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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Sustainability

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, a national and global leader in snow sports, is committed to addressing climate change and stewarding sustainability of winter sports. Millions globally are inspired by winter sports and enjoy healthy, active lifestyles in winter environments. Climate change threatens our winter environments with receding glaciers, rising sea levels, volatile weather cycles and less snowfall.

Aerials Wraps the 2021 Water Ramping Season

By Lara Carlton
October, 14 2021
Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld
Justin Schoenefeld and Chris Lillis during training at Utah Olympic Park (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Christian Raguse @gooser)

The aerial skiers of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team took their last water ramp laps at the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool at Official Training site Utah Olympic Park on October 7, closing out their domestic summer prep period. 

 

 

“We had a long, productive summer water ramping season,” said Head Aerials Coach Vladimir (Vlad) Lebedev. “All athletes did well, everyone had great improvements in their degree of difficulty and in their jumping qualities. The team is looking strong.”

Over the course of the summer, in cooperation with the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, U.S. Ski & Snowboard hosted two water ramp competitions to simulate World Championships and Olympic event formats. “It was crucial that we had these competition simulations,” explained Lebedev. “The last time we competed was in March. So it was important for the coaching staff to see where the athletes were in terms of performance under pressure. This will be good experience for the athletes to draw from in our first World Cups of the season.”

Justin Schoenefeld won both water ramp competitions with his newly trained double-full full double-full. Schoenefeld will look to bring his quint to snow and competition for the 2021-22 season. He will be the second current male U.S. aerial skier to have a quint in his arsenal as Chris Lillis brought the quint to competition last seasonbecoming the first American to compete a quint since the late Jeret “Speedy” Peterson. 

“Winning both of the water ramp competitions we had this summer with my quint twists is a huge confidence booster,” said Schoenefeld. “It confirmed for me that all of my water ramp training is prepping me for this competition season. It was also extremely fun to win alongside my teammate and girlfriend Ashley. I’m looking forward to new tricks this winter and performing my best this Olympic season.”

On the women’s side Ashley Caldwell reigned supreme in both competitions. Caldwell won with The Daddya full double-full fulla trick with which she won the 2017 World Championships and earned a World Record. 

 

 

Up next for the aerials crew is a dryland training camp at the USANA Center of Excellence before heading to snow in Ruka, Finland in November. Unlike other disciplines, aerials does not chase snow during the prep season, and it has been half a year since athletes’ skis touched an aerial site. “The whole team is pretty excited to travel to Ruka and get underway,” said Lebedev. “We’ll have about two and a half weeks of on-snow training before six World Cups back to back weekends in early December.”

The 2021-22 season is a big one with the Olympic Winter Games on the horizon and on every athlete’s mind. Aerials will have two medal opportunities with the debut of the Team event. Lebedev, who is the bronze medalist from 2006, knows the kind of pressure that can put on an athlete first-hand. 

“Obviously our biggest focus and pressure is the Olympics,” he said. “But it’s going to be better as soon as we start jumping on snow. The pressure will lessen because the athletes will know what they have to do. They will feel way better getting back to what they do best. We will go through the season set by step, focusing on our immediate tasks rather than solely focusing on February. In December I want everyone thinking about the World Cups, not about what may or may not happen in Beijing.”

 

Forehands Host Hugely Successful Freeski, Snowboard Fundraiser

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 14 2021
Freeski, Snowboard Fundraiser
Carlie Gnoza (left), Tristan Fienberg, Alex Hall, Hunter Henderson, Cody LaPlante, coach Dave Euler, and Mac Forehand, were among the athletes and staff on hand for the Freeski and Snowboard Team fundraiser in Winhall, Vermont on Oct. 9, 2021.

Winhall, Vermont was a busy place this past Saturday as the community and beyond came together to rally behind the U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams by raising more than $100,000 at their first-ever in-person fundraiser.  

Hosted by Ray and Ann Marie Forehand, parents of U.S. Freeski slopestyle athlete Mac Forehand, this incredible event was full of fans and supporters alike creating a fun-filled, lively atmosphere. There was delicious food and live music by local favorite, The Lustre Kings.  

“What an amazing night celebrating the future stars of U.S. Freeski and Snowboard!”, said Freeski legend and master of ceremonies for the evening, Tom Wallisch. “The Forehands hosted a party for the ages, and it was so nice to catch up in person with legends of the sports!” Former U.S. Snowboard team members and Olympic gold medalists, Kelly Clark and Ross Powers were also in attendance and spoke about their experiences on the Team and the growth of their sport. 

Through ticket purchases, generous donations, a silent auction, and a raffle for VIP tickets to the Mammoth Grand Prix, the funds raised will help offset the costs of the upcoming season for both the rookie and pro teams. Several of the benefitting freeski athletes, including Forehand, Alex Hall, Cody LaPlante, Grace Henderson, Hunter Henderson, Caroline Claire, Charlie Gnoza, and Tristan Feinberg were able to attend before they returned to Europe in preparation for a big upcoming season with World Championships as well as the 2022 Winter Olympics on the horizon. The group’s other freeski teammates and snowboard counterparts were training overseas but supported the efforts from afar.  

Receiving no government funding, these athletes count on supporters to help provide them the resources they need to achieve their dreams — and represent America on and off the mountain. If you are interested in learning more about or donating to the athletes of the U.S. Freeski and U.S. Snowboard Teams, click HERE.  

Shiffrin Plans More World Cup Speed Races In New Season

By Megan Harrod
October, 12 2021
Shiffrin Skis More Speed
Two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin, shown here inspecting the course prior to a training day of speed at the recent Saas-Fee, Switzerland camp, recently shared with the Associated Press that she plans to ski more speed in the upcoming Olympic season. (Marc Amann - U.S. Ski Team)

At the recent ATOMIC media day, two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin shared with the Associated Press that she plans to ski more speed in the upcoming Olympic season. 

During the 2020-21 season, Shiffrin reduced her schedule to almost exclusively slalom and giant slalom events, though did compete in the alpine combined and super-G at the Cortina 2021 World Championships—in which she earned gold and bronze medals, respectively—despite having only trained speed a handful of times prior to World Championships. 

The 2019 overall, slalom, super-G, and giant slalom Crystal Globe winner said last Thursday that she was eyeing a start at the first speed races of the season, which include two downhills and a super-G in Lake Louise, Canada, in early December. Shiffrin’s first career win in a speed race came in the Lake Louise downhill in 2017, and she added a super-G victory at the same resort the following year. When she won the super-G in 2018, Shiffrin became the first athlete in FIS Ski World Cup history to win in all six disciplines.

Since, Shiffrin's World Cup victory tally has increased to 69, third only behind U.S. Ski Team alumna, winningest female ski racer of all-time, and former teammate Lindsey Vonn (82), and Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark (86). At Cortina 2021, Mikaela became the most decorated American athlete in Alpine World Ski Championships history, with nine World Championship medals (six golds, one silver, two bronze). She also became the first skier – male or female – to win gold medals at five straight worlds.

Shiffrin shared with the Associated Press: 

“This last season was a bit … kind of comeback, almost. And I really had enough to focus on in slalom and GS,” said Shiffrin, who was speaking in Austria at a virtual media event of her equipment supplier, Atomic.

“I feel like there is a million things I can improve, especially after last season: The timing in the gates, in slalom keeping up with my quickness and agility, there was a conditioning aspect to it as well. I feel like everything could be on a higher level.”

The three-time overall World Cup champion used the offseason to work on various aspects of her skiing in all alpine disciplines.

“I don’t feel any lack of things I can improve but I guess sometimes it is good to take a step back and say, ‘The level is pretty good.’”

Read the full article at APNews.com

Cochran-Siegle Featured in FIS Behind-the-Scenes

By Megan Harrod
October, 12 2021
Ryan Cochran Siegle Bormio
In the International Ski Federation's (FIS) latest behind-the-scenes installment, Olympian Cochran-Siegle—pictured here after his career-first World Cup victory, in Bormio, Italy—talks about growing up in Vermont, how he found his love for skiing, and how he has maintained his drive and love for skiing.(Mattia Ozbot - Getty Images)

In the International Ski Federation's (FIS) latest behind-the-scenes installment, Olympian Cochran-Siegle talks about growing up in Vermont, how he found his love for skiing, and how he has maintained his drive and love for skiing. He offers, “Your drive has to come from the love of the sport, you have to learn how to enjoy the difficulties as well as the successes.”
 

2021 HomeLight Killington Cup Tickets Coming Soon

By Megan Harrod
October, 12 2021
HomeLight Killington World Cup Tickets On Sale
Two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin poses after winning her fourth-straight Killington World Cup slalom in 2019. Vermont’s Killington Resort announced today that tickets for the 2021 HomeLight Killington Cup will be available for purchase starting Tuesday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET at killington.com. (Steven Earl Photography - U.S. Ski Team)

KILLINGTON, VT (October 13, 2021) – Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America and a POWDR resort, announced today that tickets for the 2021 HomeLight Killington Cup will be available for purchase starting Tuesday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. ET at killington.com. Taking place November 27-28, the FIS Ski World Cup will once again bring the women’s giant slalom and slalom races to Vermont and is expected to attract U.S. Ski Team superstar and four-time HomeLight Killington Cup slalom victor Mikaela Shiffrin and last season’s overall World Cup winner, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova, to compete against the best women’s technical alpine skiers in the world.

“The Northeast’s passion for ski racing runs deep and after a year hiatus, the entire community is excited to welcome back world-class alpine skiing to Killington. The athletes, fans, and volunteers bring a level of energy that is unmatched from anything else we experience at the resort,” says Mike Solimano, president and general manager of Killington Resort and Pico Mountain. “This year, the HomeLight Killington Cup will continue to focus on supporting the regional winter sports community by donating a percentage of ticket sales, including 100% of proceeds from general admission, to support the Killington World Cup Foundation. In 2019, the foundation supported over 21 winter sports programs in seven different states with $250,000 in grants raised during the World Cup.”

Killington’s priority is to protect the well-being of spectators, athletes, and staff for the duration of the event. Actions being taken to prioritize the wellbeing of the community include ticketing the event to control attendance and required proof of vaccine or negative Covid-19 test within 72-hours.

“It’s exciting to come back together and celebrate ski racing as a community again,” says Herwig Demschar, chair of Killington’s World Cup Local Organizing Committee. “In addition to an already action-packed, fun-filled weekend of ski racing, Killington will offer

entertainment and a robust Festival Village while keeping the health and safety of guests top of mind.”

New this year, a percentage from all ticket options benefit the Killington World Cup Foundation which supports athlete hospitality and provides grants to bolster winter sports infrastructure and access to winter sports throughout the region. Ticket offerings for the 2021 HomeLight Killington Cup include:

General Admission - $5 per day / $10 weekend
All proceeds of general admission tickets benefit the Killington World Cup Foundation - viewing areas are located all around the base of Superstar Trail and adjacent to the race course. Two video boards will provide top-to-bottom race coverage while approximately 35% of the course will be visible from these areas.

Limited VIP Tickets – Sold in Partnership with the Killington World Cup Foundation
Due to social distancing in the tent, a limited amount of VIP tickets are available; the Killington World Cup Foundation is currently pre-selling Silver and Gold packages only. Information about VIP package options or getting on the waitlist for individual tickets can be found at https://www.kwcfgivesback.org/.

Premier Grandstand – $100 Sat / $90 Sun / $175 Weekend
The Premier Grandstand offers guaranteed access to the highest five rows of the grandstands at the base of Superstar trail, providing one of the best vantage points of the course. Premier Grandstand tickets are limited in quantity to allow for more social distancing.

Grandstand – $45 Sat / $40 Sun / $75 Weekend
Ticketed Grandstands are located at the base of the Superstar trail, adjacent to the race course, and are general admission for all rows except the top five. The grandstand provides an elevated view of the race course, along with two jumbo screens broadcasting top-to-bottom race coverage. Limited accessible seating is available in the front row of the grandstand.

Parking
K-1 preferred parking is back this year. Preferred parking is $75 per day or $150 for the weekend. Preferred parking passes will be based on a lottery system. The link to enter the lottery will be included in ticket confirmation emails. Guests can choose to enter the lottery by completing the form. Free parking and shuttles will continue to be available around Killington Resort. Masks are required on all shuttles per the CDC.

For additional information about Killington Resort and the 2021 HomeLight Killington Cup, please visit killington.com/worldcup.

###

About Killington Resort
Killington Resort is a four-season destination sitting on 3,000 acres in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains. Known as The Beast of the East, Killington boasts 92 miles of diverse snow sports terrain spread across six peaks including Pico Mountain, served by the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in Eastern North America. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course, the family-friendly Snowshed Adventure Center, 35 miles of mountain biking trails with expansion underway with Gravity Logic, plus 15 miles of hiking trails. The seemingly infinite après, dining, and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for more than 60 years. Killington is part of the POWDR portfolio. Visit www.killington.com for more information and be social
with #beast365.

About Killington World Cup Foundation
The “Killington World Cup Foundation” (KWCF) was created to benefit local and regional youth development programs, and to support the women’s FIS Ski World Cup at Killington Resort. KWCF will continue to provide grants to support the winter sports infrastructure and access to winter sports in the northeast, with the goal of creating lifelong participants in the sport.

About HomeLight
HomeLight is building the future of real estate — today. Our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying for all.

The best real estate agents rely on HomeLight’s platform to deliver better outcomes to homebuyers and sellers during every step of the real estate journey, whether that's enabling an all-cash offer, unlocking liquidity of their existing home to buy a new one, or creating certainty through a modern closing process. Each year, HomeLight facilitates billions of dollars of residential real estate business on its platform for thousands of agents.

Founded in 2012, HomeLight is a privately held company with offices in Scottsdale, San Francisco, New York, Tampa, and Seattle, with backing from prominent investors including Zeev Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Group 11, Crosslink Capital, Bullpen Capital, Montage Ventures, STCAP, Citi Ventures, Google Ventures, and others. For additional information and images: homelight.com/press

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah at the USANA Center of Excellence. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2021, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined, and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers, and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success, and the value of team.

Contact:
Amy Laramie, Killington Resort: 802-422-6216 or alaramie@killington.com
Annie Dreshfield, HomeLight: 847-287-4615 or annie@homelight.com
Megan Harrod, U.S. Ski & Snowboard: megan.harrod@usskiandsnowboard.org

Release courtesy of Killiington Resort. 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announces Multi-Year Sponsorship With Textron Aviation

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 11 2021
Textron
U.S. Freestyle Team member Justin Schoenefeld (left), U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete, Luke Winters, Davis U.S. Cross Country Team athlete Logan Hanneman, and U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Jackie Wiles, visited the Textron Aviation headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, recently to tour the Cessna Citation jets production facility and learn about the 90-year-old company. Schoenefeld, Winters, and Hanneman are all pilots. Wiles is currently working on her private pilot certificate.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard today announced a multi-year sponsorship with Textron Aviation Inc., the world’s leading general aviation company, as an official General Aviation Aircraft and Aviation Products Sponsor.

With today’s announcement during the 2021 National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Textron Aviation also revealed a special way to commemorate the sponsorship and an opportunity for customers to engage in the support of these elite winter athletes. The company unveiled a special-edition U.S. Ski & Snowboard interior and exterior design available for new Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft. A portion of the proceeds from every U.S. Ski & Snowboard-inspired aircraft sold will go directly to the organization to support athletic programs.

“We are so excited to welcome Textron Aviation as a sponsor,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief Revenue Officer Michael O’Conor. “Their support will touch every aspect of our organization, from the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation to supporting our athletics, to professional aviation career advancement for a number of our athletes.”

This sponsorship connects two organizations, both known for their passion and leadership within their respective fields. Among the sponsorship package elements are providing transportation for athletes during training and competition and supporting the mission of U.S. Ski & Snowboard and its foundation through multiple events and programs

In addition, Textron Aviation’s sponsorship includes supporting the aviation careers of four U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team athletes as Textron Aviation Ambassadors, including U.S. Alpine Ski Team athletes Jackie Wiles and Luke Winters; U.S. Cross Country Team athlete Logan Hanneman; and U.S. Freestyle Team aerials athlete Justin Schoenefeld. Winters, Schoenefeld, and Hanneman currently hold Private Pilot certificates, and Wiles currently holds a Student Pilot Certificate. Textron Aviation will provide resources for all four and others to achieve additional pilot certificates and ratings as they each further their aviation careers. 

“We are thrilled to support athletes of all ages across the country, many of whom have already discovered the benefits of private aviation in reaching mountainous training destinations,” said Christi Tannahill, the company’s senior vice president, customer experience. “We’re proud to offer a visibly stunning reminder of our sponsorship through a special U.S. Ski & Snowboard design is worthy of a medal.”

Textron Aviation will also sponsor the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation, including the New York Gold Medal Gala, which is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. In addition, Textron Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Flight Operations, Lannie O’Bannion, will join the Foundation’s Ambassador Program. O’Bannion will offer his professional and technical experience to the organization while engaging with the organization’s leadership, athletes and board of directors.

About Textron Aviation 

We inspire the journey of flight. For more than 90 years, Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has empowered our collective talent across the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands to design and deliver the best aviation experience for our customers. With a range that includes everything from business jets, turboprops, and high-performance pistons, to special mission, military trainer and defense products, Textron Aviation has the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolio in the world and a workforce that has produced more than half of all general aviation aircraft worldwide. Customers in more than 170 countries rely on our legendary performance, reliability and versatility, along with our trusted global customer service network, for affordable and flexible flight.

For more information, visit www.txtav.com  |  www.defense.txtav.com  |  www.scorpionjet.com

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2021, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers, and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success, and the value of team. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org

Images featuring U.S.  Ski & Snowboard athletes Luke Winters, Logan Hanneman, Jackie Wiles and Justin Schoenfeld.

For more information contact:
Tom Horrocks
Marketing/Communications, U.S. Ski & Snowboard
tom.horrocks@usskiandsnowboard.org
(802) 770-8985

Kate Flavin
Communications Specialist, Textron Aviation
kflavin@txtav.com
(316) 517-1419

.

Early Bird Registration Deadline Oct. 15

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 6 2021
Early Registration Deadline

Don’t delay! The early bird registration deadline is 5 p.m. (MDT), Friday, Oct 15. Register now to beat the rush!  

Price increases go into effect beginning Oct. 16. Members may renew online at my.usskiandsnowboard.org today! This deadline only applies to individual members.

Important reminders:

• Please remember to check the cart on the right to see if the membership has been pre-populated based on the membership held last season.

• Membership information including categories, descriptions, pricing and benefits may be found under the membership link at http://my.ussa.org/membership/start

• A U.S. Ski & Snowboard Family Membership cap of $500 is provided for immediate family members registering at once. If your family’s U.S. Ski & Snowboard memberships total more than $500, please contact Member Services for a rebate by email, chat or phone with the names and membership numbers for your family. A refund check will be sent via mail. (Division dues, FIS registration and merchandise not included.) 

• Add additional U.S. Ski & Snowboard memberships for only the cost of the highest membership. For example, a freestyle competitor may add an alpine competitor membership at no additional charge. An alpine coach may add an alpine master’s membership at no additional charge. (Division dues and FIS registration not included.)

We encourage you to reach out to Member Services for assistance. We're here to help! 

Member Services
435.647.2666
membership@usskiandsnowboard.org
www.usskiandsnowboard.org

                                                                                                                                   

Merryweather's Journey Featured in the Washington Post

By Megan Harrod
September, 29 2021
Merryweather's Journey Featured in the Washington Post
Olympian speed skier Alice Merryweather, pictured here recently in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, was recently featured in a powerful Washington Post piece entitled, "Olympic skiers live life on the edge. Alice Merryweather knows how deeply it can cut," written by Barry Svrluga. (Marc Amann - U.S. Ski Team)

Olympian speed skier Alice Merryweather was recently featured in a powerful Washington Post piece entitled, "Olympic skiers live life on the edge. Alice Merryweather knows how deeply it can cut," written by Barry Svrluga. 

This season was supposed to be Olympian Alice Merryweather's comeback season, after sitting out the 2020-21 season to take the time needed to focus on health and happiness as she pursued intensive treatment for an eating disorder. All signs were pointing towards brighter days, as Merryweather tackled a successful strength and conditioning period as well as return-to-snow camps in Official Training Site Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and then Saas-Fee, Switzerland with many bright moments both on and off the mountain with her teammates. She was skiing strong, showing her teammates, coaches, competitors—and most importantly, herself—how far she had come the last 12 months...and just how much joy she had found in skiing again. 

And then, it happened. A crash while going 80mph during a downhill training day at Saas-Fee (three weeks ago) towards the bottom of the course, resulted in a broken tibia and fibula, and a scraped-up and swollen face. She returned to the states to undergo further medical evaluation and learned the extent of her injuries: along with the broken tibia and fibula, she also suffered a torn ACL, meniscus, and partially torn MCL

Alice Merryweather Rehab USANA Center of Excellence
Alice Merryweather, here at the Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, says, “I think I’m going to have to do a lot more grieving before I can process the idea of a lost season, and a lost Olympic season.” (Kim Raff for The Washington Post)


Merryweather told Svlurga, 

“When I looked at my legs, my left leg was bending in the middle of my shin,” Merryweather said. “That was kind of the moment that I knew: ‘Okay, my leg is broken.’ ”

The Beijing Winter Olympics are less than five months away. Merryweather, a medal hopeful not long ago, won’t be skiing in them. The 24-year-old from Massachusetts made it to the 2018 Games in South Korea, then took off the entirety of last season to grapple with an eating disorder that left her body frail and her mind wondering whether she loved skiing anymore. She fought her way back onto the mountain — and then found herself sliding down that glacier in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, the victim of what could be described only as an absolute fluke of an accident in training. She faces at least nine months of rehabilitation just to get back to where she already was.

“It sucks,” she said last week by phone. “It really, really sucks.”

If and when you flip on the Olympics, remember that for every athlete that shows up, someone else was left home. There are dreams that will be realized and dreams that will be dashed. But there are also dreams on pause, replaced by the isolation and anonymity and monotony of physical therapy and rehabilitation, the next World Cup season a hope, the next Olympics so far off in the distance.
 

Alice Merryweather Rehab
Merryweather's injury rehabilitation is expected to require nine to 12 months. (Kim Raff for The Washington Post)


He wrote, 

“You’re just working on getting a good line, having solid tactics, not necessarily trying to push it anywhere,” Merryweather said. “It wasn’t an aggressive run by any means. I wasn’t taking any risks.”

An Alpine skier defines “risk” differently from the rest of us. That day, Merryweather and her teammates were training for downhill, skiing’s fastest discipline. Near the bottom of the course, Merryweather would have been traveling at around 80 mph. At 80 mph, hitting an unexpected, tiny bump — well, there’s risk.

“All we’re trying to do is prevent the possibility of having situations like that,” said Mikaela Shiffrin, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Cup overall champion. “Alice has been working so hard this summer, and it was such a fluky thing. No matter what you do, there’s always that risk. This, it was just dumbfounding.”

Alice Merryweather Rehab USANA Center of Excellence
“The passion never went away,” Merryweather says of her feelings about her sport. (Kim Raff for The Washington Post)


Alice knows she will get through this, because she has lived through far worse.

Svrluga left his readers with a poignant reminder about the heartbreak of Olympic sports, sharing: 

“The passion never went away,” Merryweather said. “Just the feeling I had during training camp before the accident is still so much stronger than the pain I felt in the moment, and even the uncertainty of the next nine months. Skiing is my number one passion. It’s the love of my life. And I am going to do everything in my power to get back to racing again.”

When the Olympics come on in February, there will be ski racers and lugers and hockey players and figure skaters, and they’ll all have stories about how they got there. But remember, too, how fragile this all is. Remember the athletes who have the talent and have put in the work but are left back home anyway, the road ahead uncertain and unglamorous.

Read the full article at WashingtonPost.com.

Sophie Goldschmidt Appointed as U.S. Ski & Snowboard President & CEO

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 27 2021
Sophie
New U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt at the USANA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Tiger Shaw

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced today the appointment of Sophie Goldschmidt as the organization’s next President and CEO. Goldschmidt will officially begin on October 18th, taking over for current President and CEO Tiger Shaw. Goldschmidt will be relocating from Los Angeles to Park City, Utah. 

In her career, Goldschmidt has held numerous leadership, commercial and marketing roles with several of the world’s most well-known and prestigious organizations - most recently as CEO of the World Surf League (WSL). Prior to that, she held executive positions at the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Chime Sports Marketing (CSM), the PGA European Tour and Adidas. Goldschmidt is a proven leader who brings the unique experience of working closely with athletes across multiple sports from grassroots to the most elite levels, combined with a track record of positively transforming organizations from a business standpoint. Goldschmidt has been at the forefront of globalizing and innovating sports, media, and entertainment properties throughout her career. She will bring a fresh perspective as athletes prepare for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. 

“I am thrilled to be the next leader of U.S. Ski & Snowboard,” said Goldschmidt. “My priority is to build on the organization’s strong foundations. To take the levels of performance to new heights, to grow the number of participants and fans we engage with, in addition to creatively unlocking new value and investment. I see significant opportunities to further develop the profiles of the seven sports and of the athletes, who are inspirational role models. I’m also looking forward to working with the staff, coaches, clubs, the broader snow sports community, other key stakeholders and partners. I’m an avid skier with a passion for snow sports, which really makes this a dream opportunity for me at the right time. I can’t wait to get going.”

Goldschmidt will be taking over for Tiger Shaw, who is stepping down from his position as President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard after eight years. Shaw will stay on to aid Goldschmidt during the transition and will subsequently join the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation Board as a Trustee focusing on athlete fundraising - a key priority of Shaw’s during his time at the organization.

As CEO of the WSL, Goldschmidt was responsible for transforming both the business capabilities and culture. During her tenure, she negotiated a historic 10-year agreement with the athletes, led the implementation of equal prize money for men and women, secured unprecedented levels of linear and digital distribution, including a first-of-its-kind Facebook partnership, in addition to record revenue performance. She also delivered the first-ever competitive events utilizing wave technology at the WSL’s Surf Ranch, relaunched the organization’s ocean health advocacy program WSL PURE and significantly raised the WSL’s profile globally. 

As Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer of the RFU, Goldschmidt was responsible for all of the union's revenue-generating areas and commercial programs, in addition to its marketing and digital communications. She was also Group Managing Director at CSM. In her time at the NBA as the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Goldschmidt helped spearhead the NBA's global expansion of its brand. Prior to the NBA, Goldschmidt served as a Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the WTA globally and she began her career at Adidas. Goldschmidt was also one of the first two female Board Members of the PGA European Tour. She has spent much of her career in the U.S. and attended Baylor University on a tennis scholarship.

“Sophie brings an invaluable level of tacit knowledge gained from her previous roles working with athletes and sports organizations,“ said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors Chair Kipp Nelson. “Sophie’s leadership, commercial and marketing experience, combined with her commitment to the athletes, made her the ideal candidate. Her ability to grow engagement and raise the global profile of athletes, teams and brands will directly benefit all U.S. Ski & Snowboard stakeholders.”

“I’d like to give Sophie a warm welcome to the organization, while at the same time thanking Tiger for everything he has done the last eight years,” said two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin. “I am looking forward to this new era of leadership for all of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes as we head into this pivotal Beijing 2022 Olympic year. Based on what I’ve read, heard, as well as the interaction we’ve had thus far, I feel that Sophie’s commercial, marketing, and sports organization experience is a unique blend of traits that will set us up for success strategically not only heading into the Olympics, but – perhaps more importantly – moving forward as we build the future of our sports and inspire the next generation of skiers and snowboarders.”

Goldschmidt’s appointment signals a commitment to U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes, partners, members and fans. Her immediate efforts will focus on spending quality time with the athletes, other key stakeholders and business partners to fully immerse herself in all aspects of the sports and organization, while in parallel developing the key strategic priorities and plans for the next stage of the organization’s growth leading into the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

“After a very comprehensive search, we could not be happier with the decision to select Sophie as U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s new President and CEO,“ said U.S. Cross Country Team alumna, 2018 Olympic gold medalist and executive search committee co-chair Kikkan Randall. “I am particularly excited about Sophie’s experience working directly with world-class athletes across a myriad of sports; she really understands how to put athletes at the forefront.”

Goldschmidt was also previously named one of Forbes Most Powerful Women in Sport, AdWeek’s Most Powerful Women in Sport, Sports Business Journal's Forty under Forty, Leaders in Sport Under 40 Award, Marketing Week’s Vision Award and Sport360 Most Influential Women in Sport.


About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2021, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success and the value of team. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
Andrew Gauthier
Marketing & Communications Director, U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Andrew.Gauthier@usskiandsnowboard.org