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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Hustle and Bustle: U.S. Ski Team Makes the Most of Europe Training

By Ski Racing
September, 3 2021
Women's Tech Team Saas-Fee
The women's alpine tech team (including Paula Moltzan, Nina O'Brien, and AJ Hurt) gets ready for a day of training at Saas-Fee, Switzerland at the start. (Ryan Mooney - U.S. Ski Team)

While August and September typically mean travel to the Southern Hemisphere—including locations like New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina—for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, the Team had to relocate and get creative for the second consecutive year due to COVID-19. Ski Racing recently caught up with Alpine Director Jesse Hunt, Head Men's Speed Coach Randy Pelkey, and two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin to see how training is going on the glaciers of Switzerland this summer. 

Ski Racing wrote, 

“This summer’s training plan is very similar to last season’s preparation in terms of volume and training sites,” said Hunt. “We skied a lot in April, May, and June at Squaw Valley, Mammoth and Mount Hood. Now we are training in Europe unless the option to train in Chile becomes available.”

Hunt and the alpine teams are targeting the glaciers that offer the best conditions for this time of year. For World Cup teams, that means Saas Fee and Zermatt, which offer both speed lanes and tech lanes, along with additional venues, such as Stelvio, Hintertux, Soelden, and the indoor facility at Snow Valley. With updated Covid protocols, including vaccinations, regular testing, masking, and social distancing when required, all national teams have traveled to the European glaciers for training alongside the Norwegian, Swedish, and Swiss national teams, to name a few. 

There is a big plus with European training in that most of the athletes across the U.S. Alpine Ski Team are in the same location, which rarely happens for the men and women. Team dinners, hikes, excursions to the Kneipp ice baths, picnics, and more have provided for some solid cross-team bonding experiences. 

Shiffrin shared her camp focus with Ski Racing as well, saying, 

As for her own preparation heading into the all-important Olympic season, Shiffrin said, “I feel like I have some really great skiing and some not-so-consistent skiing, and one of my goals for this camp is to reel in that consistency and mindset that I need not only for training but more importantly for races as well. So aside from simply skiing, that’s a big part of this camp as well for me.”

Read the full article at SkiRacing.com.

Aerials Midsummer Check In

By Lara Carlton
September, 3 2021
Dani Loeb
Dani Loeb trains at Utah Olympic Park (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Christian Raguse)

For the aerial skiers of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team summer means wetsuits, drysuits, thousands of stairs and lots of chlorine as they train at the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool at Official Training Site Utah Olympic Park. Athletes have been on the ramps and in the air since May, and just wrapped their August training block with a FIS-judged competition simulation.

At the start of every summer athletes have to reacquaint themselves with their craft. “Our first camp of the season everyone starts at the beginning,” explained U.S. Freestyle Team Head Aerials Coach Vladimir (Vlad) Lebedev. “We have to remember how to jump in water, how the skis feel on the ramp surface, things like that. Everyone starts with singles, with our easy tricks, and progresses based on performance and quality. May and June are for building a solid foundation so we can get to the real work in July.” 

The July and August camps’ main focus is repetition of high degree of difficulty jumps. “You have to execute the jumps well, but you have to do it a lot,” said Lebedev. Building mental fortitude and muscle memory is key in making an athlete competition-ready. “Not only knowing you can execute the trick, but knowing you have executed it many times before is what we want.”

Lebedev reports that many athletes have added new tricks to their arsenals and the whole team is looking really good. 

 

 

Three-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell is working on the trick that earned her a World Record, a full double-full full, also known as The Daddy - the highest degree of difficulty trick in women’s aerials. “For Ashley, we are focusing on getting those numbers in,” said Vlad. “She knows what she has to do and she is putting in the work to make this part of her competition program coming into the 2021-22 season.”

Several women brought new tricks to water as part of their 2021-22 competition plan. Winter Vinecki, who had a breakout season in 2019-20 with three podiums and finished second in the overall standings, is working on a full double-full. Both Megan Smallhouse and Kaila Kuhn brought double-full fulls to water. 

Megan Nick, who earned two World Cup wins last season, is not bringing anything new to her repertoire but is focused on her quality for her full double-full and double-full full, also known as Millers. Dani Loeb and Karenna Elliott are working through their program as well. 

On the men’s side both Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld are training quints - quintuple twisting triple backflips. Lillis became the first American since Jeret “Speedy” Peterson to compete a quint, and the feat earned him two World Championships medals in 2021. Eric Loughran is working through his entire jump package.

Last season marked Quinn Dehlinger’s first competing off of the triple kicker. He is putting in the work this summer to increase his numbers. “It usually takes about three seasons to see a male athlete compete off of the triple and achieve podiums, it’s all about numbers and time,” explained Lebedev. “Quinn is looking really good right now, he is super motivated.”

 

 

“This summer’s training has been going as well as I could have hoped for,” Dehlinger said. “During this summer I have been working on new triples like full double-full full and full full double-full. This will hopefully make me competitive for this upcoming winter on the World Cup tour. Looking forward to the rest of the summer I am just trying to be more consistent with all of my training.”

The team has been training alongside the Canadian Aerials Team all summer and on August 28 and 29 the two nations held a water ramp competition simulation with FIS judges. The simulation followed Olympic format and athletes performed their Olympic jump plan.

“Competition simulations are extremely important and valuable training tools,” said Lebedev. “During regular training you have unlimited jumps and time. But that’s not what it’s like when you’re on the World Cup circuit and training. You have limited time and limited jumps. It’s important to mock out the strategies we will use in season.”

 

 

Lebedev is proud of the work his athletes have put in this summer so far. Looking ahead to September, athletes will all still be working on their hardest tricks, but will hone in on quality more than repetition. “In general all of the athletes have shown good improvements,” he said. “The team is looking strong and everyone is extremely motivated for this upcoming Olympic season.”

To support the U.S. Freestyle Aerials Ski Team, please click here for more information.

 

Speed Events Take Center Stage at Xfinity Birds of Prey World Cup

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 26 2021
Birds of Prey Returns
Speed events will take center stage in Beaver Creek Resort as the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup returns Dec. 3-5 2021.

BEAVER CREEK, COLO. (Aug. 27, 2021) — If ski racing fans are feeling the need for speed, they will get a triple-dose of it when the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup returns to Beaver Creek Resort Dec. 3-5, 2021.

The nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, which hosts the Xfinity Birds of Prey races each year, confirmed the men’s Beaver Creek World Cup schedule as follows:

Friday, Dec. 3: Super-G
Saturday, Dec. 4: Downhill
Sunday, Dec. 5: Super-G

*The men’s World Cup calendar has not yet been fully confirmed. FIS will confirm in September. Beaver Creek race times TBD.

All events will be streamed and broadcast live on the networks of NBC Sports.

The races are part of a return of the North American leg of the FIS Ski World Cup tour, including:

Nov. 27-28: HomeLight Killington Cup, USA, Women’s Slalom and Giant Slalom
Nov. 27-28: Lake Louise, Canada, Men’s Downhill and Super-G
Dec. 3-5: Lake Louise, Canada, Women’s Downhill and Super-G

‘Back at one of the best courses in the world’
Ryan Cochran-Siegle is one of many racers excited to return to the Birds of Prey course at Beaver Creek Resort, which is known worldwide for its steep pitch, high speeds, and demanding turns.

“We can’t wait to be back at one of the best courses in the world, here on home soil,” said Cochran-Siegle, who was ranked third overall in the world in downhill before he was sidelined by an injury sustained at the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel, Austria, in January for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. “I have this date circled on my calendar. We all love Birds of Prey. It’s everything from the track to the people to the volunteers to the general environment and history of U.S. Ski Team success at Beaver Creek that make this return to home soil something all of us are highly anticipating.”

The weekend of racing marks a major milestone on the way to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Feb. 4-20, 2022 in Beijing, and serves as a qualifying event for athletes to earn points and placements toward their nomination to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Ski Team.

“We could not be more thrilled to once again welcome the world back to the iconic Birds of Prey course here in Beaver Creek,” said Mike Imhof, President of the Vail Valley Foundation.

Athletes to watch
Among the racers to beat on Saturday’s Downhill will likely be Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR), who was the 2020 World Cup overall downhill champ and was leading in the downhill standings and second in the overall standings this past season before he was injured. He will have to fend off Beat Feuz (SUI), who edged out Matthias Mayer (AUT) and Dominik Paris (ITA) to take the overall World Cup Downhill title in the amended 2020 season.

Vincent Kriechmayr (AUT) won the overall Super-G crystal globe and placed fourth overall in Downhill Cup standings and is anticipated to lead the charge on Friday and Sunday’s Super-G. He will likely have to fend off top American racers Cochran-Siegle and Travis Ganong, as well as a host of challengers including Kilde,

“Beaver Creek Resort is proud to host Birds of Prey, and we’re excited to showcase our world-class steep terrain and unrivaled hospitality,” Beaver Creek Resort COO Nadia Guerriero said. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our resort and community to welcome some of the world’s best athletes on their journey to the 2022 Winter Olympics.”

The Xfinity Birds of Prey – and the entire North American leg of the FIS Ski World Cup tour – was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In years past, the weekend in Beaver Creek has typically featured a giant slalom race on Sunday, but this year’s World Cup calendar is designed to minimize potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus by reducing the participants on site. Therefore, speed and tech event groups are being mixed as little as possible.

“In the nearly two years since the first appearance of the virus, we’ve had time to develop sound procedures and protocols,” Imhof said. “We are working closely with the FIS, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort, Eagle County Public Health, and all our other wonderful partners to ensure that we can host these beloved races and that athletics, fans, partners, media, and volunteers can all enjoy and attend the event in as safe and comfortable a manner as possible.”

‘Beers of Prey’ on tap
The Vail Valley Foundation said it is planning music, giveaways, sponsor activations, “Birds of Prey Way” in Beaver Creek Village, and a wide array of celebratory ancillary events, including the highly-popular “Beers of Prey” tasting event, throughout race weekend. Details will be announced this autumn.

Health and safety policies will be in place
With some international travel restrictions still in effect, Beaver Creek and The Vail Valley Foundation continue to work with all appropriate parties ahead of the FIS Ski World Cup. The health and safety of guests, staff, and athletes is a top priority, organizers said, and as the ski racing community returns to hosting international events, heightened health and safety protocols will be in place, as needed, during the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup. Event protocols will comply with local health and safety measures, as well as those mandated by FIS, and may be modified based on evolving standards, public health, and governmental directives.

Learn more at bcworldcup.com.

###

About the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup
Ranked as the number one overall stop by the athletes and coaches who participate, the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup at Beaver Creek Resort has become legendary in the ski world.

Beaver Creek Mountain is home to the formidable Birds of Prey racecourse, challenging an international roster of top athletes for one weekend of racing that typically features Men’s Alpine super-G, downhill, and giant slalom competitions. The event is organized by the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation, in close partnership with the FIS, U.S. Ski & Snowboard, Vail Resorts, the Beaver Creek Resort Company, Beaver Creek Resort, Xfinity, and TIAA Bank.

Learn more at www.bcworldcup.com.

About the Vail Valley Foundation
The Vail Valley Foundation is a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley and showcase our community to a global audience through arts, athletics, and education.

The organization’s work in education is through YouthPower365, a 501c3 Colorado nonprofit corporation with a mission to provide year-round extended learning opportunities that empower and educate the youth and families of Eagle County from cradle-to-career readiness. The Vail Valley Foundation also provides the Vail Valley with several of its most treasured annual events, such as the GoPro Mountain Games, the Xfinity Birds of Prey FIS Ski World Cup races, the Vail Dance Festival, and the Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town free concert series’. The Vail Valley Foundation also manages and operates two performing arts centers, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek Village and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, providing more than 100 Broadway, dance, comedy, classical, rock, pop, jazz, community and family events per year.

Vail Valley Foundation activities and events are in part made possible by cornerstone partners: the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company, GMC, and TIAA Bank.

To learn more about the Vail Valley Foundation visit www.vvf.org.

About U.S. Ski & Snowboard
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic National Governing Body (NGB) of ski and snowboard sports in the USA, based in Park City, Utah. Tracing its roots directly back to 1905, the organization represents nearly 200 elite skiers and snowboarders in 2021, competing in seven teams; alpine, cross country, freeski, freestyle, snowboard, nordic combined, and ski jumping. In addition to the elite teams, U.S. Ski & Snowboard also provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders across the USA, encouraging and supporting them in achieving excellence. By empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers, and fans, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is committed to the progression of its sports, athlete success, and the value of team.

Learn more at usskiandsnowboard.org.

About Beaver Creek Resort
Renowned for legendary attention to detail, World-Cup mountain pedigree, intimate alpine village, and reputation as one the world’s best luxury family resorts, Beaver Creek Resort represents incomparable elegance and Rocky Mountain leisure which spoils guests for anywhere else with an unparalleled level of world-class service. Just 30 minutes east of Eagle Airport (EGE) and 2.5 hours west of Denver International Airport (DIA), Beaver Creek offers luxury accommodations throughout three villages and ski-in, ski-out luxury lodges and hotels. More than 40 in-resort and slope-side restaurants, elegant village boutiques, cherished daily traditions and activities such as world-class downhill skiing and snowboarding spanning 2082 acres with 3340 vertical feet of descent, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and ice skating in the Beaver Creek village.

Visit BeaverCreek.com for additional information and vacation planning. 

 

Release courtesy of the Vail Valley Foundation.

SkillsQuest Fitness Testing: October 3 at Dartmouth College

By Sam Damon
August, 26 2021
SkillsQuest Fitness Testing

We are excited to announce the planned return of validated SkillsQuest Fitness Testing this fall! This event will be somewhat Covid-dependent and we’ll be actively monitoring that situation, but our current plan is to do one day of validated testing on October 3 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Registration and logistical details will be coming very soon!

This event is targeted toward aspiring FIS and U16 athletes, but we will bring in as many people as we can accommodate, and with the size of the facility in Hanover we should be able to see a lot of athletes in one day! Remember that a validated SkillsQuest Fitness score is required for selection to any US Ski Team or National Development Group programming. And while we don’t strictly require it for regional programming yet, that is on the horizon and we do take fitness testing scores into account when making discretionary selections. Most importantly, this is a great chance to put your fitness to the test alongside other athletes from the East! 

For those that can’t make it on October 3, we are also planning to offer backup dates of October 29 at Stratton Mountain School and October 30 at Green Mountain Valley School. 

We look forward to seeing you this fall. Save the date!

 

Bennett Featured in FIS Behind the Scenes

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 25 2021
Bryce Bennett FIS Behind the Scenes

In the International Ski Federation's (FIS) recent Behind the Scenes feature with Bryce Bennett, the downhiller shares his relationship with ski racing. Bennett grew up in a ski racing family in Squaw Valley, Calif., spending a lot of time on the mountain and "slowly fell in love" with ski racing. 

Bennett acknowledges that ski racing is a tough sport, it can feel like a constant struggle. In the video, he shares some tactics he has used to keep improving, like working with veteran teammate Steven Nyman, with whom he shares a serviceman, the legendary Leo Mussi. Bennett added that the need for consistency across multiple tracks throughout the season is a challenge that draws him to the sport further, and says he'll “Just keep chipping away and chipping away and hopefully the day lines up and everything works out.” 

 

Eastern Alpine Covid Update - Summer 2021

By Sam Damon
August, 23 2021
Eastern Region Summer Covid Update

We’ve been fielding many inquiries about Covid policies for the 2021-2022 season. As everyone doubtless knows, the Covid landscape is continuing to evolve every day, so concrete information and policies for the winter season are still under discussion. The US Ski & Snowboard Covid Commision has re-convened and will be evaluating the options for the coming season, and while we don’t have definitive information for you now, we should be able to provide more detail in the relatively near future. We learned a lot through last season and luckily one of the big takeaways is that ski racing seems very doable even in this pandemic. The Eastern Region staff remains optimistic for the coming year and will be in touch with more details as soon as possible.

Eastern Region Calendar Update

By Sam Damon
August, 23 2021
Eastern Region Calendar Update

Folks from around the region have been working on nailing down race calendars for the 2022 season. The regional FIS calendar is pretty well solidified, and the Divisional FIS calendars are coming together. We have a number of U16 and U14 events scheduled as well, with just a few outliers left to pin down. You can always refer to the calendar page of the Eastern website for the most up-to-date drafts. We’re looking forward to getting out there again!

Now Hiring: Eastern Regional Youth Development Coach

By Sam Damon
August, 23 2021
Eastern Youth Development Coach

Big news from the Eastern Region staff: we’re hiring! Kathy Okoniewski is transitioning over to a role in Sport Education, so we are currently looking for a Youth Development Coach to help our young athletes advance. Kathy has made a big impression over the last 5 years helping our clubs and kids be their very best. Her role has been mostly focused on U16 and U14 athletes where she’s worked with so many kids through our training projects, the U14 Eastern Champs, Can-Ams, and U16 Nationals. But she’s also organized U12 projects, done many club visits, and taken the lead in coordinating much of our in-region coaches education including last year’s virtual Language Locker sessions that so many of you participated in through your clubs. She’s made a lasting mark and set the bar high!

 

I’m happy to tell you that Kathy will continue to be here in the East, embedded with us as a liason to the Sport Education department. This means that she’ll continue to be here to facilitate access to the best development and education for our clubs and coaches, as well as chipping in nationally as the Sport Education staff continues to develop content and opportunities. We are super excited to support Kathy in this role, and we are so grateful for her years of hard work and service!


If you’re interested in the Youth Development Coach position, you can find the job description and application online: Click here to access it!

Riding, Running, Roller Skiing, Racing Highlight Summer Cross Country Training

By Tom Horrocks
August, 23 2021
Matt, Kate
Davis U.S. Cross Country Team World Cup Coach Matt Whitcomb and Development Team Coach Kate Johnson made the trek from Vermont to Alaska to catch up with Anchorage-based athletes last month. (Penny Smythe - APU)

Members of the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team continue their summer prep for the upcoming FIS World Cup and Olympic season with a mix of gym time, trail running, mountain biking, and roller skiing. Toss in a few victories and a course record along the way, and so far the summer has been very rewarding.

Scott Patterson has been dominating trail running events in Alaska this summer, posting victories in both the Crow Pass Crossing - setting a new course record for the 22.5-mile backcountry footrace from Girdwood to Eagle River - and winning the Cirque Series event at Alyeska Resort.

“My summer training has been going quite well,” said Patterson, who has been training with the Alaska Pacific University club program. “I’ve spent the whole spring and summer in Anchorage in order to keep things simple and focused. This approach has paid off in solid progress in training sessions as well as setting several course records at trail running races. After 8 years racing Crow Pass, including seven victories, I finally got the record. This has been a big summer goal for several years.”

At the Cirque Series race in Alyeska, Alaska, Patterson led a host of the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team’s Anchorage-based athletes, including teammate Sophia Laukli, who won the women’s pro division. Ben Ogden also made the trip to Alaska from his home base in Vermont for a few weeks of training, finishing eighth in the pro division. Kendall Kramer and Sydney-Palmer Leger also participated in the women’s Expert division. Laukli also won the Cirque Series race at Snowbird, Utah, on Saturday, Aug. 21.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SL (@sophialaukli)

With almost half of the Davis U.S. Cross Country Team living and training in Anchorage, World Cup Cross Country Coach Matt Whitcomb, and Development Team Coach Kate Johnson made a visit to Anchorage to check in on the summer training progress. “The purpose of the trip was not to organize the camp so much as to check in with every athlete,” Whitcomb said. “Everybody's working hard, enjoying each other's company and there is just great synergy going on, I can't wait to see what comes from it.”

Unfortunately, a summer skiing camp on the Eagle Glacier had to be cancelled due to the rebuilding of the on-site lodge. But, that didn’t deter the athletes from getting together and trying something new.

“Something different this summer was that a big group of guys, both on the U.S. Ski Team, and from other teams, lived and trained together in Anchorage,” said Gus Schumacher. “We had a house that we all stayed in and it ended up being super awesome. It really helped a lot to push each other, and establish a strong frame of teamwork to bring into our next camps and winter racing.”

Following last summer’s Covid-19 travel restrictions, many athletes enjoyed training with their home club programs throughout the prep period. And that has also carried over to this summer as well with many athletes enjoying the comforts of home, and the opportunity to focus on the little things that will make a difference once the season starts. 

“Most of my training this summer has been very similar to last year with a few small alterations,” Patterson said. “I felt last year’s training cycle was quite productive so I wanted to replicate that with a few improvements.”

“Nothing different for me - just a continued emphasis on recovery and training smart while training hard,” added Jessie Diggins, who is training in Vermont with her Stratton Mountain School Elite Team program, alongside teammates Julia Kern and Katherine Ogden, all of whom have been pushing each other this summer. 

“I really value having a group to work with all summer, pushing and learning from one another,” said Kern, who has also mixed mountain biking and gravel riding into her summer training program. “I have mostly been focused on having high quality and smart training, making the most of each session and also prioritizing recovery, listening to what my body needs.”

“I think what people want out of summer training varies based on age,” Whitcomb said. “The older we all get the more home feels just right, and the younger we are the more stimulus we need from our peers. And sometimes that means going to a camp or something, So it’s about finding the right balance.”

That balance also includes getting athletes on snow, which has been a challenge with the Eagle Glacier Camp cancelled. However, many of the athletes have participated in competitive events this summer, including mountain bike and gravel races for both Kern and Katharine Ogden in Vermont. 

“That is where we find our edge,” Whitcomb said of the head-to-head competition. “We can get 95, 96, 97, 98% there, no problem (through hard summer training), but to get 99 and 100% there, that takes going head-to-head and feeling some fight, some discomfort, and some vulnerability.”

Kevin Bolger has also been jumping into some racing this summer. Bolger is training in Sweden alongside his girlfriend Maja Dahlqvist and the Swedish National Team this summer, going head-to-head in roller ski races. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kevin Bolger (@kevinbolger)

As for a mid-summer snow session, Diggins, Kern, Ogden, and their Stratton Mountain School teammates are heading over to Germany in late August for some snow time at the Oberhof Ski Tunnel. The final camp of the prep period is a high-altitude camp scheduled for October 4-18 in Park City, then it’s off to Scandinavia for the opening World Cup events in Ruka, Finland Thanksgiving Weekend. 

 

Andringa Returns from Ankle Injury

By Lara Carlton
August, 23 2021
Jesse Andringa
Jesse Andringa competes at the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Steve Earl)

Moguls skier on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Jesse Andringa returned to snow last month after rehabbing through an ankle injury he sustained at the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare Freestyle International. Andringa tore three ligaments in his ankle and dislocated his peroneal tendons in a crash that sent him over the bottom air on one foot. 

Following a successful surgery, Andringa quickly focused his attention on his recovery. His first priority was getting his range of motion back, keeping things pretty mellow, and lifting once he was able to do so. “Lifting is so stable,” he explained, “it doesn’t require a lot of foot movement. So I was able to lift heavy weights before I was able to walk normally.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jesse Andringa (@jesse_bare)

 

Four months in, Andringa was cleared to train on the water ramp, and got 23 ramping days in before taking his ankle to snow at Timberline Lodge & Ski Area last month during moguls’ last domestic on-snow prep camp. 

“I was cleared to do everything at Timberline,” he said. “I still didn’t have the mobility that I would have liked to have had. I started off just skiing flats, but that made my ankle really sore, and was very discouraging.”

Not one to be discouraged, Andringa pressed on, finding jumping felt better. “Jumping on snow felt good, I got used to jumping in water so that motion was becoming easier for me.” By the end of camp, Andringa was training his full trick package. 

Even more surprising to Andringa was how many moguls he skied. “I really did not think I would be able to ski moguls. I tried it, and the first runs every day would really hurt. I would only ski about four to begin with. But by run two or three I was up to 10 or 15 in a row. I was up to a full mogul section usually by run four.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jesse Andringa (@jesse_bare)

 

“It was really awesome [to be back on snow]. As I got back to it more and more, it became easier and easier. It was really encouraging to see all of my work and rehab pay off.”

The camp also marked the first time both Andringa brothers were back on snow training as part of the U.S. Ski Team together since 2019. After almost two full years sidelined by surgeries, injuries and rehabs, Casey Andringa returned to snow just before Jesse in June. “It was very fun to be back on snow with Casey. Both of us are going through emotional times. We have highs, like doing tricks on snow, and lows, like having to take afternoons or days off because of our pain levels. But being together was helpful and encouraging.”

This was just the boost Andringa needed heading into the later half of the summer prep season. He’ll be working towards skiing 100% the next time the team finds snow and plans to keep pushing to dial in his full range of motion. 

Reflecting back on his injury, Andringa says he learned he needed to better believe in himself. “I pushed myself at Deer Valley because I was lacking confidence. Confidence and knowing that I’m good enough, that’s what I’m taking out of this.”

Andringa would like to thank all of his physical therapists, Doctor Thomas Haytmanek, Hans Gardner, U.S. Ski & Snowboard staff and everyone else who has helped him through this injury. 

Follow Jesse Andringa’s story on his Instagram @jesse_bare