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Minneapolis To Host FIS Cross Country World Cup in 2020

By Reese Brown
September, 28 2018
World Cup is coming to Minnesota
Jessie Diggins was key to securing a FIS Cross Country World Cup for Minnesota. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The International Ski Federation (FIS) today officially confirmed that Minnesota will host a World Cup cross-country ski event in Minneapolis in March 2020.  U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the Loppet Foundation will serve as hosts of the World Cup event, taking place at the new ‘The Trailhead’ facility in Theodore Wirth Park.

“A Minnesotan who brought home a gold medal has now helped us bring home the World Cup,” said host committee co-chair RT Rybak. “Now it’s time for Minnesota too, once again, show we host big events better than anyone.”

Cross country ski champion Jessie Diggins is a native of Afton, Minnesota, and the first American athlete to win a gold medal in Olympic cross country ski competition; she and teammate Kikkan Randall won the women's team sprint at Pyeongchang earlier this year. Diggins was key to securing this international competition for Minnesota.

“Hosting a round of the World Cup is our chance to show skiers from around the world how Minnesota embraces winter - through sport and through our hospitality,” said Diggins. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard and The Loppet Foundation are excited to host a world-class competition and share our state with athletes from around the world. We’re equally excited to give ski fans from around the US a chance to see the action up close for the first time in nineteen years! I am so proud to represent Minnesota as one of the first American athletes to win Olympic Gold in cross country, and now to bring the sport I love to the state I call home.”

“When Jessie called me and asked if the Foundation would support her dream of bringing a cross country World Cup event to the U.S., my team and I responded with an enthusiastic ‘yes!’” said John Munger, Executive Director of the Loppet Foundation. “Her ask was a no-brainer for us because we, too, have dreams of sharing this spectacular sport with the world. That’s why we’ve worked hard over the last 16 years to elevate cross country skiing, and adventure sports widely, starting in our own backyard.”

“Everyone at U.S. Ski & Snowboard is delighted that we and the Loppet Foundation are able to formally confirm that the cross country World Cup will be coming back to the USA in March 2020 and to one of the great hotbeds of cross country skiing in Minneapolis,” commented Calum Clark, Chief of Systems and Operations for U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “A lot of hard work has gone into making this announcement possible, from the Loppet Foundation team in Minneapolis to the International Ski Federation (FIS), but none more so than from Minnesota’s own Jessie Diggins and the whole U.S. Cross Country Ski Team whose efforts, especially in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, were the catalyst for the compelling concept to bring the world’s best cross country skiers to the city of Minneapolis.”

On the heels of successfully hosting Super Bowl LII, the WNBA All-Star Game, and now preparing to host the NCAA Final Four, the FIS Cross Country Ski World Cup event is yet another in a string of world-class sporting events to choose Minnesota as host.

“The Loppet has helped put Minneapolis cross country skiing on the map, and Theodore Wirth Park offers the best trails in our state,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Hosting a round of the Cross Country Ski World Cup is yet another chance to showcase how to do winter right and for our city to shine as we show the world that Minneapolis welcomes everyone with open arms.”

“Minnesota is the perfect host state for a cross country ski racing World Cup event,” said Beth Helle of Explore Minnesota. “Minnesota boasts more than 2,000 miles of cross-country ski trails, and the sport is integral to our winter tourism industry. Winter accounts for 24% of tourism expenditures in Minnesota, and our high-quality, groomed ski trails help ensure that skiing-related destinations and businesses are able to thrive throughout the winter months.”

Nearly a decade in the making and just opened this summer, The Trailhead is part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Master Plan for the park and the Loppet Foundation’s long-term vision for making lifetime endurance sports more accessible for their local community. This year-round hub for outdoor adventure will host competitive races, community events, and now an international ski competition right in Theodore Wirth Park; solidifying Theodore Wirth Regional Park as a world-class cross country venue.

More information on the World Cup event, including how to secure tickets and see the competition in action, will be available on the local organizing committee’s website,, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @mnworldcup.

About the Loppet Foundation

The Loppet Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates a shared passion for year-round outdoor adventure in the Minneapolis area, focusing on underserved youth and families. Since 2002, the Loppet Foundation has worked to create high-quality public events, youth education, and outdoor recreation programs for the local community. Learn more at

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body for ski and snowboard sports in the USA. One of the oldest and most established sports organizations worldwide, directly tracing its roots back to 1905, the organization, based in Park City, UT, provides leadership and direction for elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide and for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders in the USA, encouraging and supporting all its athletes in achieving excellence wherever they train and compete. 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. U.S. Ski & Snowboard receives no direct government support, operating solely through private donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund athletic programs that directly assist athletes in reaching their dreams and achieving the shared goal of being Best In The World.

Fletcher 15th In Planica Grand Prix

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 23 2018
Fletcher jumping
Taylor Fletcher scored 88 points the HS140 jumping portion of Sunday's Grand Prix. (Romina Eggert)

Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) posted the third-fastest roller-ski time to finish 15th in Planica, Slovenia at a Summer Grand Prix.

"Today was a solid day. Nothing too special. I was late on my jump which caused me to miss out on a bunch at the end of the jump," Fletcher said. "The race was good, for sure, but I was all alone and didn't get any help out there. With that, I am still happy with today as it was handfuls better than any competition from last year. Progress is all that matter and I am moving forward."

Fletcher scored 88 points in the HS140 jumping portion, then turn a 10k time on 23:09 in the roller ski, just 5.9 seconds from the top time of the day.

Austria's Mario Seidl posted a jumping score of 127.8 and held on for an 8.5-second victory. Norway's Espen Bjoernstad was second and Aguri Shimizu of Japan was third. 

"It was a pretty good day for Taylor and we're happy with the overall result," said USA Nordic Head Nordic Combined Coach, Martin Bayer.

Men's HS140/10k

Miller, Weibrecht, Kelly To Be Inducted Into U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 19 2018
Weibrecht, Miller 2014 Super G Podium
2014 Olympic super G silver medalist Andrew Weibrecht (left) and bronze medalist Bode Miller (right) will be inducted into the 2019 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. (Getty Images)

Six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller, two-time Olympic medalist Andrew Weibrecht, and Tom Kelly, who served as Vice President of Communications for U.S. Ski & Snowboard for 32 years, lead the 2019 class of inductees in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

A formal U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction will be held for the star-studded group of eight noted skiing and snowboarding pioneers, athletes and sport builders on April 6, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

One of the most successful alpine skiers in American history, New Hampshire's Miller, captured the attention of the world with his incredible athletic balance and ability to produce jaw-dropping performances on skis. Raised in an electricity-free home, the two-time World Cup overall champion, four-time World Champion and six-time Olympic medalist is one of the most prolific international athletes in winter sports history.

“I always tried to ski in a way that inspired myself and ski racing fans and I appreciate this support from the industry.” - Bode Miller

Weibrecht took up skiing after he begged his parents to let him join older brother Jonathan at the 1980 Olympic mountain of Whiteface, New York. From a kid swinging on his parents’ chandeliers at their luxury Mirror Lake Inn and Resort to becoming a two-time Olympic super G medalist, Weibrecht became one of the most exhilarating ski racers to watch kick out of the start gate.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the Ski Hall of Fame. It’s a tremendous honor and I’m very excited that the voting commission felt my accomplishments worthy of recognition, especially within such an amazing group of ski industry powerhouses. I was always lucky enough to be joined by Bode on my Olympic podiums, so it almost seems fitting that we will be inducted together. I am truly honored to be a part of such a prestigious induction class, across the board.”
- Andrew Weibrecht

As VP of communications for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Kelly worked tirelessly to promote the athletes and their sports to the mass media. Throughout his career, he was active within the USOC and International Ski Federation, including 14 years as chairman of the FIS PR and Mass Media Committee.

"I've been fortunate in my career to work with some remarkable athletes and to engage others by telling their story,” Kelly said. “Skiing has been a passion of mine since I was seven years old and it is an honor to be included in the Hall of Fame."

The 2019 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame induction will kick off in Park City with a “Snowsport History Celebration” April 4-6, 2019, with several events to welcome the class of 2018 to Utah. This three-day celebration will culminate with the induction ceremony in Salt Lake City at the Little America Hotel. The annual induction honors not only athletes but industry icons, innovators and inventors with lifelong national and international achievements in all facets of snowsport. With the legacy of the 2002 Winter Games and the long lineage of celebrated athletes, Park City Mountain provides a spectacular backdrop for Snowsport History Celebration events culminating with the induction ceremony.

Among the eight inductees are the late Tom Sims, inventor of the “skiboard”, William Jensen nationally renowned resort operator, and the late Don Henderson, a pioneer of ski racing. Two women round out the class with Kristen Ulmer, known as the first female extreme skier and Hilary Engisch-Klein a world-dominating freestyle skier.

Patient Notes: Breezy Johnson

By Megan Harrod
September, 19 2018
Breezy Johnson, In Her Element
Breezy Johnson, in her element in Jackson Hole (Greg von Doersten).

Editor's Note: 
Breezy Johnson (Victor, ID) recently sustained an ACL tear that has sidelined her for the 2019 season. Throughout Johnson's road to recovery, she'll be sharing the ups and downs of rehabilitation here in a column of her own, entitled "Patient Notes," in hopes that you will follow along for the journey to learn how challenging it is both physically and mentally to return to snow at the elite level. Being an injured athlete can be challenging and lonely, and we're hoping that by writing this column, Johnson will be able to stay connected to the community and her sponsors.

Johnson will go into surgery tomorrow and plans to write a post-surgery update. She's thankful for your support and invites you to follow along on her Instagram. All of the words below are Johnson's thoughts, prior to finding out about the ACL tear, straight from her journal to your computer screen.

Enjoy the journey, 

Alpine Press Officer


9/9/18: five days post-crash

I’ve been in this sport for a long time...more than 15 years of racing now. I have watched countless teammates, friends, and fellow competitors go through this injury. Long ago I came to terms with the fact that it would come for me too. But knowing that it would come and that it did are two different things. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL): the three little words that so many ski racers have experienced there’s barely any of us left on the World Cup without scars on our knees.

To back up, I crashed five days ago. For me crashing and spectacularly go together like peanut butter and jellyand this crash was no different. Maybe I’ll send it in to Slalom Tokyo Drift…I feel like perhaps others should enjoy that moment, or perhaps others shouldn’t watch people’s seasons end. We will see. Anyway full yard sale later I sat up (gotta make sure the coaches know you are alive) and did my standard body check. Crashes for me have so much going on it usually takes me a minute afterwards to feel the pain. Feet, hands, shoulders, knees. I felt your standard beat up that you get when you crash at 60mph but not too bad. My shoulder hurt, but I’ve injured my shoulders before so I knew it would be fine. I had a busted lip and a bloody nose so I quickly set to trying to keep my suit from getting covered. My knee hurt a tiny bit but I’ve been though MCL tears, LCL tears and tibial plateau fractures and this pain was nothing I couldn’t handle. Really, I felt fine.

The doctor checked my knee but determined that it was probably fine. Two runs later and several instances of instability and I decided I was not fine. But I didn’t feel terrible either. The check engine light may have been on but there were not warning lights blaring in every direction, or at least I didn’t notice them.

Now here I am sitting on a plane headed home. An MRI showed a 30 percent partial ACL tear but our doctors didn’t like the Chileans’ findings. The later knee tests didn’t feel as good as the first to our doctor. They want to do their own tests and make sure that 30 percent really is 30 percent. Perhaps you’ve been here too. I guess part of writing this is coming together as skiers who risk our knees every day. Skiers, many of whom have sat where I am sitting nowhoping beyond hopea little voice in the back of our heads nervously chewing imaginary fingernails and saying ‘Has my luck finally run out?’

I’m scared. I’ll admit it. I’m scared to the point of waking up in a cold sweat forcing extension of my knee to try to prove something to myself. I’ve been here before. Two springs ago I was told by a team doctor, ironically one of the same doctors who looked at me this time, that I had torn my ACL. I forced myself not to hope. I didn’t want to get my hopes up just to have them crushed again. For almost 24 hours I told myself I had torn it. I quashed the voice of hope relentlessly and unequivocally. But then it turned out it wasn’t torn.

Now, two years later, I just can’t stop myself from hoping against all odds. Not because they were wrong once before, but because then it was March and now it is September. Tearing my ACL now means a season. Then it meant September return to snow. I have so many goals. Goals I haven’t even written down yet (I usually write goals half way through my September camp). It’s not an Olympic year. I did that already. But the reality is that I love the World Cup. In some ways, I love it more than the Olympics, and the thought of missing a season with the best competitors, of waiting another 14 months to feel the rush of a ski race is just more than I can bear.

I don’t have answers for myself. I don’t know what I will do but perhaps just writing down my fears and hopes is enough. Perhaps hearing your stories will help me come to terms with my own issues. I know that even if it is torn, it’s not the worst news. I know teammates who have done much, much worse. I know that knee injuries are still relatively lucky in the grand scheme of life and death. But that doesn’t mean I won’t still miss this sport. We will see in a couple of days if I need to write another one of these. Maybe I will have dodged the bullet again, maybe not.

Johnson Heartbroken with ACL Tear

By Megan Harrod
September, 12 2018
Breezy Johnson waves to the crowd in the PyeongChang downhill finish area.
Breezy Johnson waves to the crowd in the PyeongChang downhill finish area at the Winter Olympics (Matthias Hangst).

Breezy Johnson (Victor, Idaho) was born to ski. And to ski fast...with a name like “Breezy,” she had no other choice, right?! Ski racing is a no risk, no reward kind of sport – especially for downhillers, who have to be tough-as-nails physically and mentally in order to hurl themselves down a mountain at upwards of 80mph. Another season on the FIS Ski World Cup and all of the excitement it brings was on the horizon for Johnson.

Indeed, Johnson had a lot to look forward to, with her first Olympic bid under her belt and a host of super solid results from the 2017-18 season. Speaking of which, of her 15 downhill and super-G starts, Johnson was in the points 10 times, top-15 five times, top-10 four times, and narrowly missed her first podium in Garmisch, Germany, finishing in fourth place. In PyeongChang, South Korea, she grabbed a solid 14th-place result in super-G and a seventh in the downhill. Incredible results for the first-time Olympian.

However, the 2018-19 season ended almost as soon as it had started, as Johnson is sad to announce that she has torn her right Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) at a recent training camp in El Colorado, Chile training with the women’s speed team.

Johnson has been competing in the sport she loves so much for more than 15 years. Through it all, she has watched countless teammates, friends and fellow competitors suffer from knee injuries. Hurling herself down a mountain at upwards of 80mph, she knew, at some point, it would likely happen to her as well. “But knowing that it would come and that it did are two different things,” she reflected. “Anterior Cruciate Ligament: the three little words that so many ski racers have experienced, that there’s barely any of us left on the World Cup without scars on our knees. Last week, I, unfortunately, joined that vast majority.”

Johnson is undergoing further evaluation and has yet to determine when she will have surgery. Though she is going through all of the emotions elite level athletes do when they experience a heartbreaking injury, she knows she is young and strong and is positive about her rehab in the months to come. She is fully aware it will be challenging, but she’s up for the challenge.

“When I was younger, I thought an ACL tear was the worst thing that could happen to a ski racer. Now I know better,” Johnson said. “ACL tears are, relatively speaking, pretty lucky in our world. Perhaps that makes things better. I have less fear about the surgery and rehab to come. Yes, I know it will be difficult, painful, and aggravating, but I am no stranger to any of those things. However, that luck cuts me like a two-edged sword because I also look to the future and see myself waiting for 14 excruciating (and I say excruciating in a mental sense) months to once again throw myself down a World Cup course, and all of that for a little ACL tear, which makes it feel a bit like a curse from the universe.”

She’ll miss the people, the places, and the experiences – like the chance to celebrate teammate Lindsey Vonn's (Vail, Colo.) potentially historic moment if she breaks the World Cup wins record (Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark holds the record with 86, while Vonn has 82 victories). She even hoped to join Vonn on a podium before the legend retires. However, what Johnson will miss most is racing.

The women's speed team celebrates four in the top 15 on downhill day at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The fastest women's speed team on the World Cup circuit in 2017-18 celebrates four in the top 15 on downhill day at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“Perhaps I was born to be a racer because while I love skiing, racing is my true passion” Johnson said. “That feeling of flying down a course at 80mph, body, and brain both working at full capacity to try to make you go even faster…because, to me, that feeling is living. No, I will not miss an Olympics…and World Championships come back around in this sport. But for me, the thought of spending 14 months without that true feeling of living, that feeling of racing, kills me a little bit inside. I would love to think that everything happens for a reason – that anything is possible – but my experience with this sport has dissuaded me from those illusions. So, while I am grateful that this injury isn’t worse, the next 14 months feel like they might be the hardest I have ever faced.”

Johnson is incredibly thankful to the community for the support and wants everyone to know - from sponsors to fans and beyond - that she will return. Stay tuned here and to Johnson’s Instagram for frequent updates from Johnson as she experiences the highs and lows of returning to the mountain.

Successful First Ever U.S. Moguls Ski Team Fundraiser

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 10 2018
The U.S. Moguls Team at their fundraising event at Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club
The U.S. Moguls Team at their fundraising event at Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club

On Saturday, September 8, the U.S. Moguls Ski Team raised nearly $100,000 of funds that will all go to the B Team at Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club outside of Vail, Colo. With an initial goal of raising $30,000, the event was a huge success. Hosted and underwritten by U.S. Ski & Snowboard Trustee Jim Benedict and his wife Jeffy, guests and fans were treated to a cocktail reception, silent auction, autograph signings, and athlete presentations.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard supports athletes’ journeys to be “Best in the World.” The Moguls A Team was inspired to come together to support the B Team as part of their mission this season to be ever closer as a whole team. This incredible fundraising effort was an all-team effort spearheaded by A Team members Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.) and Tess Johnson (Vail, Colo.).

“It was really awesome to see how many people support us and want to be a part of our team,” said Kauf of the event’s success. “We got to help the B Team athletes, which helps us all go into our big training camp in Zermatt (Switzerland) more relaxed and focused. Doing this event as a whole team really brought us together.”

The generosity of the Vail community runs deep, something Tess Johnson is no stranger to. As a member of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Johnson was thrilled the inaugural event was held in her hometown.

“My entire career, Vail has supported me, the entire community,” Johnson said. “Whether donating to me personally, or watching me, or congratulating me. To see the whole community now supporting our team and joining in our team’s journey was even more special. It wouldn’t have been possible without the Benedict family’s support. We all stayed at their house. They are amazing and we are so grateful for their support.”

During the event, both Kauf and Johnson presented and spoke of the rich moguls' history in the Vail Valley, as well as the importance of this season for the team. It is critical that the athletes are able to dedicate their time and attention to their sport – their World Championships event will be held on home soil, at Deer Valley Resort on February 8 and 9, 2019.

B Team member Dylan Walczyk (Breckenridge, Colo.) shared with the audience what their support means to him. “There’s one piece of competing that stands out…the moment of contest,” Walczyk explains, “Everything you’ve worked for is on the line…You look down the course, you see the crowd cheering, you get a rush of adrenaline…You push out of the start gate…This is the purest moment I’ll ever find.”

The Moguls Team proved that many things are possible with some drive and dedication in more than tripling their initial goal. The week heading into the event, the Team had already raised more than $80,000.

“To go into the event with that was really awesome,” Kauf reflected.

“Jaelin and I took the reigns in organizing [the event]. We worked really hard and it was all worth it,” added Johnson.

The Moguls Team now heads to Zermatt for three weeks of training buoyed by their success. And though competition season looms large over them, knowing that their fans want to participate in their journey gives them all the more reason to ski hard.

If you’re interested in donating to the athletes of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, click HERE.

Whole Athlete Development: Featured in Ski Racing

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 10 2018
Tommy Biesemeyer Smiles at the Start Gate

Julie Glusker, Director of Athlete Career & Education (ACE) at U.S. Ski & Snowboard recently worked with Ski Racing Media to publish a piece entitled "Whole Athlete Development: Planning for the Season." In this piece, Glusker takes a deeper dive on the notion of a whole athlete development plan and what it entails. 

As Glusker writes, "Like many sports that require dedication, organization, sacrifice, and tenacity, ski racing is an excellent environment within which athletes can practice and hone their whole human development. Skiers of all levels must frequently cope with challenges, including weather, equipment, terrain, injury, finances, logistics, sacrifice, discomfort, adversity, and even (yes) success. Skiers must learn to listen, attempt, follow, fail, adjust, try again, and practice. They ultimately need to master technique and skill and also must learn to lead as competitors and teammates. All of this development occurs in an iterative process every day on the slopes, in the gym, on the trails, in the classroom, or in a workplace."

The aim is to development the athlete as a whole person, equipping them with the resources and tools necessary to create a plan towards achieving balance in order to feel organized, prepared and productive - enabling them to achieve goals.

"A whole athlete development plan provides a detailed outline of activities and tasks required to accomplish a goal, and it  breaks down the process into actionable steps based on a given timeline. No matter the end goal, a plan offers a clear roadmap for how to get there."

Read the full article on

Corning Opens World Cup Season with Big Air Win

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 8 2018
Chris Corning
Chris Corning stomped a backside quad-corked 1800 melon grab to win Saturday's World Cup opener. (Winter Games NZ / Jason Kerr)

Chris Corning (Silverthorne, Colo.) celebrated his 19th birthday in big-time fashion by landing on the top step of the podium in the FIS Snowboard World Cup big air opener in New Zealand Saturday. Kyle Mack (West Bloomfield, Mich.), the 2018 big air Olympic silver medalist, just missed the podium, finishing fourth.

With a perfectly stomped backside quad-corked 1800 melon grab on his second run, Corning produced a jaw-dropping World Cup victory with one of the highest big air World Cup scores ever seen – 98.00!

“I couldn’t ask for a better birthday,” said Corning. “I haven’t done the quad since the Olympics and I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth since (finishing fourth there). I’ve been thinking about doing it and when I landed my first trick today I knew I had two chances to go for it.”

Conditions at Cardrona Alpine Resort for the final snowboard event of Winter Games NZ were once again clear and calm, setting the stage for some truly astonishing big air action on the perfectly shaped 75-foot jump. Competitors each had three runs on the day, with their best two-jump scores being combined for final rankings.

At the end of the first run, Corning was sitting in second place having put down a tidy flat spin 1440 for a 90.60, while 2018 junior world champion Takeru Otsuka of Japan held the lead with a score of 95.6 for his cab 1620 indy. 

But there would be no stopping birthday boy Corning, the defending overall World Cup slopestyle champion dug into his bag of tricks and pulled out the quad, relegating Otsuka to second. Corning then upped his score on run three with a frontside 1440 chicken salad for the win. 

Otsuka’s frontside triple 1440 mute on run three was enough to secure him second place and his first career World Cup. Norway’s Mons Roisland claimed his third World Cup podium with a third-place result.

In the women’s big air, 16-year-old Reira Iwabuchi of Japan held the lead from her very first run for her second career World Cup big air victory. Japan’s Miyabi Onitsuka finished second, and Slovakia’s Klaudia Medlova was third. No American women participated.

The FIS Snowboard World Cup season continues with another big air competition November 3 in Modena, Italy. 

Men’s big air finals
Women’s big air finals

Corning wins Cardrona World Cup

U.S. Snowboard Team Wins Marc Hodler Trophy

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 7 2018
Hodler Award
U.S. Junior World Snowboard and Freeski Teams won 10 medals at the Marc Hodler Award at the 2018 FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The U.S. Junior World Snowboard and Freeski Teams wrapped up a very successful two weeks at the 2018 FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, winning a combined 10 medals, and the snowboard team winning the Marc Hodler Trophy, awarded to top nation at the championships.

The battle for the Marc Hodler Trophy came down to the wire with final two events of the championships, the parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom, being the largest barrier for the U.S. Team. The Russians put up a strong challenge, winning 10 of the 12 medals awarded in the final two events, however, the U.S. Snowboard Team took the trophy with 104 points to the Russian team’s 91.

On the freeski side, the U.S. Team finished just behind Russia in the Marc Hodler Trophy standings - 121 points to 97. With two podiums in big air and one each in skicross and halfpipe, it is clear the U.S. is ready to kick off the 2018-19 season. Overall, there were strong performances from a mix of U.S. Team athletes, USASA Alumni, and Project Gold Campers landing and executing big runs at New Zealand’s Cardrona Alpine Resort.

“This was the most successful FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships the U.S. Team has ever experienced,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Sport Development Manager, Snowboard and Freeskiing Abbi Nyberg. “Looking forward, U.S. athletes are poised for a bright future heading toward the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.”


  • Luke Winkelmann – Silver – Big Air (Winhall, Vt.; U.S. Snowboard Team; USASA Southern Vermont Series)
  • Tessa Maud – Silver – Halfpipe (Carlsbad, Calif.; U.S. Snowboard Team; USASA Unbound Series)
  • Toby Miller – Gold – Halfpipe (Truckee, Calif; U.S. Snowboard Team; USASA North Tahoe Series)
  • Jake Vedder – Gold – SBX (Pinckney, Mich.; U.S. Snowboard Team; USASA Great Lakes Snow Series; 4/16/98)
  • Mike Lacroix – Bronze - SBX (Shrewsbury, Mass.; USASA Massachusetts Series)
  • Livia Molodyh – Silver – SBX  (Hubbard, Ore.; USASA Mt. Hood Series )


  • Mac Forehand – Gold - Big Air (Winhall, Vt.; Stratton Mountain School, USASA Southern Vermont Series)
  • Ryan Stevenson – Silver - Big Air (Washington, N.J.; USASA Rocky Mountain Series)
  • Mazie Hayden – Silver – SX (North Clarendon, Vt.; Killington Mountain School, USASA Southern Vermont Series)
  • Dylan Ladd - Silver - Halfpipe (Lakewood, Colo.; USASA Rocky Mountain Series, Winter Park Competition Center)

Claire Second In World Cup Big Air

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 7 2018
Claire Second
Caroline Claire (left) celebrates on the podium with Canada's Elena Gaskell and Yuki Tsubota at the first FIS Freeski World Cup big air of the season Friday. (Winter Games NZ / Iain McGregor)

Caroline Claire (Manchester Center, Vt.) kicked off the first FIS Freeski World Cup big air of the season with a second-place finish at Cardrona Alpine Resort Friday.

Blue skies and calm conditions welcomed some of the world’s best freeskiers on top of Cardrona’s 75-foot big air jump, making for a perfect background to the final freeski event of the two-week Winter Games NZ. 

Claire pulled a switch 900 octo grab on her first jump, and a left 720 tail grab on her second to land on the podium. Canada’s Elena Gaskell stomped her switch 1260 on her second run of three, holding her mute grab all the way to claim her first World Cup victory. Canada’s Yuki Tsubota was third.

In the men’s event, Switzerland’s reigning slopestyle World Cup champion Andri Ragettli rebounded from his first run crash with a triple 1620 truckdriver on his second run, and a perfectly stomped switch triple 1440 truck driver on run three to grab the victory. Canada’s Evan McEachran was second, and local Finn Bilous of New Zealand was third. No U.S. men qualified for the finals.

The FIS Freeski World Cup season will be back in action again in two months with the second stop in Modena, Italy on November 4. 

Men’s big air finals
Women’s big air finals

Claire Lands Big Air Podium