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U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names Top Clubs For 2021-22

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 16 2022
Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club
Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club (EMSC) was selected as the second recipient of the new Development Club of the Year Award.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard recognized its top clubs as a part of its annual awards. The Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team was named overall Club of the Year for the second time, having been honored in 2019. Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club was recognized as Development Club of the Year.

“Clubs are the entry point for skiers and snowboarders into the sport and a vital part of our athletic pipeline. We’re proud to recognize the achievements of these clubs across all of our sport programs.”
– U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.

California’s Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team was recognized as the overall Club of the Year, an honor it also won in 2019. The Development Club of the Year award went to Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club.

“These clubs really set a high standard of excellence for others,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club Manager Ellen Adams. “Mammoth Mountain, as overall Club of the Year, has long been a productive club for a wide array of local programs and consistently pushing athletes to the top level in the sport. As Development Club of the Year, Eldora Mountain was recognized for its engagement in development programs and contributions to the sport regionally.”

Additional organizational awards, including Athletes of the Year, will be announced throughout the latter half of June.

2022 OVERALL CLUBS OF THE YEAR

OVERALL CLUB OF THE YEAR

SNOWBOARD CLUB OF THE YEAR
Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team (Gold Certified Club)
Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team (MMSST) was recognized as overall Club of the Year, as well as Snowboard Club of the Year - both for the second time. MMSST was acknowledged for its dedication to creating the best winter sports program in the nation through long-term athlete development, excellent programming, and a commitment to supporting its athletes. The program is led by Ben Wisner, who was also acknowledged as overall and snowboard Development Coach of the Year.

The success of Mammoth’s multisport program is based on several key factors. First, MMSST is highly engaged in coaches' education, ensuring that everyone on staff has at least level 100 certification. Secondly, it has made a serious commitment to progression with its high performance center. It is also an active participant in hosting events from local to national to international level.

In snowboard and freeski, MMSST has developed some of the most skilled athletes in the country, including Olympic champion Chloe Kim.

MMSST has also excelled in partnering with U.S. Ski & Snowboard and USASA to hold vital events. This past season, Mammoth played host to a snowboard World Cup which doubled as an Olympic qualifying event. It also produced USASA and Rev Tour events, plus a Project Gold camp for park and pipe.

 

DEVELOPMENT CLUB OF THE YEAR
Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club, Boulder, Colo. (Silver Certified Club)
Colorado’s Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club (EMSC) was selected as the second recipient of the new Development Club of the Year Award. The honor is presented annually to a club recognizing its alignment with U.S. Ski & Snowboard athlete development standards.

EMSC was founded in 1975 and now offers programs in junior race, core, and ability. In addition to alpine, it also integrates a ski and snowboard freestyle/freeride program, the EMSC Free Team, offering slopestyle, big air, ski and snowboard cross and big mountain.

One of the key elements of EMSC’s selection as Development Club of the Year was its work in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard club certification program. In summer 2020, EMSC earned its bronze certification. It then took feedback from the bronze review, focusing on areas for improvement and this past season achieved silver certification.

One of the strengths of EMSC is its very active and engaged board which works with staff leadership in increasing the impact of its mission through a carefully-developed roadmap to realize its vision. It has established a strong relationship with the mountain, ensuring well-maintained and accessible competition and training venues. In addition, it has fostered a strong relationship with parents.

All programs from Youth Ski League to FIS are closely aligned with U.S. Ski & Snowboard training systems. EMSC is also known for its collaboration with other clubs.

 

2022 SPORT CLUBS OF THE YEAR

Adaptive - Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Sun Valley, Idaho (Gold Certified Club)
One of the most noted multisport clubs in America, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, was awarded the Adaptive Club of the Year Award. SVSEF was honored for its commitment to excellence at all levels of the sport, notably their integration of para-athletes into their teams.

Among the athletes in the SVSEF program are four-time Paralympic medalist Jake Adicoff and three-time medalist Sam Wood. Both are well integrated into the SVSEF cross country Gold Team program to not only benefit their training but serving as mentors to other athletes. First-time alpine Paralympian Jesse Keefe grew up in the SVSEF program from a young age.

The Gold Team is led by coach Chris Mallory who customizes elements of their training that is unique to Para cross country. He also served as a coach and wax technician for Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

SVSEF has provided a roadmap for how to provide quality opportunities for more athletes in their community while also continually striving for competitive success across all areas of the sport.

SVSEF is a two-time winner of the overall Club of the Year Award (1999, 2013) but it is its first time winning Adaptive Club of the Year.

 

Alpine - Team Summit Colorado, Copper Mountain, Colo. (Gold Certified Club)
Team Summit Colorado was named Alpine Club of the Year. Under the leadership of Executive Director CB Bechtel and Alpine Director Aldo Radamus, the club has developed a strong culture in its alpine ski racing program and has created cost-effective, local programs for Summit County athletes.

Team Summit was recognized for providing a place in its program for every athlete to find their own level of excellence. The result has been Team Summit athletes achieving notable success and finding the podium at every level. Out of this past season, Team Summit qualified four athletes to the National Development Group, as well as qualifying three athletes each for the U18 and U16 national championships.

The club is an active participant in hosting divisional relationships, utilizing its relationships with several local resorts. Its volunteer officials are well educated. Radamus and other club officials are also active on divisional, regional and national committees, as well as engaging in national projects - always looking for ways to help grow the sport.

 

Cross Country - The Loppet Foundation, Minneapolis (Gold Certified Club)
The Loppet Foundation, which offers year-round outdoor activity programs in the heart of Minneapolis, has been selected as Cross Country Club of the Year. The club was recognized for its continuing work to achieve its mission during the pandemic.

This past season, The Loppet Foundation hosted a safe, motivating and competitive junior championships as national competitions were reinstated. It employed a thorough and thoughtful COVID-19 mitigation plan that followed U.S. Ski & Snowboard standards, conducting a successful event for 600 junior athletes and staff. The Loppet Foundation also implemented venue improvements resulting in a very high level of racing in the heart of a metropolitan area.

Athletically, Loppet Nordic Racing excelled on its home course winning the junior national club award and helping lead Midwest Division to second place.

Following the unfortunate cancellation of the FIS World Cup in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, The Loppet Foundation has persevered to continue to offer strong programs and to be a vital part of the national cross country racing scene.

 

Freeski - Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Aspen, Colo.
The Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) was awarded the Freeski Club of the Year Award for its commitment to developing and supporting top-tier athletes and coaches. A longstanding program in the Roaring Fork Valley dating back to 1937, AVSC’s mission is to coach and inspire kids to excel while promoting a community of passion, grit and mountain culture. AVSC presently has over 350 freestyle and freeski athletes with 55 coaches. About 45% of freeski athletes receive financial support from the club’s scholarships and grants.

AVSC has developed a well-rounded training program for freeski athletes in the community, including the opportunity to train at their state-of-the-art tramp, airbag and ramp facility, on-snow glacier camps locally in May and June and a full complement of in-season programs in Olympic sized pipes and jumps used for X Games and other world-renowned competitions.

During the winter, AVSC athletes not only train on snow but also hone their tricks at the local gymnastics facility. Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club has a keen focus on progression and instituted an in-house qualification program similar to that of Aerials that requires athletes to achieve high repetitions of tricks and qualify jumps on airbags before allowing new tricks to be performed on snow.

Continuing education for coaches is a high priority for the club, with frequent workshops for coaches on important topics like first aid, mental health awareness and more. AVSC is also active in events, this past season hosting a Rev Tour and USASA Series competitions.

These efforts result in a well-rounded program that impacts a broad range of passionate young freeski athletes. It has also made AVSC one of the biggest contributors to the U.S. Freeski Team with four athletes this past year including two-time Olympic medalist Alex Ferriera.

 

Freestyle - Stratton Mountain School, Stratton, Vt. (Gold Certified Club)
Stratton Mountain School (SMS), a notable multisport club program, was awarded Freestyle Club of the Year. SMS was the overall Club of the Year in 2020 and has also won cross country, freeski and snowboard Club of the Year prior to this.

It was a strong season athletically for Stratton’s freestyle program with 100% of eligible team members qualifying for U.S. Junior Nationals and 60% for U.S. Nationals. SMS had one of the largest representations on the NorAm Cup with seven athletes, and their athletes took both male and female MVP in the Eastern Division, along with the men’s Eastern Mogul Champ title.

Stratton Mountain School has long been dedicated to excellence and is a U.S. Ski & Snowboard gold-certified club. The club's programs are committed to the Long-Term Athlete Development model and regularly host trampoline and on-snow camps for local athletes. SMS is also active on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard regional competition calendar.

The growing program, led by Eastern Division Freestyle chair Deb Newson, has had to react to the changing landscape during the pandemic. To make up for time lost the past two seasons, Deb took her team to camps and comps all around the world, including Idre Fjäll, Sweden in November, Apex, B.C. in December, Aspen and Steamboat Springs, Colo. in January, Sweden Europa Cup in February, and Palisades Tahoe in April. Some SMS athletes were on the road for over 100 days but were still successful in getting accepted to top college programs. With talented coaches and a multitude of recent successes, Stratton Mountain School's recruitment efforts are more successful than ever, and this club will only continue to grow and contribute to the sport of Freestyle."

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Names Top Coaches For 2021-22

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 13 2022
XC Silver Medal Team
Jason Cork (bottom row, third from left) was awarded the Cross Country Coach of the Year honors.

Top club and national coaches have been recognized by U.S. Ski & Snowboard as a part of its annual awards program. Recipients were acknowledged both for athletic accomplishments and contributions to the broader success of the sport.

Development Coach of the Year honors went to Ben Wisner of Mammoth Mountain. Longtime U.S. Ski Team alpine coach Forest Carey earned Coach of the Year recognition.

“Clubs and coaches are core to the success of athletes both at the local level and nationally,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Director of Sport Education Gar Trayner. “It’s exhilarating to recognize the amazing success stories we’re seeing around the country.” 

OVERALL DEVELOPMENT COACH OF THE YEAR

SNOWBOARD DEVELOPMENT COACH OF THE YEAR

Ben Wisner, Mammoth Ski & Snowboard Team, Mammoth Lakes, Calif.
Ben Wisner, director of freeski and snowboard for the Mammoth Mountain Ski & Snowboard Team, has been named both overall and snowboard Development Coach of the Year. He was recognized by his peers as a ‘one-of-a-kind coach’ whose success with his own program at Mammoth also has a strong impact on the sport nationally.

Wisner has been coaching for over 20 years. During his time at Mammoth, Wisner has helped the program become a breeding ground for young talent. Under his direction, MMSST has placed more than a few athletes on the U.S. Snowboard Team, including Olympians Chloe Kim, Maddie Mastro and Dusty Henricksen.

One of the keys to Wisner’s success is that he is always looking to the next generation of athletes. This past season, he extended his expertise as a coach at Junior World Championships in Switzerland. He was a valuable asset to the team both on and off the snow.

His peers acknowledged him for his work in connecting with athletes and pushing them to the next level with his passion for the sport.

 

OVERALL U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD TEAM COACH OF THE YEAR

ALPINE TEAM COACH OF THE YEAR

Forest Carey, Park City, Utah
Veteran alpine coach Forest Carey was recognized as Coach of the Year as well as Alpine Coach of the Year. It was the fourth time he has won the alpine honor.

In his 12-year career with the national team, Carey has become known for his passion and caring for his athletesinstilling confidence in them. He is a student of the sport and analyzes every last detail after training and competition from video analysis to split times to equipment performance.

The highlight of the season came at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, where Ryan Cochran-Siegle took super-G silver. It was an inspiring performance marked by perseverance and fortitude as Cochran-Siegle overcame injuries and hardships with Carey supporting him the entire way.

 

U.S SKI & SNOWBOARD TEAM SPORT COACHES OF THE YEAR

Cross Country - Jason Cork, Stratton Mountain, Vt.
Longtime U.S. Ski Team World Cup Coach Jason Cork was awarded the Cross Country Coach of the Year honors.

Cork has worked with three-time Olympic medalist Jessie Diggins since 2010, before she was on the national team. He serves as both her personal coach and wax technician. A year ago Diggins won the overall World Cup title as well as the distance World Cup title. This past season, she won two Olympic medalssilver in the 30k freestyle mass start and bronze in the freestyle sprintand became the first American since 1976 to win an individual Olympic medal.

He is known for his detailed training planning and oversight, as well as his world-class ski selection and waxing ability.

 

Freeski - Dave Euler, Park City, Utah
Dave Euler, who coaches the U.S. Pro Freeski Slopestyle and Big Air Team, was named Freeski Coach of the Year. Euler was previously the 2019 recipient and in 2016 was named Freeski Development Coach of the Year.

Euler led the U.S. Freeski Slopestyle and Big Air Team to great success this season starting off with a podium sweep by Colby Stevenson, Alex Hall and Nick Goepper at Dew Tour. At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Alex Hall won gold and Nick Goepper earned silver in slopestyle, and Colby Stevenson earned silver in big air. At the conclusion of the season, the team was awarded the FIS Nations Cup.

Euler is well known and admired for his positive attitude, dedication to the sport, and ability to motivate, inspire and develop athletes at all levels. He joined the team in 2018 after coaching freeskiing at Team Park City United.

 

Freestyle - Vladimir ‘Vlad’ Lebedev, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Vladimir ‘Vlad’ Lebedev, head aerials coach for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team, was named Freestyle Coach of the Year for the third year in a row. Lebedev joined the team in 2019 and has been a valuable asset with his extensive knowledge of the sport, background as an athlete and international coaching experience for multiple countries.

It was a strong season for the U.S. aerials team, capped by Olympic gold in the debut of the team event with Chris Lillis, Justin Schoenefeld and Ashley Caldwell, and a bronze from Megan Nick in the women's individual event. In addition to the team's Olympic success, five U.S. Freestyle Team aerialists finished in the top-10 in the season-long FIS World Cup rankings.

Lebedev’s approach as a coach is dedicated to helping each athlete succeed, as shown by the individualized plans and strategies he develops for each team member matched up with seasonal, monthly and daily goals. In his three seasons as head aerials coach, he has led the team to its strongest results in 20 years.

He is a native of Uzbekistan and competed as a Russian aerialist for a decade, winning bronze at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

 

Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping - Chris Gilbertson, Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Chris Gilbertson, jumping coach for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, was named Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Coach of the Year.

Gilbertson, who had coached up to 2013, returned to the United States in the summer of 2020 when the nordic combined team was challenged to get international coaches into the USA because of the pandemic onset. The team heartily welcomed him back. In the two years since his return, he has been consistently supporting, challenging and motivating athletes.

The impact of his work has been a substantial climb up the ranks in ski jumping results compared to the past. His passion for the sport of nordic combined has been embraced by the athletes, with the results showing.

Gilbertson was named Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Development Coach of the Year in 2001 while working with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

 

Snowboard - J.J. Thomas

JJ Thomas, Olympic bronze medalist in halfpipe from 2002 and U.S. Snowboard Team halfpipe coach, was recognized with the Snowboard Coach of the Year award.

While Thomas made his mark as an athlete, his real impact has come since moving to coaching. As a private coach for Shaun White, he was instrumental in White’s stunning comeback in 2018 to win his third Olympic gold medal. He then brought his skills to the U.S. Snowboard Team where he has impacted a wide range of athletes.

This past season his athletes had a remarkable season, led by Chloe Kim winning a repeat Olympic halfpipe gold. His men’s team placed three in the top seven in Beijing, including White just missing a medal in fourth.

Thomas’ approach to coaching features a focus on detail with goal orientation. His work with athletes on both short and long-term goals, combined with a strategic plan of attack, has helped make their personal dreams become a reality.

 

SPORT DEVELOPMENT COACHES OF THE YEAR

Alpine - Ian Dunlop, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, Vail, Colo.
Ian Dunlop, the head U16 men’s coach at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, was recognized as Alpine Development Coach of the Year. He was recognized not only for the success of his own athletes, but for his overall contribution to development within the region and nationally.

Dunlop began as a ski racer in Wisconsin, before moving to Winter Park, Colo. He later skied for the University of Denver. Dunlop began his coaching career at Winter Park coaching FIS-level athletes before joining U.S. Ski & Snowboard as the Rocky/Central regional coach in 2013, contributing to the growth of excellence in the region. 

In 2019, he took on his current role in Vail making an immediate impact with his U16 athletes posting strong results and moving on to be successful at the FIS level. This past season his U16 men dominated national junior championships with podium finishes across all disciplines, including four of the top five overall. Although top national results get the headlines, Dunlop is known for building an atmosphere where every single athlete on his team feels 100% committed to the team.

Dunlop is a strong contributor to the governance of the sport, serving as vice-chair of the Rocky Mountain Division Alpine Competition Committee and sits on the national U16 and Older Development Working Group.

 

Cross Country - Miles Havlick, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
Miles Havlick, cross country coach for the University of Utah, was awarded the Cross Country Development Coach of the Year Award. He was recognized not only for the success of the Utes cross country athletes who won a 15th national title this past year, but for the impact he and his athletes are having on sport development.

This past season, his Utah cross country team included five U.S. Ski Team members, three of which competed at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. Four of those athletes raced in World Cups and the fifth competed at the U23 World Championships.

Two of his athletes, Sophia Laukli and Novie McCabe, were top-20 in their debut Olympics. Both also took NCAA titles to help boost the Utes to the national title. They also finished fifth and seventh in the Tour de Ski final hill climb. In addition, Sydney Palmer-Leger is ranked as the number one junior woman in the world on the FIS distance points list. 

Havlick was recognized for the positive team culture he has developed to not only benefit the Utes, but to be a collaborative partner with the national team.

 

Freeski - Greg Ruppel, Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, Aspen, Colo.
Greg Ruppel, who heads the freeski program at the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club, was awarded the Freeski Development Coach of the Year Award. Ruppel, who has been coaching for nearly 20 years, was acknowledged for his all-around work in coaching and program management at AVSC and his engagement with the Freeski Sport Committee.

Ruppel began his freeski coaching career in New England, working at Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley before moving to Aspen where he has coached for a decade. He has put a high priority on advancing his coaching through education, attending over a dozen U.S. Ski & Snowboard clinics and achieving Freestyle Level 4 and Freeski Level 300 certifications.

During his career at Aspen, Greg​ has coached several top-10 junior halfpipe skiers, and his athletes have earned spots on not only the U.S. Pro and Rookie Freeski Teams, but also the U.S. Olympic Freeski team.

 

Freestyle - Bill Harris, Mont Chalet Freestyle Aerial Training Center, Chesterland, Ohio
Bill Harris, an innovator in freestyle aerials skiing for over four decades, was named Freestyle Development Coach of the Year. While most wouldn’t look at the state of Ohio as a hotbed of freestyle skiing, Harris’ work over the years has helped develop a host of Olympians including 2022 team gold medalist Justin Schoenefeld.

Now 78, Harris started his first freestyle program at a small midwestern ski area in 1983. When he left the ski area in the early ‘90s, he wanted to ensure athletes still had a place to pursue their sport. So he built a water ramp on his own property outside of Cleveland. That started a succession of Olympians including Brian Currutt, Mariano Ferrario and Schoenefeld.

Harris was recognized not just for the top athletes that came out of his program, but for his constant work at providing opportunities for young athletes. He runs his program free of charge and has always been the type of coach who goes the extra mile for his athletes.

“Bill’s genuine love for the sport of freestyle skiing and his honest care in coaching and developing our talents was what made my experience with the team so memorable,” said one of his former athletes.

While perfecting their craft is always a goal of athletes, Harris’ focus goes well beyond, looking to develop well-rounded, respectful, humble, confident and hard-working individuals.

 

Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping - Todd Eing, Harris Hill, Brattleboro, Vt.
Vermont ski jumping coach and program leader Todd Eing was awarded the Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Development Coach of the Year Award. Eing has been instrumental in developing a junior ski jumping program at Harris Hill, which just celebrated its 100th year of holding an annual tournament.

While Harris Hill has long been a major ski jumping center in New England, it had lacked a junior jumping program. Eing has been transformational for the sport, spearheading the construction of 10m and 18m jumps at Memorial Park and organizing training for young jumpers from five to 15 years old beginning in 2018.

Eing has built a comprehensive program that includes fall training in the gym and on a roller jump to prepare athletes for the season. He wears many hats for the program, including coach as well as chief of competition for the annual Harris Hill tournament. He also volunteers for major events around the region, including Lake Placid. 

 

Chief of Sport Anouk Patty Featured in Ski Racing

By Ski Racing
June, 10 2022
Anouk Patty

Anouk PattyU.S. Ski Team alumna and former NCAA giant slalom champion from Dartmouth Anouk Patty recently caught up with Ski Racing's Edie Thys Morgan to talk about her "dream job" as the new U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Sport. In the piece, they touch on Patty's athlete-driven approach, her desire to embrace higher education, and her vision for the future. 

As Morgan writes, 

If an NGB was looking for a Chief of Sport, the ideal resume might include some of the following: Former world class athlete and NCAA champion; Ivy League educated MBA with 30 years corporate experience in finance and tech; extensive management and team-building skills overseeing strategic partnerships with professional sports organizations and sporting manufacturers; multilingual; loves to travel; avid recreational athlete in skiing, running, cycling, surfing, tennis and golf.

Anouk Patty’s resume could claim all of the above. The recently appointed USSS Chief of Sport giggles before she says the obvious: “It’s a dream job.”

Not only was Patty a world-class ski racer, but her professional resume is impressive to say the least. After taking some internships in sports marketing, she pivoted to investment banking. Her path included stints at boht JP Morgan and Bain & Company, during which time she got her MBA at Harvard Business School.

“I learned how to work really, really, hard,” Patty says. With that foundation, she took her talents to Silicon Valley and spent the next ten years at Intuit, where, while starting a family, she developed her management and leadership skills. For the next ten years, she remained in tech, mainly at HP, and shifted her focus to strategic partnerships—many in the sports world (NFL teams, Adidas, Under Armour)—related to 3D scanning and 3D printing.

When Patty describes her vision for the future, it does not include medal targets for the next quad or numerical performance markers. That, however, by no means softens her aspirations for top results.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Patty insists, “I want to win races and win medals—lots of them. But without a doubt, the way to get there is by putting in place the right culture, the right athlete support system and the right development programs that help the athletes achieve their dreams, because if the athletes are achieving their dreams, we’re all winning. You know, it’s a pretty simple equation.”

Read the full article at SkiRacing.com.

Vonn and Fraser: U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame, Class of 2022

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 6 2022
Lindsey Vonn, Hall of Fame Inductee
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame, Class of 2022, including Olympic champion and winningest female alpine skier of all time, Lindsey Vonn. (Pentaphoto)

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee today announced the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame, Class of 2022, which will be honored and inducted in a ceremony held Friday, June 24, at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

The class of 2022 is made up of eight individuals, two teams, two legends, one coach, and one special contributor, including Olympic champion and winningest female alpine skier of all time, Lindsey Vonn, as well as two-time Olympic medalist Gretchen Fraser, in the "legend" category—the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing (1948, slalom, in St. Moritz, Switzerland). 

The inductees include Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Muffy Davis (Para alpine skiing and Para-cycling), Mia Hamm (soccer), David Kiley (Para alpine skiing, Para track and field, and wheelchair basketball), Michelle Kwan (figure skating), Michael Phelps (swimming), Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing), Trischa Zorn-Hudson (Para swimming), the 1976 Women’s 4x100 Freestyle Relay Swimming Team, the 2002 Paralympic Sled Hockey Team, Gretchen Fraser (legend: alpine skiing), Roger Kingdom (legend: track and field), Pat Summitt (coach: basketball) and Billie Jean King (special contributor). 
 
“It's a distinct honor to welcome the class of 2022 into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame and to celebrate their remarkable individual and team achievements as representatives of Team USA,” said USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland. “Induction into the Hall of Fame adds to the tremendous legacies of these great athletes and teams, and also memorializes the contributions of those members of the “team behind the team” who dedicated themselves to helping Team USA achieve success on and off the field of play.”  

The class of 2022 has represented the United States as athletes at a combined 27 Olympic and Paralympic Games, tallying 129 medals, including 86 golds. There are also two new sports or sport disciplines added to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame, with Muffy Davis as a Para-cyclist and the 2002 sled hockey team. Pat Summitt and Billie Jean King become the first female inductees in the coach and special contributor categories, respectively. 

National Governing Bodies, alumni, current athletes, and additional members of the Olympic and Paralympic community were invited to nominate eligible athletes. From there, a nominating committee comprised of individuals from the Olympic and Paralympic movements narrowed it down to a set of finalists. The class of 2022 was determined by a voting process that includes Olympians and Paralympians, members of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic family, and an online vote open to fans. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame was one of the first national sports halls of fame to include fan voting as part of its selection process, and this year, more than 432,000 votes were cast across all platforms. 

This will be the 17th class inducted into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame, bringing the total to 168 inductees (individuals and teams). The first class was inducted in 1983 and the most recent class was inducted in 2019. Find the entire list of Hall of Fame inductees here.

The distinguished class of 2022 includes: 

  • Natalie Coughlin (swimming – 2004, 2008, 2012): In three Olympic Games, Natalie Coughlin competed in 12 events and won 12 medals, and became the first U.S. female athlete to win six medals at a single Games. She is tied for the most Olympic medals for a U.S. female athlete.
     
  • Muffy Davis (Para alpine skiing and Para-cycling – 1998, 2002, 2012): A seven-time Paralympic medalist, Davis has been a part of the Paralympic Movement for 20 years as an athlete, ambassador, volunteer, and active member of several committees. She is a two-term IPC Governing Board member and currently serves on the USOPC Governing Board and USOPC Paralympic Advisory Council.
     
  • Mia Hamm (soccer – 1996, 2000, 2004): One of the most decorated female soccer players in U.S. history, competitively, Hamm had 275 national team appearances and 158 national team goals. She is a three-time Olympic medalist, two-time world cup champion, two-time world cup bronze medalist, and was the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002.
     
  • David Kiley (Para alpine skiing, Para track and field, and wheelchair basketball – 1976, 1980, 1988, 1992 (summer and winter), 2000): David Kiley is a six-time Paralympian and Paralympic gold medalist across three sports. During his career, Kiley became the only player to play wheelchair basketball in four different decades. Kiley went on to coach in three additional Paralympic Games as a part of the wheelchair basketball team and has served as NWBA Commissioner and President. 
     
  • Michelle Kwan (figure skating – 1994 (alternate), 1998, 2002): As the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, Kwan is a two-time Olympic medalist, five-time world champion and nine-time world championship medalist. She competed at the senior level for over a decade during the most competitive era of women’s figure skating and was the U.S. women’s champion nine times.
     
  • Michael Phelps (swimming – 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016): Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time (28 medals) and the winningest Olympian of all time (23 gold medals). The only male U.S. swimmer to compete on five Olympic teams, Phelps closed out his Olympic career with six medals in Brazil. In 2000, at age 15, he became the youngest American male Olympian since 1932 and his eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games is an Olympic record.
     
  • Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing – 2002, 2006, 2010, 2018): The most successful female ski racer in history and with three Olympic medals to her name, Lindsey Vonn is the only American woman to ever capture downhill gold at the Olympic Winter Games and the only American woman with four World Cup overall titles. With an 18-year career that concluded after the 2017-18 season, she is in second place all-time internationally with a career total of 82 world cup victories.
     
  • Trischa Zorn-Hudson (Para swimming – 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004): The most decorated Paralympic athlete of all time, Trischa Zorn-Hudson’s incredible career spanned seven Paralympic Games over more than two decades. She is credited with winning 55 Paralympic medals, including 41 gold. Over a 12-year span from 1980 to 1992, Zorn-Hudson was unbeaten in every Paralympic race in which she competed, taking gold in 25 races.
     
  • 1976 Women’s 4x100 Freestyle Relay Swimming Team: En route to breaking the world record by almost four seconds, the women’s team defeated a team of what was later revealed to be state-sponsored, medically enhanced athletes from East Germany, in the final event on the swimming program.
     
  • 2002 Paralympic Sled Hockey Team: The 2002 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team championship performance led the U.S. to its first-ever Paralympic gold in sled hockey. Going undefeated in Paralympic play, the U.S. twice defeated the 1998 gold medal-winning team of Norway in their undefeated six-game run to the gold medal. Their gold medal on home soil served as a catalyst for the expansion of not only sled hockey in the U.S.
     
  • Gretchen Fraser (legend: alpine skiing - 1948): Gretchen Fraser became the first global ski star, winning gold and silver in the debut of alpine skiing’s modern events at the 1948 Olympic Winter Games. In a sport that was capturing global attention after WWII, Fraser was treated as a national hero upon her triumphant return to America.
     
  • Roger Kingdom (legend: track and field – 1984, 1988): Roger Kingdom is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles in 1984 and 1988. A former world and American record holder, he is one of only two runners to ever win consecutive Olympic titles in the 110-meter hurdles. 
     
  • Pat Summitt (coach: basketball – 1976, athlete; 1984, coach): As a coach, Summitt helped lead the U.S. women’s team to gold at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. During her tenure as the women’s basketball head coach at the University of Tennessee, Summit led the squad to eight NCAA championships and compiled more wins than any other Division I college basketball coach in NCAA history, a record that stood until 2020, and never missed the NCAA tournament in 38 years. As an athlete, Summit won Olympic silver as a co-captain at the 1976 Games. Summit is the first woman inducted in the coaching category.
     
  • Billie Jean King (special contributor): Billie Jean King’s influence and playing style elevated the state of women’s tennis beginning in the late 1960s. King won 39 major titles in her career, competing in both singles and doubles. In addition to coaching the Olympic gold-medal-winning 1996 and 2000 U.S. women’s tennis teams, King captured a record 20 Wimbledon titles. She was one of the founders and the first president of the Women’s Tennis Association, was part of a group that founded World Team Tennis, and she also founded the Women’s Sports Foundation to support women in sport around Title IX, which continues to have a massive impact on Olympic and Paralympic sport. King is the first woman inducted into this category.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place June 24 and will be hosted by NBC’s Mike Tirico. The event will not be open to the public, but a livestream will be available. 

Media Information: Red-carpet arrivals, interviews and the induction awards dinner at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum will be open to the media. Access information will be available soon.

About the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum offers an immersive and universally-accessible look into the journey of Team USA’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Through interactive exhibits, innovative displays and a comprehensive artifact collection, the Museum instills the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, as well as the Paralympic values of determination, equality, inspiration and courage in every visitor. It honors yesterday's legends with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame while inspiring tomorrow’s legends through entertaining activities and events. The 60,000-square-foot attraction is more than a museum, but a life-changing experience that will continue to educate and inspire the public to take part for generations to come.

About the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame
The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame was established in 1979 to celebrate the achievements of America's premier athletes in the modern Olympic and Paralympic Games. The first U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame class was inducted in 1983 during a ceremony in Chicago and included Team USA greats such as Muhammad Ali, Bob Beamon, Peggy Fleming, Al Oerter, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Mark Spitz, Jim Thorpe and the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" men’s hockey team.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Shiffrin On Inspiring America: The 2022 Inspiration List

By Megan Harrod
June, 2 2022
Mikaela Shiffrin Olympics 2022
Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin, shown here after the women's super-G on day seven of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, made NBC's Inspiring America: The 2022 Inspiration List. (Getty Images-Alex Pantling)

Two-time Olympic champion and six-time world champion Mikaela Shiffrin joined fellow Olympic gold medalists speedskater Erin Jackson and figure skater Nathan Chen on NBC's Inspiring America: The 2022 Inspiration List

From history-making moments, redemption and turning their challenges into successes, NBC's Craig Melvin hears from Shiffrin, Jackson, and Chen about inspiration behind their journeys as Olympic athletes. Shiffrin, a three-time Olympic medalist who was favored to win multiple medals at Beijing 2022, notably (like Chen and Jackson) endured defeat on the world stage, but got back on her feet to become champion. 

Shiffrin left her third Olympics with zero medals after uncharacteristic mistakes. But, her season wasn’t over. She returned to the top of the podium on the FIS Ski World Cup circuit to claim the overall title, the biggest annual prize in ski racing.

Watch the NBC Inspiring America: The 2022 Inspiration List feature

SOS Outreach Named DEI Champion Award Recipient

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 2 2022
SOS
Founded 28 years ago, SOS Outreach has engaged over 80,000 youth in resort communities around the country.

SOS Outreach, a sport outreach and mentorship program serving 15 communities and 24 mountain resorts nationwide, was awarded U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Champion Award. The award is focused on recognizing a person, group, organization, or program that has contributed significantly and sustainably to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in skiing and snowboarding.

This past season, SOS Outreach and U.S. Ski & Snowboard partnered on opportunities to give participants a unique close-up experience with U.S. national team athletes, including at the VISA Big Air at Steamboat and two community programs in Summit County, Colo. and Park City, Utah. In addition, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will host an SOS Outreach intern this summer.

“SOS Outreach’s work to make skiing and snowboarding accessible for all in our resort communities is really vital to our future as a sport,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “Its work to bring the values of our sport to youth from underserved communities is really what drove U.S. Ski & Snowboard to partner with SOS Outreach.”

Since the program’s inception 28 years ago, SOS Outreach has engaged over 80,000 youth in resort communities around the country. “These are young people who would not have been a part of the sport,” said SOS Outreach Executive Director Seth Ehrlich. “This recognition goes to each of those kids and to all the ones who will follow them. Our entire team at SOS Outreach is dedicated to continuing our work and to expanding the reach of our impact. Thanks to U.S. Ski & Snowboard for walking with us to make it possible.”

SOS Outreach’s philosophy is that no matter what social, societal or economic barriers exist, every child deserves the opportunity to thrive. Its programs start with powerful outdoor experiences. On the slopes or trails, kids unearth the courage to step outside of their comfort zones, discover new strengths within themselves and develop lifelong skills. Through its proven curriculum, they empower kids in our communities to discover their true potential.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard looked to SOS Outreach to help the organization plot its course in making skiing and snowboarding more welcoming, accessible, and diverse, raising awareness across its membership and the entire sport community.

“U.S. Ski & Snowboard wants everyone to have the opportunity to experience the sense of accomplishment and well-being that participation in skiing and snowboarding brings,” said Club Development Manager and DEI Committee member Ellen Adams. “We commend SOS Outreach for being a leader in bringing youth from all backgrounds to the joy of winter sports.”

With its commitment to being best in the world, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s focus is often seen as being on developing elite athletes. But Adams cited the work of SOS Outreach, and local clubs nationwide, as being vital to the success of the sport. “Before an athlete is competing at an elite level, and even before they are identified as an emerging athlete, we rely on our member clubs and partners to introduce families and athletes to the sport and help them develop the fundamental skills necessary to pursue their goals,” said Adams. 

DEI Champion Award annual recipients are selected based on a matrixed review of various factors reflecting the nominees’ impact on advancing DEI. The criteria include leadership of DEI in ski and snowboard, advancing education, collaborative coalition-building, development of equitable systems and implementation of effective programs.

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard DEI Committee was founded in 2017 to increase racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic diversity at all levels of skiing and snowboarding. SOS Outreach was the second recipient of the award, after National Brotherhood of Skiers President Henri Rivers was recognized in 2021.

 

New Faces on the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team: A Q&A with Zak Ketterson

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 2 2022
Zak Ketterson
Zak Ketterson finished 15th in the FIS Cross Country World Cup in Falun, Sweden. (Modica/NordicFocus)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently announced its U.S. Ski Team nominations for the 2022-23 season. Of the 22 athletes named to the team this season, six were not on the previous year’s roster, either newly named or renamed: Michael Earnhart, Walker Hall, Zak Ketterson, Will Koch, Finn O’Connell, and Sammy Smith.

To help fans get to know these new(er) faces, FasterSkier is doing a series of interviews, providing insights into the factors that have contributed to the development, progress, and growth of these athletes last season. In this installment, we talk with Zak Ketterson about his renomination to the U.S. Ski Team on its B-Team, his World Cup breakthroughs this past season, and the growth of his club, Team Birkie. 

Ben Theyerl/FasterSkier (FS): Can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Zak Ketterson (ZK): I grew up in the Twin Cities area in Bloomington (MN). I didn’t really start skiing until 7th grade, when I got into it because my older brother (Jan) was on the high school team. Up until then, I had been into more of the traditional American sports – basketball, football, baseball – and even after my first few seasons of nordic skiing, I really didn’t like it that much better. I really wanted to play basketball, but I kept with skiing because I was having a lot of success in it, which is always fun, and like I said, I was getting to spend time with my brother and our teammates.

My first introduction to competitive skiing was the Minnesota high school league and trying to win the Minnesota state meet. That was the highest level of skiing in my head at the time, and in Minnesota, that’s the thing to win. Even as I progressed to being at Junior Nationals and started competing nationally, I wanted to win the State Meet.

When I got out to JNs, it was like, ‘oh, there’s a lot of good skiers from elsewhere,’ and that made me start thinking I wanted to continue with skiing – maybe do it in college. I went to Northern Michigan University (NMU), so stayed very local because being from the Midwest is pretty important to me. I just think it’s the coolest ski community, and always have, and going to NMU was cool because I got to follow the footsteps of Ian Torchia, Adam Martin, Kyle Bratrud, and go there with Leo Hipp and be teammates with them all – I didn’t have to leave.

Read the Full Story by Benjamin Theyerl at FasterSkier.com

Late Chuck Heckert Honored With Julius Blegen Award

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
June, 1 2022
Chuck Heckert
The late Chuck Heckert, a longtime ski jumping official, has been honored with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Julius Blegen Award.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has recognized longtime ski jumping official Chuck Heckert with its Julius Blegen award - the organization’s highest service. Heckert, who passed in November 2020 was the penultimate volunteer and competition official, with a long and distinguished career of service to athletes.

A native of Grand Lake, Colo., Heckert began coaching ski jumping in 1976 at Winter Park, becoming an international judge in 1993. In the lead-up to the 2002 Olympics, he moved to Utah to oversee the ski jumping and freestyle venues at the Utah Olympic Park serving as a venue manager at the Games. Through the years he expanded his officiating role and remained at the forefront of the sport. In 2017 he received U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Mittelstadt Award for ski jumping officials and was also inducted into the American Ski Jumping Hall of Fame.

“Chuck was the quintessential volunteer and official - a real role model,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. 

He was selected for the Blegen Award in a vote of past Blegenites, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard board of directors and its awards working group.

Heckert became the 76th recipient of the Julius Blegen Award dating back to 1946. The award recognizes established history of distinguished service and a lasting contribution to U.S. Ski & Snowboard and its membership. It is named in honor of Julius Blegen, a key past leader of the National Ski Association.

He will be honored in late July during USA Nordic’s annual Springertournee when the Blegen Award will be presented to his family.

JULIUS BLEGEN AWARD HONOREES

  • 1946 Roger Langley
  • 1947 Arthur J. Barth
  • 1948 Fred McNeil
  • 1949 John Hostvedt
  • 1950 Fred C. Bellmar
  • 1951 Douglas M. Burckett
  • 1952 F.C. Koziol
  • 1953 Albert E. Sigal
  • 1954 Harold A. Grinden
  • 1955 Burton H. Boyum
  • 1956 John B. Carson
  • 1957 Olav Ulland
  • 1958 T. Lee McCracken
  • 1959 Robert C. Johnstone
  • 1960 Dr. Amos R. 'Bud' Little and Malcolm McLane
  • 1961 Sepp Ruschp
  • 1962 J. Stanley Mullin
  • 1963 Ralph A. 'Doc' DesRoches
  • 1964 Robert Beattie
  • 1965 Merritt H. Stiles
  • 1966 Evelyn Masbruch
  • 1967 C. Allison Merrill
  • 1968 Willy J. Schaeffler
  • 1969 William Berry
  • 1970 Earl D. Walters
  • 1971 Gustav Raaum
  • 1972 James Balfanz
  • 1973 Charles T. Gibson
  • 1974 Sven Wiik
  • 1975 Byron Nishkian
  • 1976 Dr. J. Leland Sosman
  • 1977 Gloria Chadwick
  • 1978 Richard Goetzman
  • 1979 Graham Anderson
  • 1980 Bill Beck
  • 1981 Not awarded
  • 1982 Hank Tauber
  • 1983 Robert Thomson
  • 1984 Ed Hammerle
  • 1985 Robert Oden
  • 1986 Bill Slattery
  • 1987 Jim Page
  • 1988 Whiting Willauer
  • 1989 James H. “Red” Carruthers
  • 1990 Nelson Bennett
  • 1991 Tom Corcoran
  • 1992 Nick Badami
  • 1993 Serge Lussi
  • 1994 Fraser West
  • 1995 Gerald F. Groswold
  • 1996 Anna McIntyre
  • 1997 Faris Taylor
  • 1998 Irv Kagan
  • 1999 Thom Weisel
  • 2000 Dr. Richard Steadman
  • 2001 Warren Lowry (posthumously)
  • 2002 Not Awarded
  • 2003 Jim McCarthy
  • 2004 Howard Peterson
  • 2005 Michael Berry
  • 2006 Peter Kellogg
  • 2007 Charles Ferries
  • 2008 Gary Black, Jr.
  • 2009 Lee Todd
  • 2010 Tom Winters
  • 2011 Joe Lamb
  • 2012 John Garnsey
  • 2013 Barry 'Bear' Bryant
  • 2014 Bill Marolt
  • 2015 Allen Church
  • 2016 Bob Dart (posthumously)
  • 2017 Ted Sutton
  • 2018 Bruce Crane (posthumously)
  • 2019 Thelma Hoessler
  • 2020 Dexter Paine
  • 2021 Darryl Landstrom
  • 2022 Chuck Heckert (posthumously)

 

Bourne Joins Cross Country Team As D-Team Coach

By Tom Horrocks
May, 31 2022
Bourne
Kristen Bourne (center) joined the U.S. Cross Country Team staff for the Davos, Switzerland, Dresden, Germany, and Lahti, Finland FIS Cross Country World Cups last season.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announces today that Kristen Bourne will join the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team staff as D-Team coach.

Bourne, who has worked with the team on several projects as a ski technician and coach, replaces Kate Johnson, who coached the D-Team for the past two seasons. 

“It was such a great experience to be with this team for the past two seasons,” said Johnson, who will return to the collegiate coaching ranks. “Kristen is an outstanding coach and will make a great addition to the team. I’m looking forward to being a huge supporter of the team from the sidelines.”

Thanks to a Women’s Sports Foundation grant and support from the U.S. Ski Team, Bourne joined the team for the Davos, Switzerland, Dresden, Germany, and Lahti, Finland FIS Cross Country World Cups last season, working with multiple athletes, in addition to joining the service team for ski testing and preparation.

“We were grateful for those opportunities to work directly with Kristen and to expose her to coaching and (ski) teching at the World Cup level,” noted U.S. Cross Country Team Director Chris Grover, who added that Bourne was very instrumental in the team’s success in all of these events. “She meshed super well with the team and added immediate value with both her coaching and teching ability.”

“I'm super excited to be joining the team and to hit the ground running,” Bourne said. “I had a couple of opportunities this past year to get a taste of the World Cup with the team and learn the system. Both experiences left me feeling inspired, excited, and ready for more. I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of the athletes better and being part of their pursuit of excellence and success at the highest level.”

Last summer Bourne also worked with current D-Team athletes Will Koch, Sammy Smith, and Michael Earnhart during a National Training Group camp in Park City. “Due to the poor air quality from all of the fires we spent a decent amount of time indoors on the roller ski treadmill,” she recalled. “We ran interval sessions and distance technique sessions on it which ended up being a great opportunity to work one-on-one with some of the athletes.”

Bourne holds Bachelor's degree in Sports Science from Northern Michigan University, in Marquette, Michigan, and she is currently working on her Master's degree in Exercise Physiology from The College of Saint Scholastica, in Duluth, Minnesota. She is also a former professional cross country athlete having competed in numerous FIS races, and U.S. and Norwegian National Championship events. She was also a two-time member of the U.S. Junior/U23 FIS World Championships Team. 

For the past few years, she has been the assistant cross country coach at The College of Saint Scholastica, and a U23 coach for the Craftsbury Green racing team in Craftsbury, Vermont. She also served as World Cup ski tech for U.S. athlete Bill Harmeyer in Lahti, Finland, last season.  

In addition to cross country skiing, Bourne is an avid outdoorswoman. “I love going on trail runs and adventures with my dogs and I just started dabbling with mountain biking,” she said, adding that she will spend her summer in Craftsbury, Vermont, and spend time working with many U.S. Cross Country Team athletes who spend their summer prep period training in Vermont, while also working with Development Team athletes across the U.S.

Bourne joins an experienced U.S. Cross Country Team staff that includes the following:

 

  • Cross Country Program Director: Chris Grover
  • Head Coach: Matt Whitcomb                    
  • World Cup Coach: Jason Cork                                     
  • D Team Coach: Kristen Bourne
  • Development Team Coach: Greta Anderson                                                                            
  • Cross Country Sport Development Manager: Bryan Fish                       
  • Cross Country Sport Coordinator: Adam St. Pierre              
  • Cross Country Communications Manager: Tom Horrocks

Sunshine Jemison Snags Second Golden Ski Award

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
May, 26 2022
Ava Sunshine Jemison Golden Ski Award
2022 NorAm Overall Champ Ava Sunshine Jemison, pictured here standing atop the podium in Sugarloaf, Maine, has been named Golden Ski Award winner for the second-straight year. (Jay Riley - U.S. Ski Team)

U.S. Ski Team athlete and 2022 NorAm Overall Champ Ava Sunshine Jemison, pictured here standing atop the podium in Sugarloaf, Maine, has been named Golden Ski Award winner for the second-straight year. 

Each season the New England Ski Museum presents this award to the most promising male and female junior alpine racers in the Eastern U.S. Their awards will be presented at a reception to be held at the New England Ski Museum at New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain, Friday, June 10th, from 5 to 7pm.

Ava Sunshine Jemison
This is the second time Ava has won this coveted award. She showed impressive results during her first season as a U.S. Alpine Development Team athlete. Highlights included top-10 NorAm finishes in all five disciplines, including a win in slalom and one in alpine combined, which culminated in her winning the NorAm Overall title. In January, she won the giant slalom at the Italian National Championships, rounding out an excellent European swing that included multiple podium finishes. Ava also earned a silver medal in super-G at the World Junior Ski Championships in Canada and finished in the top-ten in the slalom and alpine combined as well. Over the course of the season, her world rank improved from 430 to 56 in slalom while her giant slalom world rank improved from 263 to 129. Avas hard work, dedication, and stellar results have earned her a nomination to the 2022-23 U.S. Alpine Ski Team B Team.

John Kerbaugh 
At the age of 16 in his first year of FIS racing as an U18 competitor, John started strong. At early regional slalom events at Sunday River he sliced through the field and moved up about 100 spots each day. A few weeks later, still starting at the back of the pack, he managed a top-10 finish in an Eastern Cup giant slalom, and he grabbed his first FIS win just a few days after that. By the end of December he was ranked second in the world for his age in giant slalom. He continued to progress throughout the year scoring Nor-Am points in alpine combined and finishing just outside the top-30 in NorAm slaloms on back-to-back days. In March, John became a national champion for the first time at the U18 National Championships in Vail, winning both runs of the giant slalom and taking the overall title by nearly one second. John finished the season with more strong results in giant slalom and slalom. He ended the year ranked third in the world for his age in giant slalom, and 12th in slalom. 

The Golden Ski Award has been presented to the top junior male and female skiers in the East since 1969, the year after the modern World Cup circuit started. Many of the Golden Ski winners have gone on to World Cup and Olympic gold as well. In 1975, the Golden Ski was "lost." In 2007, the New England Ski Museum was given some artifacts, and in that donation was the original Golden Ski. ESWA revitalized the honor. The Golden Ski Award is the oldest honor given to junior alpine ski racers that exists today,” says Jim Gregory, Chair, of the New England Ski Museum’s Golden Ski Award Committee. We are proud this year to honor Ava Sunshine Jemison, for the second time, and John Kerbaugh, two extraordinary athletes. We look forward to watching them pursue their goals and set the bar even higher in the sport we all love so much.”

Previous Golden Ski Award Winners:
1969: Tyler Palmer, Karen Middleton
1970: Charles Bent, Karen Middleton
1971: Rod Taylor, Judy McNealus
1972: Laurent Gaudin, Jody Palmer 
1973: Jerry McNealus, No female winner
1974: No award
1975: Scott Light, Holly Flanders
1976-2007: Award Lost
2008: Bump Heldman, Julia Ford
2009: Nolan Kasper, Julia Ford
2010: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Julia Ford
2011: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Mikaela Shiffrin
2012: Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Mikaela Shiffrin
2013: Kieffer Christianson, Mikaela Shiffrin
2014: Sam Morse, Alice Merryweather
2015: Drew Duffy, Nina O’Brien
2016: Ben Ritchie, Cecily Decker
2017: George Steffey, Patricia Mangan
2018: Jimmy Krupka, Abigail Jewett
2019: Ben Ritchie, Claire Thomas
2020: Ben Ritchie, Zoe Zimmermann
2021: Ben Ritchie, Ava Sunshine Jemison

Release courtesy of Jim Gregory, Chair: Eastern Ski Writers Golden Ski Award, presented by the New England Ski Museum.

Contact:
Jim Gregory (cell: 609-505-6252, email: nyleski@verizon.net)