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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined U.S. Olympic Team Trials Coming To Lake Placid Dec. 24-25

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 24 2021
Lake Placid

The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in partnership with USA Nordic Sport (USANS) and U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced today that the U.S. Olympic Trials for the sports of ski jumping and Nordic combined will take place at the Olympic Jumping Complex and Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid on Dec. 24 and 25.

The venue was home to competition during the Lake Placid 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games, and it will now be a pivotal place for Beijing 2022 hopefuls.

 The event will showcase the top men and women ski jumpers and Nordic combined skiers in the country competing for a guaranteed spot on the U.S. Olympic team. While as many as five men and women in each discipline will earn a spot on Team USA, the winner in each discipline is guaranteed a spot in Beijing. Full teams will be announced in late January. 

“The USOPC is thrilled to partner with ORDA to host the Olympic Trials for ski jumping and Nordic combined in Lake Placid,” said USOPC vice president of winter sport, Kelly Skinner.  “With the amazing revitalization of Lake Placid’s iconic ski Jumps and new, state-of-the-art Nordic facilities at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, New York State has given American Athletes the people of Lake Placid and a world-class gift to enjoy this winter for Olympic Trials and for years to come.”

The event will feature USA Nordic Sport’s top athletes, including three-time Nordic Combined Olympian Taylor Fletcher, who will be looking to make his fourth Olympic team; Nina Lussi, Lake Placid native, attempting to earn her first Olympic appearance; and ski jumper Andrew Urlaub coming off a fifth-place finish at the FIS Summer Grand Prix.

“I am thrilled to have the Olympic Trials back in Lake Placid, the place where I learned Nordic Combined,” said CEO of USA Nordic Sport and Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Demong. “The youth and depth of the athletes preparing for their chance to make it to Beijing remind me of my teammates -- this will certainly be a Christmas holiday the competitors and fans will never forget.”

ORDA has modernized the Olympic Jumping Complex, installing frost rails on the inruns, re-contouring both outruns and adding summer surfaces for year-round training capabilities, upgrading the snowmaking system, and installing a new ADA-compliant gondola and glass elevator. In addition, the Sky Flyer Zipline and the Intervals Lodge complete the guest experience. 

ORDA also completed upgrades at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, including 5,000 meters of new world-class trails, an energy-efficient snowmaking system, and a 30-point biathlon range. The new trail systems are adjacent to the new Mountain Pass Lodge, a 50,000 square foot facility with integrated competition services, elite training facilities, and new recreational opportunities for visitors. 

“The recent improvements at the Lake Placid venues have made hosting important events like the Team Trials possible," said ORDA Board Chair Kelly Cummings. "It is an incredible honor for ORDA to welcome the finest Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined athletes in the United States as they aim to achieve their Olympic goals.”

“We are excited to welcome the Olympic Trials,” said ORDA President & CEO Mike Pratt.  “The Ski Jumps in Lake Placid are now the only location in North America homologated for year-round jumping.  The accomplishments made at the ORDA venues have positioned us to host more prestigious events, a higher quality of training, and excellent athlete and guest experiences.” 

The Olympic trials will take place at two of ORDA’s Olympic venues, the Olympic Jumping Complex (Dec. 24 and 25) and Mt. Van Hoevenberg (Dec. 24). Details regarding NBC Sports’ coverage of the trials will be announced soon. 

Women’s Speed in Switzerland

By Megan Harrod
September, 23 2021
Women's Speed Team
Keely Cashman and Bella Wright scope the fast line in Saas-Fee, with coach Karin Harjo. (Marc Amann - U.S. Ski Team)

The women’s alpine speed team would normally be heading to South America for their final Southern Hemisphere camp before making their way back up north to the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colo. However, for the second year in a row, the women’s speed team is heading to the glaciers of Switzerland.

The crew, including Breezy Johnson, Bella Wright, Jackie Wiles, Keely Cashman, Mo Lebel, and Alice Merryweather—who suffered a heartbreaking season-ending injury—just wrapped a camp in Saas-Fee and will be heading back to Europe later this week for a camp in Zermatt. Two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion, Mikaela Shiffrin, also joined the crew for a couple of days on the longboards, skiing a productive mix of slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and downhill while in Saas-Fee. 

The days were full, complete with 4 am wake-up calls, busy morning commutes via tram+gondola+train+t-bar+snowmobile, sunrise inspection sessions, afternoon hikes to the Kneipp, and a visit to the cows of Saas-Fee, before an outdoor workout with a view. Rinse. Repeat. It was a mostly successful camp for the team. 

Olympian Jackie Wiles, who was injured prior to the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, has been battling back from injuries and had a successful return to snow in Saas-Fee after having two surgeries, one on each knee, since March. Women’s speed team physical therapist Torey Anderson said, “we gradually increased volume over the two weeks and Jackie ended the camp really strong.” 

One unique element of the camp was that the Europa Cup, World Cup tech, and World Cup speed women overlapped at the same location. Head Women’s Coach Paul Kristofic commented after the camp, “Having all the U.S. women’s teams converge to one location is both rare and unique.” He continued, “Over the past three weeks in Saas-Fee, the women’s teams from the European Cup group to each World Cup group took advantage of perfect conditions and weather, and achieved a very productive camp from all perspectives. Cross-training between our groups and international pace proved to be valuable. The whole world was training in Saas-Fee. Extremely early morning commuting got us on the glacier at daybreak to take full advantage of hard snow and a variety of slope choices that Saas-Fee provided to us. All objectives were achieved across all disciplines.”

In what was supposed to be 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, Merryweather had an unfortunate crash. 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, 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. 

While at camp in Saas-Fee, Merryweather crashed while going 80mph during a downhill training day this past Wednesday at Saas-Fee towards the bottom of the course, resulting in a broken tibia and fibula, and a scraped-up and swollen face. Further evaluation back Stateside concluded that, in addition to a broken tibia and fibula, she also suffered a torn ACL, meniscus, and partially torn MCL in her crash. 

Anderson, who has been by Merryweather’s side throughout her journey, spoke poignantly of the speed team’s strength and courage following her crash, “The ladies all demonstrated so much strength and courage after Alice’s crash,” she said. “They took a few soul ski runs together to get back into their bodies and out of their heads, and then jumped back into the course and had a few downhill runs to end the training session. They were eager to see Alice and all visited her in the hospital the next day, with lots of smiles and Swiss stuffed animals.” 

Kristofic echoed Anderson’s sentiment of the team, “Unfortunately we had one serious injury with Alice Merryweather which was difficult for the whole group, but the team rallied well to finish the camp strong while supporting their fallen teammate. We all wish Alice a speedy and full recovery.” 

The women’s speed team will head to Zermatt this Friday, while the women’s tech team will head to Europe in late September/early October for a final training camp prior to the FIS Ski World Cup opener in Soelden, Austria on October 23. 

 

Aerials Hosts Virtual Pool Party to Celebrate Team Fundraiser

By Lara Carlton
September, 20 2021
Emily Cook and Trace Worthington
Freestyle legends and Olympians Emily Cook and Trace Worthington hosted the first-ever aerials' team fundraiser at the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool on September 17. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The U.S. Aerials Ski Team hosted a virtual pool party on September 17 at the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool at Official Training Site Utah Olympic Park in celebration of their first-ever team-specific fundraising effort. 

The team was seeking to raise $50,000 to be matched by a generous donor and freestyle supporter, Wayne Lemley, for a total of $100,000 in athlete support. To date the team has raised $90,000, just shy of their goal to ensure they are more than fully funded for the 2021-22 season. However, donations are still accepted to reach the $50,000 match, and beyond.

The virtual event was hosted by freestyle legends and Olympians Trace Worthington and Emily Cook, and offered viewers an inside look into the team’s summer training routine. Broadcast via Facebook Live on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard page, Worthington and Cook showcased what a typical morning jump session looks like and caught up with several athletes between their reps. 

The funds raised through this effort will go towards expenses such as equipment needs and the constantly changing travel landscape, and will allow athletes to completely focus on their training and preparation for this important Olympic season. Beijing will provide aerial skiers two medal opportunities with the debut of the Team event. 

Three-time Olympian, World Champion and World Record holder Ashley Caldwell stopped by to say hello to everyone watching at home. “This [fundraiser] is super important,” she said. “We have lapses in funding in certain areas, including being able to live and train here in Park City - it’s very expensive. So having this extra funding is really important.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dani (@dani.loeb)

 

Cook and Worthington also caught up with Dani Loeb, who said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us and who have been donating and helping. It means the world to us and we can't wait to show you guys what we’ve got this upcoming winter. So thank you so much!”

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation works to raise more than $18 million annually for U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athletic programs. U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes rely on the generous support of fans, donors, trustees and corporations to fund their Olympic dreams. The Aerials fundraiser is one fundraising program that enables the freestyle community of donors to support the sport they are most passionate about. Since implementing sport specific fundraisers, the Foundation has seen an increase in revenue to be able to fully fund specific teams. All funds raised directly impact the Aerials Team and anything raised in excess of the goal will either help fill in unforseen gaps this season, or roll over to the 2022-23 season.

To support the U.S. Aerials Ski Team, click here for more information

Toyota U.S. Grand Prix, Visa Big Air Are Olympic Qualifying Events

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 20 2021
Red
2018 Olympic gold medalist Red Gerard competing at the Visa Big Air in Aspen, Colo. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard today announced three U.S. Olympic freeski and snowboard qualifying stops for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022: the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix series and the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota.

The world’s best freeskiers and snowboarders will compete in halfpipe and slopestyle at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix events at Copper Mountain in Colorado and Mammoth Mountain in California, and big air at the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota at Colorado’s Steamboat Ski Resort. The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix is the longest-running winter action sports tour and has served as a major part of the U.S. Freeski Team and U.S. Snowboard Team Olympic qualification series since 1998, launching Olympic medalists including Chloe Kim, Jamie Anderson, Red Gerard, Shaun White, David Wise and Nick Goepper toward medals. The Visa Big Air and Toyota U.S. Grand Prix events are sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS) as World Cups.

“The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix has been the beacon of Olympic qualification fervor for more than two decades, and we are thrilled to bring this series back to Copper and Mammoth’s amazing terrain,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Freeski & Snowboard Director Jeremy Forster. “Those two resorts combined with the Olympic history and top-notch facilities at Steamboat Ski Resort for the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota will make for an outstanding Olympic qualifying process. We can’t wait to announce the athletes who will represent Team USA in Beijing this winter.”

Steamboat Ski Resort, a longtime U.S. Ski & Snowboard partner with a storied Olympic history, will host the first qualifying event of the season: the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota December 3-4, 2021. It will be the first and only big air qualifying event for the 2022 Olympics as snowboard big air makes its second Olympic appearance and freeski big air makes its Olympic debut.

Next, the world’s best skiers and riders kick off the halfpipe season at the first Toyota U.S. Grand Prix in Copper Mountain’s 22-foot Superpipe December 8-11, 2021. Copper is proving its rebrand as the “athlete’s mountain,” as it readies to host the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and the Dew Tour in December.

Finally, the skiers and riders descend upon Mammoth Mountain’s famed Unbound Terrain Park January 6-8, 2022 for halfpipe and slopestyle Toyota U.S. Grand Prix competitions. Mammoth has hosted previous Olympic qualifiers over the last two Olympic cycles and has named U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Olympic athletes three times: 1998—the first year the Olympics hosted snowboard halfpipe as an official event—and 2014 and 2018. While Mammoth was scheduled to host the first Olympic qualifying event of the 2022 Olympic cycle in early 2021, the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toyota is back as the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix series. Toyota’s long-time commitment to ski and snowboard athletes is ubiquitous, having been the partner before and throughout the 2018 Olympic Games and has now renewed its partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard through 2025. The brand’s individual partnerships will also be shining with Olympic champions such as Chloe Kim and Red Gerard looking to punch their tickets back to the Games.

“We’re excited to partner once again with U.S. Ski & Snowboard for the U.S. Grand Prix series,” said Dedra DeLilli, group manager, sponsorship strategy, integration & activation, Toyota Motor North America. “With less than five months until the start of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, it’s an honor to be a part of the qualifying events that will help determine the elite athletes who will represent Team USA on the world’s biggest stage.”

Visa, the longest-standing partner of U.S. Ski & Snowboard of more than 30 years, is the title sponsor of the Visa Big Air and sponsors star athletes such as 2014 and 2018 Olympic champion David Wise. The company has been integral to big air making its Olympic debut in snowboarding in 2018 and will also be supporting the freeski side as freeski big air is unveiled as a new sport in the Beijing Olympics.

“Both Toyota and Visa have been vital partners to U.S. Ski & Snowboard for many years, and we’re thrilled to have these two brands support the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and the Visa Big Air,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Chief Revenue Officer Michael O’Conor. “Both brands’ endorsements of individual athletes and the greater team has allowed for progression and development of the freeski and snowboarding talent as they step on the world’s stage in 2022.”

The first 2022 Winter Olympics qualification events took place at the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle and halfpipe competitions at Colorado’s Aspen Snowmass in March. Additional Olympic selection events will be announced prior to the start of the 2021-22 season.

Specific event information will be forthcoming as the local organizing committee works through its detailed protocols with local and state health officials. The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and Visa Big Air are contingent on local and state health department approvals based on existing and future COVID-19 rules and regulations. FIS, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the local organizing committees and all resort partners are taking a unified approach consistent with guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.


2021-22 OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SCHEDULE

Visa Big Air presented by Toyota at Steamboat Resort, Colorado
Big Air, December 2-4, 2021
December 2, 2021- snowboard big air qualifications
December 3, 2021- freeski big air qualifications
December 4, 2021 - snowboard big air finals, freeski big air finals

Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado
Halfpipe, December 8-11, 2021
December 8, 2021 - freeski halfpipe qualifications
December 9, 2021 - snowboard halfpipe qualifications
December 10, 2021 - freeski halfpipe finals 
December 11, 2021 - snowboard halfpipe finals

Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California 
Halfpipe and slopestyle, January 6-8, 2022
January 6, 2022 - freeski halfpipe qualifications, snowboard slopestyle qualifications 
January 7, 2022 - freeski halfpipe finals, freeski slopestyle qualifications, snowboard halfpipe qualifications
January 8, 2022 - freeski slopestyle finals, snowboard slopestyle finals, snowboard halfpipe finals


RESORT QUOTES

Rob Perlman, President & Chief Operating Officer, Steamboat Ski Resort
"Steamboat’s Olympic heritage runs deep and we’re excited to honor our longstanding partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard in hosting the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota event leading up to the 2022 Olympics. Producing Olympians is part of who we are, so this was a natural fit for Steamboat to kick off the qualifying event calendar ahead of the winter games."

Dustin Lyman, President & General Manager, Copper Mountain
"We couldn't be more excited to host back-to-back freeski and snowboard events at Copper Mountain, including the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and Winter Dew Tour. Ski and snowboard athletes have a long history of making their mark on their respective sports at Copper, and as the Athlete's Mountain, we can't wait to welcome them back for world-class competition."

Ron Cohen, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mammoth Mountain
"It is an honor to host another U.S. Olympic qualifying event here in Mammoth and we are extremely proud of all of the athletes on their road to Beijing. Mammoth has hosted over 10 U.S. Grand Prix events and have been fortunate enough to name our Olympic team here three times, including 1998, the first year halfpipe snowboarding was an official Olympic event. The excitement and pride in watching Olympic dreams become a reality is something we look forward to every four years. From elite competition to annual team training, we value our partnership with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and look forward to executing another world-class event together."


###

 

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 2020, 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.

ABOUT TOYOTA
Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve built more than 40 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold nearly 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2019.

ABOUT VISA
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit
usa.visa.com/aboutvisa.


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

SKI: We Can All Learn From the First Ski Shoot Featuring and Shot by BIPOC

By Megan Harrod
September, 15 2021
U.S. Ski Team alumna Lauren Samuels
U.S. Ski Team alumna Lauren Samuels carves a sweet arc at a photo shoot at Powder Mountain, shot by the legendary Stan Evans for SKI.

U.S. Ski Team alumna Lauren Samuels and brother Justin Samuels—Dartmouth College Ski Team alumnus and former U.S. Ski & Snowboard employee—went to Powder Mountain in Utah to participate in a photoshoot with Olympian and X Games standout Errol Kerr, shot by the legendary Stan Evans. As SKI wrote regarding their cover featuring Kerr, "The Cover of Our 2022 Gear Guide is An Important First"...until now, "SKI has never put a Black skier shot by a Black photographer on our cover."

Sierra Shafer, SKI Editor-in-Chief, said in her cover story, 

The cover of the magazine on newsstands and sent to subscribers this week features Olympian and X Games standout Errol Kerr. In many ways, the image looks familiar—SKI has certainly featured its share of skiers gouging formidable trenches into corduroy. But the origin story of this image is unique.

When photographer Stan Evans connected with Kerr and two other skiers for a two-day photo shoot at Utah’s Powder Mountain, it was as standard as any of the hundreds of photoshoots Evans has produced in his 20-plus-year career photographing skiing and snowboarding. It was, however, the first time he’d worked alongside all Black skiers, including Lauren Samuels, the captain of the 2017 NCAA National Championship ski team, and her brother, Justin Samuels.

In fact, it was the first time any of them had been on a ski shoot with another Black skier or photographer—the first time they weren’t, in some way, standing alone. The occasion deserves to be commemorated with this, the cover of our 2022 Gear Guide.

This issue marks a new season in SKI Magazine’s story. With a fresh redesign, new logo, inspired writers, and more, we intend to change what you expect from SKI. We aim to transform what we all think a skier should look like or where a skier should go. By centering and celebrating a broader, more accurate picture of skiing both as we see it now and how we hope to see it in the future, we can be part of protecting the greatest, least important thing in the world: Skiing. (Read More)

In a story entitled "We Can All Learn From the First Ski Shoot Featuring and Shot by BIPOC" that was first published by Outside Business Journal, a partner brand of SKI, Evans poignantly wrote about the project,

This past March, SKI hired me for a stock photo shoot at Utah’s Powder Mountain. In some ways, it was pretty standard—myself and three skiers, knocking off a laundry list of imagery: high speed carving shots, laughing while carrying skis shots, après shots…the usual. On the other hand, it was unlike any photo shoot ever done in the history of skiing.

That’s because all four of us are Black.

I’ve shot skiing and snowboarding for over 20 years, but this was only the second time I’ve done an all-Black shoot. The first was 20 years ago when I organized an all-Black shoot with Keir Dillon, Ahmon Stamps, Damon Morris, and Ben Hinkley for Snowboarder. This time around, as with the first time, what struck me was the conversations we had during our time together. Being on the hill, setting marks and hitting them, creating the imagery—that’s that same as it ever was. But the discussions between shots, the places our conversations went in the evening over a meal—those are not things I’m used to talking about in this context.

Errol Kerr, the former X Games and Olympic skiercross competitor, was one of the skiers with me at Powder Mountain. In his 20 years of skiing, he’d never done a shoot with a single Black person, let alone three of us. We talked about the adversity his family went through to keep him on skis, what we’ve encountered when we’ve pushed for equity in the past, what made us feel bad, what made us feel good. It’s stuff that he’s kept mostly bottled up for his entire career.

The other two skiers were Justin and Lauren Samuels. Lauren, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team development squad, arrived at Powder Mountain in a similar position to a lot of BIPOC outdoor athletes: suddenly in high demand. Prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics, she consulted with and was talent on a Procter & Gamble shoot produced by Wieden + Kennedy. The two of us talked at length about the differences between commercial and editorial production—the pay rates, what’s fair, what’s not; what makes sense from a financial standpoint, and what needs to change from an inclusivity standpoint.

Both Lauren and Justin Samuels participated in a U.S. Ski & Snowboard diversity, equity, and inclusion panel last November entitled "Diversity in Ski Racing: The Athlete Perspective" and are also members of U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Read the full article at SKIMag.com.

Nyman Progressing at Zermatt, Eyeing Comeback Season

By Ski Racing
September, 15 2021
Steven Nyman Eyes Comeback Season
Olympian and "King of the Saslong," Steven Nyman, who suffered a right Achilles tendon injury in August 2020 at Official Training Site Timberline Resort & Ski Area, is currently training with the men's speed team in Zermatt, Switzerland in their second of two late summer camps at the resort. (Marc Amann - U.S. Ski Team)

Olympian and "King of the Saslong," Steven Nyman, who suffered a right Achilles tendon injury in August 2020 at Official Training Site Timberline Resort & Ski Area, is currently training with the men's speed team in Zermatt, Switzerland in their second of two late summer camps at the resort. 

Nyman, who caught up recently with Brian Pinelli in an article for Ski Racing Media, is "is pleased with his progress, still battling to overcome the effects of an Achilles tendon injury suffered at Mt. Hood, Oregon, in August 2020. He concedes, now at age 39 and the father of two daughters, recovery and return to racing speed require far greater patience."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Steven Nyman (@steven_nyman)

 

Pinelli wrote,

“I’m feeling good – the first camp we had great conditions, beautiful sunshine every day, hard snow, a couple days canceled due to wind, but great conditions and was starting to get back into it, but to be honest I was not fast and out of balance,” Nyman tells Ski Racing Media on a call from Zermatt. “Apparently, it takes a lot longer to recover from Achilles injuries at 39, then at 27, or whenever I did it last.

“I had to realign some things, get equipment dialed again, get back up to speed according to the equipment, but once I knocked the rust off things started coming around. I’ve been fast of late – I feel comfortable and have a good setup.

“Physically, I feel great, but there are still many things to work and improve upon, but I’m really happy with the power that I can produce and overall, everything has gone well.”

Read the full article at SkiRacing.com

FIS Features Hailey Swirbul - The Most Successful U.S. Junior Athlete On The Rise

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 15 2021
Hailey Swirbul

With a third-place finish in last season's 10km freestyle in Davos, Hailey Swirbul from the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team landed her maiden World Cup podium. Following up on her success, the 23-year-old then impressively completed her first Tour de Ski - landing constant top-20 results. Among others, the young American is part of the future stars of the U.S. Cross Country squad. Paolo Romano from Fondoitalia.com met up with Hailey to get to know what is the driving force behind the cheerful young athlete.

Read The Full Story at FIS-Ski.com

Ganong Featured in FIS Behind the Scenes

By Megan Harrod
September, 11 2021
Travis Ganong FIS Behind the Scenes
Olympian Travis Ganong, pictured here soaring through the air on the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel, Austria) was featured in the International Ski Federation's most recent Behind the Scenes feature. (Joe Klamar - AFP via Getty Images)

Olympian Travis Ganong was featured in the International Ski Federation's most recent Behind the Scenes feature. “For me, being able to ski for my profession is just a bonus.” As a young kid who grew up skiing basically outside of his back door in Tahoe, speed skier Travis Ganong found his passion in skiing, and that passion is stronger now than ever.
 

In Comeback Season, Merryweather Sustains Broken Leg

By Megan Harrod
September, 11 2021
Alice Merryweather Suffers Leg Break
Olympian speed skier Alice Merryweather crashed while going 80mph during a downhill training day this past Wednesday at Saas-Fee towards the bottom of the course, resulted in a broken tibia and fibula, and a scraped-up and swollen face. (Ryan Mooney - U.S. Ski Team)

*This story was updated on September 22.*

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 this past Wednesday at Saas-Fee towards the bottom of the course, resulted in a broken tibia and fibula, and a scraped-up and swollen face. However, her big heart and brave soul was intact. As the helicopter was approaching, Merryweather remained calm despite the situation and the immense pain. Her serviceman (Dušan) commented that he had never seen an athlete in that situation with such bravery and courage. Merryweather was airlifted to a nearby hospital and has already had a successful surgery. 


Merryweather has been through so much in the last year...but she remains confident that she can overcome the upcoming obstacles. "The recovery to come looks a lot different than my last," she commented, "...but if I can rewire my brain I think I can heal some bone and ligaments too," while she thanked everyone for their ongoing support. She was visited by teammates (bearing gifts M&M cookies, a Saas-Fee cow mug with her name on it, stuffed animals, rose quartz crystals, and lots of tears and hugs) coaches, and her physio Torey Anderson...and was well-taken care of the last few days. 

Merryweather will return home to the United States for further evaluation on her knee and join her family and teammate/boyfriend Sam DuPratt (who is himself recovering from a double leg break sustained at Val Gardena, Italy last December) in the coming days. All of our love and healing energy is with her as she enters this next period of recovery. 

 

Injury Update: September 22

Aerials to Host Live Virtual Fundraiser September 17

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 9 2021
Kaila Kuhn
Kaila Kuhn trains at Utah Olympic Park (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Christian Raguse)

Jump on in and support the aerial skiers of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team on Friday, September 17 at 9:30 a.m. MDT for a live, virtual fundraiser on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Facebook page!

 

Aerials Fundraiser Invitation

Hosted by freestyle legends Trace Worthington and Emily Cook, this virtual event will seek to help raise $50,000 to ensure the U.S. Aerials Ski Team is fully funded for the 2021-22 season. Go behind the scenes of training at Official Training Site Utah Olympic Park, meet the athletes and gain insight into how they’re preparing for the upcoming season. 

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing are less than six months away and will provide these athletes with two medal opportunities, including individual and the Olympic debut of the team event. Now is the time to get behind our aerial skiers and support them on this journey.  

Knowing that people are willing to support me and my team's training is very inspiring. Not everyone who skis is financially stable and to have the support of donors is indescribable. I didn't come from a wealthy family, so I am extremely grateful for everyone who has supported me financially throughout my career. I would not still be doing freestyle aerial skiing if it wasn't for scholarships and donors." Karenna Elliott

To support the U.S. Aerials Ski Team, click here for more information.