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Diggins Discloses Recent Struggles; Plans to Return Back Stronger

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 17 2023
Jessie Diggins skiing in a skate race during the 2022-23 season
Jessie Diggins skiing in a race during the 2022-23 World Cup season. (Nordic Focus)

On Sunday, September 16, Olympic champion Jessie Diggins disclosed that she recently struggled with her eating disorder after 12 years of being in recovery.  

“I’ve learned that sometimes the hard conversations we have can have the most transformative power,” Jessie wrote in a personal statement. “So although this isn’t easy for me, I have something I’d like to share with all of you. This summer, after 12 years of being in a great place of health, I’ve been struggling with my eating disorder.”

She spoke openly and honestly on her personal Instagram about how she is working daily with her team and focusing on putting herself, and her health, first. 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard and PEOPLE magazine worked together to help Jessie share her story

“Right now, I ask for your respect and trust that I’m putting my well-being first and foremost because my team and I all agree that a healthy and happy life is the primary objective.” 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard supports Jessie and anyone who may be struggling with their mental health. As she outlines in her statement, “To anyone out there struggling with mental health right now - I know that it can feel scary and hard to reach out for help, but it’s the best thing you can ever do.” 

Our mission at U.S. Ski & Snowboard is to empower athletes to achieve excellence, including providing the resources and tools necessary to ensure mental well-being. Mental health resources are available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Danelle Umstead: A Trailblazer in Para Alpine Skiing

By Ryan Odeja
September, 13 2023
Danelle Umstead competes in the Women's Super Combined, Visually Impaired event during the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang
Danelle Umstead competes in the Women's Super Combined, Visually Impaired event during the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang on March 13, 2018. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is highlighting HERoic trailblazers throughout our winter sports, both past and present. A HERoic trailblazer is a woman athlete who has gone above and beyond in her sport, moving the sport forward through grit and determination and inspiring the next generation of women athletes. 

Danelle Umstead, alumna of the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team, embodies what it means to be a HERoic Trailblazer. As one of the first and most dominant Para alpine ski racers in history, she has pushed the boundaries for her sport on and off the slope.  

Through her work as a motivational speaker and the founder of the Sisters in Sport Foundation, Danelle has promoted accessibility and paved the way for the next generation of disabled athletes. 

The Beginnings

Danelle’s motto is “living the impossible every day.” When she was 13, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and early onset macular degeneration, a condition that leads to total blindness. Over time, she lost her central vision and most of her peripheral vision. 

Despite her athletic success that we know today, Danelle’s skiing journey didn’t start until she was 29 when her dad convinced her to go to a local hill in New Mexico with him as her guide. She was hooked as soon as she felt the wind on her face as she skied down a run for the first time. Over the next few years, Umstead learned how to ski with a guide before meeting her future guide and husband, Rob Umstead. Rob grew up alpine ski racing and worked as a ski coach across the United States before landing in New Mexico where the pair met and immediately clicked. Meeting a guide that fits an athlete’s needs is tricky on its own, but finding a husband-wife pair is a truly special scenario. 

Not only do a ski guides help blind athletes ski down the hill, but they also help individuals in their everyday lives. When skiing, Rob skis slightly ahead of Danelle and constantly talks to her through headsets inside their helmets. He tells her about the course, the terrain and anything else she is about to encounter. They find the most success when they stay tight and keep constant communication. Danelle says that often Rob knows what she needs before she knows it. 

The pair quickly found their groove, and Danelle was determined to become a professional athlete. Together, they created Team Vision4Gold, and the Paralympic dream began. Outside of their Paralympic mission, in 2007, Danelle and Rob became parents to their son Brocton. The family is completed by Windy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. When not on snow, they love to hike, paddleboard, camp, and go on road trips together. 

A Story of Perseverance

In more than one way, the partnership between Danelle and Rob was a success. Danelle and Rob went to their first Paralympics in 2010 and took home two bronze medals in downhill and combined. 

Shortly after the Games in Vancouver, Danelle was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease that complicates the body's communication with the brain. The disease paralyzed half of her body, and she was forced to relearn how to walk and eventually to ski again. Despite battling the symptoms of multiple sclerosis every day, Danelle rehabbed and was able to return to skiing, quickly getting back to winning World Cup races with Rob and winning U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Adaptive Athlete of the Year award, setting the tone for the coming seasons. 

The pair earned a spot on the 2014 Paralympic Team, where she left with another bronze medal in the combined. Winning back-to-back medals at the Paralympics cemented Danelle’s name as one of the best adaptive skiers and the one to beat moving forward. 

The pair went on to compete in two more Olympics, two more World Championships and countless World Cup races. Over the course of their 14-year competitive career, they won three Paralympic bronze medals, four World Cup medals (two silver and two bronze), two overall Crystal Globes, and had 50+ World Cup podiums. And not only was Umstead just a star within the ski world! In 2018, Umstead became one of the celebrities competing on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars, becoming the first-ever blind contestant on the show. 

A Lasting Legacy

Throughout her career, Danelle discovered the loneliness that can come with being a disabled athlete and the importance of having a solid support system. She found a tight-knit community through skiing that helped her to push through difficult times in her career, became passionate about providing this support to others and encouraging the next generation of disabled athletes to participate in sports. In 2020, Umstead created the Sisters in Sports Foundation to provide mentorship and education programs to women athletes with disabilities.

Danelle is also a successful motivational speaker, empowering leaders and teams to overcome obstacles to do the impossible every day. Her contributions to skiing and Para sports as a whole are immeasurable, and she continues to show her commitment to empowering the next generation of disabled athletes. Thanks to Danelle, Para alpine skiing is a more welcoming and accessible community than before

Nina O’Brien Injures Leg

By Sierra Ryder
September, 12 2023
Nina O'Brien
Nina O'Brien Injures Leg (Mike Dawson/U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Nina O’Brien fractured her left leg in training at a camp in New Zealand. 

“I’m really sad to share that I left New Zealand after re-fracturing my leg,” said O’Brien. “Ski racing, I love you but wow you can be brutal. I was having the best camp, and just want to get back to those moments. So I guess we’ll have to try this thing again. At least this isn’t my first rodeo.”

Nina O'Brien Injures Leg


O’Brien has been a key member on the women’s World Cup tech team, consistently scoring World Cup points. She is coming off a successful 2022-23 season where she became a world champion in the team event at the Courchevel-Meribel 2023 World Championships. She also had strong results in giant slalom last season, highlighted by a 10th place in the Kronplatz, Italy World Cup race. 

This is the second time she will go through the recovery process for a broken leg. O’Brien first broke her left leg while competing at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing when she suffered an open fracture to her tibia. She was the top U.S. contender in the giant slalom race, sitting in sixth place when she fell in the last few gates of the second run. 

O’Brien is having surgery Tuesday and will be out of competition for the upcoming 2023-24 season. 

Meet The 2023-24 U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team

By Ryan Odeja
September, 12 2023
Allie Johnson competing in Womens Super-G at the 2023 FIS Para Alpine Ski World Championships, Espot, Spain. (Photo by Marcus Hartmann)
Allie Johnson competing in super-G at the 2023 FIS Para Alpine World Championships in Espot, Spain. (Marcus Hartmann)

The U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team roster for 2023–24 features a wide range of ages and experiences. Get to know the team before the season starts as they come under U.S. Ski & Snowboard!

Allie Johnson

Johnson has been skiing since she was 4 when she started with her family in Winter Park, Colorado, but she grew up in the suburbs of Chicago where skiing every day wasn’t possible. Although she continued skiing throughout her life, she didn’t start ski racing until the 2018-19 season when her coworker/future coach Scott Olsen asked, ‘Why not?’ After her leap of faith, she quickly fell in love with the sport and realized that this was the path she was meant to be on. She had an impressive first season but suffered a broken tibia and fibula during her first downhill race. Johnson returned stronger in February 2021 and joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team. During her first full season on the World Cup circuit, she won her first race, claimed the overall giant slalom bronze, and had four World Cup podiums. Johnson made her Paralympic debut in Beijing in 2022, finishing 12th in the giant slalom and 14th in the super-G. 

Born without her right forearm, Allie grew up horseback riding and worked as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, teaching individuals with disabilities how to ride horseback before committing to skiing. When she isn’t skiing or riding horses, she enjoys spending time with her partner, Marcus, and her dogs. 

Andrew Haraghey

When Haraghey was six months old, he contracted viral encephalitis, which resulted in cerebral palsy presenting as severe muscle tension from the waist down. He started skiing at 7 and began racing a few years later. 

The standing skier from Enfield, Connecticut, honed his skills at a young age, leading him to make his Paralympic debut as a 22 year old in 2018. Now 27, Haraghey has competed in two Paralympics and three World Championships, with his best result being a 10th-place finish in downhill earlier this year in Espot, Spain. He loves to water ski, kayak, play tennis, swim and camp when not skiing.

Andrew Kurka

Growing up, Kurka dreamed of going to the Olympics as a wrestler. His athletic ambitions were altered after an ATV accident at age 13 damaged vertebrae in his spinal cord. A few years later, Kurka discovered monoskiing through the Challenge Alaska program, and he was instantly hooked. Within a few years, he was named to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team and shortly after made his international debut on the World Cup circuit, where he has been a steady, consistent force ever since. Now 31, Kurka is a three-time Paralympian and two-time Paralympic medalist, taking home the downhill gold and super-G silver in 2018. Despite sustaining a shoulder injury during the downhill in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, he returned to finish the race in fourth place. The sit skier from Palmer, Alaska, returned from injury this past March for the season-closing World Cup event in Cortina, Italy. His all-or-nothing racing style has also led to five World Championship medals thus far.

Kurka’s ski pursuits don’t stop at racing; he has also become the first person to monoski the Christmas Chute of Mt. Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska. Outside of skiing, he is a country music DJ and proudly owns a bed and breakfast in Alaska. His B&B is focused on providing people with disabilities the opportunity to explore the home state he loves. Recently, Kurka earned his Sport Pilot license in partnership with Able Flight at Purdue’s flight school, and he enjoys being outdoors as much as possible and spending time with his family and friends. Kurka is also an Athlete Mentor for Classroom Champions, a nonprofit organization that partners athletes with schools in underserved communities.

Audrey Crowley

Crowley was born without a fully developed right arm and began skiing with her family at a very young age. Growing up in small town Wisconsin, Crowley started skiing on a 196 vertical foot hill before moving to Colorado to pursue skiing more consistently. At only 16 years old, she has made a name for herself in both adaptive and able-bodied races nationwide. She was named the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy Athlete of the Year in 2019, and her proudest accomplishments include winning the U.S. Para National Championships in 2021 and super-G nationals in 2023. Crowley was first named to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team for the 2023-24 season and will start racing on the World Cup circuit this winter. 

Crowley loves animals and currently works with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue. She tries to get outside as much as possible and spend time with her family and friends. Crowley’s motto is “I just never thought I couldn’t.” - Lighting McQueen.

Jesse Keefe

Growing up in Bellevue, Idaho, Keefe wasn’t far from the skiing hub of Sun Valley, Idaho. That led to him skiing for the first time when he was 2 years old, not long after his right foot was amputated. At age 7, he joined the Sun Valley Ski Education race team and started his journey of competitive alpine skiing. He quickly rose through the national ranks and noted his most memorable athletic moments, winning the 2021 U.S. National giant slalom and slalom and placing third in super-G. The standing skier made his World Championships debut at 17 in 2022 before heading to Beijing as the youngest U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team member. Despite his youth — and having to deal with homework assignments between races — Keefe earned three top-20 finishes, including a ninth place in slalom. 

In three words, Jesse would describe himself as funny, kind and adventurous, which makes perfect sense as his favorite activities are mountain biking, camping and anything that gets him outdoors. When he’s not skiing or spending time outside, he loves to hang out with his dogs Cody and Finn, cat June Bug and leopard gecko Nikko.

Laurie Stephens

Stephens was born and raised in New England and hails from Wenham, Massachusetts. She was born with spina bifida and found skiing at age 12 when she joined a group of athletes with disabilities who skied at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. This experience led her to start racing at age 15 and join Chris Devlin-Young’s New England Disabled Ski Team. 

By 2004, at age 20, Stephens had already become the overall and giant slalom World Cup champion in her rookie season. Her first two seasons led to her being named the 2006 Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee (now the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee) and nominated for the 2006 ESPY for Best Athlete with a Disability. During her time on the team, Stephens has cemented herself as one of the most dominant sit skiers on the World Cup circuit. She is a five-time Paralympian, seven-time Paralympic medalist (two gold, two silver, three bronze), and a two-time world champion. Stephans previously held two U.S. records for Para swimming in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke. When she isn’t on the snow, Stephens loves to read and knit.

Matthew Brewer

Brewer had both legs amputated above the knee after developing compartment syndrome in 2014. After meeting Stephani Victor and hearing her story of Paralympic success, she invited him to learn to ski, and he was all in. Brewer decided to start skiing and made the move to Utah to start training competitively. He trained with the National Ability Center High-Performance team and was awarded their Sportsman of the Year for the 2020-21 season. In 2021, he was nominated to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team and started his journey on the World Cup circuit. The Huntington Beach, California, native made his Paralympic debut as a sit skier in Beijing at 46, finishing 12th in the slalom and 25th in the giant slalom. Between races in 2022, Brewer married his former prosthetist in October. 

Outside of racing, Brewer mentors new monoskiers to help them feel comfortable on the slopes and advocates for recovering addicts.

Patrick Halgren

Halgren’s favorite part about alpine skiing is the connection between technique and speed. “You can’t fake fast,” he says. He believes he was meant for something greater, so he is channeling his training to honor his late twin brother Lucas ‘Sven’ Halgren. Sven was the one who encouraged Patrick to take up Para skiing after his accident in 2013, which resulted in a left leg amputation. Halgren rose through the U.S. ranks and was nominated to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2021. 

The 30-year-old standing skier was back on the World Cup circuit this year after making his Paralympic debut last March in Beijing. At this year’s World Championships, Halgren brought his barber with him to Spain to get a fresh haircut for the big event. That confidence helped him earn a 19th-place finish in the downhill and a 22nd-place finish in the super-G. When he’s not skiing, Halgren loves rollerblading and road-tripping.

Ravi Drugan

Drugan was born in Treasure Island, Florida, before moving to Eugene, Oregon, with his family. While growing up in Oregon, Drugan lost both of his legs after surviving being hit by a train. His injury led his parents to introduce him to Para alpine skiing through Oregon Adaptive Sports, a foundation that provides sports programs to people with disabilities. After his introduction to the sport, Drugan joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2017, and his career took off at the beginning of 2022, as he made his World Championships and Paralympic debut in the span of two months. At this year’s World Championships in Spain, the 33-year-old sit skier finished eighth in the downhill and 14th in the giant slalom. 

Besides alpine skiing, Drugan participates in mono skicross events and even won a bronze medal at the 2015 X Games. Outside of skiing, he loves anything that gets him outdoors, like camping, hiking and working on classic cars. 

Saylor O’Brien

O’Brien grew up in Woodland, Utah, trying every sport she could. Born with spina bifida, she found adaptive skiing at age 4 and immediately fell in love. When she was young, she met Picabo Street and decided to pursue skiing and academics at her school, the Picabo Street Academy. O’Brien credits Picabo as significantly influencing her skiing and who she wants to be as an athlete and person. O’Brien joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2022 and had a successful first season on the circuit. She took second and third in her World Cup debut this past January in Veysonnaz as a 19 year old, right before winning two bronze medals in super-G and alpine combined at the 2023 World Championships. 

Saylor comes from an athletic family, so it is no surprise that she has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. When she isn’t skiing, you can probably find her dying or cutting her hair, making lots of art, going to concerts and hanging out with her dog. 

Spencer Wood

Wood started skiing very young and started racing at age 5. He was diagnosed with hemiplegia of the right side of his body as a baby due to a stroke and although he was diagnosed early in life, Wood’s parents didn’t tell him about the diagnosis until he was 10. The standing skier from Pittsfield, Vermont, began competitive Para skiing after he attended a Disabled Sports USA race camp in December 2014. He joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2017 and made his Paralympic debut in PyeongChang just three years after becoming a competitive Para alpine ski racer. He finished 25th in giant slalom and improved on that finish in the Beijing Games, finishing 14th in alpine combined and slalom and 12th in super-G. The 26-year-old has also competed in two World Championships, with his best result being a 14th-place finish in the downhill.

Wood’s favorite quote is “Believe” - Ted Lasso, and he credits his mom and two-time Olympic medalist able-bodied alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht as the most influential people in his career. You can find Wood watching Formula 1 or mountain biking when he isn’t skiing. 

Thomas Walsh

At the age of 2, Walsh began skiing and was on the race course by the age of 5. As an avid athlete, he was also active in the arts and has been acting since age 6. Since then, he has continued to be involved with acting, music, dance and numerous other sports, including nordic skiing, hockey and competing in triathlon. In 2009, Walsh was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma but returned to racing shortly after his final radiation treatment in 2010. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Walsh returned to racing and was invited to be on the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team the following year. Within his first year on the international circuit, Walsh won his first slalom and giant slalom World Cup races. 

The 28-year-old standing skier from Vail made his Paralympic debut in PyeongChang and had two top-10 finishes, including fifth in slalom. When he returned to the Games in 2022, he took home a silver in giant slalom, making him the only U.S. Para alpine skier to medal in Beijing. He has also competed in four World Championships, winning two bronzes in 2019. Outside of skiing, his hobbies include the arts, traveling, mountain biking, film, thrifting and being outdoors. He names Mikaela Shiffrin and Steven Nyman as his idols, and as a cancer survivor, he races for all who cannot. He credits his mother as the most influential person in his life and career.


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U.S. Wins Freestyle & Freeski Marc Hodler Trophy at Junior World Championships

By Libby Arganbright
September, 5 2023
U.S. Freeski team with trophy
U.S. athletes win the freestyle & freeski Marc Holder Trophy at the 2023 Junior World Championships in Cardrona, New Zealand. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

CARDRONA, NZ (Sep. 5, 2023) – The 2023 FIS Park & Pipe Junior World Championships came to a close on Sep. 4th in Cardrona, New Zealand after the big air finals and the U.S. Freeski Junior World Championships Team helped secure the Freestyle & Freeski Marc Hodler Trophy, awarded to the best overall nation. 

“The level of skiing at Junior Worlds gets better every year,” said Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Kate Gray, who earned sixth place in slopestyle at the Junior World Champs on Aug. 30. “The women’s field in particular stood out this year with many dub 10s and it set the bar high for this coming competition season. ”

Notable U.S. finishes in big air include Elaina Krusiewski of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail finishing eighth and 16 year-old Eleanor Andrews of Killington Mountain School finishing in ninth. Flora Tabanelli of Italy won the big air event, while Linshan Han and Ruyi Yang of China finished second and third respectively. 

For the snowboarders, Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team rookie team rider Brooklyn DePriest took to the big air jump and was the leading American finishing in fifth place. Taiga Hasegawa of Japan won the event. Rocco Jamieson of New Zealand took second and Ian Matteoli of Italy finished in third.

The Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes’ results helped secured the Marc Hodler Trophy, finishing with 111 points ahead of Canada with 109 points. The U.S. Junior World Championship snowboard team finished sixth overall. It was a successful Junior Worlds for the U.S. and the next generation of freeski and snowboard athletes are bringing forward undeniable talent as they enter the 2023-24 season. 



Men's freeski big air 

Women's freeski big air 

Men's snowboard big air 

Women's snowboard big air 






Kelly Clark: A Trailblazer in Snowboarding

By Libby Arganbright
August, 30 2023
Kelly Clark waves to the crowd in the FIS Snowboard World Cup Halfpipe Finals
Kelly Clark waves to the crowd in the FIS Snowboard World Cup Halfpipe Finals during the Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort on August 30, 2015 in Wanaka, New Zealand. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is highlighting HERoic trailblazers throughout our winter sports, both past and present. A HERoic trailblazer is a woman athlete who has gone above and beyond in her sport, moving the sport forward through grit and determination and inspiring the next generation of women athletes.

A three-time Olympic medalist, five-time Olympian, seven-time X Games gold medalist, eight-time US Open winner and trailblazer for women’s snowboarding, Kelly Clark redefined snowboarding as one of the most profound and dominating athletes to ever enter the halfpipe. 

Rapid Ascent 

When you look back at the sport of competitive snowboarding, ‘Kelly Clark’ comes to mind. The impact she had on the sport is undeniable, but the success did not happen overnight. 

Clark started early. Born on July 26, 1983 in Newport, Rhode Island but growing up in West Dover, Vermont, she started snowboarding at the age of seven during a family vacation. It did not take long for her to fall in love with the sport. Only a few years later after being on a board for the first time, she was enrolled in Mount Snow Academy, and as it goes, the rest is history. 

Only in 1998 did snowboarding become an Olympic event and in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games, Clark found herself dreaming of becoming an Olympic champion. It was watching those Games where she realized exactly what she wanted to do. Fastforward, Clark began competing at 14 years old and quickly became one of the best. In 2000, she was named to the U.S. Snowboard Team. 

On Fire 

The same year she joined the U.S. Snowboard Team, Clark won her first FIS event at the Junior World Championships in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and the momentum followed. The following season, she was winning at the highest stage of the sport, including the National Championships at Sunday River, Maine. 

But it was in 2002 that everyone started to know who Kelly Clark was. She took home a gold medal at X Games, the US Open in both halfpipe and quarterpipe and was the overall U.S. Grand Prix champion. Then her dreams of being an Olympic champion came to fruition in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games when Kelly became the first U.S. woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding. 

Clark’s Olympic journey continued with remarkable consistency. In her illustrious career, she competed in five Winter Olympics from 2002 to 2018, capturing two more Olympic medals after her victory in Salt Lake — a bronze in both the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games. In Sochi, Clark’s medal came 12 years after her first gold, showcasing her resiliency and relevancy in the sport that only became more competitive each season. 

Clark’s impact went far beyond the medals; she transformed the sport of snowboarding with her groundbreaking tricks, mentorship and willingness to push the boundaries. In 2011, right before another victory at the X Games, she became the first woman to ever throw and land a 1080 in the superpipe. In her 2015 season, Clark was nominated for her second ESPY, this time for Best Female Action Sports Athlete, showcasing her impact on the entirety of the sports landscape. She also took home another silver medal at the X Games, tagged her eighth win at the US Open, scored her sixth U.S. Grand Prix tour title and ended by adding her fifth World Snowboarding Tour title to her name. 

Legacy of Inspiration

The numbers speak for themselves. After 20 years, 200 events, 137 podiums, 78 wins and more pipe laps than you can count, Clark called it good in 2019, securing herself as one of the best competitive snowboarders in the world. After reaching her competitive glass ceiling, she officially announced her retirement and left professional snowboarding — but the fun never slowed. Now, Clark spends her time road biking, surfing and chasing pow on her snowboard in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Outside of sport, Clark spends her time fundraising for the Kelly Clark Foundation, which gives opportunities to promising young snowboarders. As well as her charitable pursuits, in 2017, Clark published her autobiography 'Inspired' which chronicles her snowboarding career and the constant growth and development needed to stay mentally and physically fit at such a high level. 

Kelly Clark transformed the sport and thanks to her determination and dedication, she has influenced generations of athletes, both men and women, and set the tone, showing that anything is possible in the world of snowboarding. 


Two Top 10s at 2023 Snowboard Junior World Championships Slopestyle Contest

By Libby Arganbright
August, 29 2023
U.S. athletes at the 2023 Park & Pipe Junior World Championship in Cardrona, NZ.
U.S. athletes at the 2023 Park & Pipe Junior World Championship in Cardrona, NZ. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athletes Rebecca Flynn and Brooklyn Depriest showed up at the 2023 Park & Pipe Junior World Championships slopestyle finals and both landed in the top ten. 

Flynn, a third year on Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team came in fifth, a testament to a strong summer of training. Flynn has a history of big results - in 2022, she clinched first place in the big air contest at the Aspen NorAm Cup and secured three more second-place podium finishes at the NorAms in Copper, Sun Peaks, and Aspen. Now, achieving a top ten result in the Junior World Championships further strengthens her position as she enters the 2023-24 season.

Seventeen-year-old Brooklyn Depriest, a rookie on the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team's slopestyle roster secured the sixth-place Junior World Champs result. Depriest has clinched three top-three finishes in the 2023 NorAm Cups and was the National Champion in slopestyle at Copper Mountain. Much like Flynn, Depriest's addition of a top-ten result to his already impressive resume bodes well for the upcoming season.

Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team rookie slopestyle coach Eric Beauchemin was on hand to help guide these riders. 

Up Next: Big Air 

Junior World Championships snowboard big air qualifications kick off on Saturday, September 2nd, followed by big air finals on Sunday, September 3. 


Women’s Slopestyle Results

Men’s Slopestyle Results


U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Knockaround Sunglasses Announce Partnership Through 2026

By Libby Arganbright
August, 29 2023
U.S. Ski & Snowboard logo

(PARK CITY, UTAH OR SAN DIEGO, CA – August 30, 2023) – U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Knockaround Sunglasses officially announce a partnership through 2026. As part of the partnership, Knockaround has exclusive selling rights of sunglasses and goggles at seven key events throughout the season for the next three years.

“We are immensely proud for Knockaround Sunglasses to launch into the snow spotlight as the official sunglasses and snow goggles partner of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team,” said Jeffrey R. Hennion, CEO of Knockaround. “Just as their athletes relentlessly pursue excellence on the slopes, Knockaround is dedicated to crafting eyewear that meets the highest standards of quality and style. Together, we’re setting our sights on a brighter, snow-capped future.”

As the official sunglasses and goggles sponsor of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Knockaround will be creating specially designed U.S. Ski & Snowboard eyewear and will be on site during the following 2023-24 events: Stifel Killington Cup, both Toyota Grand Prix events at Copper and Mammoth, the Visa Big Air presented by Toyota at Copper, the Intermountain Health Freestyle International at Deer Valley, Waterville Valley Freestyle World Cup, the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup and the Stifel Aspen Winternational presented by United. Aggregate Sports aided in brokering the partnership.

“We are very excited to have Knockaround on board for the next three years,” said Trisha Worthington, Chief Revenue & Philanthropy Officer of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “They are a brand that matches the personality of not only our teams, but our passionate fans too.”

The partnership will bring forward fashionable, high-quality UV protection and optimal vision products to a community of athletes and fans that seek out functional gear for all their activities, on and off the mountain.


About Knockaround
Knockaround is the original, affordable sunglasses company from San Diego, founded by Adam "Ace" Moyer in 2005. Centered around durable shades that are both practical and stylish, Knockaround provides high-quality sunglasses that won't break the bank. Knockaround has grown to offer numerous different frame styles in a wide range of colors as well as ongoing Limited Edition special releases, collaborations, and an interactive "design your own" custom sunglasses shop. Knockaround Sunglasses have been featured in GQ, US Weekly, and The Today Show, and have been worn by countless celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, John Mayer, Natalie Portman, Snoop Dogg, and John Legend. For more information, visit

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 2023, competing in ten teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle moguls, freestyle aerials, snowboard, nordic combined, Para snowboard, Para alpine, and ski jumping. In addition to the fully-funded 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 


U.S. Ski & Snowboard
Leann Bentley
Communications Manager 

Francisco Zambrano   

Lillis First at U.S. Freestyle Ultimate Airwave Summer Grand Prix

By Leann Bentley
August, 28 2023
U.S. athlete Chris Lillis stands atop the podium in Park City, Utah
Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athlete Chris Lillis stands atop the podium at the 2023 U.S. Ultimate Airwave Competition at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, UT. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Over the weekend, the best aerials athletes in the world spent the day stunning the crowd at the 2023 U.S. Freestyle Ultimate Airwave Competition and Olympic champion Chris Lillis took home first. 

On the second stop of the inaugural FIS Grand Prix World Tour, Park City played host to a full day of world-class aerials competition and the world showed up, with athletes from Canada, Switzerland, China and Australia competing on the water ramps in front of a large home crowd. 

Most of the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes were on the start list, including 2023 World Champion Quinn Dehlinger and Olympic champion Justin Schoenfeld. For the men, Lillis took home his first win of the Grand Prix, and second podium of the series (he was third in Switzerland the week prior). Dehlinger was the next American man, finishing the day in fifth place. For the women, 2022 Olympian Winter Vinecki led the strong U.S. team with a fourth place finish, with teammates Dani Loeb in fifth and Kaila Kuhn in sixth. 

"This has been an event that we have been trying out and testing out around the world for about ten years now," said Lillis in a post-competition interview. "So to be able to put it into place has been amazing, and it's been a blast. I am really excited about today, and stoked to be leading the Grand Prix overall. This is a ramp I have taken thousands of jumps off in my career, so to put on a good show in front of the home crowd was amazing!" 

A unique addition to the start list were up-and-coming aerials hopefuls, who were hand-selected to compete based on video submissions to the Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Aerials Pipeline: Digital Combine organized and supported by GMTM. Athletes Brayden Flynn and Beaudin Napolitano competed in Saturday’s competition, showcasing their skills on one of the bigger stages of the sport. The Digital Combine by GMTM is an athlete recruitment program that acts as a pipeline for athletes to reach the next stage of the sport. 

“In partnership with the USOPC this past spring, we teamed up with GMTM to create an aerial athlete recruitment program that allows athletes to try out through a video submission or a virtual competition series," said U.S. Freestyle Sport Director Matt Gnoza. "It was so great to see athletes from the aerial recruitment program compete at the FIS level for the first time at the Ultimate Airwaves. U.S. Ski & Snowboard are excited to assist these athletes as they work to become the next great American aerial athlete.”

"Redefining pathways for athletes -- that's what we've been working so closely on with Matt and the team," said Connor Dietz, GMTM Co-founder. "For the first time ever, any athlete is able to participate and be seen by U.S. Ski & Snowboard, regardless of their location, sport background or socioeconomic situation. We're excited that these two athletes are the first of many to follow."

Next up, aerials athletes will travel to Australia for the final FIS Grand Prix World Tour stop before the start of the 2023-24 winter season. 


Ligety, Patterson Inducted into Intermountain Hall of Fame

By Courtney Harkins
August, 25 2023
Ligety Hall of Fame induction
Ted Ligety speaks after being inducted into the Intermountain Hall of Fame.

Ted Ligety and Ruff Patterson were inducted into the Intermountain Hall of Fame on August 24, 2023 in Park City, Utah.

Ligety is a two-time Olympic Winter Games gold medalist, surprising the world when he won gold in Torino in 2006 and reinstating his dominance in 2014 in Sochi. He is also a seven-time World Championship medalist (including five golds), has six World Cup Crystal Globes and 52 World Cup podiums. Known as Mr. GS, he dominated giant slalom races on the World Cup circuit, with nearly 80% of his podiums coming from the discipline. Ligety retired from the U.S. Ski Team in 2021 when he was 36 years old.

Accepting his award with tears in his eyes, Ligety thanked his parents, wife and three boys for supporting him through his career, as well as his coaches and teammates sitting in the crowd, including Steven Nyman and Chip Knight. Hailing from Park City and still living in the town today, it was a special moment for Ligety to have the Hall of Fame in his backyard welcome him with open arms.

Also inducted into the Hall of Fame was Ruff Patterson, a cross country skier from Sun Valley, Idaho, who now lives in Park City. He won the NCAA championships with the University of Colorado, before coaching for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation cross country team and then the U.S. Ski Team for 10 years, working primarily with the women and attending the 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. He also helped to steward skate skiing into the World Cup before taking over as the head coach for the Dartmouth Ski Team for 27 years.

Ligety and Patterson joined ski coach Butch Hoffman in the 2023 class of the Intermountain Hall of Fame.