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New Additions to Alpine Regional Staff

By Megan Harrod
July, 12 2018
Brad Farrell New Eastern Region Coach
Brad Farrell smiles under the sunshine at the recent National Development Group camp in Mt. Hood, Oregon.

PARK CITY, Utah - U.S. Ski & Snowboard has hired two new alpine regional coaches, further reinforcing the organization's renewed focus and commitment to alpine development as a result of findings from Project 26. 

Mike Prado joins the Western Region, bringing 10 years of coaching experience including a stint with the women's development team and more recently with Squaw Valley Ski Team as a FIS, U16 and U14 coach. Prior to that, Prado was a U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer. Brad Farrell joins the Eastern Region staff from Mt Mansfield Ski Club in Stowe, Vermont, and prior to that, Burke Mountain Academy - where he served as head men's soccer coach and U16 and U19 men's coach. 

Prado and Farrell will bring new energy and a solid coaching background to their respective regions. “The addition of Mike Prado and Brad Farrell bring two high-quality coaches to our regional staffs" noted alpine development director Chip Knight. "They are both very excited to make an impact in their respective regions. It’s important that we have great coaches at the regional level as we seek to reinforce connections between our clubs and the national team in our new development system. Mike and Brad will be working as part of a team with the development head coaches, Marjan Cernigoj and Sasha Rearick, to help bring athletes through regional programming to the Development Team and above.”

Both Prado and Farrell have started in their new roles, making an immediate impact alongside Cernigoj and Rearick, coaching nearly 50 athletes at the recent National Development Group camp hosted by Timberline Lodge Ski & Snowboard area in Mt. Hood, Oregon. 

Lindsey Vonn: Sports Illustrated's Fashionable 50

By Megan Harrod
July, 11 2018
Lindsey Vonn Sports Illustrated

Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) once again proves that she is among the most captivating athletes not only on the mountain but also on the red carpet, as she's been named to Sports Illustrated's "Fashionable 50" list. 

Featured on the cover with boyfriend P.K Subban - a Canadian professional hockey player for the Nashville Predators of the NHL - Vonn shines. The star-studded list includes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, Los Angeles Lakers' Lebron James, Team USA PyeongChang Winter Olympics teammate, figure skater Adam Rippon, and many more. 

"Take one look at runway shows, city streets, red carpets and Instagram feeds and you’ll see the familiar faces of the world’s top athletes sporting a different look," the article reads. "Off the court or field, outside of the ring or away from the ice, these sports stars do away with uniforms and team colors and opt for attire more suitable to their varying personalities and tastes. From statement-makers to trendsetters, to classic gentlemen, sneakerheads and the designers building brands, athletes prove that fashion just isn’t about what you wear, it’s also about how you wear it and why you wear it. ​

As the worlds of sports and style continue to collide, the editors of Sports Illustrated unveil the third annual Fashionable 50 list, honoring the world’s most stylish athletes.​"

Vonn's style motto? “Classy but different, and it has to fit my curvy body type, which can be a challenge.”

Keep an eye out for Vonn, also, on Discovery Channel's Shark Week 2018, starting on Sunday, July 22nd. Vonn will join other top athletes including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski, along with top shark scientists to learn about the ocean's top predators.

Vonn, who currently has 82 FIS Alpine World Cup victories, is just five victories shy of the win record set by Sweden's legendary Ingemar Stenmark. With five victories gained during the 2017-18 season, Vonn is on the cusp of making history (again), and hopes to do so this 2018-19 season. 

Read the full story at si.com

Lindsey Vonn Fashionable 50

Mikaela Shiffrin on 'Most Powerful Women' Adweek Cover

By Megan Harrod
July, 9 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin Featured on Adweek Cover

Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.) is featured on the cover of Adweek in their "The Most Powerful Women" edition, in a white sports bra and leggings looking strong, bearing her six pack and a fierce expression. In an article entitled, "How the World's No. 1 Female Ski Racer Turns her Winning Streak into Marketing Gold," Shiffrin discusses her social media strategy, what it's like to balance athletics with sponsor and social media obligations (and the importance thereof), the best advice she's received (hint: it'll make you smile), pay equality in alpine ski racing, and more. 

For the second straight year, Shiffrin was the top earner on the FIS Alpine World Cup circuit, and she's excited about it. "But the great thing about ski racing is that in terms of athletes’ pay, it’s really equal" Shiffrin reflected. "It’s probably the most gender-equal sport or business out there. For instance, this year compared with the top male athlete, [Austrian World Cup alpine ski racer] Marcel Hirscher, I actually made more than him in prize winnings. Some of that depends on which races you win because not every race has equal prize money for first place, second place, third place and beyond. But for me that was like a really, really cool thing to see just in gross income, prize money standings that I was just right equivalent with Marcel—slightly above, actually."

Read the full story on Adweek

Adweek Mikaela Shiffrin Cover

 

Alpine National Development Camp at Timberline

By Megan Harrod
July, 2 2018
Alpine National Development Camp at Timberline
A group of nearly 50 alpine development athletes hit the slopes for a national development group camp on the Palmer Glacier at Mt. Hood, thanks to a valuable partnership U.S. Ski & Snowboard has forged with Timberline Lodge (Megan Ganim, Ski Racing Media).

A group of nearly 50 alpine development athletes hit the slopes for a national development group camp on the Palmer Glacier at Mt. Hood, thanks to a valuable partnership U.S. Ski & Snowboard has forged with Timberline Lodge. This camp is one of many development initiatives U.S. Ski & Snowboard has implemented as a result of Project 26 study findings. 

"Many in the ski racing community have been asking what to do after U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced its plans surrounding the new development template, Project 26. The higher ups there are hitting the hammer on the head, insisting their goal is to work more closely with regions and clubs to create an increasingly vast group of development athletes on an elite level. A large section of the project’s focus is to shift from a nationally-managed D team to a combined elite development model that brings in U.S. Ski and Snowboard in collaboration with clubs on a small-scale regional level. Closing the gap in order to widen the pool, so to speak. The industry is eager to find out how this will work and most are reacting with positive embracement of the program.

But just how is U.S. Ski and Snowboard following through with Project 26? The roots of the game plan are just beginning and Timberline Lodge at Oregon’s Mount Hood is the first stop in the men’s and women’s development team preparation period this summer, where they get to put the proof in the pudding."

Under the watchful and experienced eyes of Marjan Cernigoj - who recently returned to the Team as Head Women's Development Coach after 15 years of work with Canada, Slovenia and Russia at the World Cup level - as well as Head Men's Development Coach Sasha Rearick, 29 club-level athletes came together with Development Team men and women, including Andrew Miller, Ben Ritchie, Zoe Zimmerman, Keely Cashman and Nellie Talbot.

"The idea is to bring in club-level athletes and invitees to train with U.S. Ski Team coaches, staff, and D Team athletes so that they can walk away from the camp with a level of developmental consistency that is on par with that of the U.S. Ski Team’s philosophies and training commitments."

Stay tuned for more news about what our National Development Group and what they're up to in the 2018-19 prep period. 

Read the full story on SkiRacing.com

Jessie Diggins Featured on 261 Fearless Voices

By Megan Harrod
July, 2 2018
Jessie Diggins 261 Fearless Voices

Olympic champion Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) was featured on 261 Fearless Voices, presented by our partner Bose - the podcast dedicated to fearless women around the world. In this podcast, she talks all things fearless -from adrenaline-filled adventures like cliff jumping and sky diving. 

She opens the podcast by describing herself, "...I am a very bubbly person. I have a lot of energy, which is sometimes a little bit borderline annoying to the people around me. I love to do a lot of adrenaline-filled things. And because I rollerski a lot, I have nice little scars all over my knees from scraping myself up and falling out of trees as a kid - and just generally getting into all sorts of trouble."

Make sure to give it a listen, as Diggins offers insight into the life of an Olympic athlete, describes how being fearless can leave you vulnerable and why celebrating other's success is so important.

Check out the full story on the 261 Fearless SoundCloud

David Wise on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!"

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 26 2018
David Wise 'Wait Wait'

Two-time Olympic champion David Wise was featured on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" on June 23rd to talk risk-taking, all things PyeongChang Olympics, to play a game called "Bland is the new black" and more.

Read the full story on NPR.org

Men's Alpine Europa Cup Team in France

By Megan Harrod
June, 26 2018
Sam Morse nails the line in Les Deux Alpes
2017 World Juniors Downhill champion Sam Morse nails the line in Les Deux Alpes last week in Les Deux Alpes, France (Lucas Leufen).

Six athletes from the men's Europa Cup alpine team hit the slopes of France last week to kick off their first official prep period camp of the 2019 season.

Athletes include 2017 World Junior downhill champion Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, Maine), 2018 World Juniors bronze medalist in super-G Luke Winters (Gresham, Ore.), as well as Cooper Cornelius (Glenwood Springs, Colo.), Nick Krause (Northboro, Mass.), Kyle Negomir (Littleton, Colo.) and George Steffey (Lyme, N.H.). 

The focus of the camp was on technical disciplines, and training was evenly split between giant slalom and slalom during the eight-day camp. The purpose of early season camps such as these is to build a solid foundation in the athletes' skiing that they can build on in their New Zealand training block when they have some more challenging terrain and winter snow conditions.

"The slopes in Les Deux Alpes are very moderate, but there is good length as we have been training 50 second GS the last four days," said head Europa Cup coach Pete Anderson midway through the camp. "It has been great having almost the entire group together for the first time - we are only missing River [Radamus] - and starting to figure out how we all work together and who we are as a team. The group of athletes here are all really strong skiers and, more importantly, professionals in how they operate on a daily basis so it has been really fun and motivating so far."

Anderson recently made the move from men's World Cup assistant coach to head coach of the Europa Cup group, along with Europa Cup technical coach Martin Andersen, who recently rejoined the U.S. Ski Team staff, as the focus remains on alpine ski racing development. Anderson and Andersen were joined by newly appointed Europa Cup assistant coach Josh Benge and longstanding U.S. Ski Team coach Justin Johnson.

Based on findings from Project 26, the renewed focus on alpine development is a critical aspect of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s direction forward as they work to expose the nation’s best athletes at the development level to programming that will enable them to make the next big step to C Team, and from C Team to the podium at NorAms, Europa Cups, and eventually the World Cup podium.

"Stepping into this new role has been really exciting for me so far." reflected (Pete) Anderson. "The staff that we have been working to put in place to support these athletes really came together in a great way and I am looking forward to the culture that we will be striving to build within this team. I am still learning a lot about these athletes on an individual level, but the more I get to know the more excited I am about trying to help them reach their goals."

The men's Europa Cup team will wrap up their Les Deux Alpes, France camp up on the 27th of June, and then head back to the United States for more strength and conditioning work. In August, they'll head down to the southern hemisphere to chase snow in New Zealand, spending time at Round Hill, Ohau, and Coronet Peak in New Zealand.
 

Jessie Diggins Featured in ESPN Body Issue

By Megan Harrod
June, 26 2018
Jessie Diggins Featured in ESPN Body Issue

Olympic Champion Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) is one of 16 athletes to grace the pages of this year's 10th edition of the ESPN Body Issue. Diggins used the feature as an opportunity to discuss body image and dispel negative perceptions the community has about baring it all. In her most recent blog post, entitled "Body Issues", she reflected on the decision to participate, which she admits was not easy. 

"Admittedly, I mostly figured I’d never get asked or have to consider it since cross country skiing isn’t a 'famous' enough sport, but times, they are a-changin’! But the biggest reason I never thought I’d do the tastefully nude shoot that shows off athlete’s muscles is because when I was younger, I struggled with a healthy body image. When I was 18-19 years old, I had everything in the world going for me, but I struggled with confidence and didn’t love myself. I suffered from an eating disorder, and eventually sought help at a treatment center, checking in for a summer program that saved my life. So when I was approached about the ESPN issue, I thought 'is this REALLY something I want to do? Will it bring back old memories? Will I be ok with everyone seeing my body exactly as it is?'

The answer for Diggins was yes. In doing so, she hopes to inspire younger women "to be OK with who they are and what they look like."

"We need to open up the conversation about body image, self confidence, and disordered eating" she reflected. "It should not be a shameful thing, or a taboo topic. It’s more prevalent than people think, and perhaps making help easier to find and less difficult to ask for could save some lives."

Read the full story on ESPN.com

 

Mark Schneider Joins U.S. Ski & Snowboard as Chief Technology Officer

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 21 2018
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hires New CTO

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the Olympic national governing body for ski and snowboard sports in the USA, has announced that Mark Schneider has joined the organization as Chief TechnologyMark Schneider Chief Technology Officer Officer (CTO).

Schneider brings a huge wealth of experience amassed to one of the largest sports bodies in the USA, including six years as Chief Information Officer with Red Bull USA. His most recent post was Chief Technology Officer with Zipscene, the Cincinnati, Ohio based company specializing in understanding and predicting consumer-dining behavior through deep learning and artificial intelligence on the Amazon (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Schneider’s range of experience, in particular with the high profile athletes and events associated with Red Bull, makes him ideally suited for the CTO role with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Mark’s resume speaks for itself,” said Tiger Shaw, CEO, and President of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “He has worked in the technology field for nearly 35 years and was an integral part of the incredible growth Red Bull enjoyed in the US from 2007 through 2013. Most recently he has been working with a start-up which specializes in understanding and predicting consumer behavior, a knowledge that will prove highly valuable to the work we do with athletes and consumers at U.S. Ski & Snowboard.”

“I am delighted to have accepted the CTO role with U.S. Ski & Snowboard,” said Mark Schneider, talking about his move to U.S. Ski & Snowboard. ”The opportunity to move to Park City and work with some of the highest profile athletes in the world, a range of events broadcast globally, and blue-chip commercial partners is a huge and very exciting honor.

“Even in my initial discussions with the team at the Center of Excellence, it is clear that there are opportunities to integrate technology even more deeply with the athletes U.S. Ski & Snowboard helps become best in the world. This work will be focused on helping them increase performance levels even further, and to use technology to improve the fan experience, both in the live arena and in broadcast, and that is just the tip of the iceberg! My family and I are looking forward to relocating to Utah and I cannot wait to start work.”

2018 ESPN ESPYS Nominations Announced

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 20 2018
2x Olympic Champion Mikaela Shiffrin is up for two ESPYS nominations
2x Olympic Champion Mikaela Shiffrin is up for two ESPYS nominations: Best Female Athlete and Best Female Olympian.

The 2018 ESPN ESPYS nominations have been announced, featuring eight U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes. The list is headlined by 2x Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and Olympic champion Chloe Kim - both up for Best Female Athlete. 

The voting is up to you, so let your voice be heard and VOTE NOW (and remember, you can vote daily). 

The ESPYS, hosted by Danica Patrick, will be held on July 18 at 8pm ET. See the list of U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete nominations below, and the full list of nominees at ESPN.com

Best Female Athlete
Chloe Kim
Mikaela Shiffrin

Best Olympic Moment
Jessie Diggins & Kikkan Randall
Shaun White

Best Male Olympian
Red Gerard
David Wise
Shaun White

Best Female Olympian
Jamie Anderson
Chloe Kim
Mikaela Shiffrin

Best Male Action Sports Athlete
David Wise

Best Female Action Sports Athlete
Jamie Anderson
Chloe Kim

Read the full story on ESPN.com