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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Tokyo Motivates Moguls at Timberline Camp

By Lara Carlton
August, 12 2021
Landon Wendler
Landon Wendler trains at Timberline Lodge and Ski Area (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

As the summer athletes of Team USA finally got their chance to compete at the highly-anticipated postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the mogul skiers of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team wrapped their second and final on-snow domestic training camp at Official Training Site Timberline Lodge and Ski Area last month. 

Each evening following training the team would convene for dinner and watch their fellow Americans compete on the world’s biggest sport stage.

“Seeing the Olympics on TV was extremely motivating,” said Landon Wender. “Watching every athlete push themselves to the limit to represent their country was very inspiring. Having opportunities to train on snow in the times we live in means a lot. I am very thankful that we have had training environments where my teammates and I can push ourselves and each other to achieve our goals.”

 

 

“We really enjoyed watching, and found we could really relate to the gymnastics events,” said Head Moguls Coach Matt Gnoza. “The athletes see [Team USA athletes] going out and landing these tricks and seeing how the smallest hop can make a difference. We brought that mentality to training.” Moguls is a judged discipline and so the smallest bobble may mean the difference between the podium or not. “We trained on the things that can make the littlest difference. Feet tight, square to the hill, making sure we’re prepared to make the first turn out of a jump. These are things we can do on snow, not on water.”

In the run-up to the Olympic season, time on snow is precious and a commodity not to be taken for granted, especially when COVID-19 continues to impact the availability of training options. Unfortunately due to an unseasonably early heat wave, the last few days of camp became a ski focus. “Timberline did a good job at giving us a quality venue with what Mother Nature allowed,” explained Gnoza. “It’s been an exceptionally hot summer and the snow field took a beating. But we made the most of it while we could.” 

“The Timberline camp went very well for me with the tricks I’m working to perfect,” added Wendler. “I was mainly working on my cork 10 and everything started to click a lot more this last camp. I am very happy with the progress I have made with that trick this summer. I’m also working on my cork 7 truck driver grab and back full. I felt that I also made lots of progress with my skiing, being able to take a step back and slow it down.”

Gnoza reports that overall the entire team was very focused, locking in on what they need to do in order to be prepared. “In mogul competition format, whether World Cup or Olympic, it’s never good enough to just have the trick once, you have to make it repeatable,” he said. “We’re looking for consistency and repeated high-execution rates. That gives the athlete the best chance to climb the results sheet and get on the podium.” As such, athletes and coaches are working through deliberate and calculated training plans. “We’re training with a ton of intentionality.”

“This past camp in Hood was one of the best camps I’ve attended in my career,” said 2018 Olympian Tess Johnson. “I’ve been working really hard on getting my cork 7 competition ready and perfecting my back venom. Training is paying off, and words can’t describe how much it means to be able to train on snow in a pandemic ridden, climate changing world.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tess (@_tessjohnson)

 

“Our team spent a lot of quality time together off the hill juggling the soccer ball, playing games, and watching the Summer Olympics which had me feeling extra motivated, nervous, and inspired all at the same time. Things are ramping up with every passing day, and I’m really happy with where I’m at right now.”

With the Summer Games serving as a backdrop to training for what many athletes will hope to be their opportunity in Beijing in 2022, the relationship between the grind and the glory is ever more apparent. “There’s all of this work behind the scenes people only glimpse at every four years,” noted Gnoza. “The time in between, when you’re struggling to stay focused, when the world is very much not watching, that’s what all of these athletes can relate to.” 

Moguls returns to their summer home at Utah Olympic Park for another water ramp session this August before hopefully finding snow again in September. 

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

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chooses R-Zero as its Biosafety Partner to Protect Athletes and Staff

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
August, 12 2021
Arc
U.S. Ski & Snowboard joins the growing list of professional sports organizations, including NBA and NFL teams, using R-Zero’s tech to reduce health risks from COVID-19 and beyond. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard today announced its partnership with R-Zero, the first biosafety technology company dedicated to reducing the spread of infectious diseases. 

Ahead of a critical Olympic season, U.S. Ski & Snowboard has incorporated R-Zero’s IoT-enabled, whole-room UV disinfection system, Arc, into its daily health and safety protocols at its Park City, Utah training facility, the USANA Center of Excellence. Arc’s hospital-grade, sustainable UV disinfection allows U.S. Ski & Snowboard to safely eliminate pathogenic risk on surfaces and air without the use of harmful chemicals. The addition of R-Zero’s biosafety technology is part of the organization’s innovative approach to ensuring U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team athletes are able to continue performing at their highest while training for and competing in Beijing in 2022. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve been taking a multifaceted approach to ensure our athletes are protected from health risks across the board, and R-Zero’s partnership is a big added step in the right direction,” said Gillian Bower, Director of High Performance at U.S. Ski & Snowboard and a 15-year veteran of the organization. “Health and performance are a priority—not just for our athletes but for our staff. R-Zero’s Arc adds a safe, highly effective and sustainable way we can ensure we’re reducing risks in all spaces and for all parts of the organization.”

Currently, U.S. Ski & Snowboard is using four Arc units in the USANA Center of Excellence to disinfect spaces such as the weight room, physical therapy facilities, performance lab and their aerial practice area, which includes ramps, trampolines and foam landing pits. To optimize athlete health and performance, the team runs R-Zero’s UV-C systems daily in these high-traffic training locations. Later this month, the team will also ship two Arc units to Beijing for use in the upcoming Games. 

“COVID-19 illuminated the need for increased health and performance conditions for professional athletes across the world,” said Grant Morgan, co-founder and CEO of R-Zero. “As the Delta variant continues to surge globally, ensuring the health security of team staff and athletes will continue to remain critical. We are proud to support the entire U.S. Ski & Snowboard organization in creating safer indoor athletic training environments, both here in Utah and internationally.”
 

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About R-Zero
R-Zero is the first biosafety technology company dedicated to making the indoor spaces we share, safer and clinically clean. Founded to help organizations protect the health of people they serve, R-Zero is dedicated to developing the most effective and innovative disinfection technologies, to reduce the spread of all infectious diseases. R-Zero’s first product, Arc [an IoT-enabled, whole-room UV disinfection device] is currently enabling a higher level of health safety for hundreds of thousands of people, across both public and private sector organizations, without the use of chemicals. Today, R-Zero is pioneering the first continuous, automated disinfection ecosystem, enabling every organization to measure and manage indoor health risk with the same level of sophistication and technology that’s become standard across virtually every other industry. Informed by data science, built with AI, ML, and IoT connected hardware, R-Zero’s intelligent disinfection platform provides greater visibility, automation and even smarter risk reduction within the indoor spaces where humans spend their time. R-Zero is backed by leading venture capital firms, as well as thought-leaders from the health, hospitality, sports, commercial real estate, impact, and other industries. For more information, visit www.rzero.com
 

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. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org

Creative Assets:
Photo assets of the R-Zero Arc system installed in the USANA Center of Excellence are linked here for use. 
 

Hanneman, Winters Spread their Aviation Wings At EAA AirVenture

By Tom Horrocks
July, 29 2021
Luke, Mindy, Logan
Pilots Luke Winters (left) Mindy Lindheim from Textron Aviation, and Logan Hanneman poise in front of Textron Aviation's Cessna M2 jet at the EAA AirVenture Show this week in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Davis U.S. Cross Country Team athlete Logan Hanneman and U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Luke Winters just finished up a hard training block as they prepare for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, so they made the annual aviation pilgrimage to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for the EAA AirVenture Show as guests of Textron Aviation.

Hanneman and Winters learned to fly in a Cessna 172 and each was excited to share their love of aviation, and their respective sports, on Day 3 Live With Textron Aviation, hosted by Mindy Lindheim. In addition to meeting dozens of pilots and aviation enthusiasts from across the U.S., they also enjoyed a ride on the Goodyear Blimp!

This was the first trip to Oshkosh, which hosts the annual show - the largest aviation gathering in the world - but certainly will not be their last as they both continue to pursue additional pilot ratings with a goal of flying into Wittman Field and landing on the famed red, green, orange, white, pink or yellow dots!

Timberline Fuels Olympic Dreams, Even in the Summer

By Andrew Gauthier
July, 26 2021
Chase Hood
Olympian and U.S. Snowboard Pro Team member Chase Josey soaking it all in at Timberline Resort in Mt. Hood, Ore. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Mike Dawsey

The Oregonian recently published an article highlighting the unique relationship between Timberline Resort and U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Olympic hopefuls. 

"So much of the global skiing community is connected to Mount Hood, a place where lifelong friendships have been formed and Olympic dreams have been fostered. Every summer, domestic and international ski teams, videographers and coaches travel to the peak. It’s one of the only slopes open for training during the warm months thanks to the Palmer Glacier, which is on the south part of the mountain. Many Olympians and X Games champions have passed through this snowy destination at some point in their careers."

- Tyler Tachman, The Oregonian -

 

Check out the Full Article at OregonianLive.com

 


 

Andringa Back on Snow, In The Air

By Lara Carlton
July, 24 2021
Casey Andringa
Casey Andringa in good spirits at Timberline Lodge & Ski Area after his first jumps on snow in almost two years (U.S. Ski & Snowboard - Lara Carlton).

After almost two full years plagued by surgeries, injuries and rehabs, mogul skier for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team Casey Andringa finally achieved liftoff at Timberline Lodge & Ski Area June 17, 2021.

The 2018 Olympian was sidelined for the past two World Cup seasons and hadn’t attempted an aerial maneuver since March 2019. His first back X at the jump site in June felt as worthy an accomplishment of making the Games three years ago. “There was a point in time where I thought I would never be doing this (training to compete in mogul skiing),” said Andringa. “I didn’t want to give myself hope in case I couldn’t get back to it. If my body had said ‘no,’ it would have been that much harder to handle.”

 

 

Andringa underwent surgery in 2019 to correct an old knee injury with the intention of returning to training in summer 2020. However, a COVID-19 positive test and a period of quarantine meant he returned later than hoped. And then five days into water ramping Andringa crashed his mountain bike, dislocating and shattering his wrist and hand, and his hopes of competing the 2020-21 World Cup season. 

It took five surgeries over the course of eight months to put his hand and wrist back together and over the past year Andringa seriously considered calling it quits. “In October I was retired in my head. I had decided that I had been in so much pain for so long and I was thinking about how taxing competing in mogul skiing is on the body. I didn’t think I had any more space in my life left for more physical damage.”

 

 

Trying to get excited about what was next, Andringa realized if he left the sport, he would be leaving with an unanswered question. “If I had ended my career last October then I would have ended while I was in a headspace where I was always going to feel like my body was fragile and that I was kind of broken. It really messes with your head when you go from being able to do any activity, where you can trust your body because you’re strong and healthy and your body just does these things, to feeling like anything could mess you up. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy because the more you feel that way, the harder it is to stop feeling that way, so you kind of will [the hurt] upon yourself.”

Andringa recognized the parallel in trying to make PyeongChang 2018. During the last Olympic qualification process Andringa approached the season with a clear objective, and despite the odds, had been fired up to make it happen. “The realization of how far away I was from not even skiing at the 2022 Olympics, but just to get back to cork 7s and ski moguls, even that felt so far away. It just turned itself into a tangible goal, a goal I could pursue.” 

Putting feet to boots and skis in the air marked a huge milestone for Andringa’s pursuit of another Olympic run. “I meant to jump in May at Snowbird, but my knee hurt so bad, I couldn’t even picture myself going off of the kicker, let alone doing a trick. To be able to go to Timberline and do a backflip was just…I was so scared, even though I’ve been doing them since I was 12, I’ve probably done thousands. My first cork 7 I was super nervous too, but I did it and got down to the side of the run and started crying a little bit. It just was a thing I didn’t let myself expect to get back to.”

It will be a day-by-day process for Andringa to make it in less than 200 days to Opening Ceremonies of the 2022 Games. Pushing through pain and figuring out what his body can, cannot and should not do are all part of his plan. “There’s still a chance there are things my body says no to. I’m scared I’ll show up at Zermatt and it will hurt too bad to ski. So I’m working hard when I feel good and taking each day for what it is, trying not to get too upset when things do hurt.”

 

 

While the Olympic Games provide an objective goal, what's most important to Andringa is knowing his body isn’t broken and to trust in its ability to perform. “I’m still working on that trust a lot. Every day.”

“It feels like I have had so much time to reflect and figure things out, but I think the only thing I feel like I actually learned was to just keep moving forward.”

With sights on Beijing (and the chance to represent the U.S. with his brother and teammate Jesse) Andringa also looks forward to surmounting at least one more challenge – the Road to Arcylon trail in Park City, Utah. “Yes, I still bike, it feels good to get back on the horse. And I do plan on getting revenge on the drop that took me out. I can’t let a little tiny mountain bike drop win. But I’m waiting until after ski season.”

Andringa would like to thank his parents, family and girlfriend Roma, who nursed him back to health (and is now in nursing school), as well as the countless physios and Dr. Randy Viola. Follow Casey’s journey on Instagram.

Shiffrin and Kilde Visit Arc City; Talk Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund, and More

By Megan Harrod
July, 23 2021
Mikaela Shiffrin and Aleksander Kilde Visit Arc City Podcast
Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin, pictured here training at Official Training Site Copper Mountain, Colo. earlier this summer, joined teammate Jimmy Krupka on the Arc City podcast. (Copper Mountain)

Join alpine athlete Jimmy Krupka on the Arc City podcast, as double Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin makes her inaugural visit and gives a chunk of her very busy, Olympic-prepping schedule to talk over Zoom. Krupka caught up with Shiffrin just under 200 days from Beijing 2022.

First, they touch on the Jeff Shiffrin Athlete Resiliency Fund (keeptheflamealive.org), named in honor of her late father. Then, they hit a few big topics: pressure, social media, and who Shiffrin would be without skiing. Finally, we bring the 2020 FIS Ski World Cup overall champion (and Mikaela’s boyfriend), Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde on for some fun and a little seriousness.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by U.S. Ski Team (@usskiteam)


LISTEN NOW 

FIS Showcases Diggins' Cross-Country Workout Challenge

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
July, 23 2021
XC Workout Jessie Diggins

Check out the core training executed by Jessie Diggins during her summer training at Vermont's Stratton Mountain School.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Partners with On-Demand Virtual Coaching & Connectivity Platform, Givego

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
July, 22 2021
U.S. Ski & Snowboard

U.S. Ski & Snowboard has officially announced a multi-year partnership with Givego, an on-demand virtual coaching and connectivity platform built by athletes, for athletes. 

Givego’s one-of-a-kind virtual learning platform connects users to experts through an easy to use and intuitive app, allowing anyone the ability to connect and learn from some of the world's best experts and professional athletes. Today, users simply upload a video using their mobile device, describe what aspect of their sport they are looking to improve, and their choice of expert can respond within minutes.

“Givego’s ability to provide on-demand feedback to skiers and riders around the world directly complements our mission to encourage and support athletes, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers, and fans,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “In addition to providing a valuable resource to key stakeholders, Givego also contributes to an athlete’s financial well being by compensating them for their expertise. We could not be more excited to support elements of our development pipeline and athlete experience alongside Givego.”

"We exist to make dreams possible," says Willie Ford, founder & CEO of Givego. "Whether you're a world champion, a young athlete with big goals, or someone who simply wants to be their best, we help you. We could not be more excited to bring Givego to the greater community of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard."

Customers can expect the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Givego experience to launch in September. To learn more, visit: www.givego.io or download Givego from the App Store to receive your free session.

 

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About Givego 
Givego is an online marketplace built by athletes for athletes in Salt Lake City, UT. Givego delivers a proprietary mobile technology that connects passionate sports enthusiasts with world-renowned experts across multiple disciplines with the sole objective of helping athletes improve. Givego’s community of experts range from Olympic and professional athletes to some of the most sought-after instructors and coaches certified by leading NGB’s.
 

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. For more information, visit www.usskiandsnowboard.org
 

Merryweather Says Anorexia Treatment Helped Her Learn To Enjoy Everyday Life Again

By Megan Harrod
July, 21 2021
Alice Merryweather Discusses Impact of Anorexia Treatment
Olympian speed skier Alice Merryweather, pictured here (far right) with her teammates at a recent on-snow camp at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., recently shared with Women's Health that her treatment helped her to learn to enjoy everyday life again. (Ryan Mooney - U.S. Ski Team)

Olympian speed skier Alice Merryweather shared in early December that she has been struggling with an eating disorder and she had opted to sit the 2020-21 season out to recover. In a recent piece that hit both digital and print editions of Women's Health, Merryweather shared that her treatment helped her to learn to enjoy everyday life again. 

In the piece, as told to Women's Health's Amy Wilkinson, Merrweather shared, 

I’ve been skiing since I was 4 years old and racing since I was 8. Throughout high school, I never felt insecure—I was confident in my body and proud of being strong. Once I achieved my goal of making the World Cup team, though, there was no huge next step to take, and I turned my focus and perfectionism inward. I became more conscious of what I looked like and what I was consuming.

The turning point was when the World Cup season was cut short in the spring of 2020. I’d fallen short of my goals, and on top of that, I was taking a heavier class load than usual at Dartmouth College, and my housing where I was going to be training fell through. It was a perfect storm of stress. I found a reprieve—and thought I was gaining control—through my diet. I stopped eating enough, but I would justify it with excuses like “I didn’t work out that hard today.”

My boyfriend, Sam, was the first person to mention the words eating disorder to me. He noticed I couldn’t manage my emotions. I also complained about being cold, even on hot summer days, which is a symptom. I brushed it aside. I was making the right athletic choice, I reasoned.

Pull Quote Women's Health - Alice MerryweatherMerryweather recently returned to snow with her team for a successful spring prep period camp at Official Training Site Mammoth Mountain in California and has been working hard in the gym at the USANA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah. She plans to return to competition for the 2021-22 season, with hopes to compete at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China. 

Read the full piece at Women's Health.