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Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Celebrate a Season Worth Remembering

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
April, 18 2024

The cross country ski season has officially wrapped and the Stifel U.S. Cross Country Ski Team is celebrating the most successful season in history. 

Looking back at the first World Cup of the season in Ruka, Finland, Rosie Brennan was on the podium twice, alongside teammate Jessie Diggins. The season was clearly off to a strong start, but if you were to tell the 20+ athletes and coaching staff that they were on the way to their most successful season in history, well, they likely already knew. 

This season, there were no World Championships and Olympics, but there was one race that felt like the two of them combined - the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Head Coach Matt Whitcomb, in an interview with FasterSkier, remarked, "We often talk about athletes peaking for big events, but I'd never considered that our American ski culture could peak for an event." This was the first time in over 23 years that a World Cup cross country event have been held in the United States and was the first time that the U.S. athletes would get the opportunity to race a World Cup on home snow. 

Jumping into the season, with 15 World Cups and over 35 races, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team achieved remarkable success: 22 World Cup podiums, spanning 38 races with six different athletes on the podium, an overall FIS Crystal Globe, a distance Globe, fourth place in the Nations Cup, third place in the U23 Rookie of the Year category, numerous first World Cup starts, and career-best results nearly every race.

Breaking down the numbers:
  • 40 American athletes started a World Cup, with six standing on the podium.
  • Jessie Diggins secured the FIS Overall Crystal Globe and distance globe for the second time in her career, boasting 12 podiums and six victories in a single season, setting a record for most wins in a single American season.
  • Jessie Diggins won the Tour de Ski for the second time in her career. 
  • Gus Schumacher achieved the first distance victory by a U.S. male in 43 years, dating back to the Bill Koch era, with his win in the 10k skate in Minneapolis.
  • JC Schoonmaker earned his career-first podium in the Östersund World Cup classic sprint, becoming the first U.S. man in seven years to reach the podium.
  • Ben Ogden clinched his first podium during the Tour de Ski, securing third place in the Toblach World Cup skate sprint.
  • Rosie Brennan secured five individual podiums, including two in one weekend in Ruka, Finland.
  • Sophia Laukli claimed her first World Cup win and second podium, dominating the Alpe Cermis hill climb on the final stage of the Tour de Ski.
  • Zanden McMullen achieved several career-best races, finishing the season ranked third in the world for men under 23.
  • Sammy Smith won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Planica, Slovenia, becoming the first American to win a sprint medal at this event.
  • John Steel Hagenbuch earned a sprint bronze medal at the U23 World Championships.
  • Haley Brewster secured second place in the U23s 20k skate race.

While the points above are highlights, the 2023-24 season was bright beyond podium finishes and top 10 rankings. The Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis showcased the vibrant culture of cross-country skiing in America and offered a glimpse into the future. With approximately 40,000 fans attending the Saturday and Sunday races, the world took notice of the event. Statements like "I couldn't hear myself breathe it was so loud," "This is what all World Cups should look like," and "Magic in Minneapolis" echoed from the world's best athletes as they visited the U.S. for the first World Cup in over 23 years. Then, to have six different athletes on the podium throughout the season, met by the first World Cup starts from several young Americans to career-best results at nearly every race, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team showed that they are the team to beat. 

As the season drew to a close, it became evident that the 23 athletes making up the roster had raised the bar for what is achievable in American skiing and as athletes return to training, the 2024-25 season has already begun, with the door wide open for what can happen next. 



2023-24 Alpine Season Wrap Up

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
April, 17 2024
River Radamus and the team celebrate his first podium. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard/Dustin Satloff)

As the sun shines and the snow starts to melt off the mountains, it's time to reflect on the success of the 2023-24 season for the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team. 

In total, the alpine team brought home 10 World Cup wins, 21 podiums and 51 top 10 results across the men and women’s World Cup teams. With multiple career best seasons, overall ranks, first-time podiums and stellar comeback seasons, let’s take a look at how it all shook out. 

Men’s Alpine 

On the men’s tour this season, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team bagged three podiums, one World Cup win and 17 top 10 results. The season started off with a bang in Val Gardena, Italy for the men’s speed team when two-time Olympian Bryce Bennett won the first downhill of the season, his second World Cup win. Bennett did it in style coming from behind to upset speed superstars Marco Odermatt of Switzerland and Aleksander Kilde of Norway. (If you haven't seen the reaction video of this moment, it's worth a look.) Bennett followed up his win with a third place result just two days later on the same track. Also to note - Bennett made the second largest downhill rank leap this season from 37th to fifth in the world. 

Teammate and Olympic silver medalist Ryan Cochran-Siegle also had a strong and consistent season. His best result was a fourth place in Kitzbühel, Austria in the first of two downhills, finishing just 0.01 seconds off a podium result. Both Bennett and Cochran-Siegle finished their downhill season with career best rankings: Bennett fifth in the discipline and Cochran-Siegle eighth. Younger athlete Kyle Negomir also made positive strides, finishing in the top 30 for super-G.  

Overall, it was a step in the right direction for the men’s speed team as a unit, closing the season with six men in the top 20 in the final downhill in Kvitfjell, Norway. The team finished fifth in the Nations Cup for downhill—just a few points off Austria in fourth. 

On the men’s tech side, River Radamus had his best ever season. Radamus consistently posted strong giant slalom results, all leading up to his first World Cup podium on home snow at the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup where he scored third place. Radamus also dabbled in slalom, shooting up from bib 70 to 19th place in Adelboden, Switzerland and showed solid super-G results with a top 10 result in Garmisch, Germany. He finished his giant slalom season ranked 11th, his best rank to date. 

On the men’s slalom team, Jett Seymour continued to show his speed in the stacked men’s field with his best result coming at the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup in 15th. 

It was an exciting season for the team’s young guns too. Up-and-coming tech skier Ryder Sarchett won gold at Junior Worlds in the giant slalom, the United States’ first gold in the discipline since Radamus in 2019. This victory enabled him to make his World Cup debut at World Cup Finals, when he scored the third fastest second run in the giant slalom, proving that he is ready for the big leagues. Jack Smith also made his World Cup debut this season in the super-G in Garmisch, Germany. 

Women’s Alpine

The women’s alpine season was highlighted by the winningest alpine skier of all time, Mikaela Shiffrin, claiming her record-equaling eighth slalom Crystal Globedespite being out of the circuit for six weeks due to a knee injury. This season, Shiffrin again won more World Cups than any other woman on the circuit—nine victories across three disciplines, including a downhill, a giant slalom and seven wins in slalom. She now has 97 World Cup wins to her name, with an astounding win number 100 just around the corner.

AJ Hurt had a tremendous breakthrough year on the World Cup circuit, securing her first two World Cup podiums: one in slalom and one in giant slalom. She proved that she is a force on the women’s tech circuit across both disciplines. Teammate Paula Moltzan also showed immense speed and consistency this season, highlighted by her third career World Cup podium in the Soldeu, Andorra slalom race. Moltzan closed out her season with her best giant slalom result to date at World Cup Finals when she scored a sixth place result, her eighth top 10 result in the discipline. 

Although the women’s tech team was smaller this season due to injury setbacks, the women still won the Nations Cup for slalom for the second year in a row with three different women standing on the podium in slalom. A feat that has not happened since 1970 when Barbara Ann Cochran, Kiki Cutter and Jody Nagel all stepped on the podium in slalom that season. 

The women’s World Cup speed circuit was highlighted by Jackie Wiles who made a tremendous comeback this season, landing on the podium in the World Cup downhill in Cortina—the 2026 Olympic venue. Lauren Macuga also had a breakout season, with three top 10 results in super-G, including a fifth place in Kvitfjell, Norway. Macuga ended her season ranked 13th in the women’s super-G standings and qualifying for her first World Cup Finals. 

Tricia Mangan also had a great season on the Europa Cup circuit, securing two super-G podiums and one downhill podium. 

Young Talent

The Stifel U.S. Ski Team brought a few fresh faces to the World Cup tour this season. In the opener in Soelden, Austria, sister duo Elisabeth and Mary Bocock made waves in the ski racing world as they debuted together as the first sisters to make their World Cup debut together since 1999. Dasha Romanov also made her first World Cup start in the Levi, Finland slalom and Allison Mollin made her speed World Cup debut in Crans Montana, Switzerland. 

The future is bright for the Stifel U.S. Ski Team. Along with the impressive World Juniors result by Sarchett and the number of World Cup debuts, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team claimed two NorAm Cup titles this season. Allison Mollin won both the super-G and downhill titles. 

Now the Stifel U.S. Ski Team looks to the future with a World Championships season looming and an Olympics year on the horizon. The team is fired up for a summer of prep and training to continue the fight to be the best in the world. 

Paine Endorsed for FIS Council Election by U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors, United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
April, 16 2024
Dexter Paine

U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced their full support for Dexter Paine in his candidacy for the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) Council. 

As a visionary leader with a deep commitment to skiing and snowboarding and its athletes, Paine has been involved in governance at both the national and international levels for decades. He served as a member of the FIS Council Executive Committee from 2014-22 and has acted as an ex-officio honorary member from 2022 to the present. Throughout his time with FIS, Paine focused on transparency, communication and inclusivity, including championing for female representation on the Council, longer terms for athlete representatives and the inclusivity of Paralympic sports. 

Paine currently serves as a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Board of Directors (2021-present), is on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation Board (2002-24) and is actively involved in the Salt Lake City 2034 Olympic Winter Games bid. Previously, Paine was Chairman of the Board of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors (2006-19) and was on U.S. Biathlon’s Board of Directors (2020-24). He has extensive experience in event delivery as an Executive Committee member of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado and the 2019 Freestyle, Freeski & Snowboard World Championships in Park City, Utah. 

Paine is the chairman at Paine Schwartz Partners and has more than 25 years of investment experience and 35 years in the private equity industry. In addition to his professional achievements, Paine is widely respected for his integrity, vision and dedication to the sport. His collaborative approach and strategic mindset have positioned him as a trusted leader within the skiing and snowboarding community.

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors firmly believes that Paine’s extensive experience and unwavering passion make him the ideal person to represent the interests of athletes and federations worldwide, unanimously putting forward his candidacy. 

"Dexter Paine's dedication to the advancement of skiing and snowboarding is unparalleled,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, President & CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “His leadership has consistently propelled our sports forward, and we know he will bring that same level of commitment and expertise to the FIS Council. We are proud to endorse Dexter and are confident in his ability to advocate effectively for the interests of athletes and federations around the world."

Gene Sykes, Chairman of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, also voiced his support. "As an organization committed to supporting American athletes on the global stage, we recognize the importance of strong leadership within international federations,” said Sykes.
“Dexter’s proven track record of leadership and advocacy aligns perfectly with the values of the Olympic movement. We fully endorse Dexter's candidacy for the FIS Council and believe he will be an outstanding representative for skiing and snowboarding on the international level."

Olympic champion Kikkan Randall, who has served on the IOC Board, USOPC Board and FIS Council, echoed the sentiments: “Dexter has been an incredible leader and advocate for skiing and snowboarding across all levels. He understands the complex needs of all stakeholders and has always championed the athletes' voices in the process. He brings a wealth of experience, tremendous passion and dedication to making sport fair, safe and positioned for growth. Dexter is well respected across the sports universe and has been an excellent collaborator between organizations. I am proud to endorse Dexter’s candidacy.”

The election for the FIS Council takes place at FIS Congress on June 5, 2024. 

Ski Cross Success at Junior World Championships

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
April, 15 2024
ski cross
Morgan Shute and Jack Mitchell hug after the team event. (Team Summit - Alexander Neimert)

In Idre Fjall, Sweden, the Ski Cross Junior World Championships team found tremendous success both individually and in the team event, highlighted by a team event bronze medal from Morgan Shute and Jack Mitchell. 

In the individual competitions, two-time Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Shute claimed fifth place in the individual competition. The next top performer for the U.S. was Maggie Swain in 16th and Molly Hagan in 27th. On the men’s side, Jack Mitchell found the top 10 in ninth place. Walker Robinson was 21st and Sullivan Butler 37th. 

Shute, who hails from Carabassett Valley Academy, and Mitchell, from the Evolve SX/Mission Ridge Ski Team, teamed up together to snag the bronze medal in the team event. 

Ski Cross Junior World Championships

2023-24 Freestyle Season Highlights

By Ryan Odeja - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
April, 15 2024
press conference
Chris Lillis speaks at a press conference at Deer Valley. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard).

The Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team had the chance to leave a long-lasting mark on the freestyle world this year, an opportunity they took and ran with. Three continents, 11 World Cups and 23 events made it one of the most physically demanding seasons in recent history, but the team went in with a vision and came out to a shift in the U.S. freestyle landscape. 


The season started with the moguls and aerials teams together in Ruka, Finland. Ruka has become a familiar starting point for the teams as they often spend weeks training just below the Arctic Circle leading into the World Cup season. This home base was the perfect place for U.S. aerials star Winter Vinecki to compete a triple for the first time, becoming one of the only women to do so on this year's circuit. This was just the beginning of what would become the most dominant season of her career. She went on to win three individual World Cups and helped lead the U.S. to a team win in Changchun, China. On top of competing triples consistently, Vinecki also perfected her doubles technique to make her hard to beat in all aspects of the sport. Vinecki finished the season second overall, only 42 points behind Danielle Scott of Australia. 

Chris Lillis, a veteran in the aerials world, was also part of the winning team in Changchun. In addition to the team win, he brought home two podiums, one of which happened the day prior in Changchun, and was in the top five in four of his six individual starts. Lillis ended the season with a third-place finish in Almaty, wrapping the year third overall. 

This season brought an incredible group of rookies to the scene. Connor Curran made his presence known quickly in his first full season on the World Cup circuit. In just six individual starts, he made his first super finals, earned his first top 10, top five and first podium. His first podium came at the Super Bowl of freestyle skiing: Deer Valley, where he finished second in front of the hometown crowd. At only 19 years old, Curran has shown great promise and will prove to add necessary depth to the men’s team moving forward.

Another name to remember is Karenna Elliott, who first came to the team three years ago. She has worked her way up the NorAm and national ranks, and this season was her first competing on the World Cup circuit full-time. Going into the 2023-24 season, Elliott’s best World Cup result was 12th - a number that she would improve immensely. Throughout the season, she earned her first top 10 result, made her first super finals, earned her first top 5, her first podium, and rounded it out with her first-ever win in Lac-Beauport, Canada. She ended the season ranked sixth in the world. Elliott’s determination and positive attitude have set her up for success, and she will play an integral role in the women’s team going into the World Championships year. 

Tasia Tanner was out of competitions for the better part of the last two seasons recovering from a trove of injuries. Tanner went into this season with no expectations and just wanted to put down clean jumps and have a bit of fun along the way. With a calm mindset and low pressure, Tanner achieved her best season and results yet, with two top fives. She rounded out her breakout season by winning the prestigious FIS Rookie of the Year Award at World Cup Finals in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 


The U.S. moguls season was nothing short of historic. From the first event of the season, the team came out swinging. In Ruka, Finland, Elizabeth Lemley kicked off the incredible year for the team, finishing second in moguls alongside teammate Olivia Giaccio in third. Lemley would go on to have one of the most exciting seasons of her career. Lemley earned an additional World Cup podium, two Youth Olympic Games gold medals and finished things out with a podium at the U.S. Championships. 

Olivia Giaccio had the season of a lifetime with consistent performances, personal bests, and never-before-done’s across the board. Following her first podium of the season in Ruka, she earned two more back-to-back third-place moguls finishes. Giaccio earned a new personal best dual moguls result, finishing second in Alpe d’Huez alongside Alli Macuga. On top of her consistent results and technical ability, Giaccio stepped up the game this season with her tricks. Giaccio became the first woman to compete a cork 1080 in a winning World Cup run, all in front of the hometown crowd in Deer Valley. Over the season, Olivia stepped on the podium nine times and finished third in the moguls, dual moguls and overall season standings. 

Alli Macuga was another force to be reckoned with on the circuit this year. Coming off of her rookie season, where she was presented the 2023 FIS Rookie of the Year Award, Macuga was ready to continue making waves. During a training run the day before the first World Cup, Macuga broke her hand; however, she didn’t let this hinder her season. At almost every competition, Alli earned new personal bests, earning her first career podium in Alpe d’Huez, finishing third, and her first moguls podium in Almaty, landing in second. Macuga made it obvious how much talent she possesses and her ability to grow over a season. 

This season featured two domestic World Cup events for the first time since 2018, bringing the athletes back to the birthplace of freestyle skiing: Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Across two days of moguls competition in Waterville, 18 U.S. athletes stood in the start gate, many earning their first World Cup starts. Skylar Slettene was one of those athletes, stunning the crowd by moving on to the finals in her first-ever World Cup appearance, finishing 14th. Jaelin Kauf and Hannah Soar, a Connecticut native, put on a show for the New England crowd, both landing on the podium on day one of the competition, and the U.S. women swept second-fifth place. On duals day, Kauf was back on the podium, this time alongside Giaccio. 

The most successful U.S. women’s moguls athlete is the one and only Jaelin Kauf, aka the fastest woman on the moguls circuit. Her determination, technical prowess and speed make her one of the greats in World Cups. In Idre Fjäll, Sweden, Kauf earned her eighth career World Cup victory in the dual moguls, an incredible display of perseverance and strength. Throughout the season, she earned 10 additional podium finishes, eight of which were in second place. One of Jaelin’s focuses this season was to keep her speed while implementing more complicated tricks. She accomplished this and more, perfecting her cork 7 while incorporating it into her moguls and dual moguls competition. Kauf improved upon her already impressive season last year to finish second in the moguls, dual moguls and overall standings for the 2023-24 season, just behind 2022 Olympic gold medalist Jakara Anthony. 

Nick Page also used the 2023-24 season to integrate new tricks into his skiing, blowing away the Deer Valley crowd by competing a cork 1440. On top of pushing the sport to new levels, Page is exact in everything he does. His season was highlighted by a second-place finish in Idre Fjäll moguls behind the one and only Mikael Kingsbury. Nick will admit that dual moguls is not his strong suit; however, you wouldn’t be able to tell based on his results this year. He landed on two additional podiums in Bakuriani, Georgia and Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy, both in dual moguls. 

It was Dylan Marcellini’s first complete season on the World Cup circuit, and it was certainly one to remember. Despite a few rocky results, Marcellini became the hometown hero in Deer Valley. During the dual moguls competition, Marcellini took on veteran Page in the small final. Both athletes struggled in this run, with Page taking a fall and Marcellini almost skiing out, but in the end, Marcellini came out on top to earn his first World Cup podium, all alongside his teammate.

This season saw many other newcomers on the moguls scene. Kasey Hogg, Charlie Mickel and Asher Michel were all able to build their World Cup resumes this year, starting with the North American tour. In Val St. Come, Canada - her first World Cup start of the season - Hogg immediately impacted the sport of moguls, becoming the first woman to compete a cork 1080 in a qualification run. She went on to earn her best career finish the following day in duals, finishing 10th. With newfound confidence going into Waterville, Hogg put on a show for her hometown, finishing fourth in moguls and seventh in duals, two new personal bests. 

Michel made his first moguls World Cup start in Waterville, finishing 11th. He wrapped up the season at the Junior World Championships in Italy, where he put the pieces together to finish third in the moguls event. Mickel, a Park City native, dominated the NorAm circuit all year. He channeled his familiarity with the iconic Champion run at Deer Valley to earn his first moguls top 10 with his friends and family cheering in the crowd. Mickel and Hogg both won their respective NorAm overall trophies, securing themselves individual World Cup starts for next season. 

Team Success

In a year without a World Championships or Olympic Games, this season was all about building routines, executing consistently, and strengthening team culture. With seven wins, 40 podiums, and 150+ top-10 results, it's easy to see these athletes were successful. Both the moguls and aerials teams took home the World Cup Nations Cup, an award given to the nation with the highest number of points across all athletes throughout the season. 

Although there is no official off-season for these athletes, the summer will be spent rejuvenating with friends and family, along with dry land, team meetings, reflection, and travel across the world chasing snow.

This team is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in freestyle skiing and inspiring the next generation of skiers while they are at it. The world is watching for what they will do next. 

USA FIS Masters Racers Celebrate a Decorated 2024 Season

By Lauren Beckos
April, 12 2024
Knut Olberg and Lisa Ballard win 1st place in their age class in the 2024 FIS Masters Cup
Knut Olberg and Lisa Ballard win 1st place in their age class in the 2024 FIS Masters Cup - Globes presented in Reiteralm, AUT

Congratulations to the USA athletes that achieved International ranking for the 2024 FIS Masters Cup Season!

Special congrats to Charlie Hauser (2nd in Age Class B12-RM), Knut Olberg (1st in Age Class B11-IM), Lydia Young (3rd in Age Class C10-RM) and Lisa Densmore Ballard (1st in Age Class C7-NO) for Winning Globes in their age class! Lisa was also 1st place for the women overall in SG! Knut and Lisa were on site in Reiteralm, AUT at the FMC Finals to receive their globes in person.

See the full 2024 FMC Final Standings! USA Ranked athletes shown here:

2024 FMC Ranked

Results from the USA FIS Masters Cup in Beaver Creek can be found at:

Full results from all FIS Masters Races

Here are the USA racer results summary from this season!

2023 FMC Bariloche Results
2023 FMC December2024 FMC Jan Results2024 FMC lateJan-Feb Results2024 WCM Reults2024 FMC Mar-Apr Results

International Moguls Season Wraps, Two on the Podium at Junior Worlds

By Ryan Odeja - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
April, 9 2024
Kylie Kariotis smiles on the top box after winning the dual moguls Junior World Championship podium in Valmalenco, Italy
Kylie Kariotis smiles on the top box after winning the dual moguls Junior World Championship podium in Valmalenco, Italy. (Mateusz Kielpinski / FIS Freestyle).

The international moguls season is officially complete after two days of intense competition at the 2024 FIS Freestyle Junior Ski World Championships in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy. The moguls action kicked off with the men’s and women’s single moguls events on April 5. Asher Michel shined for the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, finishing third against solid competition. This is his second Junior World Championship podium in the same amount of years. Porter Huff of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail rounded out the top five at only 16 years old in his first Junior World Championships appearance. Charlie Mickel of the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team finished eighth, followed by Camden Lewis of the Gould Academy in 20th. 

On the women’s side, Kylie Kariotis of Wasatch Freestyle landed just off the podium in fourth. Zoe Dwinell of Park City Ski & Snowboard finished 13th, followed by Olivia Maurais of Winter Park Competition Center in 14th and Reese Chapdelaine of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail in 15th. Dwinell, Maurais and Chapdelaine made it to the finals in their first Junior World Championship appearance. 

Due to a rescheduling of events, the mixed dual moguls team event was unfortunately canceled, and the athletes went right into dual moguls the following day. 

The U.S. athletes had an incredible day two in the dual moguls competition, with the campaign led by Kariotis winning on the women’s side, her second career Junior World Championship podium. In the big final, Kariotis dualed Anastassiya Gorodko of Kazakhstan, who has a consistent presence on the World Cup circuit. Gorodko’s career-best World Cup result of fifth came in duals at Valmalenco back in 2022, giving her a leg up due to her experience and familiarity with the course. Against all odds, Kariotis won the big final 20 to 15, earning her first Junior World Championships win. Maurais finished seventh, rounding out the top 10. Chapdelaine finished 11th, followed by Dwinell in 13th. 

On the men’s side, Michel finished fourth in duals, followed by Mickel in seventh, Huff in 10th and Lewis in 17th.

Curran Third at Aerials Junior World Championships

By Ryan Odeja - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
April, 5 2024
Connor Curran (right) smiles on the podium, finishing third at the 2024 Junior World Championships
Connor Curran (right) smiles on the podium after finishing third at the 2024 FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy. (Mateusz Kielpinski / FIS Freestyle)

The international aerials season has officially wrapped up following the completion of the aerials events at the 2024 FIS Freestyle Junior Ski World Championships in Chiesa in Valmalenco, Italy. Connor Curran of the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team earned his second consecutive Junior Worlds podium, finishing third in the men’s aerials event on Thursday. 

Beautiful sunny skies, air temperatures hovering right above freezing and limited wind made for two perfect days of competition.

“It was awesome sharing the podium with my two really good friends (Alexandre Duchaine and Miha Fontaine of Canada) that I’ve known for a long time and getting the North American sweep on the podium and in the super finals - that was pretty amazing,” said Curran. “This competition is harder [than some World Cups] because there is more [doubles] degree of difficulty in this competition, so getting this podium was meaningful.” 

Ian Schoenwald of Park City Ski & Snowboard (PCSS) also made the finals, finishing fifth overall and earning a new Junior Worlds personal best. Ashton Salwan (PCSS) just missed out on finals, finishing 10th on the day. On the women’s side, Kyra Dossa and Catherine McEneany also represented Park City Ski & Snowboard, finishing seventh and 12th, respectively. 

Today, March 5, was the final event of the season: mixed aerials team. Curran, Schoenwald and Dossa were paired together as the top finishing men and women from the previous day’s competition. The trio had a successful day, qualifying and finishing fourth overall. 

Three Alpine Athletes Win Big in World Pro Ski Tour

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
April, 4 2024
George Steffey wins the giant slalom in the World Pro Ski Tour. (World Pro Ski Tour)

Release courtesy of World Pro Ski Tour

2024 World Pro Ski Tour TAOS World Championships, presented by New Mexico True Results

Super Slalom World Championships, presented by and CB Sports – March 29, 2024

After exciting qualifying rounds and Ski TAOS’ Kachina Basin, the men faced off starting in a round of 32 and the women qualified to a field of 16 based on entry numbers. Regardless of competition size, men and women receive equal prize money and race on the same course at all World Pro Ski Tour races. Here's how it all panned out:


Joining the WPST TAOS World Championships were regular WPST competitors including U.S. Ski Team veteran, Michael Ankeny (USA); Current Tour leader, Christian Soevik (NOR); German national team veteran, Roman Frost (GER); 2023 Tour Overall Champion, Simon Breitfuss-Kammerlander (AUT); six-time All-American, Filip Forejtek (CZE) and more. These athletes set up to face off the likes of 2023 WPST World Champion, Reto Schmidiger (SUI); 2023 FIS Parallel World Champion, Alex Schmid (GER);  U.S. Ski Team and TAOS athlete River Radamus (USA); World Cup tech specialist, Sam Maes (AUT); Austrian World Cupper, Raphael Hauser (AUT) and more. 

Round of 32 surprises included a fast elimination of 2023 Tour Champion, Simon Breitfuss-Kammerlander who qualified poorly, while Germany's Adrian Meisen upset number nine-seeded George Steffey (USA). Racing progressed smoothly into the round of sixteen, where upsets included Haaser taking advantage of a quick mistake by the number 1 seeded Filip Forejtek and Haaser then went on to ski into the quarterfinals. No other big surprises through this round.

Headed into quarters, racing was intense and the pace aggressive. While dominant on the Tour all season, Soevik met his match in Haaser and was eliminated, while Schmidiger proved his mastery of the TAOS course once again and easily defeated his Czech opponent, Jan Zabystran (CZE). Frost, also a solid WPST athlete this season, faced Sam Maes, who edged him out. Finally, longtime Tour regular Ankeny challenged Schmid, but was unable to get past the reigning FIS World Champion gold medalist even with an advantage after the first run.

Semi-finals offered an all-international field with Haaser out skiing Schmidiger, who was showing signs of fatigue. Maes met Schmid with aggression and skied into the finals.

With a small final between Schmidiger and Schmid, Schmidiger came out victorious after Schmid got tangled up and was unable to recover. In the finals Maes and Haaser each attacked the course, but Maes had a dominant start and built his lead the entire way down.

1) Sam Maes (BEL)
2) Raphael Haaser (AUT)
3) Reto Schmidiger (SUI)
4) Alex Schmid (GER)


The women's field held another deeply stacked group of talent, including: WPST regulars like 2023 Tour Champion and Overall World Champion, Erin Mielzynski (CAN); 2022 Tour Champion, Tuva Norbye (NOR); 2024 WPST Aspen winner, Sara Rask (SWE); All-American Kaitlyn Harsch (USA) and more. These ladies met 2022 Overall TAOS World Champion, Paula Moltzan (USA); 2023 Giant Slalom TAOS World Champion, Tricia Mangan (USA); and other racers coming directly off the World Cup. teammates Tuva and Harsch saw one another in their first matchup, with Tuva coming away with the win. Tuva then had to meet yet another teammate, Mielzynski in the Round of 8. Mielzynski has proven dominant against Tuva all season, but today, Tuva skied with a purpose and clearly came away with the win. 

Meanwhile, Tuva's younger sister Kaja also joined in the race action - Kaja has raced on the WPST before, but not recently - and progressed along the bracket to face Moltzan in the semi-finals. Both Norbye sisters skied with speed and precision to progress along in their brackets, with Tuva advancing against Mangan, however Kaja was unable to outski Motzan and made it into the small final against Mangan. Mangan won the first heat, but Kaja regained her momentum and skied into third place.

In the big final, Tuva challenged Moltzan in the first run, but ultimately Moltzan found more speed in the second run on the blue course and earned the top spot in the TAOS World Championships super slalom for the third year in a row.

1) Paula Moltzan (USA)
2) Tuva Norbye (NOR)
3) Kaja Norbye (NOR)
4) Tricia Mangan (USA)

Giant Slalom World Championships, presented by Mazda – March 30, 2024

Saturday brought a bluebird and calm day Kachina Basin at Ski TAOS with a deeply talented field of pro athletes coming together for another day of World Championships racing, this time with a giant slalom course set.


After yesterday's super slalom, a giant slalom set brought a totally new game, with the men's round of 32 progressing as planned, but the round of 16 brought some major surprises. New faces to progress on during the day included the upset of yesterday's 2024 Super Slalom World Champion, Sam Maes (BEL) by George Steffey (USA). Tour leader, Christian Soevik (NOR), was taken down by rival WPST skier, Filip Foretjek (CZE) who has had difficulty up against Soevik all season. Alex Puente Tasias (ESP), who just joined the Tour in Bear Valley, upset Alex Schmid (GER), the reigning FIS Parallel World Champion. 

Exciting action and sometimes wild skiing continued into the quarterfinals with the giant slalom definitely bringing more speed and riskier lines by the athletes. Steffey proved he liked the GS format much better than yesterday's slalom and quickly eliminated Foretjek. Tour veteran and longtime US Ski Team athlete Michael Ankeny has proven throught the season that he can still compete agains the younger athletes now racing pro, but he was unable to shake off Alex Puente Tsias, who found an extra gear in his skiing today and progressed to the semi finals. The next surprise of the round came between U.S. Ski Teammates Radamus (USA) and Patrick Kenney (USA). Kenney held an advantage on the first run but was on the slower of the two courses in his second run; he dropped the hammer after the road and skied into the semis with a clear win. Last but not least, Jan Zabystran (CZE) met yesterday's second place finisher, Raphael Haaser (AUT) and Zabystran proved dominant in both runs.

During the semifinal round, George Steffey proved he could not be stopped on this course, saying, "as more of a GS guy, I favored today's setup and took every advantage." Steffey took care of Puente Tasias and sped into the finals. Zabystran continued his building pace against Kenney and earned the other spot in the finals. 

In the small final, Puente Tasias was showing fatigue and was unable to shake off Kenney, and the American skiied into a third place. Steffey and Zabystran kept it exciting through the first run, but Zabystran got too straight into the second and let Steffey ski safely into victory and to take home a $20,000 big check. 

1) George Steffey (USA)
2) Jan Zabystran (CZE)
3) Patrick Kenney (USA)
4) Alex Puente Tasias (ESP)


The women decided to change things up with the giant slalom as well, with more speed and straighter lines in places where they could take greater advantage of the flat sections. Yesterday’s super slalom World Champion, Paula Moltzan (USA) was upset in round of 8 quarterfinals by Fabiana Dorigo (GER), a Tour rookie and first time pro racer here at TAOS. 2023 Tour Champion Erin Mielzynski (CAN) was similarly upset when faced by Tricia Mangan (USA). Kaja Norbye (NOR) showed she was another athlete who could thrive in both tech disciplines with swift progress agains Evelina Fredricsson (SWE). Finally, Nora Brand (GER) defeated Tuva Norbye (NOR), preventing her from meeting her sister in the next round.

Release courtesy of World Pro Ski Tour 

In the semi finals, Mangan's speed kept coming while Dorigo was showing signs of fatigue and Mangan progressed to the final. Kaja Norbye was similarly able to outski Brand. This left an all German small final between Dorigo and Brand, and big final between Mangan and Norbye.

The small final went quickly with Dorigo holding Brand and skiing into third place. Mangan showed a more conservative approach to the course than her wild skiing of years past and defeated Kaja Norbye with a clear victory in both runs.

"This has been the most amazing event and I have had so much fun; the World Pro Ski Tour, TAOS and all of the sponsors have done an incredible job on this event and it all still feels surreal," said Mangan of her win.

1) Tricia Mangan (USA)
2) Kaja Norbye (NOR)
3) Fabiana Dorigo (GER)
4) Nora Brand (GER)


With points accumulation over the race weekend, Tricia Mangan was a clear WPST 2024 TAOS World Champion, presented by New Mexico True and she held both her $20,000 prize and $25,000 bonus high. so much variety in the men's field between the two race days culminated in a three-way tie for the $25,000 men's title and bonus, shared by Jan Zabystran, Sam Maes and Raphael Haaser.

Freestyle Leader Andy Wise Sr Passes Away

By Ryan Odeja
April, 3 2024
USSA’s Westhaven Award is given annually to recognize an outstanding USSA/FIS technical delegate. The donors of this award are Fraser and Teddy West. Pictured are all Westhaven recipients: Back row: Bill Slattery, Barry 'Bear' Bryant, Tom Winters, Ted Sutton Front row: Andy Hayes, Bruce Crane, Bob Dart, Jeff Lange, and Andy Wise USSA Chairman’s Awards Dinner, Friday, May 20, 2011, The Park City Marriott, Park City, UT Photo: Sarah Ely/USSA
Andy Wise (lower right) at the 2011 U.S. Chairman's Award Dinner on May 20, 2011 with fellow Westhaven Award recipients. (Sarah Ely/U.S. Ski & Snowboard).

Andy Wise Sr, an esteemed leader and advocate for the freestyle community, passed away on March 30, 2024, in Denver, Colorado. 

For over 35 years, Wise has been involved in freestyle skiing across all levels, from championing the next generation to working alongside the top athletes in the world, all while serving on countless boards and committees to advance the sport of freestyle skiing. 

In his career, Andy served as the Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Division from 1990-1996. Then, in 1999, he became a Sports Committee Chairman and an esteemed member of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Board of Directors, which he held until 2010. He continued his committee work with U.S. Ski & Snowboard on the Freestyle Sports Executive Committee until 2020. Throughout his career, Andy was dedicated to advancing athlete safety, and event logistics. He always strived to create an environment where athletes had the necessary tools to reach their full potential, on and off the snow. 

It is clear that Andy assumed any role and took on any responsibilities that were asked of him to move the sport of freestyle skiing forward. Over the years, he has received his technical delegate, chief of competition, and chief of start FIS licenses. He served as an FIS Technical Delegate at 21 World Cups, 34 FIS events, and two Junior World Championships across moguls, aerials, halfpipe, and ski cross. A person widely recognized for his accomplishments and service to freestyle skiing, taking on FIS assignments in the U.S. and worldwide, serving on the Freestyle Chairman’s Advisory Group and more, no job was too big or small. Through it all, it was clear that with Andy on the team, the job would get done. 

During his tenure, Andy received many awards for his dedicated work. In 2005, he received the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Westhaven Award, given annually to celebrate outstanding work as a technical delegate. Then, last year, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Freestyle Sports Committee nominated Andy for the Julius Blegan Award, the highest-level award at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, honoring a member who has contributed service to our sports over a sustained amount of time. 

Andy’s efforts and leadership will be felt for generations to come, and the impact he made and will continue to have across all snow sports will last forever. U.S. Ski & Snowboard extends its sincere condolences to his friends, family, and loved ones.