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Cross Country Staff Announced Named for 2018-19 Season

By Reese Brown
October, 18 2018
Matt Whitcomb and Chris Grover
U.S. Cross Country Team Coaches Matt Whitcomb and Chris Grover at 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Sarah Brunson)

The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team today announced their coaching and support staff for the 2018-19 season that begins in Ruka Finland with the first FIS World Cup on November 24 & 25.  The Season will be highlighted by major events including the Tour de Ski and the World Championships in Seefeld, Austria.  

The World Cup coaching staff has been incredibly consistent in the years leading up to PyeongChang and now leading into a World Championship year.  Chris Grover enters his ninth season as head coach and is joined by veteran coaches Matt Whitcomb and Jason Cork. 

"The stability of the staff has created a platform upon which we’ve been able to build better and better support for the athlete.  We have a staff that knows what it takes to support medal-winning skiers at the World Championships." - Chris Grover

On the development side, Bryan Fish has been promoted to Cross Country Sport Development Manager.  This is a new position and will allow Fish to continue as the driving force with the development pipeline and become a larger player in the national cross country scene.  He will be supported by new hire Mackenzie St. Onge, a recent Dartmouth Graduate. 

Cross Country Coaches and Staff
Head Coach:  Chris Grover
World Cup Coach:  Matt Whitcomb                           
World Cup Coach:  Jason Cork                                             
Cross Country Sport Development Manager:  Bryan Fish                           
D-Team Coach:  Gus Kaeding                                                                                  
Cross Country Sport Coordinator:  Mackenzie St. Onge                  
Communications Manager:  Reese Brown

Service Staff
Head of Service:  Oleg Ragilo           
World Cup Service:  Jean-Pascal Laurin
World Cup Service:  Andrew Morehouse      
World Cup Service:  Tim Baucom                             
World Cup Service:  Eli Brown     

U.S. Alpine Ski Team Staff Announced for 2018-19 Season

By Megan Harrod
October, 17 2018
Sasha Rearick takes over as men's development coach.
Sasha Rearick, shown here celebrating with Ted Ligety following his 2012 Soelden World Cup victory, takes the helm as the men's development head coach for the 2018-19 season. (Getty Images)

The U.S. Ski Team announces its alpine coaching staff for the 2018-19 season, which kicks off with the first FIS Ski World Cup event of the season in Soelden, Austria October 27-28. The season features two domestic U.S. FIS Ski World Cup events, including a women’s tech series at Killington, Vt. and a men’s speed and giant slalom series at Beaver Creek, Colo. The pinnacle event will be the World Championships, hosted by the magical town of Åre, Sweden. 

Jesse Hunt rejoined the U.S. Ski Team as alpine director in spring 2018, a role he formerly occupied with the team from 2002-09. During Hunt's previous tenure as alpine director, the team had incredible depth and talent, featuring now-alumni Bode Miller, Daron Rahlves, and Julia Mancuso, as well as current team members Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) and Ted Ligety (Park City, Utah). “Winning at every level” became the mantra associated with Hunt as NorAm titles, World Junior Championships, Olympic and World Championship medals, and World Cup globes were all secured while he was at the helm of the program. With a renewed focus on development as a result of findings from “Project 26”, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development initiative, Hunt looks to make a cultural shift and get back to that “winning at every level” mantra.

Speaking of “winning at every level,” a notable shift for the alpine staff includes former men’s head coach Sasha Rearick, who has moved to the men’s development team. He, along with Marjan Cernigoj—who leads the women’s development team—will bring their vast industry knowledge across all levels to this young squad of up-and-comers. Former U.S. Ski Team athlete Dane Spencer joins the men’s alpine speed team staff under John "Johno" McBride, while former men’s speed assistant coach Pete Anderson will bring his expertise to the men’s Europa Cup team. He will be joined by Martin Andersen and Josh Benge.

Karin Harjo will once again be working with the women's speed team, along with Chip White. Harjo remains to be one of the few female coaches on the World Cup circuit. Last season she moved over from women's tech to women's speed and made an immediate impact, receiving great praise from White as well as the athletes. During the 2018 season, the women's speed team boasted the fastest women's downhill team in the world. Harjo brings a unique perspective and great energy to the group...she's the perfect combination of hardworking and humble. As she told the Associated Press last year prior to the Olympics, "I didn't choose to be a coach because I was female. That's where the gender part to me is actually kind of foreign. It's like, 'Well, why wouldn't I do this?' We have the opportunity now to become whatever we want to be. That's the mentality I've brought into coaching and into the sport."

Karin Harjo chats with Lindsey Vonn after Vonn's 82nd career win in Are, Sweden. 
Karin Harjo chats with Lindsey Vonn after Vonn's 82nd career win in Åre, Sweden in 2018. 

Anticipation is building for the upcoming season with Vonn chasing Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time win record of 86 World Cup victories (she currently has 82 to her name) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) going for her third-straight overall World Cup title and her fourth consecutive World Championships slalom gold. Ted Ligety will be fighting to reclaim his World Championship giant slalom gold, Steven Nyman (Sundance, Utah) and Travis Ganong (Squaw Valley, Calif.) are both returning from injury to World Cup action, and keep an eye out for podium-potential athletes Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (Starksboro, Vt.), who are looking to pick up where they left off last season. These athletes are joined by a host of up-and-coming talent—all looking forward to an exciting season of ski racing that lies ahead.

Information on how to watch the 2019 FIS Ski Alpine World Cup will be released in due course.

Former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Marco Sullivan dials in his Birds of Prey line with Coach Scotty Veenis.
Former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Marco Sullivan dials in his Birds of Prey line with Asst. World Cup Speed Coach Scotty Veenis in 2014.

Chief of Sport: Luke Bodensteiner
Alpine Director: Jesse Hunt
Alpine Development Director: Chip Knight
Alpine Communications Manager: Megan Harrod
Alpine World Cup Medical Coordinator: Gillian Bower
Alpine Europa Cup Medical Coordinator: David Quammen

Team Manager: Gwynn Watkins

Men’s World Cup Speed
Head Coach: John McBride
Assistant Coach: Scotty Veenis
Assistant Coach: Chris Beckmann
Fischer Ski Service: Leo Mussi
Ski Service: Thomas Buergler
Ski Service: Giorgio Gay
Physiotherapist: Sam Eiler

Men’s World Cup Technical
Head Coach: Forest Carey
Assistant Coach: Ian Garner
Assistant Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach: Joshua Applegate
Head Ski Service Ted Ligety: Alex Martin
Ski Service: Danijel Andesilic

Men’s Europa Cup
Head Coach: Pete Anderson
Assistant Coach (Tech): Martin Andersen
Assistant Coach: Josh Benge
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Michael Bingaman
Ski Service: Marko Skube
Ski Service: Jesse Cassidy

Men’s Development
Head Coach: Sasha Rearick

Head Coach: Paul Kristofic
Team Manager: Meghan Arigo

Women’s World Cup Speed
World Cup Speed Head Coach: Chip White
Assistant Coach: Karin Harjo
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Bob Poehling
Physiotherapist: Sara Chavez
Ski Service: Zoran Knezevic
Ski Service: Gregor Koprivnik
Ski Service: Dusan Kaps

Lindsey Vonn
Head Coach: Alex Hoedlmoser
Physiotherapist: Lindsay Winninger
Strength & Conditioning: Alex Bunt (Red Bull)
Press Manager: Claire Abbe Brown
Head Ski Service: Heinz Haemmerle

Women’s World Cup Technical
Mikaela Shiffrin
Coach: Mike Day
Coach/Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jeff Lackie
Atomic Ski Service: Johann Stroebl
Physiotherapist: Regan Dewhirst

Women’s World Cup Technical and Europa Cup
Head Coach: Magnus Andersson
Assistant Coach: Kris Shampeny
Assistant Coach/Ski Service: Bart Mollin
Ski Service: Miguel Oviedo

Women’s Development
Head Coach: Marjan Cernigoj

2018-19 Snowboard and Freeski Staff Adds Depth

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 16 2018
PyeongChang Freeski Slopestyle Olympic Silver Medalist Nick Goepper with Head Coach Mike Jankowski at the 2018 Olympics.
PyeongChang Freeski Slopestyle Olympic Silver Medalist Nick Goepper with Head Coach Mike Jankowski (U.S. Ski & Snowboard).

The U.S. Freeski and Snowboard Teams have announced their staff for the 2018-19 season, which continues with the FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Cup big air in Modena, Italy on Nov 3.

The U.S Freeski & Snowboard Team welcomes Ashley Deibold as halfpipe, slopestyle, big air, and parallel giant slalom sport development manager. As a longtime industry veteran and 2012 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Domestic Coach of the Year, she is ready for the challenge ahead. Deibold has large shoes to fill replacing Abbi Nyberg, who recently left the organization after 17 years to spend more time with her young family.

“I am very excited to return to an industry I have so much passion for,” said Deibold. “Helping athletes achieve their dreams is a joyful way to spend my days. I feel very lucky to be in this position. Although Abbi is irreplaceable, I look forward to the opportunity and challenge of carrying on and expanding upon the amazing work she has done."

Additionally, Katie Fieguth shifts her role as freestyle program manager to sport development manager for snowboardcross and skicross along with moguls and aerials.

Continuing on the theme of athlete development, other notable changes within the coaching staff are focused on the rookie teams. Nichole Mason has joined U.S. Ski & Snowboard as snowboard national development coach for slopestyle and big air. Mason joins U.S. Ski & Snowboard following five years of coaching at Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, where she was the 2017 U.S. Ski & Snowboard Domestic Coach of the Year, and Development Coach of the year.

“Being hired onto the U.S, Ski & Snowboard Team felt like a huge recognition for the work I have put into all the athletes over the years,” said Mason. “I am now in a position to give back and watch them go from rookies to professionals and hopefully onto the Olympic Team.”

Furthermore, the rookie teams continue to add new faces with the addition of Dave Euler and Jeremie Livingston. Euler, formally the head freeskiing coach at Team Park City United, will serve as the freeski slopestyle and big air national development team coach. Also, Livingston, formally head freeskiing coach at the Winter Park Competition Center, will serve as the freeski halfpipe national development team coach.

Last but not least, JJ Thomas, Shaun White’s coach throughout the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and 2002 Olympic halfpipe bronze medalist joins U.S. Ski & Snowboard as the snowboard halfpipe national development team coach, adding another layer of depth and experience to the staff.

“I’m very excited to officially be part of the U.S. Snowboard Team,” said Thomas. “The team has supported me through my career as an athlete and now as a coach. I knew it was the right step for me to become an official member of the program. The support that they offer on and off the snow is unmatched.”

Following the Modena World Cup, U.S. Freeski Team athletes will head to the Stubai World Cup slopestyle competition Nov 22-24, while U.S. Snowboard Team athletes will move onto Beijing, China for the Air & Style Big Air World Cup event Nov 23-24. Both teams then head to Copper Mountain, Colo. for the first halfpipe competition of the season at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Dec. 6-8, which also serves as a FIS World Cup event. The FIS World Cup snowboardcross season kicks off in Montafon, Austria, Dec. 14-16 and alpine snowboarding in St. Moritz, Switzerland Dec. 8-9.

2018-19 Snowboard & Freeski Staff

Snowboard and Freeski Director: Jeremy Forster
Snowboard and Freeski Head Coach: Mike Jankowski
Halfpipe, Slopestyle & Big Air Team Manager: Jess Luscinski
Snowboardcross Team Manager: Alexis Williams
Snowboard & Freeski Team Communications Manager: Andrew Gauthier
Sport Development Leader- HP/SS&BA/PGS: Ashley Deibold
Sport Development Manager - MO/AE/SBX/SX: Katie Fieguth

Medical & Sports Science Staff

High Performance Dietitian: Allen Tran
Senior Sports Psychologist, USOC: Alex Cohen
Clinical Specialist: David Quammen
Clinical Specialist: Jen Kimball
Freeski Slopestyle Team Physical Therapist: Carly Brooks
Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air Athletic Trainer: Jason Switzer
Snowboardcross Athletic Development Manager: Tschana Schiller
Freeski Halfpipe, Slopestyle, Big Air and Aerials Athletic Development Coach: Brett Kelly
Snowboard Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air Athletic Development Coach: Matthew Voss


Halfpipe, Slopestyle & Big Air Head Coach: Mike Jankowski
Slopestyle/Big Air Pro Team Head Coach: Mike Ramirez (Mammoth Mountain Snowboard Team)
Slopestyle/Big Air Pro Team Head Coach: David Reynolds (Mt Bachelor Sports Education Foundation Snowboard Team)
Halfpipe Pro Team Head Coach: Rick Bower
Halfpipe Pro Team Coach: Rick Shimpeno
Slopestyle/Big Air National Development Coach: Nichole Mason (Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club)
Halfpipe National Development Team Coach: JJ Thomas
Snowboardcross Head Coach: Peter Foley
Snowboardcross Coach: Jeff Archibald


Halfpipe, Slopestyle & Big Air Head Coach: Mike Jankowski
Slopestyle Pro Team Head Coach: Skogen Sprang
Slopestyle Pro Team Coach: DJ Montigny (Killington Mountain School)
Slopestyle Coach/Technician: Dave Coombs
Halfpipe National Development Team Coach: Jeremie Livingston (Winter Park Competition Center)
Slopestyle/Big Air National Development Team Coach: Dave Euler (Team Park City United)
Halfpipe Pro Team Head Coach: Andrew Woods
Halfpipe Pro Team Coach: Mike Riddle

U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Staff Named for 2018-19 Season

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 15 2018
U.S. Moguls Team Head Coach Matt Gnoza with Casey Andringa at the 2018 FIS Visa Freestyle International Deer Valley
U.S. Moguls Team Head Coach Matt Gnoza with Casey Andringa at the 2018 FIS Visa Freestyle International Deer Valley. (Steven Earl Photography)

The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team has announced its staff line-up for the 2018-19 season. The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team includes moguls and aerials athletes, and, as a main highlight of their forthcoming event calendar, athletes from both disciplines will have the chance to compete on home soil during the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freeski and Freestyle World Championships February 1-10, 2019, in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s own backyard in Park City, Utah.

Todd Ossian returns for his eighth season as head coach for the aerials Team, as does C-team coach, Emily Cook, now in her third season. Joining U.S. Ski & Snowboard full time as World Cup coach is Eric Bergoust. New addition Peter Toohey joins as the team’s athletic trainer and Bret Kelly returns for his third season as strength & conditioning coach.

Matt Gnoza leads the Moguls Team as head coach, marking his fourth season in the position. Caleb Martin returns for his fourth season as World Cup coach and is joined by Vladimir Lebedev in his first season with U.S. Ski & Snowboard as World Cup coach. Chuck Williams enters his fourth season as the Team’s physical therapist and Josh Bullock returns for his second season as strength & conditioning coach.

The competition season for Moguls kicks off December 7, 2018, in Ruka, Finland, with the season-opening World Cup event. Aerials will compete in their first World Cup event in Lake Placid, New York, on January 19, 2019.

Freestyle Staff:
Program Directer: Jeremy Forster
Team Manager: Alexis Williams
Sport Development Manager: Katie Fieguth
Communications Manager: Lara Carlton

Head Coach: Todd Ossian 
World Cup Coach: Eric Bergoust
C-Team Coach: Emily Cook 
Athletic Trainer: Peter Toohey
Strength & Conditioning: Bret Kelly

Head Coach: Matt Gnoza
World Cup Coach: Caleb Martin
World Cup Coach: Vladimir Lebedev 
Physical Therapist: Chuck Williams
Strength & Conditioning: Josh Bullock

The End of An Era: Lindsey Vonn

By Megan Harrod
October, 11 2018
Lindsey Vonn End of an Era

Speaking at an event for Chase Ink today in New York City, Olympic champion and winningest female alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) announced that the 2018-19 season would be her last—whether or not she breaks Ingemar Stenmark's World Cup win record. 

With 82 career FIS Ski World Cup wins, just four shy of Stenmark's all-time record of 86 wins, Vonn declared for the first time that she would retire following this season. As the NBC Sports Olympic Talk article written by Nick Zaccardi following the event said,

"If I get it [the record], that would be a dream come true,” Vonn said before a speaking event for Chase Ink in Manhattan. “If I don’t, I think I’ve had an incredibly successful career no matter what. I’m still the all-time winningest female skier."

Last season, Vonn had five World Cup victories, despite a rough start to the season with a crash in Lake Louise—which is often referred to as "Lake Lindsey" because she's won an unprecedented 18 World Cup races at the venue (14 downhill and 4 super-G wins). In 2015, Vonn grabbed a hat-trick of victories at Lake Louise.

“Lindsey Vonn is truly an icon of world sport," reflected U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. "The news today that the forthcoming season will be Lindsey’s last is to be celebrated. We all have a chance to watch an incredible athlete end her glittering competitive ski racing career by writing a record-breaking new chapter. That is an appropriate way to pay homage to this chapter of Lindsey’s life.”

Vonn just needs five victories this season to surpass Stenmark's record and go down in history as the winningest ski racer of all-time. She will focus on speed in her final season, starting in only super-G and downhill events. Her first World Cup this season will be Lake Louise next month from November 30-December 2, 2018, featuring two downhills and a super-G.

Needless to say, this will be a season fans will not want to miss. 

Read the full article on

Saas-Fee Camp Kicks Off For Snowboard & Freeski Teams

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 11 2018
Brita Sigourney Trains at the Stomping Grounds
Brita Sigourney trains at the Stomping Grounds in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. (The Stomping Grounds Park)

The northern hemisphere winter season has kicked off at the Saas-Fee Stomping Grounds in Switzerland, the training camp for U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s slopestyle, big air, halfpipe, and snowboardcross athletes.

They may be a long way from home, but they will certainly not be lonely. A total of 57 athletes including nine Snowboardcross, 25 halfpipe, and 23 slopestyle athletes are putting in work on the glacier ahead of the competitive season, which continues with FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Cup big air in Modena, Italy, Nov 3.


This is not the first time U.S. Ski & Snowboard slopestyle, big air, and halfpipe athletes flocked to Saas-Fee to prepare for the busy season of competition ahead. They have been heading to Saas-Fee for training and competition on and off for eight years.

“I’m always hyped to be heading back out to Saas-Fee,” said U.S.Freeski Team veteran Bobby Brown (Denver). “It’s always awesome coming out here. It’s an amazing park, beautiful town, and great times with my teammates. It’s going to be an unreal two weeks.”

Red Gerard
Olympic Champion Red Gerard enjoys some quality slopestyle training at the Saas-Fee Stomping Grounds. (The Stomping Grounds Park)


However, for snowboardercross athletes, Saas-Fee will be a new experience. The last time they trained at Saas-Fee was in 2005. Also, it’s rare for numerous disciplines to be represented at the same camp and location. This makes for an interesting dynamic.

“We are stoked to be in Saas-Fee for the first time,” Said Sochi Olympic bronze medalist Alex Deibold (Salt Lake City). “All the other teams have been raving about what a great spot it is, and it will be fun to spend some time on snow with the freeski and snowboard halfpipe and slopestyle crews.”

U.S. Snowboardcross Head Coach Peter Foley echoed that sentiment saying: “It’s great to have everyone interacting from the different U.S. teams here. It really ups the level for everyone to see their teammates working hard and it’s cool for them because they aren’t always at the same place at the same time on snow. This year, the course they have built is the best it’s ever been in Saas-Fee. There are a few different start options and the jumps and berms are full-size.”

After a summer of hard work in the gym building strength, flexibility, and stamina, the athletes shift focus in Saas-Fee to dialing in their tricks, techniques, maneuvers, air awareness, and style. These elements of skiing and snowboarding cannot be replicated in the four walls of a gym or training facility. Although U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah offers many quality resources including a world-class gym, water ramps, trampolines, airbags, and even a skateboard park, there is still truly nothing like the real thing.

Athletes will be training on snow through October 20 in Saas-Fee, working with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s coaching staff daily, putting in the hard work that will pay off in competition.

“It’s extremely important to utilize every day,” said Foley. “You need to be smart and stick with your plan being conscious of not trying to overdo things or trying to accelerate progression so much that it becomes counterproductive.”  

Following the Modena World Cup, U.S. Snowboard Team athletes will move onto Beijing, China for a World Cup big air event, then to Copper Mountain, Colo. for the first halfpipe competition of the season at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix Dec. 6-8. The FIS World Cup snowboardcross season kicks off in Montafon, Austria, Dec. 12-16.

Follow U.S. Ski & Snowboard and our athletes on social media for sneak peeks into training camp at the Saas-Fee Stomping Grounds.

Facebook: @USSkiandSnowboard

Instagram: @USFreeskiTeam, @USSnowboardTeam

Marjan Cernigoj Talks Shop: Women's Development

By Megan Harrod
October, 10 2018
Women's Development Team
Marjan Cernigoj (second from right) was hired as head women’s development coach in May. From L-R: Brett Jacobson, Ainsley Proffit, Keely Cashman, Nellie Rose Talbot, Zoe Zimmermann, Brynne Hitchcock, Nicola Rountree-Williams, Cernigoj, and Shaun Goodwin pose for a photo while training in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

In late May, U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced the appointment of Marjan Cernigoj as head women’s development coach and counterpart to head men’s development coach Sasha Rearick. Since coming on board, Cernigoj has been on snow with the women’s development group across the globe, hard at work improving communication between all levels of the program, including regional director, club alpine directors, club coaches, personal coaches and the management of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

With renewed focus on development at U.S. Ski & Snowboard as a result of “Project 26,” the organization has brought in club-level athletes and invitees to train with U.S. Ski Team coaches, staff and Development Team athletes in an effort to create consistency in their approach to development that coincide with the U.S. Ski Team’s philosophies. This group has been deemed the “National Development Group” (NDG). To ensure the Team’s philosophy filters down to the club level, key club coaches have also been included as an integral part of these projects.

What do these projects look like on the ground? This summer, it all started with camps at Squaw Valley and Mammoth, Calif., Timberline Lodge, Ore. and Saas-Fee, Switzerland, with Development Team athletes, NDG athletes, and invitees.

Rearick took a men’s development crew to California, and shortly thereafter, Cernigoj was hired as Rearick’s counterpart on the women’s side and hit the ground running with development projects in early June. Their first joint project was the on-snow camp at Timberline Lodge Ski & Snowboard area in Mt. Hood, then Cernigoj had a short break before hopping the pond to Saas-Fee in August. We caught up with Cernigoj while in Saas-Fee to talk shop.

Alpine Press Officer Megan Harrod: So you’re in the lovely Saas-Fee, Switzerland - how is it there?

Marjan Cernigoj: We are kind of stuck in this cycle where nights and mornings are really good, and in the afternoons the thunderstorms come in...but all of the snow on the glacier is unbelievable. A week before we came, it was raining at least four out of the seven days, so yeah - it was super warm and there were some thunderstorms but this weekend it is just unbelievable. I can’t say how good it is for us.

Megan: I know you kind of hit the ground running with a camp in Hood with a large group there.

Marjan: I will start at the beginning. So, I got hired on June 1st, which was actually quite late for the preparation season so I had to learn very quickly what “Project 26” was all about, and what the new development format consisted took me quite a while to learn all the moving parts but I think I am getting better and better at understanding of the entire project. I definitely learn when I am on the ground you know from the athletes, coaches, program directors and so forth, but also the valuable thing is I read about the background, the support fundamentals, the budget, programming, and just the philosophy of the Development Team. The first project was at Mount Hood. I went there to learn from Sasha because it was his project. When I heard that he was going to have it there I wanted to invite as many girls from the Development Team as I could, though many of the athletes had already committed to the other projects in South America, New Zealand, and Europe. I was able to start working with three Development Team women, and a couple athletes I invited from different U.S. club programs. While I was there, I think I learned a lot about the whole philosophy by meeting the directors, coaches, regional staff, and regional directors. In that sense, that camp was a huge learning curve for me. The project was really fun. We worked hard. There was a lot of work on basic fundamentals from day one to the very last day, so it was a fun project to be involved with and I hope the athletes also liked it and learned a lot.

Megan: Can you give me a sense of how that camp went and then how the crew is doing at this Saas-Fee camp?

Marjan: The second project, in Saas-Fee, is my first standalone project. I invited two club coaches here with me is Shaun Goodwin from Vail - who is Nicola Rountree Williams’ personal coach - and Brett Jacobson, Head Women’s U19 FIS Coach at Sugarbowl Academy. Additionally, we are sharing an athletic trainer from Sugarbowl Academy, Brandy Barna (who is the High Performance Coordinator, Asst. Athletic Trainer and U19 Women’s Asst. Coach). She is a shared resource with Magnus Andersson’s group - the B and C Teams - and that’s been outstanding for the girls. She is really really good,  so it’s a really positive set up we have here.

Megan: How has your progression has been in terms of training days at Saas-Fee?

Marjan: The Saas-Fee project kind of encompasses everything- you know, the strategies the Development Team is about. It provides added exposure; we have a really high-quality training menu. It emphasizes the fundamental skills of giant slalom and slalom. As an added benefit, we were able to secure four days of super-G as well. We can hardly believe ourselves here on the ground. There are numerous world cup teams up here, and it’s a great environment. The Swedes, Slovenians, and Swiss are here and there are national teams more coming.

Megan: That’s great. So what have your training blocks looked like?

Marjan: We arrived in Europe on the 14th of August. We made a plan to start with a good block of giant slalom because Mount Hood was very focused on slalom and we wanted to catch up on the fundamental work of giant slalom. We were super successful, I think, in these past five days. So five days was just a lot of giant slalom, directive freeskiing, short giant slalom courses in a contained environment, 21-meter courses all the way up to 26-meters and on various terrain, including moderate terrain, steeper terrain, rolly terrain and the best slopes up here on the south side glacier. Since we’ve been training with Magnus’ group, we are able to get the very best courses. We have been really lucky the past five days with the giant slalom progression. We have done some crossover training with him, which was also in the plan, and a huge benefit for our women. We are also doing afternoon conditioning together - not on a daily basis, but whenever our programs align. These five days were really good quality with high intensity and high volume. From there, we are starting a four-day progression in super-G. We are the only one on the hill that has a four-day reservation, top to bottom, in Saas-Fee. It’s incredible.  

Megan: Have any of the athletes really surprised you in a positive way or are there any standout performances happening during training sessions?  

Marjan: You know, I am seeing the progression. I mean, for me, seeing these athletes from Mount Hood until now, I can really see the changes already happening just because of the volume and quality of progressions we have done. There are a couple of girls here that really stand out, but I’d hate to single out any of them. We are super stoked that everyone is getting along well and working hard. They all have a lot of fun together. We have a volleyball court at the hotel, and whenever they have the chance they are just pounding this volleyball back and forth and just overall it’s a really positive experience so far. The level of skiing is great, but of course, everybody needs the corrections to get to the higher level of performance and execution of the technical and tactical elements both.

Megan: And has there been any connection with any of the other national teams? Or have you guys watched or connected with any of them at all - the Germans, Swedes, and/or Slovenians?

Marjan: Absolutely yes. We were training one full day next to the Swedish World Cup Team - with [Olympic gold medalist] Frida Hansdotter and everybody else - and we had a parallel course, so we can watch the video of those athletes and see where we stack up because the courses were completely identical. We were able to shoot a lot of video, and in the afternoon compare the basic athletic stance to everything else we wanted to see between technical and tactical performances. It was invaluable.

What’s next for Cernigoj and the women’s development crew? They’ll hit the slopes at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colo. in early November. Cross your fingers, but it appears that Mother Nature is being kind to Copper - with a dusting of snow already on the ground, and the snow guns blasting.

Athletes Involved with Saas-Fee Project:
Keely Cashman (U.S. Ski Team)
Brynne Hitchcock (Park City Ski & Snowboard Club)
Ainsley Proffit (U.S. Ski Team)
Nellie-Rose Talbot (U.S. Ski Team)
Nicola Rountree-Williams (U.S. Ski Team)
Zoe Zimmermann (U.S. Ski Team)

Brady Barna - High-Performance Coordinator, Asst. AT, U19 Women’s Asst. Coach, Sugarbowl Academy
Marjan Cernigoj - Head Women's Development Coach, U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team
Brett Jacobson - Head Women’s U19 FIS Coach, Sugarbowl Academy
Shaun Goodwin - Nicola Rountree-Williams' Personal Coach

Sugarloaf to Host 2019 U.S. Alpine Speed Championships

By Megan Harrod
October, 9 2018
Sam Morse Super-G
Local Sugarloaf, Maine, hero Sam Morse competes in the super-G at U.S. Alpine Championships hosted by Sugarloaf in 2017. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard / Reese Brown)

Sugarloaf, Maine, is no stranger to playing host to the Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships, but in 2019 the resort will look forward to hosting the first-ever Toyota U.S. Alpine Speed Championships. From March 16-21, 2019, the best alpine skiers in the nation will ski down Narrow Gauge in downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.

Domestic events such as the U.S. Alpine Championships are a vital part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development program and key to the success of “Project 26”, the organization’s long-term plan to produce the Best In The World in alpine ski racing. The U.S. Alpine Championships also enable top club athletes from regional programs around the United States to see how they stack up competitively against U.S. Ski Team veterans from the FIS Ski World Cup Tour. As an International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned event, the U.S. Alpine Championships are also open to foreign athletes.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced in August that Waterville Valley will host the Toyota U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, including slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom March 23-26, 2019. Sugarloaf is thrilled to bring elite-level ski racing action back to their mountain, home to U.S. Ski Team member and Sugarloaf-sponsored athlete Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, Maine).

Racing will take place on Sugarloaf’s legendary Narrow Gauge trail, which was also the site of a 1971 World Cup event. It will be the seventh time Sugarloaf has played host to the championships following successful events in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017, but this will be the first official “U.S. Alpine Speed Championships” with downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.

“Sugarloaf has always been an excellent resort partner with a challenging, high-caliber track,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “As I’ve said before, the east boasts a high percentage of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard club membership base, and therefore the fans are wildly passionate about the sport. We look forward to heading to Sugarloaf in March 2019 for the first official U.S. Alpine Speed Championships.”

Sugarloaf is equally looking forward to once again host the event. “We couldn’t be prouder to host the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships at Sugarloaf” said Ethan Austin, Director of Marketing at Sugarloaf. “As the home of one of the only homologated downhill course in the East, Sugarloaf has a long history as a proving ground for the world’s fastest skiers. We’re excited to see the nation’s best test themselves on the world famous Narrow Gauge once again.”

Sugarloaf, along with Carrabassett Valley Academy, has long been a hotbed of ski racing and the development home of stars like Olympic champion Bode Miller and World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark. Sugarloaf’s proud racing heritage stems from years of hosting world-class competitions. The mountain has staged many Junior Olympics and Eastern Cup (development level) events. In 1971, Sugarloaf held men’s and women’s World Cup races and also hosted the first official FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in 1984.

Much like the 2015 through 2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States. That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.

About Sugarloaf
Located in Carrabassett Valley, Maine Sugarloaf is largest ski area in the East, and is home to the only lift-serviced above treeline skiing and riding in the East, as well as the number one golf course in Maine, according to Golf Digest. Sugarloaf is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions. For more information, follow:,, and

Event Schedule
March 16     Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 17     Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 18     Downhill (NorAm Cup Finals) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 19     Downhill (National Championships) - Sugarloaf - Maine
March 20     Alpine Combined (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 21     Super-G (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 23     Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 24    Parallel Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 25    Women’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 26    Men’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.

2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle, Freeski World Championships Breaking Boundaries Youth Film Contest Winners Announced

By Andrew Gauthier
October, 9 2018
Breaking Boundaries Hero
“Pushing the Boundaries" by Jack Price with feature athlete Rodney Koford was named the winner of the 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest.

PARK CITY, Utah – Jack Price (Bozeman, Mont.) and feature athlete Rodney Koford (Park City, Utah) were named the winner of the 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest for their short film titled “Pushing the Boundaries.”

The film contest was open to young filmmakers ages 21 and younger to tell their own stories about breaking boundaries. The concept of “breaking boundaries” is one that is very familiar to athletes in the world of competitive snowboarding, freestyle and freeskiing as it to relates to a core goal of each discipline, progression. Aubrie Walker (Park City, UT), was named runner-up, communicating a powerful story she called “Despondent.” Each young filmmaker had a unique take on the contest, inspiring those who watch their films in very different ways.

“Winning this contest means a lot to me because it was my first documentary-style film contest I have ever entered,” said contest winner Jack Price. “I really felt like AK and my story could be told in an interesting way. I am going to Film school at Montana State next year so this gives me a lot of confidence in my ability to succeed there. My message for this film was to highlight how two people can come from different backgrounds and be so similar in their ambitions. I am very proud of the video as a whole and it got me excited to make more videos like this in the future.”

The 2019 Breaking Boundaries Snowboard, Freestyle, and Freeski World Championships Youth Film Contest were hosted in partnership with The Park City Summit County Arts Council, the Park City Film Series, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard. Winners were selected by a panel of judges including the partners mentioned above, local freestyle/freeski athletes and other leaders in the arts and film community local to Park City. Jack will receive a cash prize of $2,500 as well as an exclusive experience embedded with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s content department for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships. He will have the chance to work with both the in-house content team as well as the host broadcaster feature team capturing behind the scenes stories of the World Championships in U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s hometown of Park City, Utah. Walker will receive a $500 cash prize and two VIP tickets for up to four events of the championships.

“This has been a fantastic project for the Organizing Committee for the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships,” noted Calum Clark, U.S. Ski & Snowboard chief of systems and operations. “Our hope was to connect with a different aspect of our community and celebrate the diversity and creativity of young filmmakers to blend arts with sports. Our community partners of the Park City Summit County Arts Council and the Park City Film Series were amazing to work with coming up with this competition and motivating young filmmakers to submit films.  We were so impressed by the number of responses that were submitted and amazed at the quality of the films that were produced.”

Winner: Pushing the Boundaries by Jack Price with feature athlete Rodney Koford, available to view online:

Runner-Up: Despondent by Aubrie Walker, available to view online:

About Park City Film Series

The Park City Film Series is Summit County’s only non-profit Art House Cinema. Since 1995, they have been presenting a curated selection of independent, foreign and documentary films on the weekends, using film as a medium to entertain, inspire and educate patrons. The organization’s mission is to create community through film.

About Park City Summit County Arts Council

Founded in 1986, the Park City Summit County Arts Council is one of the oldest arts and culture organizations in Park City. In the past three decades, the Park City Summit County Arts Council has advocated for and secured significant funding for arts and culture, as well as incubating numerous arts and culture organizations. The organization has built audiences for established and emerging artists and helped promote Park City as a world-class cultural tourist destination. Most importantly, the Park City Summit County Arts Council has helped make art part of the Park City community.

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is an Olympic sports organization providing leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders and elite athletes competing at the highest level worldwide, 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. Established in 1905, 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. The organization is based in Park City, Utah.

For original rules and regulations visit

Youth Film Contest Winner Pushing The Boundaries


Youth Film Contest Runner Up Despondent


Making History: Vonn Featured in TIME

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
October, 4 2018
Lindsey Vonn Featured in TIME

Olympic Champion and winningest female alpine ski racer of all time Lindsey Vonn (Vail, Colo.) was recently featured in a TIME special project called "Firsts"—about women who are changing the world, alongside legends like Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Ellen DeGeneres, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Serena Williams, Aretha Franklin, Danica Patrick and Sheryl Sandberg. 

As the piece introduces these incredible women, it reads, 

‘She broke the glass ceiling.’

"What a jagged image we use for women who achieve greatly, defining accomplishment in terms of the barrier rather than the triumph. There she is up where the air is thin, where men still outnumber women, but where the altitude is awesome. Our goal with Firsts, which we will continue to update as new barriers are broken, is for every woman and girl to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to her that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular."

Vonn is listed as the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing, and in the piece she talks about how her heroine—and Olympic gold medalist—Picabo Street and how she waited three hours in line to get Street's autograph in Minnesota. That meeting was a catalyst for Vonn, as Picabo was the reason she wanted to become a ski racer. She walked away with a purpose, and her father helped her create a plan to make that dream a reality. 

Watch the full video on