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Nordic Combined

Cochran-Siegle, Diggins Named Athletes Of The Year

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 20 2022
Jessie Diggins and Ryan Cochran-Siegle
Jessie Diggins and Ryan Cochran-Siegle were honored by U.S. Ski & Snowboard as athletes of the year. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard/Getty Images)

Olympic medalists Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Jessie Diggins were honored by U.S. Ski & Snowboard as athletes of the year, winning the prestigious Beck International Award - the highest athlete recognition for the organization.

Cochran-Siegle, whose mother Barbara Cochran won Olympic slalom gold in 1972, earned his first medal with a silver in super-G at Beijing. Diggins, who won gold with Kikkan Randall in 2018, became the first individual cross country medalist for America since 1976 when she won silver and bronze at Beijing.

The Beck International Award dates back to 1931, honoring some of the greatest champions in ski and snowboard sport.  It was the fourth time Diggins has won the Beck International Award (2016, 2018, 2021, 2022) and the first for Cochran-Siegle. Diggins was also named Cross Country Athlete of the Year, for the fifth time, with Cochran-Siegle taking Alpine Athlete of the Year honors.

“Ryan and Jessie truly distinguished themselves this season, both with athletic results and the inspiration they provided to teammates and to the next generation of athletes,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “They stand amongst a strong field of athletes who each have their own story of success this past season.”

In recognizing Cochran-Siegle, U.S. Ski & Snowboard acknowledged his long and patient journey. After starting his career with a Junior World Championship medal, he persevered through myriad major injuries before getting his first World Cup podium and win in the 2020-21 season, before a season-ending injury took him out.

Diggins, who won the overall World Cup title a year ago, was also recognized for a strong overall season with five World Cup podiums including two wins. She also anchored a historic first-ever mixed relay World Cup victory for the USA.

OTHER SPORT ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Jake Adicoff with guide Sam Wood - Adaptive Athletes of the Year
Jake Adicoff and his guide Sam Wood were named Adaptive Athletes of the Year. The duo teamed up for a pair of individual silver medals at the Paralympics, plus anchored Team USA’s gold in the mixed team event. At the World Championships, they won gold, silver and bronze. Beyond the medals, Adicoff and Wood have been role models in the sport with their professional way of working together and communications style - setting a new high bar for how visually impaired athletes and guides work as a team. Their example has elevated the entire U.S. Paralympics Nordic program.

Alex Hall - Freeski Athlete of the Year
Olympic champion Alex Hall was named Freeski Athlete of the Year. Hall took gold in Slopestyle at Beijing. He came into the Olympics with five major event podiums. At the Olympics, he impressed Slopestyle judges with his unique approach to the course, earning the high score of the day on his first run.

Jaelin Kauf - Freestyle Athlete of the Year
Veteran moguls skier Jaelin Kauf was recognized as Freestyle Athlete of the Year. A perennial top finisher in the World Cup standings, Kauf earned an early berth on Team USA for the Olympics and came away with silver in moguls in her second Games. Recognized as one of the fastest skiers on the tour, Kauf focused on the big event to come away with a medal. She was also acknowledged for her inspiration to the team and motivation to young girls in sport.

Ben Loomis - Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year
Ben Loomis was named as Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year. It was his third time winning the title (2016, 2018, 2022). In a breakthrough season, Loomis scored World Cup points every weekend and had two 12th place finishes at the Olympics in Beijing. His steady progress has been an inspiration to the nordic combined team.

Annika Belshaw - Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year
Annika Belshaw was named Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year. Belshaw soared to a career-best season with her first-ever Continental Cup victory and had seven top-10 finishes to land fourth in the overall Continental Cup standings - the best U.S. finish since Sarah Hendrickson was second in 2015.

Lindsey Jacobellis - Snowboard Athlete of the Year
Lindsey Jacobellis was named Snowboard Athlete of the Year. It was her fourth time earning the top honor (2007, 2008, 2009, 2022). Jacobellis has forged a career in snowboardcross with 31 World Cup victories, seven World Championship medals and now three Olympic medals. A silver medalist in her event’s Olympic debut in 2006, Jacobellis rode to gold in Beijing then came back to team up with Nick Baumgartner to win gold in the initial Olympic team event.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names Top Clubs For 2021-22

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 16 2022
Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club
Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club (EMSC) was selected as the second recipient of the new Development Club of the Year Award.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognized its top clubs as a part of its annual awards. The Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team was named overall Club of the Year for the second time, having been honored in 2019. Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club was recognized as Development Club of the Year.

“Clubs are the entry point for skiers and snowboarders into the sport and a vital part of our athletic pipeline. We’re proud to recognize the achievements of these clubs across all of our sport programs.”
– U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.

California’s Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team was recognized as the overall Club of the Year, an honor it also won in 2019. The Development Club of the Year award went to Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club.

“These clubs really set a high standard of excellence for others,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club Manager Ellen Adams. “Mammoth Mountain, as overall Club of the Year, has long been a productive club for a wide array of local programs and consistently pushing athletes to the top level in the sport. As Development Club of the Year, Eldora Mountain was recognized for its engagement in development programs and contributions to the sport regionally.”

Additional organizational awards, including Athletes of the Year, will be announced throughout the latter half of June.

2022 OVERALL CLUBS OF THE YEAR

OVERALL CLUB OF THE YEAR

SNOWBOARD CLUB OF THE YEAR
Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team (Gold Certified Club)
Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team (MMSST) was recognized as overall Club of the Year, as well as Snowboard Club of the Year - both for the second time. MMSST was acknowledged for its dedication to creating the best winter sports program in the nation through long-term athlete development, excellent programming, and a commitment to supporting its athletes. The program is led by Ben Wisner, who was also acknowledged as overall and snowboard Development Coach of the Year.

The success of Mammoth’s multisport program is based on several key factors. First, MMSST is highly engaged in coaches' education, ensuring that everyone on staff has at least level 100 certification. Secondly, it has made a serious commitment to progression with its high performance center. It is also an active participant in hosting events from local to national to international level.

In snowboard and freeski, MMSST has developed some of the most skilled athletes in the country, including Olympic champion Chloe Kim.

MMSST has also excelled in partnering with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USASA to hold vital events. This past season, Mammoth played host to a snowboard World Cup which doubled as an Olympic qualifying event. It also produced USASA and Rev Tour events, plus a Project Gold camp for park and pipe.

 

DEVELOPMENT CLUB OF THE YEAR
Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club, Boulder, Colo. (Silver Certified Club)
Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club (EMSC) was selected as the second recipient of the new Development Club of the Year Award. The honor is presented annually to a club recognizing its alignment with U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete development standards.

EMSC was founded in 1975 and now offers programs in junior race, core, and ability. In addition to alpine, it also integrates a ski and snowboard freestyle/freeride program, the EMSC Free Team, offering slopestyle, big air, ski and snowboard cross and big mountain.

One of the key elements of EMSC’s selection as Development Club of the Year was its work in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard club certification program. In summer 2020, EMSC earned its bronze certification. It then took feedback from the bronze review, focusing on areas for improvement and this past season achieved silver certification.

One of the strengths of EMSC is its very active and engaged board which works with staff leadership in increasing the impact of its mission through a carefully-developed roadmap to realize its vision. It has established a strong relationship with the mountain, ensuring well-maintained and accessible competition and training venues. In addition, it has fostered a strong relationship with parents.

All programs from Youth Ski League to FIS are closely aligned with U.S. Ski & Snowboard training systems. EMSC is also known for its collaboration with other clubs.

 

2022 SPORT CLUBS OF THE YEAR

Adaptive - Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Sun Valley, Idaho (Gold Certified Club)
One of the most noted multisport clubs in America, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, was awarded the Adaptive Club of the Year Award. SVSEF was honored for its commitment to excellence at all levels of the sport, notably their integration of para-athletes into their teams.

Among the athletes in the SVSEF program are four-time Paralympic medalist Jake Adicoff and three-time medalist Sam Wood. Both are well integrated into the SVSEF cross country Gold Team program to not only benefit their training but serving as mentors to other athletes. First-time alpine Paralympian Jesse Keefe grew up in the SVSEF program from a young age.

The Gold Team is led by coach Chris Mallory who customizes elements of their training that is unique to Para cross country. He also served as a coach and wax technician for Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

SVSEF has provided a roadmap for how to provide quality opportunities for more athletes in their community while also continually striving for competitive success across all areas of the sport.

SVSEF is a two-time winner of the overall Club of the Year Award (1999, 2013) but it is its first time winning Adaptive Club of the Year.

 

Alpine - Team Summit Colorado, Copper Mountain, Colo. (Gold Certified Club)
Team Summit Colorado was named Alpine Club of the Year. Under the leadership of Executive Director CB Bechtel and Alpine Director Aldo Radamus, the club has developed a strong culture in its alpine ski racing program and has created cost-effective, local programs for Summit County athletes.

Team Summit was recognized for providing a place in its program for every athlete to find their own level of excellence. The result has been Team Summit athletes achieving notable success and finding the podium at every level. Out of this past season, Team Summit qualified four athletes to the National Development Group, as well as qualifying three athletes each for the U18 and U16 national championships.

The club is an active participant in hosting divisional relationships, utilizing its relationships with several local resorts. Its volunteer officials are well educated. Radamus and other club officials are also active on divisional, regional and national committees, as well as engaging in national projects - always looking for ways to help grow the sport.

 

Cross Country - The Loppet Foundation, Minneapolis (Gold Certified Club)
The Loppet Foundation, which offers year-round outdoor activity programs in the heart of Minneapolis, has been selected as Cross Country Club of the Year. The club was recognized for its continuing work to achieve its mission during the pandemic.

This past season, The Loppet Foundation hosted a safe, motivating and competitive junior championships as national competitions were reinstated. It employed a thorough and thoughtful COVID-19 mitigation plan that followed U.S. Ski & Snowboard standards, conducting a successful event for 600 junior athletes and staff. The Loppet Foundation also implemented venue improvements resulting in a very high level of racing in the heart of a metropolitan area.

Athletically, Loppet Nordic Racing excelled on its home course winning the junior national club award and helping lead Midwest Division to second place.

Following the unfortunate cancellation of the FIS World Cup in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, The Loppet Foundation has persevered to continue to offer strong programs and to be a vital part of the national cross country racing scene.

 

Freeski - Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Aspen, Colo.
The Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) was awarded the Freeski Club of the Year Award for its commitment to developing and supporting top-tier athletes and coaches. A longstanding program in the Roaring Fork Valley dating back to 1937, AVSC’s mission is to coach and inspire kids to excel while promoting a community of passion, grit and mountain culture. AVSC presently has over 350 freestyle and freeski athletes with 55 coaches. About 45% of freeski athletes receive financial support from the club’s scholarships and grants.

AVSC has developed a well-rounded training program for freeski athletes in the community, including the opportunity to train at their state-of-the-art tramp, airbag and ramp facility, on-snow glacier camps locally in May and June and a full complement of in-season programs in Olympic sized pipes and jumps used for X Games and other world-renowned competitions.

During the winter, AVSC athletes not only train on snow but also hone their tricks at the local gymnastics facility. Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club has a keen focus on progression and instituted an in-house qualification program similar to that of Aerials that requires athletes to achieve high repetitions of tricks and qualify jumps on airbags before allowing new tricks to be performed on snow.

Continuing education for coaches is a high priority for the club, with frequent workshops for coaches on important topics like first aid, mental health awareness and more. AVSC is also active in events, this past season hosting a Rev Tour and USASA Series competitions.

These efforts result in a well-rounded program that impacts a broad range of passionate young freeski athletes. It has also made AVSC one of the biggest contributors to the U.S. Freeski Team with four athletes this past year including two-time Olympic medalist Alex Ferriera.

 

Freestyle - Stratton Mountain School, Stratton, Vt. (Gold Certified Club)
Stratton Mountain School (SMS), a notable multisport club program, was awarded Freestyle Club of the Year. SMS was the overall Club of the Year in 2020 and has also won cross country, freeski and snowboard Club of the Year prior to this.

It was a strong season athletically for Stratton’s freestyle program with 100% of eligible team members qualifying for U.S. Junior Nationals and 60% for U.S. Nationals. SMS had one of the largest representations on the NorAm Cup with seven athletes, and their athletes took both male and female MVP in the Eastern Division, along with the men’s Eastern Mogul Champ title.

Stratton Mountain School has long been dedicated to excellence and is a U.S. Ski & Snowboard gold-certified club. The club's programs are committed to the Long-Term Athlete Development model and regularly host trampoline and on-snow camps for local athletes. SMS is also active on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard regional competition calendar.

The growing program, led by Eastern Division Freestyle chair Deb Newson, has had to react to the changing landscape during the pandemic. To make up for time lost the past two seasons, Deb took her team to camps and comps all around the world, including Idre Fjäll, Sweden in November, Apex, B.C. in December, Aspen and Steamboat Springs, Colo. in January, Sweden Europa Cup in February, and Palisades Tahoe in April. Some SMS athletes were on the road for over 100 days but were still successful in getting accepted to top college programs. With talented coaches and a multitude of recent successes, Stratton Mountain School's recruitment efforts are more successful than ever, and this club will only continue to grow and contribute to the sport of Freestyle."

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names Top Coaches For 2021-22

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 13 2022
XC Silver Medal Team
Jason Cork (bottom row, third from left) was awarded the Cross Country Coach of the Year honors.

Top club and national coaches have been recognized by U.S. Ski & Snowboard as a part of its annual awards program. Recipients were acknowledged both for athletic accomplishments and contributions to the broader success of the sport.

Development Coach of the Year honors went to Ben Wisner of Mammoth Mountain. Longtime U.S. Ski Team alpine coach Forest Carey earned Coach of the Year recognition.

“Clubs and coaches are core to the success of athletes both at the local level and nationally,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Director of Sport Education Gar Trayner. “It’s exhilarating to recognize the amazing success stories we’re seeing around the country.” 

OVERALL DEVELOPMENT COACH OF THE YEAR

SNOWBOARD DEVELOPMENT COACH OF THE YEAR

Ben Wisner, Mammoth Ski & Snowboard Team, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Ben Wisner, director of freeski and snowboard for the Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team, has been named both overall and snowboard Development Coach of the Year. He was recognized by his peers as a ‘one-of-a-kind coach’ whose success with his own program at Mammoth also has a strong impact on the sport nationally.

Wisner has been coaching for over 20 years. During his time at Mammoth, Wisner has helped the program become a breeding ground for young talent. Under his direction, MMSST has placed more than a few athletes on the U.S. Snowboard Team, including Olympians Chloe Kim, Maddie Mastro and Dusty Henricksen.

One of the keys to Wisner’s success is that he is always looking to the next generation of athletes. This past season, he extended his expertise as a coach at Junior World Championships in Switzerland. He was a valuable asset to the team both on and off the snow.

His peers acknowledged him for his work in connecting with athletes and pushing them to the next level with his passion for the sport.

 

OVERALL U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD TEAM COACH OF THE YEAR

ALPINE TEAM COACH OF THE YEAR

Forest Carey, Park City, Utah
Veteran alpine coach Forest Carey was recognized as Coach of the Year as well as Alpine Coach of the Year. It was the fourth time he has won the alpine honor.

In his 12-year career with the national team, Carey has become known for his passion and caring for his athletesinstilling confidence in them. He is a student of the sport and analyzes every last detail after training and competition from video analysis to split times to equipment performance.

The highlight of the season came at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, where Ryan Cochran-Siegle took super-G silver. It was an inspiring performance marked by perseverance and fortitude as Cochran-Siegle overcame injuries and hardships with Carey supporting him the entire way.

 

U.S SKI & SNOWBOARD TEAM SPORT COACHES OF THE YEAR

Cross Country - Jason Cork, Stratton Mountain, Vt.
Longtime U.S. Ski Team World Cup Coach Jason Cork was awarded the Cross Country Coach of the Year honors.

Cork has worked with three-time Olympic medalist Jessie Diggins since 2010, before she was on the national team. He serves as both her personal coach and wax technician. A year ago Diggins won the overall World Cup title as well as the distance World Cup title. This past season, she won two Olympic medalssilver in the 30k freestyle mass start and bronze in the freestyle sprintand became the first American since 1976 to win an individual Olympic medal.

He is known for his detailed training planning and oversight, as well as his world-class ski selection and waxing ability.

 

Freeski - Dave Euler, Park City, Utah
Dave Euler, who coaches the U.S. Pro Freeski Slopestyle and Big Air Team, was named Freeski Coach of the Year. Euler was previously the 2019 recipient and in 2016 was named Freeski Development Coach of the Year.

Euler led the U.S. Freeski Slopestyle and Big Air Team to great success this season starting off with a podium sweep by Colby Stevenson, Alex Hall and Nick Goepper at Dew Tour. At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Alex Hall won gold and Nick Goepper earned silver in slopestyle, and Colby Stevenson earned silver in big air. At the conclusion of the season, the team was awarded the FIS Nations Cup.

Euler is well known and admired for his positive attitude, dedication to the sport, and ability to motivate, inspire and develop athletes at all levels. He joined the team in 2018 after coaching freeskiing at Team Park City United.

 

Freestyle - Vladimir ‘Vlad’ Lebedev, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Vladimir ‘Vlad’ Lebedev, head aerials coach for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, was named Freestyle Coach of the Year for the third year in a row. Lebedev joined the team in 2019 and has been a valuable asset with his extensive knowledge of the sport, background as an athlete and international coaching experience for multiple countries.

It was a strong season for the U.S. aerials team, capped by Olympic gold in the debut of the team event with Chris Lillis, Justin Schoenefeld and Ashley Caldwell, and a bronze from Megan Nick in the women's individual event. In addition to the team's Olympic success, five U.S. Freestyle Team aerialists finished in the top-10 in the season-long FIS World Cup rankings.

Lebedev’s approach as a coach is dedicated to helping each athlete succeed, as shown by the individualized plans and strategies he develops for each team member matched up with seasonal, monthly and daily goals. In his three seasons as head aerials coach, he has led the team to its strongest results in 20 years.

He is a native of Uzbekistan and competed as a Russian aerialist for a decade, winning bronze at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

 

Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping - Chris Gilbertson, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Chris Gilbertson, jumping coach for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, was named Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Coach of the Year.

Gilbertson, who had coached up to 2013, returned to the United States in the summer of 2020 when the nordic combined team was challenged to get international coaches into the USA because of the pandemic onset. The team heartily welcomed him back. In the two years since his return, he has been consistently supporting, challenging and motivating athletes.

The impact of his work has been a substantial climb up the ranks in ski jumping results compared to the past. His passion for the sport of nordic combined has been embraced by the athletes, with the results showing.

Gilbertson was named Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Development Coach of the Year in 2001 while working with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

 

Snowboard - J.J. Thomas

JJ Thomas, Olympic bronze medalist in halfpipe from 2002 and U.S. Snowboard Team halfpipe coach, was recognized with the Snowboard Coach of the Year award.

While Thomas made his mark as an athlete, his real impact has come since moving to coaching. As a private coach for Shaun White, he was instrumental in White’s stunning comeback in 2018 to win his third Olympic gold medal. He then brought his skills to the U.S. Snowboard Team where he has impacted a wide range of athletes.

This past season his athletes had a remarkable season, led by Chloe Kim winning a repeat Olympic halfpipe gold. His men’s team placed three in the top seven in Beijing, including White just missing a medal in fourth.

Thomas’ approach to coaching features a focus on detail with goal orientation. His work with athletes on both short and long-term goals, combined with a strategic plan of attack, has helped make their personal dreams become a reality.

 

SPORT DEVELOPMENT COACHES OF THE YEAR

Alpine - Ian Dunlop, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Vail, Colo.
Ian Dunlop, the head U16 men’s coach at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, was recognized as Alpine Development Coach of the Year. He was recognized not only for the success of his own athletes, but for his overall contribution to development within the region and nationally.

Dunlop began as a ski racer in Wisconsin, before moving to Winter Park, Colo. He later skied for the University of Denver. Dunlop began his coaching career at Winter Park coaching FIS-level athletes before joining U.S. Ski & Snowboard as the Rocky/Central regional coach in 2013, contributing to the growth of excellence in the region. 

In 2019, he took on his current role in Vail making an immediate impact with his U16 athletes posting strong results and moving on to be successful at the FIS level. This past season his U16 men dominated national junior championships with podium finishes across all disciplines, including four of the top five overall. Although top national results get the headlines, Dunlop is known for building an atmosphere where every single athlete on his team feels 100% committed to the team.

Dunlop is a strong contributor to the governance of the sport, serving as vice-chair of the Rocky Mountain Division Alpine Competition Committee and sits on the national U16 and Older Development Working Group.

 

Cross Country - Miles Havlick, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Miles Havlick, cross country coach for the University of Utah, was awarded the Cross Country Development Coach of the Year Award. He was recognized not only for the success of the Utes cross country athletes who won a 15th national title this past year, but for the impact he and his athletes are having on sport development.

This past season, his Utah cross country team included five U.S. Ski Team members, three of which competed at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. Four of those athletes raced in World Cups and the fifth competed at the U23 World Championships.

Two of his athletes, Sophia Laukli and Novie McCabe, were top-20 in their debut Olympics. Both also took NCAA titles to help boost the Utes to the national title. They also finished fifth and seventh in the Tour de Ski final hill climb. In addition, Sydney Palmer-Leger is ranked as the number one junior woman in the world on the FIS distance points list. 

Havlick was recognized for the positive team culture he has developed to not only benefit the Utes, but to be a collaborative partner with the national team.

 

Freeski - Greg Ruppel, Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Aspen, Colo.
Greg Ruppel, who heads the freeski program at the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, was awarded the Freeski Development Coach of the Year Award. Ruppel, who has been coaching for nearly 20 years, was acknowledged for his all-around work in coaching and program management at AVSC and his engagement with the Freeski Sport Committee.

Ruppel began his freeski coaching career in New England, working at Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley before moving to Aspen where he has coached for a decade. He has put a high priority on advancing his coaching through education, attending over a dozen U.S. Ski & Snowboard clinics and achieving Freestyle Level 4 and Freeski Level 300 certifications.

During his career at Aspen, Greg​ has coached several top-10 junior halfpipe skiers, and his athletes have earned spots on not only the U.S. Pro and Rookie Freeski Teams, but also the U.S. Olympic Freeski team.

 

Freestyle - Bill Harris, Mont Chalet Freestyle Aerial Training Center, Chesterland, Ohio
Bill Harris, an innovator in freestyle aerials skiing for over four decades, was named Freestyle Development Coach of the Year. While most wouldn’t look at the state of Ohio as a hotbed of freestyle skiing, Harris’ work over the years has helped develop a host of Olympians including 2022 team gold medalist Justin Schoenefeld.

Now 78, Harris started his first freestyle program at a small midwestern ski area in 1983. When he left the ski area in the early ‘90s, he wanted to ensure athletes still had a place to pursue their sport. So he built a water ramp on his own property outside of Cleveland. That started a succession of Olympians including Brian Currutt, Mariano Ferrario and Schoenefeld.

Harris was recognized not just for the top athletes that came out of his program, but for his constant work at providing opportunities for young athletes. He runs his program free of charge and has always been the type of coach who goes the extra mile for his athletes.

“Bill’s genuine love for the sport of freestyle skiing and his honest care in coaching and developing our talents was what made my experience with the team so memorable,” said one of his former athletes.

While perfecting their craft is always a goal of athletes, Harris’ focus goes well beyond, looking to develop well-rounded, respectful, humble, confident and hard-working individuals.

 

Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping - Todd Eing, Harris Hill, Brattleboro, Vt.
Vermont ski jumping coach and program leader Todd Eing was awarded the Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Development Coach of the Year Award. Eing has been instrumental in developing a junior ski jumping program at Harris Hill, which just celebrated its 100th year of holding an annual tournament.

While Harris Hill has long been a major ski jumping center in New England, it had lacked a junior jumping program. Eing has been transformational for the sport, spearheading the construction of 10m and 18m jumps at Memorial Park and organizing training for young jumpers from five to 15 years old beginning in 2018.

Eing has built a comprehensive program that includes fall training in the gym and on a roller jump to prepare athletes for the season. He wears many hats for the program, including coach as well as chief of competition for the annual Harris Hill tournament. He also volunteers for major events around the region, including Lake Placid. 

 

SOS Outreach Named DEI Champion Award Recipient

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 2 2022
SOS
Founded 28 years ago, SOS Outreach has engaged over 80,000 youth in resort communities around the country.

SOS Outreach, a sport outreach and mentorship program serving 15 communities and 24 mountain resorts nationwide, was awarded U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion Award. The award is focused on recognizing a person, group, organization, or program that has contributed significantly and sustainably to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in skiing and snowboarding.

This past season, SOS Outreach and U.S. Ski & Snowboard partnered on opportunities to give participants a unique close-up experience with U.S. national team athletes, including at the VISA Big Air at Steamboat and two community programs in Summit County, Colo. and Park City, Utah. In addition, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will host an SOS Outreach intern this summer.

“SOS Outreach’s work to make skiing and snowboarding accessible for all in our resort communities is really vital to our future as a sport,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “Its work to bring the values of our sport to youth from underserved communities is really what drove U.S. Ski & Snowboard to partner with SOS Outreach.”

Since the program’s inception 28 years ago, SOS Outreach has engaged over 80,000 youth in resort communities around the country. “These are young people who would not have been a part of the sport,” said SOS Outreach Executive Director Seth Ehrlich. “This recognition goes to each of those kids and to all the ones who will follow them. Our entire team at SOS Outreach is dedicated to continuing our work and to expanding the reach of our impact. Thanks to U.S. Ski & Snowboard for walking with us to make it possible.”

SOS Outreach’s philosophy is that no matter what social, societal or economic barriers exist, every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. Its programs start with powerful outdoor experiences. On the slopes or trails, kids unearth the courage to step outside of their comfort zones, discover new strengths within themselves and develop lifelong skills. Through its proven curriculum, they empower kids in our communities to discover their true potential.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard looked to SOS Outreach to help the organization plot its course in making skiing and snowboarding more welcoming, accessible, and diverse, raising awareness across its membership and the entire sport community.

“U.S. Ski & Snowboard wants everyone to have the opportunity to experience the sense of accomplishment and well-being that participation in skiing and snowboarding brings,” said Club Development Manager and DEI Committee member Ellen Adams. “We commend SOS Outreach for being a leader in bringing youth from all backgrounds to the joy of winter sports.”

With its commitment to being best in the world, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s focus is often seen as being on developing elite athletes. But Adams cited the work of SOS Outreach, and local clubs nationwide, as being vital to the success of the sport. “Before an athlete is competing at an elite level, and even before they are identified as an emerging athlete, we rely on our member clubs and partners to introduce families and athletes to the sport and help them develop the fundamental skills necessary to pursue their goals,” said Adams. 

DEI Champion Award annual recipients are selected based on a matrixed review of various factors reflecting the nominees’ impact on advancing DEI. The criteria include leadership of DEI in ski and snowboard, advancing education, collaborative coalition-building, development of equitable systems and implementation of effective programs.

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard DEI Committee was founded in 2017 to increase racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity at all levels of skiing and snowboarding. SOS Outreach was the second recipient of the award, after National Brotherhood of Skiers President Henri Rivers was recognized in 2021.

 

Late Chuck Heckert Honored With Julius Blegen Award

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 1 2022
Chuck Heckert
The late Chuck Heckert, a longtime ski jumping official, has been honored with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Julius Blegen Award.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has recognized longtime ski jumping official Chuck Heckert with its Julius Blegen award - the organization’s highest service. Heckert, who passed in November 2020 was the penultimate volunteer and competition official, with a long and distinguished career of service to athletes.

A native of Grand Lake, Colo., Heckert began coaching ski jumping in 1976 at Winter Park, becoming an international judge in 1993. In the lead-up to the 2002 Olympics, he moved to Utah to oversee the ski jumping and freestyle venues at the Utah Olympic Park serving as a venue manager at the Games. Through the years he expanded his officiating role and remained at the forefront of the sport. In 2017 he received U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Mittelstadt Award for ski jumping officials and was also inducted into the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame.

“Chuck was the quintessential volunteer and official - a real role model,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. 

He was selected for the Blegen Award in a vote of past Blegenites, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard board of directors and its awards working group.

Heckert became the 76th recipient of the Julius Blegen Award dating back to 1946. The award recognizes established history of distinguished service and a lasting contribution to U.S. Ski & Snowboard and its membership. It is named in honor of Julius Blegen, a key past leader of the National Ski Association.

He will be honored in late July during USA Nordic’s annual Springertournee when the Blegen Award will be presented to his family.

JULIUS BLEGEN AWARD HONOREES

  • 1946 Roger Langley
  • 1947 Arthur J. Barth
  • 1948 Fred McNeil
  • 1949 John Hostvedt
  • 1950 Fred C. Bellmar
  • 1951 Douglas M. Burckett
  • 1952 F.C. Koziol
  • 1953 Albert E. Sigal
  • 1954 Harold A. Grinden
  • 1955 Burton H. Boyum
  • 1956 John B. Carson
  • 1957 Olav Ulland
  • 1958 T. Lee McCracken
  • 1959 Robert C. Johnstone
  • 1960 Dr. Amos R. 'Bud' Little and Malcolm McLane
  • 1961 Sepp Ruschp
  • 1962 J. Stanley Mullin
  • 1963 Ralph A. 'Doc' DesRoches
  • 1964 Robert Beattie
  • 1965 Merritt H. Stiles
  • 1966 Evelyn Masbruch
  • 1967 C. Allison Merrill
  • 1968 Willy J. Schaeffler
  • 1969 William Berry
  • 1970 Earl D. Walters
  • 1971 Gustav Raaum
  • 1972 James Balfanz
  • 1973 Charles T. Gibson
  • 1974 Sven Wiik
  • 1975 Byron Nishkian
  • 1976 Dr. J. Leland Sosman
  • 1977 Gloria Chadwick
  • 1978 Richard Goetzman
  • 1979 Graham Anderson
  • 1980 Bill Beck
  • 1981 Not awarded
  • 1982 Hank Tauber
  • 1983 Robert Thomson
  • 1984 Ed Hammerle
  • 1985 Robert Oden
  • 1986 Bill Slattery
  • 1987 Jim Page
  • 1988 Whiting Willauer
  • 1989 James H. “Red” Carruthers
  • 1990 Nelson Bennett
  • 1991 Tom Corcoran
  • 1992 Nick Badami
  • 1993 Serge Lussi
  • 1994 Fraser West
  • 1995 Gerald F. Groswold
  • 1996 Anna McIntyre
  • 1997 Faris Taylor
  • 1998 Irv Kagan
  • 1999 Thom Weisel
  • 2000 Dr. Richard Steadman
  • 2001 Warren Lowry (posthumously)
  • 2002 Not Awarded
  • 2003 Jim McCarthy
  • 2004 Howard Peterson
  • 2005 Michael Berry
  • 2006 Peter Kellogg
  • 2007 Charles Ferries
  • 2008 Gary Black, Jr.
  • 2009 Lee Todd
  • 2010 Tom Winters
  • 2011 Joe Lamb
  • 2012 John Garnsey
  • 2013 Barry 'Bear' Bryant
  • 2014 Bill Marolt
  • 2015 Allen Church
  • 2016 Bob Dart (posthumously)
  • 2017 Ted Sutton
  • 2018 Bruce Crane (posthumously)
  • 2019 Thelma Hoessler
  • 2020 Dexter Paine
  • 2021 Darryl Landstrom
  • 2022 Chuck Heckert (posthumously)

 

High Performance Education

The High Performance department at U.S. Ski & Snowboard puts on a few educational seminars each year including: