World Pro Ski Tour Appoints New CEO

The World Pro Ski Tour (WPST) season came to a close with a message of revitalization and re-emergence. Following a business re-organization, new WPST Chairman, Dan Leever, has appointed Jon J. Franklin, former Winter Sports Vice President at IMG Media, as the new Tour Chief Executive Officer, charged with leading a new era for the WPST. Recently, Franklin served as CEO of Glory Sports International, where under his leadership Glory was named the world’s number one Kickboxing promotion in 2017 by Combat Press and as one of the world’s most influential combat sports and martial arts promotions by Fox Sports.

Franklin’s background ensures he’s a natural fit to lead the WPST’s revitalization, having formerly represented top Olympic and World Champion skiers such as Tommy Moe, AJ Kitt, and Bill Johnson and more recently managing sponsorship programs for Olympic Gold medal skiers Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso. Additionally, Franklin, who will begin his tenure this month, has sold and managed multiple title sponsorship activations in ski racing, including for the WPST itself and for the global FIS Ski World Cup.

“We are leading the charge to revitalize the World Pro Ski Tour to provide opportunities for ski racers and to re-energize dual format ski racing globally,” said Franklin.

In March 2017, after much demand and nearly two decades since the last dual pro race was held in the U.S., Ed Rogers, owner of the US Pro Ski Tour through the 1990’s, resurrected the WPST. Iterations of the tour featured a number of iconic racers, including France’s Jean-Claude Killy, America’s Billy Kidd, and the late Vladimir “Spider” Sabich and later on, Olympic Champions Phil and Steve Mahre and perennial pro champions Andre Arnold and Bernard Knauss.

The WPST, established in 1976, is a nationwide tour of events different from standard International Ski Federation (FIS) or Olympic ski events in that alternatively two competitors race side-by-side in a single elimination bracket akin to drag racing meets skiing. The popular dual-slalom format, made famous by legendary U.S. Ski team coach Bob Beattie in the late 1960’s, allows on-site spectators and TV viewers to consume the most exciting and easiest to understand format in alpine ski racing. Racers compete for prize money and a World Pro title.

The Tour’s format has drawn in legions of fans and as of lately top ski racing competitors such as three-time Olympian Nolan Kasper and World Champion Silver Medalist Phil Brown, who have taken the Tour titles in recent seasons. To be noted, recently the FIS has also adopted dual format racing with a version now scheduled for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Since its return in 2017, the WPST has attained a number of sponsorships including Tito’s Vodka, Raymond James, Michelob Ultra and RXBAR, to name a few. Moving forward the Tour will be headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The races are televised on official broadcasting partner CBS Sports Network.

Release courtesy of WPST.

“Will it Help Me Ski Faster?” Forks in the Road in a Ski Racer’s Life

It’s one thing to say that you want to be the best ski racer you can be. It’s an entirely different thing to actually do the things necessary to achieve that goal. In other words, talk is cheap! You have to want it and you have to want it bad! Why? Because the chances are that you have a lot of forces in your life that don’t always align with your ski racing goals and can, in fact, actively pull you away from them. Even worse, they can actually hurt your efforts to accomplish your goals. These conflicting forces might include wanting to stay out late with your friends, eating a bunch of junk food, spending time staring at a screen, skipping workouts, the list goes on. When faced with these options, you have to make a choice about what’s most important to you.

Forks in the Road

I call these choices “forks in the road,” in which you have the option of two or more directions you can take. In fact, you are faced with potentially meaningful forks in the road every day in your ski racing and your life:

  • “Should I do my warm-up before training?”
  • “Should I go to bed early tonight?”
  • “Should I eat that cinnamon bun before my race?”
  • “Should I put my phone away, so I can focus on my competitive preparations?”
  • “Should I do my homework now?”
  • “Should I tune my skis for training tomorrow?”

There are many influences that can determine which fork in the road you take; for example, fatigue, pain, boredom, equally or more attractive alternatives, and a multitude of distractions that now inhabit the lives of ski racers.

There are also bigger forks in the road at various times in your ski racing life:

  • “Do I want to continue to ski race?”
  • “Should I attend a ski academy?”
  • “Do I want to compete in college?”
  • “Do I take a gap year?”

These “existential” questions are impacted by some of the immediate forces I described above, but also by bigger concerns including your current ranking, your developmental trajectory, what schools you want to attend, and, of course, whether you or your family can afford to take a particular fork in the road.

There are no right-or-wrong answers to any of these questions. The so-called correct answer depends on your values, interests, and goals. At those many forks in the road that you face every day, you must decide what is important to you. You must look at each fork and decide which one you will take. The motivation you bring to your sport, your commitment and determination to achieve your ski racing goals, the priority that you place on those goals, and the competing forces acting as a siren’s call for your attention, time, and energy will dictate which road you take and whether you ultimately accomplish your goals.

Efforts = Goals?

An important question for you to ask yourself as you are faced with these forks in the road is whether your efforts are consistent with your goals. In other words, are you putting forth enough effort to achieve your ski racing goals? I see a lot of young ski racers with big goals, but when I ask them whether their efforts equal their goals, few are willing to raise their hands. But one thing is for sure; if your efforts aren’t in line with your goals, you will not accomplish them. You have two choices, either increase your efforts to match your goals or reduce your goals to match your effort. Again, there is no clear fork to take here, just the fork that you choose.

The Question to Ask

If you have made a true commitment to becoming the best ski racer you can be and are willing to “put your money where your mouth is,” then when faced with difficult forks in the road, you can ask yourself one simple question: “Will it help me ski faster?” This question takes all of the complexities of the many competing forces and boils them down to one simple notion that lies at the heart of being the best ski racer you can be. This question also provides a clear distinction when you are tempted by other forces in your lives, most notably, screen time, sleep, and nutrition.

Once you’ve made a real commitment to your ski racing, this “will it help me ski faster?” question filters all of the forks in the road you face and makes your choice of the fork to take abundantly clear.

Especially for young racers who are still figuring out their priorities and their commitments, one of the most common responses I hear when they are faced with a fork in the road is: “I don’t feel like it today.” This reaction often comes when they are confronted with a fork in the road between short-term fun and long-term commitment to our sport. I hear this when racers are required to choose whether to take extra training runs, get in additional days on snow during the off-season prep period, when they are tired and aren’t in the mood to work out, and when they would like to run around the hotel with their friends the night before a race. Each of these situations is a test of racers’ commitment to their ski racing.

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

-Jonathan Field, 5-time martial arts world champion

It’s Not Just Racers’ Commitment

As the saying goes, “It takes a village,” and that applies to ski racing as well. When ski racers make a commitment to our sport, they’re not the only ones making a commitment. Most notably, their parents are also making a significant commitment of time, energy, money, and sometimes making big sacrifices in their own lives like moving to the mountains or separating from spouses and other children. This commitment from parents makes the ongoing commitment of young racers especially important. For sure, parents don’t always feel like writing big checks, waking up at 5:30am to drive their kids to early-bird training, and tuning their kids’ skis, but they do it anyway because they want to support their children’s passion for something that is as positive and healthy as ski racing. In turn, young ski racers need to reciprocate in a similarly committed fashion by making choices that also best support their ski racing goals. Without an alignment of commitment between racers and their parents, there are going to be some very frustrated parents and some very unhappy racers. At these forks in the road, racers should always go back to the basic question I suggested that they ask first: “Will it help me ski faster?” Then, when they take the good road, everyone wins.

Want to make get your mind in the best shape of your ski racing life during the prep period? Take a look at my online mental training courses for ski racers, coaches, and parents.

Alpine Collegiate Forum Kicks off Annual U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, wrapped day one of its annual congress in Park City, Utah, with an alpine collegiate forum. The event featured a coaches panel hosted by U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Development Director, Chip Knight.
The goal of the forum was to bring together a range of people from across the alpine ski racing community including college coaches, athletes, parents, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard staff to network, learn more about college skiing and to hear details comparing and contrasting different college programs, including the offerings of the U.S. Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA). Among the discussion points were how NCAA Division 1 alpine skiing fits into U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s national development pipeline.
The event was streamed live and is available to watch on demand via this link.
“It was a great way to start our 2019 Congress, covering a topic that is of huge interest to many people involved with ski racing across the country,” said Knight, himself a former NCAA coach and World Cup athlete. “The relationship between our national development program and the NCAA system is important and it was great to have the chance to debate and discuss this topic with a range of people with huge investments in the development of young American athletes.”
Picking up on this theme was U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s President, and CEO, Tiger Shaw, who said “as a former college athlete myself, I understand the importance of the relationship between the NCAA and elite levels of skiing. There are multiple pathways to the highest levels of the alpine World Cup – some have made it through this route to the top and it is critical to understand its role in all stages of development. Education is important to Americans and the U.S. Ski Team has a long history of developing the whole athlete, funding athlete career and education programs that, ultimately help make better athletes. At the same time, many understand that it takes complete commitment to make it to the top ranks. This discussion was both lively and interesting as it touched on many aspects of the work we are all doing to be the best while keeping the interests of the athletes first and at the heart of everything we do.”
Edie Thys Morgan has compiled a collegiate ski racing history and reference paper which provides much detail on college racing, available for download HERE.

LEKI Offers Third Annual Full Ride Scholarship to Party Beach Ski Camps

LEKI is excited to announce the third annual LEKI Full Ride Scholarship to the Party Beach Ski Camps, which will award one deserving junior ski racer the ultimate opportunity to train with premier level coaches at one of the top summer training locations in the country. The scholarship includes registration fees for one week of camp at Mt. Hood, air travel to and from camp, and LEKI race gear.

Coached by former ski racers and inspirational ski consultants Marcus Caston and Lyndsay Strange, Party Beach Ski Camps provides unique and inclusive ski race training for skiers of all ages. The camp offers training based on freeskiing and racing slalom and GS. The ultimate goal of Party Beach Camps is to instill the “love of skiing” into campers and to create an environment where kids are able to see and use skiing as a tool to express themselves.

LEKI will offer this scholarship to one junior ski racer, male or female, who demonstrates not only financial need but also a commitment to hard work both on and off the slopes. Skiers can fill out the form HERE and post a photo on Instagram with the caption explaining why they love to ski, tagging @lekiusa and @partybeachskicamps, and use the hashtag #lekionthebeach #skithebeach. Applications will be accepted through May 24, 2019.

The Party Beach Ski Camps runs three sessions in summer 2019.

Release courtesy of LEKI.

Italy Names 2019-20 Alpine Roster

The Italian Ski Federation (FISI) has announced it’s alpine rosters for the 2019-20 season. With 77 men and women making up the World Cup and Europa Cup teams, FISI looks to build on the momentum of last season and carry that into the 2020 winter. World Cup Finals will take place in Cortina d’Ampezzo next march and the host nation will certainly look to have a strong showing.

WOMEN’S ELITE WORLD CUP GROUP

Brignone Federica 07/14/1990 CS Carabinieri
Goggia Sofia 15/11/1992 GS Yellow Flames

WOMEN’S MULTIPURPOSE WORLD CUP GROUP

Bassino Marta 27/02/1996 CS Army
Curtoni Elena 03/02/1991 CS Army
Delago Nadia 12/11/1997 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Delago Nicol 05/01/1996 GS Yellow Flames
Fanchini Elena 04/30/1985 GS Yellow Flames
Fanchini Nadia 06/25/1986 GS Yellow Flames
Verena Gasslitter 12/10/1996 CS Carabinieri
Marsaglia Francesca 01/27/1990 CS Army
Melesi Roberta 18/07/1996 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Pichler Karoline 30/10/1994 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Pirovano Laura 20/11/1997 GS Yellow Flames
Schnarf Johanna 09/16/1984 GS Yellow Flames

WOMEN’S SLALOM WORLD CUP GROUP

Curtoni Irene 08/11/1985 CS Army
Della Mea Lara 01/10/1999 CS Army
Gulli Anita 26/06/1998 CS Army
Insam Vivien 15/07/1997 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Midali Roberta 10/11/1994 CS Army
Peterlini Martina 24/10/1997 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Rossetti Marta 25/03/1999 GS Fiamme Oro Moena

WOMEN’S EUROPA CUP GROUP TECHNICAL DISCIPLINES

Bertani Luisa Matilde Maria 06/14/1996 Ski Racing Camp AD
Fanti Francesca 01/25/1999 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Lorenzi Lucrezia 06/05/1998 CS Army
Platinum Elisa 08/01/1999 CS Carabinieri
Sandulli Elena 14/01/2000 GS Yellow Flames
Saracco Carlotta 10/07/1999 CS Army
Tschurtschenthaler Vera 03/30/1997 Amateursportclub Gsiesertal
Unterholzner Petra 09/10/1999 CS Carabinieri

WOMEN’S EUROPA CUP GROUP SPEED DISCIPLINES

Albano Giulia 18/12/1999 SC Mont Glacier ASD
Cillara Rossi Valentina 05/15/1994 GS Yellow Flames
From Canal Carlotta 03/12/1999 Ski Club Chamolè ASD
Dellantonio Sara 20/06/1997 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Marta joints 25/02/1997 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Pizzato Sofia 20/10/1998 CS Army
Runggaldier Teresa 12/04/1999 GS Yellow Flames
Sosio Federica 07/04/1994 CS Army
Zanoner Monica 14/04/1999 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Zenere Asja 13/12/1996 CS Carabinieri

MEN’S ELITE WORLD CUP GROUP

Innerhofer Christof 17/12/1984 GS Yellow Flames
Paris Dominik 04/14/1989 CS Carabinieri

MEN’S WORLD CUP GROUP SPEED DISCIPLINES

Buzzi Emanuele 27/10/1994 CS Carabinieri
Fill Peter 12/11/1982 CS Carabinieri

MEN’S GROUP “A2” SPEED DISCIPLINES

Casse Mattia 02/19/1990 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Marsaglia Matteo 05/10/1985 CS Army

MEN’S WORLD CUP GROUP TECHNICAL DISCIPLINES  

De Aliprandini Luca 01/09/1990 GS Yellow Flames
Gross Stefano 09/04/1986 GS Yellow Flames
Moelgg Manfred 06/03/1982 GS Yellow Flames
Razzoli Giuliano 18/12/1984 CS Army
Tonetti Riccardo 05/14/1989 GS Yellow Flames

MEN’S GROUP “A2” TECHNICAL DISCIPLINES

Ballerin Andrea 02/01/1989 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Giovanni Borsotti 18/12/1990 CS Carabinieri
Liberatore Federico 28/08/1995 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Maurberger Simon 20/02/1995 CS Carabinieri
Sala Tommaso 09/06/1995 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Vinatzer Alex 22/09/1999 GS Yellow Flames
Zingerle Hannes 04/11/1995 CS Carabinieri

MEN’S GROUP OF NATIONAL INTEREST

Bacher Fabian 04/04/1993 CS Carabinieri
Bosca Giulio Giovanni 03/02/1990 CS Army
Ronci Giordano 12/10/1992 CS Army
Sorio Daniele 08/04/1994 CS Army
Zazzi Pietro 22/07/1994 Reit Ski Team Bormio

MEN’S GROUP EUROPA CUP SPEED DISCIPLINES

Battilani Henri 02/27/1994 CS Army
Bosca Guglielmo 06/05/1993 CS Army
Cason Mattia 01/06/1999 CS Carabinieri
Cazzaniga Davide 06/06/1992 CS Army
Molteni Nicolò 27/07/1998 CS Army
Paini Federico 09/03/1995 CS Carabinieri
Prast Alexander 07/07/1996 CS Carabinieri
Schieder Florian 26/12/1995 CS Carabinieri
Simoni Federico 01/24/1997 CS Carabinieri

MEN’S EUROPA CUP GROUP TECHNICAL DISCIPLINES

Canzio Pietro 26/02/1998 GS Fiamme Oro Moena
Gori Francesco 24/12/1997 CS Army
Kastlunger Tobias 09/09/1999 GS Yellow Flames
Moling Samuel 11/06/1998 CS Aeronautica Militare
Vaccari Hans 30/07/1996 CS Army
Zuccarini Giulio 02/10/1997 GS Fiamme Oro Moena

Release courtesy of FISI.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names 38 Athletes to 2019-20 Roster

Double Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and three-time FIS Ski World Cup winner and veteran Steven Nyman headline the list of athletes that U.S. Ski & Snowboard has nominated to the U.S. Ski Team for the 2019-20 season. Nominations include those active athletes who qualified based on published selection criteria in the prior season.

The 2019-20 season will feature World Cup Finals in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, from March 18-22, 2020. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a favorite classic venue on the women’s World Cup circuit where the U.S. women’s speed team has enjoyed a lot of success. Cortina is also the site of the 2021 FIS Ski World Championships.

“I am pleased to share that our A, B, and C team athletes will be fully travel-funded for the 2019-20 season and will be able to go into prep period camps with the ability to focus purely on athletics,” said Alpine Director Jesse Hunt. “Thanks to commercial sponsors, the Bob Beattie Travel Fund, USOC Direct Athlete Support, dedicated trustees and donor gifts to our Foundation, as well as dedicated fundraising activities carried out by athletes, multiple arms of the organization have been working together to make this happen. The organization has also made significant headway in our efforts to decrease travel costs at the development team level, where members will be responsible for no more than $10,000 in travel and training costs with their team.”

The 38 athletes nominated will be supported by a strong coaching staff. Notable staffing additions include Randy Pelkey taking the helm on the World Cup Men’s Speed side, alongside longtime U.S. Ski Team men’s coaches Scotty Veenis and Josh Applegate. On the men’s World Cup Tech side, Will Courtney joins Forest Carey and Ian Garner as an assistant coach and strength and conditioning coach. Ryan Wilson will join Carey and Garner to focus on supporting men’s slalom at the World Cup level. Matt Underhill will lead the Europa Cup/NorAm teams on the men’s side. Katie Twible joins the women’s NorAm coaching staff, working with Magnus Andersson and Kris Shampeny.

Athletes nominated to the team have already opened the season with their first on-snow training camps in late April at official U.S. Ski & Snowboard training sites Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley, Calif., as well as physical testing at the certified U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence in South Lake Tahoe, located on the Barton Health medical campus, which was officially unveiled as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence in 2018.

An official U.S. Alpine Ski Team team announcement will be made in the fall.

2019-20 Alpine Nominations
(Hometown; Club; Birthdate)

A TEAM
Men
Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1992)
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR; Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation; 3/20/1989)
Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 7/14/1988)
Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard; 8/31/1984)
Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah; Park City Ski and Snowboard/Sundance Ski Team; 2/12/1982)                     

Women
Breezy Johnson (Victor, Idaho; Rowmark Ski Academy; 1/19/1996)
Alice McKennis (New Castle, Colo.; Sunlight Winter Sports Club/Rowmark Ski Academy; 8/18/1989)
Laurenne Ross (Bend, Ore.; Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation; 8/17/1988)
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 3/13/1995)
Jacqueline Wiles (Aurora, Ore.; White Pass Ski Club; 7/13/1992)

B TEAM
Men

Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.; Cochran’s/Mount Mansfield Ski & Snowboard Club; 3/27/1992)
Jared Goldberg (Holladay, Utah; Snowbird Sports Education Foundation; 6/15/1991)
Brian McLaughlin (Waitsfield, Vt.; Dartmouth College/Green Mountain Valley School; 6/24/1993)
Sam Morse (Carrabassett Valley, Maine; Carrabassett Valley Academy; 5/27/1996)
Kyle Negomir (Littleton, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/3/1998)
River Radamus (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 2/12/1998)
Ben Ritchie (Waitsfield, VT; Green Mountain Valley School; 9/5/2000)
Luke Winters (Gresham, Ore.; Sugar Bowl Academy; 4/2/1997)

Women
Keely Cashman (Strawberry, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 4/4/1999)
AJ Hurt (Carnelian Bay, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 12/5/2000)
Alice Merryweather (Hingham, Mass.; Attitash Race Team/Stratton Mountain School; 10/5/1996)
Paula Moltzan (Prior Lake, Minn.; University of Vermont/Buck Hill Ski Team/Ski and Snowboard Club Vail; 4/7/1994)
Nina O’Brien (Edwards, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Squaw Valley Ski Team; 11/29/1997)

C TEAM
Men

Cooper Cornelius (Glenwood Springs, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski Club; 6/20/1999)
Bridger Gile (Aspen, Colo., Aspen Valley Ski Club and Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 10/15/1999)*
George Steffey (Lyme, N.H.; Stratton Mountain School; 8/8/1997)

Women
Abi Jewett (Ripton, Vt.; Green Mountain Valley School; 1/10/2000)
Katie Hensien (Redmond, Wash.; Rowmark Ski Academy; 12/1/1999)
Galena Wardle (Aspen, Colo.; Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; 4/24/1998)

DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Men

Jacob Dilling (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, 10/19/1999)*
Kellen Kinsella (Edwards, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 8/7/2001)*
Isaiah Nelson (Wayzata, MN.; Buck Hill Ski Racing Club; 4/3/2001)
Jack Smith (Sun Valley, Idaho; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation; 4/24/2001)*

Women
Lauren Macuga (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard; 7/4/2002)*
Ainsley Proffit (St. Louis, MO; Sugar Bowl Ski Team & Academy; 3/21/2001)
Emma Resnick (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 7/23/2003)*
Alix Wilkinson (Mammoth Lakes, Calif.; Squaw Valley Ski Team; 8/2/2000)*
Zoe Zimmermann (Gilford, N.H.; Burke Mountain Academy; 5/16/2002)

*Newly named to the U.S. Ski Team

Release courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names Athletes, Coaches of the Year

Record-setting alpine ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin headlined a host of athletes and coaches honored by U.S. Ski & Snowboard for the 2019 season. Shiffrin was named the winner of the Beck International Award as the top athlete across all sports. U.S. Ski & Snowboard snowboardcross coach Jeff Archibald was named Coach of the Year while freeski coach Ryan Wyble was recognized as the Development Coach of the Year.

Shiffrin had yet another historic season with 17 World Cup wins in 26 starts, bringing her career victory total to 60. She won season titles in the overall FIS World Cup as well as slalom, giant slalom, and super-G – the first skier ever to accomplish that feat.

“While we had some tremendous athletic success across our sports, Mikaela’s accomplishments this past season were truly unprecedented,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Sport Luke Bodensteiner.

“This past season still feels like a dream to me,” said Shiffrin. “Winning one World Cup is no small feat – but sustaining that level of excellence 17 times wouldn’t have been possible without the tirelessly hardworking and supportive group of people I am honored to call my team.”

One of Shiffrin’s fondest memories of the season was the huge outpouring of support with 35,000 fans on home snow at Killington, Vermont, where she picked up a slalom win.

“A special thank you goes out to all of the club coaches and volunteers out there who pour themselves into their work for the love of the sport, in order to make dreams come true,” she added. “I was one of those kids in the past and I wouldn’t be here without all that kind of support.”

Archibald, a former international competitor himself, has built one of the strongest snowboardcross teams in the world leading his athletes to 112 World Cup podiums including 40 wins, plus four Olympic medals. This past season his athletes rode to five World Cup podiums and won double gold at the World Championships with Mick Dierdorff taking men’s gold and then teaming with Lindsey Jacobellis to win the first mixed gender team event.

“I knew I was stepping down from my coaching position after the season so to do so well at World Championships on home snow and getting nominated as coach of the year is extra special,” said Archibald.

Wyble, the head freeski coach at Park City Ski & Snowboard, has developed athletes at all levels in his eight years coaching. This past season he had six athletes named to Junior World Championship teams. Most notably, he has distinguished himself by extending his leadership on the regional and national level.

“There are many coaches working at this level who all do an incredible job so it’s an honor to be recognized amongst that group,” said Wyble. “I have a unique job, where I get to work with a lot of great athletes at different levels, and it’s always rewarding to watch these kids progress as athletes and as people in general.”

“Recognition of coaches for their accomplishments is a vital part of our education and certification process,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Director of Sport Education Gar Trayner. “Our overall and sport coaches of the year have set an outstanding example for others as role models.”

U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognized the top athlete, international coach, and development coach in each of its sport programs. The awards will be presented Thursday, May 16 during the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress in Park City, Utah.

ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Adaptive – Thomas Walsh
Paralympian Thomas Walsh had a strong season on the Para Alpine World Cup with four podiums including a win, along with two Para Alpine World Championship bronze medals. He is a strong five-discipline skier who also lead Team USA to bronze in the first-ever World Cup team event. Walsh capped his strong season with national titles in slalom and giant slalom.

Alpine – Mikaela Shiffrin (see above)

Cross Country – Junior Worlds Men’s Relay Team
In a storybook ending to a very successful Junior World Championships, the men’s 4x10k relay team took gold – the first ever gold won by the USA at the FIS Junior World Cross Country Ski Championships. Three of the four athletes had set the stage a year earlier winning silver. The team included: Gus Schumacher, Ben Ogden, Johnny Hagenbuch, and Luke Jager.

Freeski – Aaron Blunck
Two-time Olympian Aaron Blunck had a standout season, claiming a repeat gold in halfpipe at the World Championships and winning the opening Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain and finishing second a week later at the Dew Tour.

Freestyle – Bradley Wilson
Olympian Bradley Wilson is known for his sportsmanship, work ethic and orientation to goals. This past season he led the men’s moguls team winning his second consecutive World Championships silver medal in dual moguls.

Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined – Tara Geraghty-Moats 
Nordic combined skier Tara Geraghty-Moats played a vital role in the rapidly-growing women’s nordic combined international field, winning 10 Continental Cups and taking the season title in a year where the international field more than doubled. Geraghty-Moats also took the U.S. title and landed a berth as a special ski jumper on the U.S World Championship Team. As an athlete advocate, she served an important pioneering role with women’s nordic combined which will join the World Championships in 2021.

Snowboard – Mick Dierdorff 
Veteran Mick Dierdorff rode to a pair of stunning gold medals in the 2019 World Championships at Solitude Mountain Resort. Dierdorff opened the championships with the men’s gold then came back to pair up with teammate Lindsey Jacobellis to win the first ever mixed gender team event title.

SPORT INTERNATIONAL COACHES OF YEAR

Alpine – Paul Kristofic, Head Women’s Alpine Coach
Working at the international level for over two decades, Paul Kristofic has gained the respect of peers around the world. This past season he provided leadership to support Mikaela Shiffrin in her record-setting season with 17 World Cup wins and four crystal globes, as well as the women’s team’s four World Championship medals between Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn.

Cross Country – Jan Buron, Alaska Winter Stars
A veteran club coach, Jan Buron of the Alaska Winter Stars program has developed many top athletes. This past season his work with junior skier Gus Schumacher, whom he has coached for the athlete’s entire career, led to the USA winning gold in the men’s relay at the Junior World Championships.

Freestyle – Caleb Martin, U.S. Ski Team Moguls Coach
Olympian Caleb Martin’s leadership, professionalism, and commitment to a winning culture have led to strong success of his U.S. Ski Team moguls athletes over his years as a coach.

Freeski – Dave Euler, Freeski Rookie Team Coach
In his first season at the helm of the Freeski Rookie Team, Dave Euler brought in an inspiring enthusiasm and positivity which quickly translated to his athletes. It was a strong season at every level, led by Mac Forehand’s overall World Cup title plus a dominating performance at Junior World Championships.

Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined – Jan Druzina, Junior/Continental Cup Ski Jumping Coach
Jan Druzina came to USA Nordic as a Junior Team and Continental Cup coach for men’s ski jumping a year ago. Since then, he has visited every club to speak with coaches and parents, working together to build a strong junior program. The result was a definitive step up this year with Andrew Urlaub and Patrick Gasienica qualifying for their first World Championships and Urlaub taking a top-30 at Junior Worlds plus three top-30 Continental Cups.

DOMESTIC COACHES OF THE YEAR

Alpine – Matt Underhill, Independent
A longtime Ski & Snowboard Club Vail coach, Matt Underhill branched out on his own this past season as an independent coach. Two of his athletes established themselves as best in their age class and qualified for nomination to the U.S. Ski Team.

Cross Country – Alasdair Tutt, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks
Kendall Kramer, coached by Alasdair Tutt,  was 4th in the 15km mass start classic in her first time at Junior World Ski Championships.  Kendall will also represent USA at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games.

Freeski – Ryan Wyble (see above)

Freestyle – Bryon Wilson, Wasatch Freestyle
Olympian Bryon Wilson has transformed from bronze medalist to an outstanding moguls coach for Wasatch Freestyle. His athletes are benefiting from his ability to translate his own experience as a successful athlete into leadership and skills he is passing on.

Ski Jumping – Karl Denney, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
Karl Denney is having a strong impact on junior ski jumping and nordic combined athletes. In his tenure, two of his ski jumpers and three nordic combined skiers have made the national team. An additional six athletes were named to the Junior National Team and seven qualified for Junior Worlds. His athletes took 15 podiums at Junior Nationals including seven wins.

Snowboard – Chris Waker, Kirk’s Camp 
A level 200 coach with over six seasons coaching, Chris Waker of Kirk’s Camp had multiple Rev Tour podiums this season and graduated two athletes to the Rookie Team.

Release courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Sweden Announces 2019-20 National Team Roster

After a World Championships at home, there will be 27 women and 20 men who will represent the Swedish Alpine National Team in the 2019-20 season. Some familiar names are already at the top, but also some new faces that look forward to taking further steps in their development. The selected squad gives the Swedes strong opportunities for achieving results while building for the future, says the alpine boss Tommy Eliasson Winter.

“An exciting squad in which I look forward to seeing how the girls can take the additional step in the 2019-20 season,” said Women’s Head Coach Lars Melin. “In the World Cup last year there were many who showed their speed and I hope that we can continue to develop in that direction so that additional skiers can establish themselves in the absolute top. In the European Cup and not least Junior World Championships, we had great success last year and it is a strong generation of skiers in the talent tube that we look forward with excitement to how they will develop.”

“In the coming season, we want to focus the competition in the men’s team, a targeted investment to really make an effort to make the most of the generation shift we are in,” added Men’s Head Coach Fredrik Kingstad. “It feels extremely inspiring that Andre Myhrer and Matts Olsson will continue their efforts, both because they are riders in the absolute top layer, but also as two natural leaders and inspirations on the technology side. On the junior side, it is a wonderful print in the system where we saw great progress both at the individual level and as a group as a whole during last year and it will be exciting to follow that development. We are really looking forward to the coming season.”

The Women’s Team – 27 riders

Training Group 1
Estelle Alphand, Åre SLK
Anna Swenn-Larsson, Rättviks SLK
Emelie Wikström, IFK Sävsjö
Sara Hector, Kungsbergets AK
Magdalena Fjällström, Tärna IK Fjällvinden
Ylva Stålnacke, Kiruna BK
Charlotta Säfvenberg, UHSK Umeå SK

Training Group Speed
Lisa Hörnblad, High Coast AK
Lin Ivarsson, Åre SLK
Helena Rapaport, Mälaröarnas Alpina SK
Ida Dannewitz, Uppsala SLK

Training Group 2
Sara Rask, Sollentuna SLK
Elsa Håkansson-Fermbäck, Vemdalens IF
Michelle Kervén, Huddinge SK AF
Jonna Luthman, Åre SLK
Hilma Lövblom, Täby SLK
Emelie Henning, Järfälla AK
Liv Ceder, Sollentuna SLK
Lisa Nyberg, Åre SLK
Moa Boström-Müssener, Uppsala SLK
Hanna Aronsson-Elfman, Kils SLK

Training Group 3
Moa Clementson, Uppsala SLK
Hedda Martelleur, Uppsala SLK
Julia Digerfors, Sollentuna SLK
Melanie Dahlberg, Landskrona Ski-Club
Emma Sahlin, Sollentuna SLK
Wilma Marklund, UHSK Umeå SK

The Men’s Team – 20 riders

Training Group 1
André Myhrer, Bergsjö Hassela AK
Matts Olsson, Valfjällets SLK
Mattias Rönngren, Åre SLK
Kristoffer Jakobsen, Storklintens AK Skalp

Training Group Speed
Alexander Köll, Landskrona Ski-Club
Felix Monsén, Åre SLK

Training Group 2
Tobias Hedström, Duveds IF
Jesper Brändholm, Sälens IF
Carl Jonsson, Klövsjö Alpina
Olle Sundin, Djurgårdens IF AF
Gustav Lundbäck, Luleå AK
Tobias Windingstad, Jönköping SLK

Training Group 3
Lukas Karlberg, Alpine islands of the lake Mälaren Islands
William Hansson, Alpina of the Mälaren islands SK
Alfred Olsson, Vemdalens IF
Axel Lindqvist, Sundsvall SLK
Gustaf Lindqvist, Sundsvall SLK
William Jonsson, Klövsjö Alpina
Johan Hagberg, Avesta Alpina Club
Adam Hofstedt, Karlstad SLK

Release courtesy of the Swedish Ski Federation.

LEKI Announces 2019 Ligety-Weibrecht Scholarship Winner

LEKI is proud to announce 15-year-old Cody Jarels from Vermont as the winner of the 2019 LEKI Full Ride Scholarship to the Ligety-Weibrecht Ski Camp. Jarels has been ski racing since he was 13 years old and will race with his school team at St. Johnsbury Academy next season.

While there were so many great and worthy applicants, Jarels stood out as the third annual recipient of the LEKI Full Ride Scholarship to Ligety-Weibrecht Ski Camp. Not only is he a ski instructor for youngsters just starting out on the slopes, but he is also a volunteer firefighter and coaches youth soccer in his community.

“What struck me about Cody was his commitment to helping out in his community and his passion for continuing ski racing despite obstacles,” said Greg Wozer, VP LEKI USA. “We wish Cody the best of luck at camp this summer and support his continued training, education, and service to others.”

The scholarship provides Jarels with an all-expenses paid trip where he will train with premier-level coaches at the Ligety-Weibrecht Ski Camp at Mt. Hood, Oregon, one of the top summer training locations in the country. He will also be fully equipped with new LEKI race gear for the upcoming race season.

“I can’t thank you enough, this is definitely a dream come true and I look forward to this amazing opportunity,” said Jarels.

Release courtesy of LEKI USA.

Norway Names 2019-20 Roster

There are 16 male and 14 female athletes who have been offered space on the 2019-20 Norwegian alpine national teams. Norway as an alpine nation has never had more athletes on the national teams than last winter with 36. The number of athletes ranked top 100 in the world, athletes performing at World Cup, Europa Cup, Junior World Championship, and FIS races, shows a historically wide range of Norwegian alpine sports talent on both the women’s and men’s side. The number of athletes on national teams for the coming season must be reduced due to savings on the financial side.

“The Norwegian federation must do this to ensure better operation,” said Sports Director Claus Johan Ryste. “This means that this year’s roster had extra hard competition. The Norwegian team will continue the practice of athletes performing in the European Cup before getting into teams during the season.”

New Names for Teams

The names of the various levels of the national team for the coming season is based on a new division, with the former European Cup and World Cup statuses given new names. For next season, the associated A, B, and C teams will be introduced. The difference between the groups is based on world ranking. To give an athlete A status, top 15 rankings in one discipline are required, B status requires top 30 rankings, as well as coach scores, while C status is the rest of the athletes being scored.

The reason for this change is the Norwegian federation wanting a greater flexibility in the programs as an alpine nation with more athletes performing on different branches and levels. The most important thing is the training program for the individual athletes and practice shows that training groups and status can be two different things throughout the season. A, B, and C status is something the Norwegians want to build on for the future, and they understand that it will take some time to get used to a new set of teams, but for athletes and coaches, day-to-day practices will not change, explains Ryste.

Alpine national teams season 2019-2020:
A status, women
• Ragnhild Mowinckel, Sports club Rival
• Nina Loeseth, Spjelkavik IL
• Kristin Anna Lysdahl, Asker Ski club
• Thea Stjernesund, Hakadal IL

B status, women
• Mina Fuerst Holtmann, Bærums Ski Club
• Kajsa Vickhoff Lie, Bærums Ski Club
• Maren Skjoeld, Gjøvik Ski Club
• Maria Tviberg, Geilo IL
• Kristina Riis-Johannessen, Ready
• Kaja Norbye, IL Heming

C status, women
• Marte Monsen, Aron Sports club
• Marte Berg Edseth, IL Heming
• Hannah Sæthereng, Harestua IL
• Kristiane Bekkestad, Ål IL

The selections were made by Tim Gfeller, Erik Skaslien, and Claus Johan Ryste. The Alpine Committee has approved the selections.

A status, men

  • Leif Kristian Nestvold Haugen, Lommedalen’s IL
  • Kjetil Jansrud, Peer Gynt Alpin
  • Henrik Kristoffersen, Rælingen Ski Club
  • Alexander Aamodt Kilde, Lommedalen’s IL
  • Rasmus Windingstad, Bærums Ski Club
  • Adrian Smiseth Sejersted, Stabæk IF

B status, men

  • Sebastian Johann Foss Solevag, Spjelkavik IL
  • Jonathan Nordbotten, Ingierkollen / Rustad Slalåmklubb
  • Bjoernar Neteland, Fana IL
  • Timon Haugan, Oppdal alpine
  • Lucas Braathen, Bærums Ski Club

C status, men

  • Bjoern Brudevoll, Hemsedal IL
  • Fabian Wilkens Solheim, IL Heming
  • Atle Lie Mcgrath, Bærums Ski Club

The selections were made by Steve Skavik, Johnny Davidson, and Claus Johan Ryste. The Alpine Committee has approved the selections.

Landscape para elite alpine:

  • Jesper Saltvik Pedersen, Plogen IL
  • Marcus Grasto Nilsson, Ready

The selections have been made by Hans Blattmann, Einar Witteveen, and Claus Johan Ryste. The Alpine Committee has approved the selections.

Release courtesy of the Norwegian Ski Federation.

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