One of the Core Values of the USSA is Team, and one if its organizational goals is "strong partnerships". Both ideas are essential to the realization of the USSA's Vision of being Best in the World.
The scope of the USSA's responsibility is wide, covering the management and governance of 12 distinct Olympic sports. And it's mandate runs equally deep, ranging from international elite athlete programs to youth recruitment and competition at the most local level.
World Champion Kikkan Randall has played a vital role in representing athletes wtihin the International Ski Federation as a member of the FIS Athlete Commission. Following a successful on-snow camp at Mt. Bachelor and a brief stop for testing at the USSA Center of Excellence, Kikkan is on hand in Cavtat-Dubrovnik, Croatia this week for the annual spring meetings of the Federation.
It takes TEAM to be Best in the World. Just ask World Champion Jessie Diggins. Or any USSA national team athlete, for that matter. Jessie is a cross country skier. But she could just as well be an alpine racer, snowboarder, freeskier, aerialist or jumper. Her SkiTrax.com blog post Why This Team Works So Wellcapsulizes one of the "secrets" to being Best in the World.
Two years ago when we announced that we would be establishing an elite ski and snowboard academy at the Center of Excellence, that announcement was met with enthusiasm by some and with consternation by others. Some were concerned that running a school would be a financial drain on other programs. Some cautioned that the demands of running a school in addition to our elite athlete and high performance programs would be distracting and take focus away from our core mission. Some believed that we had underestimated how demanding it would be to run a school, and how difficult it is to delive