Snowboarding

Shiffrin Wins Highest USSA Athlete Honor

by
USSA
2017-05-05 09:42
 

PARK CITY, UT (May 3, 2017) – Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) has been named the 2017 Beck International Award recipient by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. The honor is awarded each season to a top USSA athlete for his or her performance in international competition. It is her second time winning the award. Shiffrin, along with other top U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing athletes, will be formally recognized at the Chairman’s Awards Dinner on May 11 during the annual USSA Congress in Park City.

Shiffrin continued to be unstoppable during the 2016-17 season, landing 14 World Cup podiums and bringing home two World Championship medals, including her fourth slalom gold. She also claimed her fourth slalom title and the overall title. Shiffrin has demonstrated she has the potential to be a powerhouse in both slalom and giant slalom and posted three top-20 finishes in speed races.

"It is an honor to receive the Beck International Award, but even more than that, I want to say thank you to all of the volunteers, coaches, athletes, parents, course workers, race organizers, everyone who is involved in making this sport happen in the U.S.,” said Shiffrin. “This award is as much for them as it is for me. We had an unprecedented number of races in the U.S. this season at Killington, Squaw, and Aspen. Those events left the European's amazed by how we do ski racing in the U.S. I'm so proud of all the work everyone put into these events and I'm so thankful to share my World Cup racing in my home country with the world."

In addition to the Beck award, Shiffrin has also been named USSA Alpine Athlete of the Year. Other Athlete of the Year recipients include Brenna Huckaby (adaptive), Jessie Diggins (cross country), Ashley Caldwell (freestyle), McRae Williams (freeskiing), Stephen Schumann (nordic combined), Kevin Bickner (ski jumping) and Chase Josey (snowboarding).

“Our athletes of the year have demonstrated strong dedication to achieving athletic excellence,” said USSA’s Executive Vice President, Athletics Luke Bodensteiner. “We congratulate them on their success this season and expect that success to continue as all our teams look to be Best in the World at the Olympic Winter Games.”

The USSA Athlete of the Year awards recognize the outstanding athletic achievements of athletes across all sports. Additional information on the USSA awards process can be found at ussa.org.

QUOTES

Mikaela Shiffrin - Beck International / Alpine Athlete of the Year Recipient
It is an honor to receive the Beck International Award, but even more than that, I want to say thank you to all of the volunteers, coaches, athletes, parents, course workers, race organizers, everyone who is involved in making this sport happen in the U.S. This award is as much for them as it is for me. We had an unprecedented number of races in the U.S. this season at Killington, Squaw, and Aspen. Those events left the European's amazed by how we do ski racing in the U.S. I'm so proud of all the work everyone put into these events and I'm so thankful to share my World Cup racing in my home country with the world.

Luke Bodensteiner, Executive Vice President, Athletics, USSA
Our athletes of the year have demonstrated strong dedication to achieving athletic excellence.We congratulate them on their success this season and expect that success to continue as all our teams look to be Best in the World at the Olympic Winter Games.

2017 USSA ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Beck International Award: Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle/Vail, CO; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)

Alpine Athlete of the Year: Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle/Vail, CO; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)

Adaptive Athlete of the Year: Brenna Huckaby (Salt Lake City, UT/National Ability Center

Cross Country Athlete of the Year: Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN; SMS T2)

Freestyle Athlete of the Year: Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA; Elite Aerial Development Program)

Freeskiing Athlete of the Year: McRae Williams (Park City, UT)

Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year: Stephen Schumann (Park City, UT; Park City Nordic Ski Club)

Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year: Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, IL; Norge Ski Club)

Snowboarding Athlete of the Year: Chase Josey (Hailey, ID; Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation)


Mikaela Shiffrin races at the Aspen World Cup Finals. (U.S. Ski Team)

Mikaela Shiffrin - Beck International Award / Alpine Athlete of the Year
Mikaela Shiffrin won her first overall FIS World Cup crystal globe at the 2017 World Cup Finals in Aspen, making her the only one of five American athletes to win the esteemed title, and only the third American woman in history to do so. In addition to the overall title, she also won her fourth slalom crystal globe in five years and captured 14 World Cup podiums, including 11 wins.


Brenna Huckaby poses at the Hollywood Olympic photoshoot. (Getty Images)

Brenna Huckaby - Adaptive Athlete of the Year
After losing her right leg to an osteosarcoma diagnosis in 2010, Brenna Huckaby uprooted her life in Louisiana to pursue snowboarding at the National Ability Center in Park City, UT. Over the course of her career, she’s brought home four World Championship medals in snowboardcross and banked slalom, including two golds in 2017.


Jessie Diggins celebrates after winning a World Championships medal in Lahti. (Getty Images)

Jessie Diggins - Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Jessie Diggins skied to eight individual World Cup podiums during the 2016-17 season. She brought home a individual silver and team bronze medal from the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, making it the third consecutive Worlds where she has medaled. She also holds the U.S. record for most Worlds medals with four total.


Ashley Caldwell smiles with her World Championships gold. (Getty Images)

Ashley Caldwell - Freestyle Athlete of the Year
After winning the overall title in 2015-16, Ashley Caldwell continued to push the sport of women’s aerials in 2016-17. She won a World Cup on home turf in Lake Placid, NY and brought home the gold at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships. At Worlds, she became the first woman to successfully land a quadruple twisting triple flip, called The Daddy, to take the win.


McRae Williams wins gold at the 2017 World Championships. (Getty Images)

McRae Williams - Freeskiing Athlete of the Year
McRae Williams had a breakthrough season in 2016-17. After winning his first World Cup in January, he continued to dominate the slopestyle scene, bringing home gold at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski World Championships and claiming the slopestyle World Cup title. He also brought home a silver medal from X Games Aspen.


Stephen Schumann competes at the Junior World Championships. (U.S. Ski Team)

Stephen Schumann - Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year
Stephen Schuman made his way onto the USA Nordic Combined team after scoring his first Continental Cup points at the young age of 15. He’s continued to show his aptitude and talent by scoring points in every Continental Cup he started in the 2017 season as well as qualifying in every World Cup he started. Schumann’s 2016-17 season was highlighted by his performance at the FIS Junior World Championship where he passed over 15 athletes in the cross country portion of the event to finish 10th, the best American result since Eric Camerota in 2004.


Kevin Bickner jumps at the 2017 Nordic World Championships. (Getty Images)

Kevin Bickner - Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year
20-year-old Kevin Bickner is leading the charge in U.S. men’s ski jumping. He finished 30th on the HS130m large hill at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, the best men’s finish on the large hill since 1999. He also posted and individual top-15 finish on the World Cup. On the ski flying hill, Bickner set a new U.S. ski jumping record, soaring 244.5 meters. He now holds the top three longest jumps in U.S. history; 244.5m, 227.7m and 225.0m.


Chase Josey finishes first at the LAAX Open World Cup. (FIS-Miha Matavz)

Chase Josey - Snowboarding Athlete of the Year
Chase Josey pushed the limits in the halfpipe this season, landing his first World Cup win and multiple top-10 finishes. He finished just off the podium at X Games and the Olympic test event in PyeongChang.