U.S. Ski & Snowboard Pilots Freestyle Mogul Development Team
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced today the creation of a pilot development program for the U.S. Freestyle Mogul Ski Team. The addition of a Development Team (D Team) signifies an evolutionary change in how U.S. Ski & Snowboard, together with its regional and club network, will approach future national team selection and development programming for the discipline. The creation of the D Team seeks to reinforce U.S. Ski & Snowboard as a dominant presence in mogul skiing and provide a clear pathway to success for Olympic hopefuls in 2026 and beyond.
“Mogul skiing has a long history of success in America, it’s a tradition and community we’re proud of, and it’s critical that we continue to be well positioned for the future,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Head Mogul Coach Matt Gnoza. “We conducted an analysis of our development pipeline, as well as that of other key nations in our sport, and saw the need for bridging the gap from club-level to national team level. By being able to better identify athletes who show talent, skill and promise, and bring them into the fold earlier, we will better enable future generations of American mogul skiers.”
The D Team marks a shift in programming from a nationally-managed team to a shared elite development model between U.S. Ski & Snowboard and clubs. A cornerstone of the program is collaboration with the club network as athletes nominated to the D Team will work with U.S. Ski & Snowboard at Team camps and events, but continue to work with their home clubs for day-to-day training throughout their season. Club coaches and national team coaches will integrate and share knowledge for training and athletic objectives. Through this effort U.S. Ski & Snowboard will seek to create a deeper pool of elite developing athletes up to 20 years old, as well as create a better transition path from the regional club level to national team nomination.
Athletes nominated to the program will receive invitations to attend select Team prep camps; access to the USANA Center of Excellence and Official Training Site Utah Olympic Park; access to sports science, nutrition, fitness, and career and education support services; Team gear; among other benefits.
In this pilot year four nominations were determined based off of the 11th FIS points list of the 2021 season for FIS junior age-eligible athletes and therefore participation is limited to competitors ages fourteen to nineteen in the calendar year of the approaching season. D Team criteria will be included in national team published criteria for the 2022-23 season, and beyond.
2021-22 Freestyle Mogul Development Team Nominations
(Hometown; Club; Birthdate)
- Elizabeth Lemley (Vail, Colo.; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail; 1/22/2006)
- Ali Macuga (Park City, Utah; Park City Ski & Snowboard; 9/24/2003)
- Dylan Marcellini (Walnut Creek, Calif.; Wasatch Freestyle; 9/29/2002)
- Cole McDonald (Park City, Utah; Wasatch Freestyle; 3/6/2003)