Ted Ligety and Bear Bryant took this year's top honors at the USSA Awards Dinner. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom/Alain Grosclaude)
PARK CITY, UT (May 17) – Four-time World Champion and giant slalom title winner Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) was honored by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association with the Beck International Award, the organization’s highest athlete honor. The USSA also recognized Barry "Bear" Bryant of the Sunday River Ski and Snowboard Club with its Julius Blegen Award, the highest volunteer service honor, for years of service to the sport. The awards were presented May 17 in Park City at the annual USSA Congress at the Park City Marriott. Photos are available here.
2013 U.S. SKI AND SNOWBOARD ASSOCIATION AWARDS
Diamond Award Julius Blegen Award (Highest honor for service to sport) – Barry 'Bear' Bryant
Gold Awards USSA Development Coach of the Year Award – Wes Preston USSA Coach of the Year Award – Erik Flora USSA Club of the Year Award – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Beck International Award (top USSA athlete) – Ted Ligety Westhaven Award (top USSA official) – Ed Albert
Silver Awards Paul Bacon Award (event organization) – Copper Mountain Resort John J. Clair Jr. Award (service to USSA) – Walt Evans Bud and Mary Little Award (service to FIS/USOC) – Jim McCarthy Buddy Werner Award (athlete sportsmanship) – Ross Powers Russell Wilder Award (service to youth) – New England Nordic Ski Association J. Leland Sosman Award (service as team physician) – Dr. Thomas Hackett West Family Award (USSA certified official) – Esther DelliQuadri
Athletes of the Year Adaptive Athlete of the Year Award – Allison Jones Alpine Athlete of the Year Award – Ted Ligety Cross Country Athlete of the Year Award – Kikkan Randall Freeskiing Athlete of the Year Award – David Wise Freestyle Athlete of the Year Award – Hannah Kearney Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year Award – Taylor Fletcher Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year Award – Sarah Hendrickson Snowboarding Athlete of the Year Award – Kelly Clark
Coaches of the Year Adaptive International Coach of the Year Award – Brad Alire Adaptive Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Kurt Smitz Alpine International Coach of the Year Award – Alex Hoedlmoser Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Rob Dowd Cross Country International Coach of the Year Award – Erik Flora Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Gus Kaeding Freeskiing International Coach of the Year – DJ Montigny Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Tim Maney Freestyle International Coach of the Year Award – Lasse Fahlen Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Wes Preston Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Scott Smith Snowboarding International Coach of the Year Award – Rick Bower Snowboarding Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Nathan Park
Clubs of the Year Adaptive Club of the Year Award – The National Sports Center for the Disabled – Winter Park Alpine Club of the Year Award – Squaw Valley Ski Team Cross Country Club of the Year Award – Team Homegrown, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Freeskiing Club of the Year Award – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Freestyle Club of the Year Award – Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year Award – Harris Hill Ski Jumping Committee Snowboarding Club of the Year Award – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation
2013 U.S. SKI AND SNOWBOARD ASSOCIATION AWARDS
USSA GOLD AWARDS
Julius Blegen Award – Barry 'Bear' Bryant (Sunday River, ME) Presented to a dedicated USSA volunteer for a lifetime of service to the sport. Barry 'Bear' Bryant, the winner of the Julius Blegen Award, has been involved with the ski industry for over 50 years—from being an athlete to being a program director. Over the past five decades, Bear influenced and nurtured athletes around the country as a coach, technical delegate and judge. He traveled around the world, from Austria to Sweden to Canada, working as a technical representative and Eastern Program Director for K2, as a Sales and Promotional Manager and Service Manager for Hart during the World Pro Championships in the mid-1970s, as an FIS TD—most recently for his annual stint at Beaver Creek as start referee for the World Cup, as a Service Rep with K2 for the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid and as a TD for the Far East Cup in Japan within the past decade.
Bryant is a lifetime member of Professional Ski Instructors of America. In 2007, he received the prestigious USSA Westhaven Award for his dedication to the sport as an FIS Technical Delegate. In the early 1990s, he became the Eastern Alpine Director for USSA, but now is on-hill supervisor for races and events at Sunday River Ski Resort in Maine. Throughout his entire career, it has been evident Bear is fulfilled simply seeing athletes learn to love the sport of ski racing.
Beck International Award – Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) Presented to the top USSA athlete in international competition. The U.S. Alpine Ski Team's Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) was selected as the USSA's Beck International Award recipient, the USSA's highest athletic honor. Already known as the world's best in giant slalom by his competitors, this year cemented his place in history. His historic season included six giant slalom victories en route to a fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom title. He also led the U.S. Ski Team to a record-breaking Audi FIS World Ski Championships with three gold medals—a feat no man has accomplished since 1968.
"Ted Ligety's historic performance this year was truly Best in the World," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. "It was incredible to watch all of the Team's hard work come together with such great results."
USSA Club of the Year – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation has been named the 2013 USSA Club of the Year as well as Snowboarding Club of the Year. The club has consistently produces talented athletes in the sports of snowboarding, cross country, alpine, freestyle and freeskiing. In snowboarding, riders old and new are standing on podiums around the world in halfpipe, snowboardcross and slopestyle. Sun Valley's freestyle program shines both in its large and high quality development programs and in its support for elite team athletes like Shane Cordeau. They consistently host high quality regional events. Their alpine program was one of the top performing programs in the nation as well with multiple top ten finishers at U18 through U14 championship events. The alpine coaching staff is fully vested in professional development, attending coaching clinics and academies on a regular basis with the financial support of the program. The cross country program under the leadership of Rick Kapala is consistently among the strongest in the country.
The 2012-13 season marked the final year for Don Wiseman as Executive Director. Over the past eleven years, Don has cultivated a strong team of program directors, improved the Sun Valley Ski Academy to offer an established college preparatory academic program catering to athletes and helped create the SVSEF Gold Team, a financial assistance program to provide the necessary financial and training support for its athletes to compete and succeed at the international level.
USSA International Coach of the Year – Erik Flora (APU Nordic) Erik Flora, winner of both the USSA International Coach of the Year and Cross Country Coach of the Year, serves as head coach at the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center program, a model partner of the U.S. Ski Team. Known to be a team player, he supported athletes in any possible way when traveling to international and major events. In the 2012-13 season, his coaching methods continued to prove highly effective, with athletes topping of some of the most prestigious podiums in the world. Among these were Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins' gold medal in team sprint at World Championships, Kikkan Randall's second World Cup sprint title and third-place finish in overall cross country rankings and dozens of World Cup podiums. Under his leadership of the APU program, the U.S. Ski Team has seen a new level of success in cross country skiing.
USSA Development Coach of the Year – Wes Preston (Waterville Valley BBTS) This year's USSA Development Coach of the Year and Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Wes Preston has been involved in freestyle skiing since his childhood, competing in moguls, aerials and ballet. After retiring from competitive skiing, he coached full-time for various programs including WVBBTS, FLY Freestyle and ORDA. Currently, he serves as the Program Director and Head Coach of the WVBBTS B Program, a freestyle development level program for athletes 8 - 14. Since taking over the program, it tripled in size from 16 athletes to over 50. He created trampoline programs and ski progressions that have turned young Waterville skiers into a dominating force in eastern freestyle, accumulating many overall and age-class podiums during the 2012-13 season. At every regional event this year, Waterville won the team trophy. His professionalism and in-depth knowledge of freestyle skiing and acrobatics solidified the WVBBTS program and created a clear path to success for each of his athletes.
Westhaven Award – Ed Albert (Killington Ski Club) Presented in recognition of service as a FIS Technical Delegate. This year's Westhaven Award winner Ed Albert began his officiating career as Chief of Competition and technical delegate for Eastern Division freestyle events in 2004. Over his career, he also served as Chief of Competition for many NorAm events, as well as the 2006 and 2007 Killington Freestyle National Championships. As the Rules and Technical Chairman for Eastern Freestyle Division, Ed was instrumental in running clinics to educate all Eastern technical delegates. On top of normal Rules and Technical duties, Ed conducted a technical delegate/Chief of Competition seminar with a self created multimedia presentation. Ed also currently serves as Head TD on the Freestyle and Freeskiing Sports Committee, Rules and Officials Committee. He played an instrumental role in guiding the challenge of incorporating two more Olympic disciplines (slopestyle and halfpipe) into the USSA rules.
While all the above accomplishments are a testament to Ed Albert’s commitment to the sports of freestyle and freeskiing, Ed’s most impressive quality is the way he handles his position as technical delegate. He balances the needs of safety, fairness, organization and production value for each event he works. Whether attending an event as a spectator or as part of his work, he is always willing to jump in and help wherever needed, setting a great example for everyone.
USSA SILVER AWARDS
Paul Bacon Award – Copper Mountain Resort Presented in recognition of contribution to event organization. Copper Mountain has been a traditional event and early season camp host for USSA alpine and snowboarding competitions for many decades. For the 2012-13 season, though, Copper stepped up their commitment, making huge contributions to alpine skiing, snowboarding and freeskiing. The U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper provided alpine athletes with unprecedented early season access to world-class facilities. Copper hosted the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, the Hole Shot Tour and Revolution Tour, as well as USASA Nationals, a six day event with over 2,500 athletes. No other resort came close to hosting as many high level snowboarding and freeskiing events as Copper. The infrastructure and quality of these events set a new standard for events both domestically and internationally.
John J. Clair Jr. Award – Walt Evans (Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club) Presented in recognition of service to the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding This year's John J. Clair Jr. award winner and current Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club Director of Excellence Walt Evans grew up skiing in Grand County, Colorado, and turned it into a lifelong passion. He began his career coaching with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and continued coaching at the Winter Sports Club. In 1983, Walt left Steamboat Springs to work with the United States Ski Association as the alpine program for the Rocky Mountain Division. In the spring of 1997, Walt was offered the job of National Competition Director, overseeing and rebuilding the domestic competition program in all ski and snowboard sports. The USSA points system was rebuilt and standardized race scoring software was developed and provided free of charge to all USSA clubs. The focus for the last two years was to design and implement a national development system for alpine athletes and coaches. Evans was instrumental in recruiting and training the alpine officials for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games and served as the Assistant Chief of Race for the men's and women's Olympic slalom events at Deer Valley. In 2010, Evans' focus with the USSA shifted to include more work with USSA clubs to provide direction and resources to maximize their work with athletes. Walt left the USSA in the fall of 2012 to take a new position with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club as their Director of Excellence.
Bud and Mary Little Award – Jim McCarthy (Durango, CO) Presented in recognition of service to the International Ski Federation or U.S. Olympic Committee Over the past 25 years, Jim McCarthy has been a key game changer for the USSA and its stature in Olympic sport in America. McCarthy served on the newly re-structured USOC Board of Directors from its inception in 2003 through February 2007. He also served on the USOC Governance Review task force which drastically changed the Board's dynamics. McCarthy was instrumental in getting the USOC to evolve from a volunteer structure into a staff-driven model. Prior to the USOC restructure, he served as the representative of the USSA to the USOC Board of Directors. He also served on the USOC Independent Advisory Committee to reassess the USOC's Board structure and operations model. In 2006, McCarthy was the U.S. Chef de Mission for the Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy and in 2002 he served as a U.S. Assistant Chef de Mission for the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Buddy Werner Award – Ross Powers (Stratton Mountain School) Presented to an outstanding USSA athlete who demonstrated leadership and good sportsmanship. Ross Powers is one of the legendary figures in the history of competitive snowboarding and recipient of this year's Buddy Werner Award. He claimed the first U.S. Olympic gold medal in snowboarding in 2002, along with countless podiums in X Games and U.S. Open competitions. Ross recently turned his attention to coaching at the prestigious Stratton Mountain School in his Vermont hometown. However, Ross’s influence has been felt far beyond competition and even coaching. In 2001, he founded the Ross Powers Foundation to help talented riders make it to the elite levels by providing funds for education, travel and competition. Today, by enlisting the help of fellow Olympians Seth Westcott, Darren Rahlves, Lenny Kratzenburg and Michael Phelps, the Level Field Fund provides funding for dozens of athletes from the newcomers to elite athletes currently National Teams. Ross’s efforts have been recognized in the media by ESPN, The Boston Globe, USA Today and Ski Racing Magazine. Throughout the course of his career, Ross has been a great champion and a great sportsman, but his lasting impact will be through the dozens of athletes who Ross is helping through his philanthropic efforts.
Russell Wilder Award – New England Nordic Ski Association Presented in recognition of contributes to youth The Russell Wilder Award winner, the New England Nordic Ski Association, has focused on youth development in nordic skiing, yielding tremendous results in the past decade. NENSA held several annual events to highlight nordic skiing. Among these were the Bill Koch Festival, a two-day celebration of skiing with races and non-competitive activities focused on fun and skiing fundamentals; NENSA J2 Championship, a three-day event that brings the best young skiers in the region together to compete on state teams at a big year-end championship and the four-race, three-day Eastern High School Championship. The camaraderie these events created are palpable and the events expose hundreds of people to nordic skiing. NENSA also supported the junior athletes with additional training and racing opportunities. At the junior elite level, the pipeline includes summer training camp opportunities, New England Junior National Team organization and supplemental athlete funding through NENSA’s Athlete Fund.
J. Leland Sosman Award – Dr. Thomas Hackett (Vail, CO) Presented in recognition of service to the USSA's Physician's Pool Dr. Tom Hackett has been a valuable and dependable member of the USSA Physician Pool as both a Head Team Physician for U.S. Snowboarding and a member of the Medical Committee for 10 years. He has been named to three different Olympic Winter Games, and has played an integral role in planning for the upcoming Games in Sochi, Russia. His dedication and contributions to the athletes in all USSA sports, both on the road and in his practice in Vail, are commendable. He showed time and time again his willingness to go the extra mile to give athletes truly world-class healthcare.
West Family Award – Esther DelliQuadri (Steamboat Springs, CO) Presented in recognition of service as a USSA official. Esther DelliQuadri is the recipient of the 2013 West Family Award. She became involved in officiating in 1979, participating in recruiting activities, training and ski race officials development. She held a multitude of leadership roles and helped organize youth ski leagues in order to promote affordable skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. She currently serves as President of the Rocky Mountain Certified Ski Race Officials, a local organization designing clinic content, educational programs and mentoring programs for officials. She is certified as a FIS Technical Delegate: one of only 6 women in the United States to hold this highest possible certification for alpine officials.
USSA COACHES OF THE YEAR
Adaptive Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Kurt Smitz (National Sports Center for the Disabled, Winter Park, CO) This year's Adaptive Coach of the Year Kurt Smitz began his career in Steamboat Springs as the coach for the Steamboat Winter Sport Club. After coaching the University of Denver Ski Team for 14 years, he spent a year coaching the U.S. Disabled Ski Team before joining the National Sports Center for the Disabled. At the NSCD, he has played a pivotal role in expanding the program and enabling youth to discover the sport of skiing.
Adaptive International Coach of the Year Award – Brad Alire (North American Ski Camps) Adaptive International Coach of the Year Brad Alire's dedication to the sport is outstanding as he works tirelessly for adaptive athletes. He continually brings a positive attitude to the hill and goes above and beyond. He is willing to jump in wherever needed on the ski hill. As owner and program director for NASC (North American Ski Camps), he awards scholarships to all of the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team athletes to train both on Mt. Hood as well as at Copper Mountain in the fall. These scholarships allow the Team to attend any of the camps that Alire runs at no charge, and is an amazing opportunity for athletes to get more on-snow training time at no cost to the. He has also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Rob Dowd (Mount Peter, NY) Over the last five years, this year's Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year Rob Dowd has nurtured the Mount Peter ski race program from a small club to one with 282 participants and 30 coaches. Dowd embodies the grassroots USSA coach, serving not only as coach but as a race director who recruits coaches to the program and conducts USSA clinics for them, a race association board member and most of all, as an ubiquitous presence at Mount Peter, where he leaves his day job as an insurance broker around noon to work in ski boots on the hill. More than 25 former Mount Peter racers have competed at the college level in the last five years, and under Dowd’s tutelage, a Mount Peter product won the slalom and giant slalom titles at the New York State High School Championships. Despite being from a small mountain, Dowd has made a huge impact on ski racing.
Alpine International Coach of the Year Award – Alex Hoedlmoser (U.S. Ski Team) Former Austrian World Cup racer (and national giant slalom champion) Alex Hoedlmoser is the 2013 Alpine International Coach of the Year. A member of the U.S. coaching staff since the 1998 season, he became women's head coach with the 2011 season. Born in Salzburg, he also spent eight years with the Austrian national team and another four years as a pro racer. He also was a coach and waxing technician with the Austrian women's team before joining the U.S. coaching staff. He spent his first year as Europa Cup coach before becoming assistant World Cup downhill/super G coach with the '98 Olympic season. As women's alpine coach, he has led the women to unprecedented success this season, with every U.S. Women's Speed Team member on the podium and Mikaela Shiffrin dominating slalom. This is his third USSA Alpine International Coach of the Year honor.
Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Gus Kaeding (Stratton Mountain School) As Stratton Mountain School's T2 Elite coach, Gus Kaeding earned the Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year award. He created a new club for athletes who have completed high school, resulting in success on an international level. Stratton Mountain athletes Jessie Diggins and Andy Newell saw outstanding success under his leadership, including a World Championship team sprint podium with Kikkan Randall for Diggins and a fifth-place overall cross country finish for Newell. He has also worked extensively on developing athletes for elite success, with several of these athletes getting World Cup starts over the season.
Cross Country International Coach of the Year Award – Erik Flora (APU Nordic) Erik Flora, winner of both the USSA International Coach of the Year and Cross Country Coach of the Year, serves as head coach at the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center program, a model partner of the U.S. Ski Team. Known to be a team player, he supported athletes in any possible way when traveling to international and major events. In the 2012-13 season, his coaching methods continued to prove highly effective, with athletes topping of some of the most prestigious podiums in the world. Among these were Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins' gold medal in team sprint at World Championships, Kikkan Randall's second World Cup sprint title and third-place finish in overall cross country rankings and dozens of World Cup podiums. Under his leadership of the APU program, the U.S. Ski Team has seen a new level of success in cross country skiing.
Freeskiing International Coach of the Year – DJ Montigny (U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team) With his great work with the U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team, DJ Montigny has earned the Freeskiing International Coach of the Year award. The Team, made up of the top junior athletes in the world, credits him with building a strong team environment leading to success on both the domestic and international level. Under his leadership, the U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team earned two World Cup wins and several domestic podiums during its first year.
Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Tim Maney (Axis Freeride, Park City, UT) Tim Maney, this year's Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year, serves as the head coach of the Axis Freeride Pro Travel Team. Under his watch, the current Revolution Tour standings have been dominated by Axis Freeskiing in both men and women's slopestyle and halfpipe skiing. He has shown a commitment to developing the Olympians of the future, successfully taking athletes from local events to starts at the X Games, World Cups and World Championships.
Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Wes Preston (Waterville Valley BBTS) This year's USSA Development Coach of the Year and Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Wes Preston has been involved in freestyle skiing since his childhood, competing in moguls, aerials and ballet. After retiring from competitive skiing, he coached full-time for various programs including WVBBTS, FLY Freestyle and ORDA. Currently, he serves the Program Director and Head Coach of the WVBBTS B Program, a freestyle development level program for athletes 8 - 14. Since taking over the program, it tripled in size from 16 athletes to over 50. He created trampoline programs and ski progressions that have turned young Waterville skiers into a dominating force in eastern freestyle, accumulating many overall and age-class podiums during the 2012-13 season. At every regional event this year, Waterville won the team trophy. His professionalism and in-depth knowledge of freestyle skiing and acrobatics solidified the WVBBTS program and created a clear path to success for each of his athletes.
Freestyle International Coach of the Year Award – Lasse Fahlen (U.S. Freestyle Ski Team) Since joining the freestyle program in 2007, this year's Freestyle International Coach of the Year Lasse Fahlen has proven to be an invaluable resource for the Team. Four of the athletes he worked with– Heather McPhie, Eliza Outtrim, Bradley and Bryon Wilson—earned podium spots, including three victories. The athletes experienced consistent success throughout the season, going on to take third (McPhie) and fourth (Bradley Wilson and Outtrim) in overall rankings. His wealth of experience and knowledge exemplify the kind of support that leads athletes to elite success. His pursuit of excellence is visible every day on and off the hill.
Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Scott Smith (Norge Ski Club, Fox River Grove, IL) This year's Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Scott Smith came out of the Norge Ski Club and worked his way onto the U.S. Ski Team at a very young age. For over 20 years, he has served as head coach, director and mentor to clubs, parents and athletes for the central division. Additionally, he has been on call for any potential assignment to assist on European competitions for USSA development trips. Scott epitomizes the ultimate selfless volunteer devoted to the sport at virtually all levels. Scott Smith's influence and positive impact on the sport of ski jumping in the US over the past 20 years is second to none.
Snowboarding Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Nathan Park (ISTC) This year's Snowboarding Domestic Coach of the Year Nathan Park has been a staple at the top of snowboardcross courses all over the world. His dedication to athletes is unparalleled and is evident in the results he has seen over his career. He is also one of the best technical coaches in the business with an astounding knowledge of the sport, years of experience and the ability to bring out best in athletes. Under his leadership, athletes have earned five Revolution Tour podiums, 16 NorAm podiums and two World Cup podiums. He is actively committed to developing the next generation of elite snowboardcross racers.
Snowboarding International Coach of the Year Award – Rick Bower (U.S. Snowboarding) This year's Snowboarding International Coach of the Year Award winner Rick Bower has been dedicated to U.S. Snowboarding for the past decade: first as an athlete, then moving on to coach halfpipe snowboarding. During the 2012-2013 season, U.S. halfpipe snowboarding athletes had great success. Louie Vito and Kelly Clark saw success to the tune of several podiums. Elena Hight was the first female to land a double in competition. The halfpipe snowboarding women continue to dominate the sport, sweeping podiums at the X Games in both Aspen and Tignes. As a former athlete, he is able to bring his experience and understand each event from an athlete’s perspective, making him a truly valuable piece of the Team.
USSA CLUBS OF THE YEAR
Adaptive Club of the Year – The National Sports Center for the Disabled – Winter Park This year's Adaptive Club of the Year, the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), began in 1970 by providing ski lessons for children with amputations for the Children’s Hospital of Denver. Based out of Winter Park Resort, the NSCD is one of the largest outdoor therapeutic recreation agencies in the world. Each year more than 3,000 children and adults with disabilities participate in its programs. With specially trained staff and volunteers, and its own adaptive equipment lab, the NSCD teaches a variety of winter and summer sports and activities to individuals with almost any physical, cognitive, emotional or behavioral diagnosis.
Alpine Club of the Year – Squaw Valley Ski Team This year's Alpine Club of the Year, the Squaw Valley Ski Team, wrapped up a year marked by tremendous growth, athletic success and excellence in event production. As one of the largest youth programs in the country, over 33% of its USSA members were new USSA members, a signal of movement through its development programs. At its top levels, Squaw Valley had eight skiers qualify for the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, not counting its named U.S. Ski Team members. At the U18 National Championships, Squaw Valley skiers claimed top finishes, more than any other club. Eight top tens at the Western U16 Championships and an impressive 15 top fives at the Far West U14 Championships showed the depth of talent in the program. In addition, the Squaw Valley Ski Team helped host the very successful U.S. Alpine Championships. Under the leadership of Todd Kelly, the program joined with the neighboring Alpine Meadows Race Team to combine resources and enhance opportunities for a larger group of skiers as they move through the pipeline. Veteran coaches such as last year's domestic coach of the year Konrad Rickenbach direct high level training opportunities, including more focus on year-round conditioning.
Cross Country Club of the Year – Team Homegrown, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Team Homegrown, the Nordic section of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail has become a substantial force in cross country over only a few seasons and is the Cross Country Club of the Year. The Vail based group has cross country programs for children beginning at the age of six, ranging all the way up to elite senior racing. Developing skiers have the opportunity to attend the local public school, allowing the club to operate essentially as a ski academy. Team Homegrown is producing national results on the junior level and has taken the initiative to partner with the region’s top NCAA ski schools to raise the bar for the region’s young and developing skiers. In 2013, Team Homegrown had World Championship, World Cup and international representation on the Continental and Junior levels.
Freeskiing Club of the Year – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Under the direction of Elana Chase, the freeskiing program at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail has produced one of the most talented groups of athletes in the country, earning it the Freeskiing Club of the Year award. The program is one of the largest in the country, offering programs for every age and ability. Currently, athletes from Ski & Snowboad Club Vail have been named to the U.S. Freeskiing Rookie Team and the U.S. Freeskiing Pro Team and have also earned podiums at Junior World Championships, Junior Nationals and the Revolution Tour.
Freestyle Club of the Year – Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club Under leadership from Caleb Martin and a strong technical staff, the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club has grown into a year-round club and is this year's Freestyle Club of the Year. Over the 2012-13 season, TSSC athletes earned three of four available World Cup starts at the U.S. Selection Event in December. Telluride athletes took home thirteen top five finishes on the NorAm Cup this season, including three gold, a silver and three bronze. Two Telluride skiers earned places on the Junior World Championship Team. Thomas Rowley won dual moguls with Keaton McCargo taking away double gold in single moguls and dual moguls. Telluride has established a program that is developing elite athletes for the future while honing the skills of those on the circuit today.
Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year – Harris Hill Ski Jumping Committee The Harris Hill Ski Jumping Committee is this year's Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year. The Club has an unparalleled dedication to promoting the sport of ski jumping with their annual Harris Hill Ski Jumping Tournament, held in Brattleboro, VT, every February for nearly 100 years. For the last two seasons the club has undertaken the greater responsibility of hosting prestigious FIS Cups in ski jumping, allowing the U.S. Ski Team to jump in front of American fans while earning FIS points. Several years ago, the HHSJC undertook the major project of completely rebuilding the ski jump to bring it up to FIS standards. This volunteer-only Committee is dedicated to keeping the rich traditions of ski jumping alive in the United States.
Snowboarding Club of the Year – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation has been named the 2013 USSA Club of the Year as well as Snowboarding Club of the Year. Under the leadership of Andy Gilbert, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation has consistently produced talented athletes, including X Games podium athlete Kaitlyn Farrington. Their program has 80 riders and 10 coaches ranging from newcomers to those that are standing on podiums around the world.
USSA ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Adaptive Allison Jones U.S. Adaptive alpine athlete, Allison Jones (Oak Creek, CO) was selected as the USSA's Adaptive Athlete of the Year. In 2012, the six-time Paralympian became the second American woman to claim gold medals at both the summer and winter Paralympics, earning her medals in giant slalom and cycling. She is also accomplished outside of sports—she holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Denver.
Alpine Ted Ligety The U.S. Alpine Ski Team's Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) was named the USSA's Alpine Athlete of the Year. His historic season included six giant slalom World Cup wins on his way to a fourth career giant slalom crystal globe and a record-breaking World Championships where he won three gold medals, a feat unmatched by any man since 1968.
Cross Country Kikkan Randall The U.S. Cross Country Ski Team's Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) was named the USSA's Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Randall skied to yet another historic season, winning the FIS World Cup sprint title for the second year in a row and finishing third overall – both U.S. women’s records. Randall also brought her strength to team events, winning the first American cross country World Championships gold medal in the team sprint with Jessie Diggins. She remained active, too, as an advocate for young girls through Fast and Female and served as a representative to the FIS Athletes Council.
Freeskiing David Wise David Wise (Reno, NV) was honored as USSA Freeskiing Athlete of the Year after an incredible season resulting in a win during almost every major event during the 2012-13 season. After coming back from a knee injury last season, David's hard work paid off with great results starting with a win at the X Games in Aspen. He won a second X Games gold in Tignes, as well as the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix in Park City and a World Championship title in Voss/Oslo. In the year leading up to his sport's Olympic debut, he has firmly established himself as a medal contender.
Freestyle Hannah Kearney Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) was honored as USSA Freestyle Athlete of the Year for an historic season that saw her return from an early season injury to win another moguls World Cup title. Kearney picked up six World Cup wins and a World Championships gold to bring her career total to 37 and maintain her position as the dominant skier in her sport.
Nordic Combined Taylor Fletcher Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) was been named USSA's Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year. In 2012-13, he earned his first World Cup podium and then went on to earn his first team World Ski Championships medal with a bronze at Val di Fiemme, Italy. In addition, Fletcher started the 2012-13 World Cup circuit by posting the fastest time in the season’s opening race, showing his prowess in cross country. Fletcher’s 16th-place finish in the overall World Cup standings ranks him highest among U.S. men in 2013.
Ski Jumping Sarah Hendrickson The USSA's Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year, Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) continued to make history in her sport throughout the 2012-13 season. She grabbed a World Ski Championships gold and finished second overall in the World Cup standings. She stood on 10 World Cup podiums over the course of the season, including a victory at the test event in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Snowboarding Kelly Clark Kelly Clark (Mt. Snow, VT) was selected as USSA Snowboarding Athlete of the Year. The three time Olympian and arguably best female snowboarder of all time continued her domination of the sport, earning double X Games gold medals at Aspen and Tignes and winning the overall women's freestyle snowboarding crystal globe. Clark also rocked the halfpipe snowboarding test event in Sochi, earning a gold medal on next year's Olympic halfpipe.