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Stifel Aspen Winternational Gets Green Light

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
February, 20 2024
Stifel Aspen Winternational is a go. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The Stifel Aspen Winternational men's Audi FIS World Cup is a go! On Wednesday, Feb. 21st, the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) officially gave the green light to the local organizing committee during the scheduled snow control meetings, giving the go-ahead for Aspen Mountain to host the men’s technical World Cup. This is the second year in a row a World Cup returns to the mountain after speed races came through last year. 

The Stifel Aspen Winternational will host two giant slaloms and a slalom scheduled for March 1-3. 

A full schedule of events can be found here

Historic Crystal Globe for Ferriera, Irving Third in Calgary

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
February, 18 2024
Alex Ferreira celebrates with his Crystal Globe in Calgary. (FIS)

It was a historic Saturday night in Calgary as the 2023-24 freeski halfpipe World Cup season came to a close at the Winsport Canada Olympic Park. Alex Ferreira concluded his momentous World Cup campaign with his fifth win of the season out of the five World Cups, making history as the first male freeskier to put together a perfect season and took home the Crystal Globe. Teammate Svea Irving grabbed her first World Cup podium with a third-place finish.

Irving found herself in fifth place after run one and looked poised to up her position in the rankings before taking a fall on her final hit on an otherwise flawless run two. Visibly determined to end her season on a high note, the pressure was on as she dropped in for her final run of the season. Irving was seemingly unphased as she linked together an incredibly clean run three, earning her a spot in the nineties club and knocking Canada's own Amy Fraser out of the top three to grab her first career World Cup podium.

“Tonight was unbelievable. I’m so hyped,” said Irving. “I had kinda a rough go at the last comp and fell every single run, so I just put it all out there and am so stoked I was able to get on the podium for the first time.”

Irving’s podium is particularly bittersweet, having returned to competition this season after an unfortunate accident in the backcountry last April left her with a dislocated shoulder, torn bicep tendon, fractured rotator cuff and torn joint capsule. It was an emotional night for the entire team, watching Irving take her first career podium with brother and teammate Birk Irving cheering from the crowd.

Joining Irving on the women’s side were Stifel U.S. Freeski Team teammates Riley Jacobs and Kate Gray, who each put down a solid performance under the lights to finish their World Cup campaigns in fifth place and sixth place respectively. Sierra at Tahoe’s Piper Arnold made her first World Cup finals appearance, finishing the night in eighth place.

Ferreira completed the most dominant season in men’s halfpipe history, going five for five in World Cup victories on the season, a feat that has never been achieved in men’s halfpipe history. Factoring in his win at X Games, Ferreira’s winning streak extends to six competitions throughout the 2023-24 halfpipe season. When asked about continuing his streak at Dew Tour, Ferriera joked, “I mean that’s the goal, I’m gonna do my absolute best and not change anything, I’m just gonna do me.” 

Besides his second Calgary Snow Rodeo halfpipe win of the weekend, Ferreira was also awarded the coveted Crystal Globe, recognizing him as the leader in World Cup points for the FIS halfpipe season. Joining him on the podium for the overall World Cup halfpipe standings was teammate Hunter Hess, who landed on the podium with Ferriera for the majority of the season despite missing out on qualifying for Saturday’s finals in Calgary. 

Stifel U.S. Freeski Team domination continued with the rest of the men’s field of finalists, with Americans taking up 60% of the field of finalists. Dropping in wearing his signature pair of jeans, Olympian Nick Goepper entertained the crowd with an impressive second run that earned him a score in the coveted 90s and landed him in fifth place. Teammate Aaron Blunck continued to show consistency throughout the competition, stringing together all three of his runs and scoring an 89.75 to take home sixth. Dylan Ladd, Tristan Feinberg and Matt Labaugh rounded out the field of Americans, speaking to the depth of the Stifel U.S. Freeski Team in the halfpipe discipline.

With the FIS World Cup freeski halfpipe season done and dusted, the squad will return home for some well-deserved rest and recovery before a few members head to Copper Mountain for the Dew Tour in early March.


Magic in Minneapolis: Schumacher Wins, Diggins Third

By Courtney Harkins
February, 18 2024
jessie gus
Jessie Diggins hoists Gus Schumacher after his win at the Stifel Loppet Cup. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Gretchen Powers)

With tears streaming down their faces, Gus Schumacher won his first career World Cup and Jessie Diggins stepped on the podium in third place at the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The weather warmed up for Sunday’s race with a deep crew of Americans ready to attack the 10k skate course. The crowd showed up in droves, with another 20,000 people arriving to see their favorite ski racers race the local track at Wirth Park. 

The men went first, with Stifel U.S. Ski Team’s Schumacher skiing a strong race to take the lead, but he would have to sit for more than 40 athletes to see if the result would hold. Racer after racer came through the finish line as Schumacher’s eyes grew wider, continuing to beat Olympic medalists and world champions. His teammates gathered around him in the leader's box with tears beginning to flow as the last racer crossed the finish line, confirming Schumacher’s win with yells and hugs.

“It’s hard to believe,” said a teary-eyed Schumacher. “I’m just so grateful for this whole team and everyone being here. It represents something big for our team and I really love doing it with these guys… This has been the best day ever.”

Schumacher was the first American man to win a distance World Cup in 41 years, since Olympic silver medalist Bill Koch won in a 30k in Sarajevo in 1983. The last American man to win a non-distance race was Simi Hamilton, who took a sprint in Lenzerheide in 2013, 11 years ago. Schumacher had also never podiumed; his previous best result was fourth. 

It was also another feather in the cap for the successful Stifel U.S. Ski Team men, who have now accrued three podiums this season from three men: Schumacher, JC Schoonmaker and Ben Ogden. Prior to the 2023-24 season, the men had not had a podium since 2017.

Supporters continued to pack the course as the women took to the track. Diggins ran near the end of the start list, with every fan’s eyes on the local girl as she pushed for a top result. She left everything on the course, gasping for air and collapsing at the finish, but skied into third place to secure the podium. Surrounded by her family, friends and teammates, Diggins cried happy tears through the awards ceremony. 

“It wasn’t even about the podium,” she said. “I just had the best day ever out there. No one had more fun than me, except maybe Gus because it’s his day! I’m so proud of him. It was so emotional. The whole team was over the moon for him. That was an incredible day.”

More than that, the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis was about bringing World Cup cross country ski racing back to the United States for the first time in more than 23 years. 40,000 fans showed up over the two days with signs, banners and cowbells. Tears were shed by athletes, staff, and fans throughout the weekend: the first time the skiers skied the buffed-out track, when crowds walked miles to pack the stands and sides of the course, when the U.S. national anthem was sung over the loudspeaker, when thousands of young girls and boys lined up for autographs from their heroes and get glitter put on their cheeks. 

“I feel like this whole weekend was huge for the growth of skiing in this country,” said Diggins, who had been a massive part of bringing this World Cup to her hometown. “Everyone got to see how much people love this sport. People are psyched. We wanted this for a long time. It’s incredible that we got to experience it together and share it.”

Rounding out the Americans, Stifel U.S. Ski Team’s Sophia Laukli snagged a top 15 result in 15th place. Julia Kern was 19th and Rosie Brennan 22nd and Haley Brewster 25th. Brewster had her first two World Cup starts in Minneapolis and secured impressive results. Sydney Palmer-Leger was 32nd, Kendall Kramer 36th, Movie McCabe 37th, Margie Freed 41st, Sammy Smith 42nd, Alexandra Lawson 50th and Alayna Sonnesyn 51st. 

On the men’s side in the top 30, Scott Patterson was 22nd, Zanden McMullen 25th and John Steel Hagenbuch 30th. David Norris was 35th, Luke Jager 39th, Hunter Wonders 47th, Peter Wolter 52nd, Walker Hall 56th, Michael Earnhart 61st, Reid Goble 64th and Brian Bushey 67th.


Three in the Top 15 in Kvitfjell Super-G

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
February, 18 2024
Kyle Negomir posts a career best 12th place result. (Getty Images)

In the final super-G of the regular World Cup season, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team men punched three into the top 15 with a career best result by Kyle Negomir in 12th, Ryan Cochran-Siegle 11th and Sam Morse in 14th. 

“I always heard that the Americans loved this place, but seeing it in person was on another level,” said Negomir. 

The conditions were not quite as sunny as the day prior with visibility problems moving the start lower, making for a short and sweet super-G. The speed men, riding a wave of confidence from the unreal team result day on Saturday, knew they could make another splash in the super-G. Ryan Cochran-Siegle skied solidly to squeeze the top 10 for the majority of the race, but ultimately ended in 11th. 

The highlight result of the day went to Negomir for his career best result, topping his career best from the downhill just the day before, skiing into the top 15 in 12th. 

“After a tough last month it was very nice to come into the finish and not be in last place for a change,” said Negomir. 

Sam “Moose” Morse also had an exciting weekend, landing in 14th position. Morse had his best result of the season the day before in 10th and this 14th place marked his best super-G result ever. 

“Seeing everyone ski with so much confidence and enjoy this hill really helped me to feel comfortable here,” said Negomir. 

Jared Goldberg also cracked the top 30 in 23rd place. Stifel U.S. Ski Team athletes River Radamus, Bryce Bennett, Tristan Lane and Jack Smith also raced, finishing in 37th, 40th, 50th and 51st, respectively. The winner of the race was Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr, second place went to Canadian Jeffrey Read and third place was a tie with Italian Dominik Paris and Swiss skier Marco Odermatt. 

The speed team has had a strong season overall finding more success in the super-G discipline and more consistency in downhill. The team will end the regular speed season with two men in the top 10 overall downhill rankings and two men in the top 25 super-G rank. The speed team is also in fifth for the downhill Nations Cup standings. 

The next and final World Cup speed races for the men will be at World Cup Finals in Saalbach, Austria in March. 

Men's downhill

Diggins Fourth in Minneapolis 

By Courtney Harkins
February, 17 2024
Jessie Diggins smiles and waves at the crowd after finishing fourth at the Stifel Loppet Cup. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Dustin Satloff)

In front of 20,000 screaming fans in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jessie Diggins sprinted to fourth place in her hometown at the Stifel Loppet Cup. 

It was a chilly day, but it didn’t stop massive crowds from showing up at Minneapolis’ Wirth Park, armed with cowbells, bibs and homemade signs for the first day of racing. Fans packed the park, running from location to location to cheer on their favorite athletes on the hard-packed track at the first World Cup in the United States in more than 23 years.  

From a stacked start list of Stifel U.S. Ski Team athletes, eight Americans qualified through to the heats in the skate sprint: Diggins, Julia Kern, Rosie Brennan and Sammy Smith for the women, and Gus Schumacher, JC Schoonmaker, Zak Ketterson and Kevin Bolger for the men. 

The heats were rowdy. Kern had a near-crash with Frida Karlsson of Sweden, forcing her out of contention in her quarterfinal heat. Brennan and Smith were in the same quarterfinal heat, but did not move on to semis. Schumacher, Schoonmaker, Ketterson and Bolger also did not move out of quarterfinals. 

Diggins sailed through both the quarterfinals and semis, finishing in first place for both. In the finals, she was locked in a battle with Jonna Sundling and Linn Svahn of Sweden and Kristine Stavaas Skistad of Norway, but was beaten out to just miss the podium. But that didn’t matter to Diggins, who was thrilled to be racing in her home state and in front of her friends and family. 

“We’ve been keeping track and I've cried seven times today and all for the best reasons,” said Diggins, who was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to Minneapolis. “I’ve dreamed about this for my entire career. I thought about what it would be like to race in my own country for 300 World Cups and this blew me away. This is the coolest day in my entire racing career. It was so special. It was really overwhelming.” 

Out of the eight athletes in the heats, three hail from the midwest: Diggins from Afton, Minnesota, Ketterson from Bloomington, Minnesota and Bolger from Minocqua, Wisconsin. While all of the Stifel U.S. Ski Team athletes were excited to race in their home country, it was particularly special for these three.

“This exceeded any expectations I could have ever had,” said Ketterson. “It was the loudest, most well-attended race. You go to races like Holmenkollen with a lot of fans, and they’re never cheering for you. Hearing ‘Zak, Zak, Zak!’ and then when they announced that I was from Bloomington, the crowd was just yelling. That’s why you ski.”

Rounding out the American women, Brennan was 21st, Smith 26th, Kern 27th, Ava Thurston 40th, Haley Brewster 41st, Alayna Sonnesyn 44th, Renae Anderson 48th, Sydney Palmer-Leger 49th, Margie Freed 50th and Michaela Keller-Miller 51st. On the men’s side, Schumacher was 17th, Bolger 20th, Ketterson 21st, Schoomaker 28th, Jack Young 33rd, John Steel Hagenbuch 37th, Will Koch 38th, Michael Earnhart 44th, Zanden McMullen 46th, Adam Witkowski 53rd, Luke Jager 62nd and Walker Hall 67th.  

The race continues on Sunday with a 10k skate. 


Wiles Posts Two Top 15 Finishes in Crans Montana Downhills

By Mackenzie Moran
February, 17 2024
Jackie Wiles
Jackie Wiles skis to 13th place in Crans-Montana. (Getty Images)

The women's downhill races are complete in Crans-Montana, Switzerland and Jackie Wiles finished 13th in both, two career-best results at the venue since she first took on the track in 2014. 

Wiles has consistently bettered herself at each World Cup event in the 2023-24 season after taking the previous year off due to injury. In her first race in Val d'Isere, Wiles finished 25th, wearing bib 39. Now Wiles is back where she belongs, in the mix with the best speed athletes on the women's circuit, starting the first 10 bibs, a vast improvement from where she began in the season. 

"Like my coach Alex (Hoedelmoser) told me, it only takes one race to get you back in there," she laughed.

Of course, after finishing in third during the second training of the week in Crans-Montana, Wiles had hoped for better results in her favorite discipline. However, the warm weather and variable soft snow made for an awkward race weekend. Topped with a couple of mistakes, Wiles could not punch it back onto the podium. Despite a tinge of disappointment, two top 15s are solid results that further solidify her chance at making the World Cup finals in Saalbach, and overall, she continues to build confidence in her strength and capabilities after years marred by injury after injury. 

Her teammate, Lauren Macuga, also has had quite the confidence-building season. Macuga scored her first-career World Cup points in Saint Mortiz in December and has continued to build further into the points, her best result being 10th in the Zauchensee super-G. 

This weekend in Crans, Macuga finished 20th in Friday's downhill and 23rd on Saturday. She'll look to post another top-25 result on Sunday in the weekend's final race, the super-G.

The downhill series also marked a monumental weekend for 19-year-old Allison Mollin, as she earned the first World Cup start of her career, competing in both Saturday and Sunday's events.

"I almost started crying at the start gate; I was so excited," Mollin exclaimed after her first run in the finish. "Then I realized that this wasn't a dream, and I actually had to focus and race, so it wouldn't be helpful if I couldn't see."

Sunday, Feb. 18, the women's racing in Crans-Montana wraps with a final super-G, beginning at 4:30 a.m. ET. Fans can watch live on

Women's downhill - 2/16
Women's downhill - 2/17

Lauren Macuga (28)
Bella Wright (32)
Jackie Wiles (40)
Tricia Mangan (44)

Three in Top 10 in Kvitfjell

By Sierra Ryder - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
February, 17 2024
Bryce Bennett soars to a fourth place finish in Kvitfjell. (Getty Images)

On the final downhill in the regular World Cup season, the Stifel U.S. Ski Team men’s speed crew dominated the race with a top-tier team result led by Bryce Bennett’s fourth place finish, just off the podium. Teammates Ryan Cochran-Siegle and Sam Morse were close behind in seventh and 10th place, Morse’s top result of the season. 

“Super stoked with how the day went for myself and the whole team,” said Morse. “The track was in such good shape they did a really good job getting all the snow off from the day.” 

The conditions were good on Saturday after snow had been adequately pushed from the training run the day prior. The sun was shining and the speed men knew what to do. First Cochran-Siegle raced down into fourth place position, running right before Bennett. Bennett, currently riding one of his best downhill seasons to date, knifed the course, in the green the majority of the way, falling short of a podium by 0.10 seconds. He settled for fourth place, his third best result of the season. 

“I’m happy with today’s skiing, where my focus was during my run and getting the end result,” said Cochran-Siegle. “There’s always some time to be had or turns you wish you’d skied a little better that can be the difference between a good solid day like today and an amazing day, but that’s ski racing.”

The excitement for the men’s team did not stop and their confidence was shown through the rest of the skiers. Morse came down into seventh place eventually moving into 10th for the day. 

“Starting my first race in the top 30 you feel the pressure to stay there, so to have it all come together meant a lot,” said Morse. 

Jared Goldberg sped down for a top 20 result in 17th. Kyle Negomir landed his best World Cup result to date in 19th, tied with fellow American Wiley Maple. That marked six U.S. men in the top 20 for the last downhill of the regular season. The winner of the race was Swiss skier Niels Hintermann, second place went to Austrian Vincent Kreichmayr and third place to Canadian Cameron Alexander. 

“Really proud to be a part of this team after such an incredible performance from every one of us," said Cochran-Siegle. "I'm looking forward to racing tomorrow on such a fun track."

The next and final downhill will be the World Cup finals in Saalbach, Austria in March. The top 25 athletes by ranking in each discipline will compete. 

The men have another chance at the track for a super-G on Sunday. The race will be streamed and on demand on at 6 a.m. ET. 

Men's downhill

Historic Victory for Ferreira in Calgary

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
February, 16 2024

It was a night of victory for the Stifel U.S. Freeski Team in the first of two World Cup finals at the Snow Rodeo freeski halfpipe World Cup with Alex Ferreira writing his name in the FIS history books with his fourth straight freeski halfpipe World Cup podium, a new FIS World Cup record. 

Controversial scoring combined with a squirrely second hit that took many riders victim made for an entertaining Thursday night final at the World Cup double header in Calgary. Riley Jacobs was the top performer for the Stifel U.S. Freeski Team women, putting down three solid runs that consistently scored in the high seventies. After sitting in podium position the majority of the night, she was knocked out of the top three by Canada’s own Amy Fraiser, who stepped up under pressure in front of her home crowd and put down a final run worthy of a spot on the podium. Jacobs was joined by teammates Svea Irving and Kate Gray, but both were unable to string together a complete run. China’s Eileen Gu took the top spot on the women’s side, adding to her lead in the overall freeski halfpipe World Cup standings and once again proving why she is dubbed the “Snow Princess.”

On the men’s side, all eyes were on two-time Olympic medalist Ferreira, who repped the yellow bib to signify his top spot in the World Cup overall standings. He continued his dominant season with his fourth win in a row to reset a FIS record. 

“I’m amazed, I didn’t even know that,” joked Ferreira in a post-competition interview. “I’m just so grateful. I have a wonderful team around me. Thank you Calgary for a great atmosphere, what a great city to compete in front of. I’m so thankful.”

Ferreira was joined by teammates Hunter Hess, Dylan Ladd, Birk Irving and Olympic gold medalist David Wise, displaying the dominance of the American men in the halfpipe this World Cup season, with 50% of the field of finalists composed of Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes.

Despite falling on his first run, Hess continued his impressive season, scoring in the 90s on his second two runs but ultimately landing in fifth place. Ladd finished the night in seventh with an impressive first run score of 82.25, speaking to the high level of competition in the pipe for the men. Irving and Wise ended the night in eighth and ninth respectively.

The Stifel U.S. Freeski Team has another chance in the halfpipe with the second round of World Cup qualifications in Calgary on Friday morning. The freeski halfpipe season will wrap up Saturday night with the second round of finals at the Snow Rodeo freeski halfpipe World Cup.


The Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup Gets the Green Light

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
February, 15 2024
Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup gets green light. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

The Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup is a go! On Thursday, Feb. 15, the International Ski & Snowboard Federation (FIS) officially gave the green light to the local organizing committee during the scheduled snow control meetings, giving the go-ahead for Palisades Tahoe to host the men’s technical World Cup for the second year in a row.

The Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup will host a giant slalom and slalom scheduled for February 24-25. As with every stop on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup, each mountain must pass “snow control” ahead of the races to ensure course quality for the racers. Palisades Tahoe has received 179” inches of snowfall this season and groomers and racecourse planners have been working on the course since February 1st.

“It’s a great honor to be the host resort for the Stifel Palisades Tahoe Cup as we continue to bring international competition back to our legendary slopes,” said Dee Byrne, COO and President of Palisades Tahoe. “From the 1960 Winter Games to the 1969 Men’s World Cup, the 2017 Women’s World Cup, and most recently the 2023 Men’s World Cup we’re looking forward to bringing an international competition back to our resort for the second year in a row. I would like to give a huge shoutout to our hardworking and dedicated Palisades Tahoe staff, North Tahoe community, and volunteers from around the world, because we couldn’t put this event on without them.”

A full schedule of events can be found here. here.

Schoonmaker Seventh, Kern 11th in Canmore Classic Sprint

By Leann Bentley - Stifel U.S. Ski Team
February, 13 2024
JC Schoonmaker
JC Schoonmaker sprints to the finish line in the classic sprint. (NordicFocus)

On a day where seemingly all weather patterns moved through the Canadian Rockies, the fourth race of a week-long World Cup brought the cross country world together for an exciting day of classic sprinting, with JC Schoonmaker skiing to an impressive seventh place and Julia Kern leading the women in 11th. 

With the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis looming, skiers had one more chance to see what they could do before traveling to the United States. In the qualifiers, where only the top 30 advance to the heats, which include a quarterfinal, semifinal and final round, seven Americans made their way, including Jessie Diggins, Rosie Brennan, Julia Kern, JC Schoonmaker, Gus Schumacher, Zak Ketterson and Luke Jager. This was Schumacher’s first time advancing to a classic sprint heat and the first time for Jager in the 2023-24 season. 

In the quarterfinal heats, there were seven Americans on the start line, all fending for the top two spots in their heat or the remaining two positions reserved for the "lucky losers," which refers to the third fastest athlete across the line. The quarterfinals were a nail-biter. On a tough course that challenged each athlete due to the slow snow, steep hills and skied-out classic tracks, everyone had to dig deep to fight for position. After several quarterfinal rounds, it was only Kern and Schoonmaker who made it to the semis - advancing to the next round by literally hundredths of a second. 

In the semis, Kern crossed the line in sixth, yet her time across around the course (3:20.81) was faster than the winner of the second semi-final heat. But, rules and rules and Kern's day was ultimately cut short, yet her positive attitude was present knowing that she is back to skiing where she wanted to be.

"I am really proud of how I skied today," said Kern. "It was just fun to ski on the skis I was on - our techs did an amazing job - and I love classic skiing on these kinds of days. It's been so fun here in Canmore and it's just building the excitement to next week in Minneapolis. I am so ready to show the world the U.S. I cannot express how exciting it will be."

For Schoonmaker, the race was interesting and exciting from start to finish. On a course that emphasizes the final stretch, it was all Schoonmaker's game. Coming into the last several hundred meters in sixth, he pulled out all the stops and made the move on the left side of the six-lane classic tracks into the finish, moving past three of his competitors and nearly crossing the line in third. With that move, Schoonmaker secured a top 10 result and even though he did not advance, still put a seventh place onto his strong resume. 

"It was nice to have a couple of good finishes and have a solid result," said Schoonmaker. "Honestly, my mentality in sprints is to act like I am going into the semis because if I am thinking too much about if I make it or not make it, that's just not the right headspace. I just went into it and skied on those trails and did what I could."

Alongside Kern and Schoonmaker in the top 30, was Brennan in 16th, Diggins in 17th, Ketterson in 18th, Schumacher in 20th and Jager in 24th. The ultimate winners of the race included five-time Olympic champion Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway in first for the men and World Cup sprint overall leader Linn Svahn of Sweden. 

Now, it's time for the race everyone has been waiting for, the Stifel Loppet Cup in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first cross country ski race in the United States in more than 23 years. The action starts Saturday, Feb. 17.