NCAA Final Four, the FIS Cross Country Ski World Cup event is yet another in a string of world-class sporting events to choose Minnesota as host.

“The Loppet has helped put Minneapolis cross country skiing on the map, and Theodore Wirth Park offers the best trails in our state,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Hosting a round of the Cross Country Ski World Cup is yet another chance to showcase how to do winter right and for our city to shine as we show the world that Minneapolis welcomes everyone with open arms.”

“Minnesota is the perfect host state for a cross country ski racing World Cup event,” said Beth Helle of Explore Minnesota. “Minnesota boasts more than 2,000 miles of cross-country ski trails, and the sport is integral to our winter tourism industry. Winter accounts for 24% of tourism expenditures in Minnesota, and our high-quality, groomed ski trails help ensure that skiing-related destinations and businesses are able to thrive throughout the winter months.”

Nearly a decade in the making and just opened this summer, The Trailhead is part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Master Plan for the park and the Loppet Foundation’s long-term vision for making lifetime endurance sports more accessible for their local community. This year-round hub for outdoor adventure will host competitive races, community events, and now an international ski competition right in Theodore Wirth Park; solidifying Theodore Wirth Regional Park as a world-class cross country venue.

More information on the World Cup event, including how to secure tickets and see the competition in action, will be available on the local organizing committee’s website,, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @mnworldcup.

About the Loppet Foundation

The Loppet Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates a shared passion for year-round outdoor adventure in the Minneapolis area, focusing on underserved youth and families. Since 2002, the Loppet Foundation has worked to create high-quality public events, youth education, and outdoor recreation programs for the local community. Learn more at

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body for ski and snowboard sports in the USA. One of the oldest and most established sports organizations worldwide, directly tracing its roots back to 1905, the organization, based in Park City, UT, provides leadership and direction for elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide and for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders in the USA, encouraging and supporting all its athletes in achieving excellence wherever they train and compete. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund athletic programs that directly assist athletes in reaching their dreams and achieving the shared goal of being Best In The World.

Fletcher 15th In Planica Grand Prix

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 23 2018
Fletcher jumping
Taylor Fletcher scored 88 points the HS140 jumping portion of Sunday's Grand Prix. (Romina Eggert)

Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) posted the third-fastest roller-ski time to finish 15th in Planica, Slovenia at a Summer Grand Prix.

"Today was a solid day. Nothing too special. I was late on my jump which caused me to miss out on a bunch at the end of the jump," Fletcher said. "The race was good, for sure, but I was all alone and didn't get any help out there. With that, I am still happy with today as it was handfuls better than any competition from last year. Progress is all that matter and I am moving forward."

Fletcher scored 88 points in the HS140 jumping portion, then turn a 10k time on 23:09 in the roller ski, just 5.9 seconds from the top time of the day.

Austria's Mario Seidl posted a jumping score of 127.8 and held on for an 8.5-second victory. Norway's Espen Bjoernstad was second and Aguri Shimizu of Japan was third. 

"It was a pretty good day for Taylor and we're happy with the overall result," said USA Nordic Head Nordic Combined Coach, Martin Bayer.

Men's HS140/10k