All U.S. Ski Team members training in South America are safe and accounted for after an 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile. Athletes from the World Cup, Europa Cup, National Training Group and D Team are currently in Portillo, La Parva and Valle Nevado. Many felt the tremors and some have been evacuated from their hotels, but all are fine and bracing for aftershocks. Conditions will be evaluated in the morning.
PARK CITY, UTAH (September 11, 2015)—As the American Downhillers head south to Chile for their second on-snow training camp of the season, we take a moment to reflect on our New Zealand camp one last time before diving into Portillo.
In a love affair that began a few years ago, Head Men’s Coach Sasha Rearick stumbled upon a small, family-run snow field called “Ohau” (pronounced "oh-how') nestled between the Ohau Range to the west in the Main Divide and the Ben Ohau range to the east. Since then, the relationship has grown to include both men’s and women’s tech and speed teams, across all levels.
PARK CITY, UTAH (September 10, 2015)—When the October issue of Esquire hits the stands this month, American Downhiller Steven Nyman will grace cover 3 (inside back cover) in a Spyder ad featuring new lifestyle apparel available fall 2015.
The strategy behind the media buy stems from Spyder’s desire for growth beyond the mountain. “Spyder is known for its skiing apparel, but in order for us to continue our growth we must look at opportunities that are natural extensions for the brand,” said Brady Collings, Global Marketing, Spyder Active Sports. “We currently provide the alpine skier everything they need for winter. We will always deliver to our consumer technical, innovative products that last, but what happens when the snow melts? Where does our consumer go?” With this mentality, Collings and his team are now offering year-round apparel with the same innovation and performance characteristics that supports their consumer in all aspects of life.
Ask any U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete or staff member, and they’ll tell you that training in New Zealand is unique. Sure, the skiing is world-class and there is top-notch support provided from the three partner ski areas, Ohau, Coronet Peak and Roundhill, but both athletes and staff seem to agree that the New Zealand camp was particularly productive this year. Now that the teams have all returned and the women’s World Cup speed team is back on snow in Portillo, let’s take a deeper look at what went down, down under.
Call it El Niño, the conditions in the Southern Hemisphere this year have been supreme. The snow gods paid a visit to New Zealand for both the men and the women, giving them the chance for some powder days and heli-skiing adventures at Mt. Cook for the ladies and Mt. Aspiring for the men, respectively. The winter snow provided for some good technical training across all groups as well—from the development group to the World Cup level.
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (September 1, 2015)—After the dual slalom kicked off the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, the Games wrapped with a slalom and a giant slalom at Coronet Peak near Queenstown. Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT) grabbed the sole American podium, taking third in the GS.
From local ski hills to the PyeongChang Olympics, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) encompasses all athletes that share a passion for skiing and snowboarding. We explore what makes each skier and rider a champion with stories from the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing, next to kids winning a NASTAR medal, landing their first cork 7 or joining a club team. Alongside USSA’s mascot Champ, take a look at how all of these athletes strive to be Best in the World. #WhatMakesAChamp
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (Aug. 21, 2015) — Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) took victories at the Coronet Peak Night Slalom, part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ on Friday night.
The Coronet Peak Night Slalom was an overwhelming success according to Audi quattro Winter Games NZ CEO Arthur Klap, who said organizers never imagined they would have such a stellar international field for the debut event.
“Not only did we have the two world champions here but the rest of the elite field was a who’s who of world ski racing,” said Klap. “It was incredibly exciting for spectators and has showcased Coronet Peak and the opening of the Games internationally.”
It was an all American final for both the women’s and men’s races with Shiffrin defeating teammate Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN) and Ligety pushing U.S. national slalom champion David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) into second place.
QUEENSTOWN, NZ (August 20, 2015)—The fourth Audi quattro Winter Games NZ have begun and U.S. Ski Team athletes have committed to compete in the opening race—a dual night slalom on Friday night.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO), Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY), Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT), David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) and Paula Moltzan (Lakeville, MN) will join the head-to-head race under the floodlights for a share of $30,000 in prize money. The race will consist of qualifying time trials followed by quarterfinals and semifinals, with the final event taking place at 7 p.m.
OHAU SNOW FIELDS, NEW ZEALAND (August 19, 2015)—The U.S. Alpine Ski Team has been chasing snow in the Southern Hemisphere. Since early August, both the men's and women's teams have been back in gates at their training camp homes in Ohau, Coronet Peak and Roundhill, New Zealand. The camps have been productive: Mother Nature cooperated with her fair share of snow, and the men’s speed team even got the chance to show U.S. Ambassador Mark Gilbert a thing or two on the mountain this past weekend at Ohau Snow Fields.
Gilbert, who has been ambassador to New Zealand for six months, was joined by his wife Nancy and daughter Liz at the Ohau Ski Lodge late Friday afternoon for their visit with the U.S. Ski Team’s 26 athletes and nine coaches and staff members.
The U.S. Ski Team trains at Ohau. (Ola Thorsen/US Embassy)