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)
2015 World Cup super G and downhill globe winner Lindsey Vonn suffered a left ankle injury while training at Coronet Peak, New Zealand. According to U.S. Ski Team Medical Directory Kyle Wilkens, Vonn will return to the United States for further evaluation.
Vonn stated on social media: "Hey guys, I unfortunately crashed today while training in New Zealand. I have a small fracture in my ankle and have to head back to the states now. I will let you know when I have more info."
Juliana 'Juli' Furtado. You hear the name and think mountain biking, World Championships medals, bike designer and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member. But did you know Furtado was a U.S. Ski Team member?
Furtado grew up racing in Vermont and attended Stratton Mountain School (SMS) before being named to the U.S. Ski Team. She was the youngest member on the Team, but a gnarly slalom skier. “I was terrified of downhill,” she laughs. Furtado came onto the team like a whirlwind—racing NorAms, Europa Cups and a few World Cups with her trademark voracity—but was plagued by injuries. “You don’t want to know how many knee surgeries I had,” remembers Furtado. “That’s what truly ended my career.”
Once a summer, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) partners and sponsors descend on Park City, UT to participate in USSA Partner Summit. Representatives from companies like Spyder, Putnam Investments, Visa and more come for panel discussions, presentations, marketing workshops and various fun events, like working out at the Center of Excellence, mountain biking and watching the Flying Aces soar off the Utah Olympic Park water ramps. U.S. Ski Team members join in on the fun as well, combining their usual workouts with meeting the sponsors that make their athletic pursuits possible.
The 2015 U18 National Giant Slalom Champion, Patrick Kenney grew up skiing at Attitash Mountain Resort. When he's not on the mountain, he enjoys golf, tennis, American football, and those east coast vibes hanging out on Cape Cod with family and friends.