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Masters Racers Post Great Results at Catedral

By Lauren Beckos
September, 22 2023
Masters waiting at the start of the 2023 FIS Racers waiting at the Start of Masters Cup event September 17-19, 2023 at Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina
View from the start of the 2023 FIS Masters Cup event September 17-19, 2023 at Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina

The FIS Masters Cup officially kicked off in September with 5 races at Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina - look at all the USA medalists! See the link for a wrap-up video from Lisa Densmore Ballard's camp and the races!

2023 Masters Catedral USA Results

Full race results at:

Masters at the 2023 FIS Event in Catedral, Arg

Get Ready: 2023-24 Freestyle Domestic Season Preview 

By Leann Bentley
September, 22 2023
Photo of a moguls course in the sun

The highly anticipated 2023-24 freestyle moguls and aerials ski season is around the corner and the domestic and international competition schedule is officially set, with several competitions highlighting the best junior-level and professional-level athletes in the world on home snow. 

The 2023-24 event schedule includes more than the FIS Freestyle World Cup. U.S. Selection Events, the FIS Continental Cup (NorAm Tour, part of the Stifel Success NorAm Series) and the FIS Open events host the best junior athletes in the nation and world, including the up-and-coming talent from U.S. athletes representing five divisions across the nation: Eastern, Intermountain, Far West, Northern and Rocky Mountain divisions. 

Domestic Freestyle Schedule: NorAm Cup, Selection Events, World Cups

The domestic schedule kicks off for the moguls and dual moguls athletes at U.S. Freestyle Selections in Winter Park, Colorado on Dec. 13-17, 2023, where athletes competing can qualify to earn starts in the U.S. World Cups and NorAm competitions.

NorAm Cups

Next up after moguls Selections is the Deer Valley NorAm Cup, Feb. 4-8, 2024. The NorAm Cup is an elite competition that serves as another stepping stone to the World Cup circuit and is part of the Stifel Success NorAm Series in the United States. To wrap up the domestic NorAm Cup season, men’s and women’s moguls and dual moguls athletes will head to Vermont’s Stratton Mountain Resort, Feb. 27-March 2, 2024. 

The aerials NorAm Cup event of the season will take athletes to the Olympic Jumping Complex in Lake Placid, New York, March 1-March 2, 2024. Aerials athletes competing in the NorAms are hoping to land a spot on the World Cup circuit. 

World Cup

The moguls World Cup is headed to the east coast, with the best moguls skiers in the world competing at Waterville Valley World Cup, Jan. 26-27, for the first time. The weekend after, both moguls and aerials athletes will head to the Intermountain Health Freestyle International World Cup at Deer Valley for the ‘Superbowl of Freestyle Skiing.’ The event is back under the lights over the Feb. 1-3, 2024!

U.S. Junior National Championships

The 2024 U.S. Junior National Championships for both aerials and moguls will be hosted at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, which brings together the top junior competitors from each division to compete head to head in their respective age groups – U15, U17 and U19, March 11-16, 2024. 

National Championships

On Jan. 21, 2024, U.S. aerial athletes will compete in the U.S. National Championship at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, were athletes will compete for the National Championship title.

The domestic moguls competition continues in March with national championships. Athletes head back to Waterville Valley Resort for the highly-anticipated 2024 Toyota U.S. National Freestyle Championships, March 22-24, where the top overall regional moguls and dual moguls from each division, along with Stifel U.S. Freestyle Ski Team moguls athletes, compete for national titles. 

FIS Open

The domestic aerials schedule begins on Jan. 20 2024, with the FIS Open, where athletes will compete against the world's best in a warm-up event for the Deer Valley World Cup. Then, the moguls team wraps up the freestyle season in Snowbird, Utah with a FIS Open event on April 20-21.

“Freestyle has a rich history in the U.S. and the elite-level domestic events help to support our developmental pipeline,” said U.S. Freestyle Sport Director at U.S. Ski & Snowboard Matt Gnoza. “Knowing that we have a deep pool of freestyle athletes in the United States, we are excited to see the talent that comes through in these events. The current Stifel U.S. Freestyle Team looks to build on a hugely successful 2022-23 season, and I am looking forward to seeing our elite teams and developmental teams work together to continue being the best freestyle team in the world.”

Full domestic freestyle schedule below

List of the upcoming freestyle domestic events this season.


Must-See Freeski & Snowboard Film Trailers of the Season

By Libby Arganbright
September, 19 2023
Mountain Scene

Another year, another round of big mountain descents, waist-deep powder slashes, and gnarly park and urban skiing shots, all perfectly synchronized to high-quality music, featuring some friendly and familiar faces to get you excited for the upcoming season.



"Crescendo" - Good Company 

Early mornings, long days, and late nights. The Good Company crew spent the season shredding record breaking snowfall. Everyday searching out new spots, stacking blocks, and increasing our knowledge of the mountains around us. The full season of street and backcountry moments when compiled together is truly the “Crescendo” of an all time winter.

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes Colby Stevenson, Maggie Voisin, Mac Forehand, Walker Woodring and alum Tom Wallisch + Tucker Fitzsimons, Tim McChesney, Quinn Wolferman, Jake Doan, Blake Wilson, Thayne Rich and more. 


"Abstract" - The Faction Collective 

Skiing is not art, and skiers are not artists. Unless, of course, skiing is art and skiers are artists? Faction's fourth feature film exhibits pure creativity through a series of freeski sequences—from the vibrant streets of Japan, to the powdery pillows of British Columbia, to the finely-manicured terrain parks of Switzerland and Italy. Each location provides a blank canvas for the team’s artistic expression. Because nothing screams “artist” like sending large cliffs and grinding the side of buildings.

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes Alex Hall and Mac Forehand + Koga Hoshino, Antti Ollila, Vasu Sojitra, Micah Evangelista, Sophia Rouches, Brooklyn Bell, Mathilde Gremaud, Sarah Hoefflin, Margaux Hackett, Giulia Tanno, Tim McChesney, Duncan Adams, Blake Wilson, Elias Syrjä, Kadi Gomis, Tormod Frostad, Matěj Švancer, Štěpán Hudeček, Gianni Biello, Dan Hanka, and Dylan Deschamps.


"Legend Has It" - Teton Gravity Research

Ski lore is riddled with stories, sometimes of unknown origin, describing plausible but extraordinary past events. Often shared on chairlifts, the skintrack, or over a beer, these legendary tales, whether it be mythical storm cycles, heroic feats, or whispers of fantastical terrain, all contribute and shape our present experience. For 28 years Teton Gravity Research has been traveling the globe with the best athletes to the most incredible locations often based on this fabled history to uncover the experience…and sometimes creating legends of our own along the way.

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes Maggie Voisin, Hunter Hess and Colby Stevenson + Kai Jones, Ian McIntosh, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Griffin Post, Nick McNutt, Tim Durtschi, Marcus Goguen, Jim Morrison, Christina Lustenberger, Colter Hinchliffe, Parkin Costain, Jim Ryan, Jake Hopfinger, Jeremy Jones, Alex Armstrong, Simon Hillis, McRae Williams, Jake Hopfinger, WeiTien Ho, and more.


"Flying High Again" - Teton Gravity Research

In a world, where the snowboard corporatocracy cares more about the next Instagram swipe, TGR and snowboard film director and pioneer, Mike Hatchett, have defied all odds to bring back the annual snowboard film. Featuring a crew of riders who need no introduction, Flying High Again celebrates what matters most: a bomber squad, rowdy soundtrack, and pure unadulterated riding action. TGR's new snowboard film, Flying High Again, premieres this October.

Featuring Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athletes Sean FitzSimons, Dusty Henricksen and Brock Crouch + John Jackson, Bode Merrill, Danny Davis, Jason Robinson, Brandon Davis, Elena Hight, Jeremy Jones, Antti Autti and others.


"The Land of Giants" - Matchstick Productions

The story of man vs. mountain is one that has captured our imaginations for centuries. But what if MSP flipped the script? What if, instead of focusing on the human element, we took a closer look at the mountains themselves? That's the premise of The Land of Giants, a new ski film that explores the most iconic mountains on Earth. From the Fjords of Norway to the spines of Alaska, we will get to know and understand the canvas that creates the most mind-melting moments in skiing. But most importantly, we'll come to appreciate their sheer beauty and power. Captured with revolutionary cinematography combined with genre bending music, The Land of Giants is not to be missed. The Land of Giants features the best skiers in the world, skiing unbelievable conditions and riding to the very edge and beyond. It's a celebration of the natural world, and a reminder of the power of the human spirit. It's a film that will leave you awestruck, inspired, and humbled. Join us on this journey into The Land of Giants.

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Colby Stevenson + Mark Abma, Sammy Carlson, Logan Pehota, Tonje Kvivik, Nikolai Schirmer, Caite Zeliff, McKenna Peterson, John Collinson, Janelle Yip, Sam Kuch, Ari Tricomi, Karl Fostvedt, Coline Ballet-Baz, Craig Murray, Emily Childs, Dennis Ranalter, Xander Guldman, Hedvig Wessel, Lucy Sackbauer, Stinius Skjøtskift, Gen Sasaki, Sam Cohen, and Marcus Goguen.


"MAGMA 3" - Magma

Featuring U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes Alex Hall, Hunter Hess and Sean FitzSimons + thatyoungskibum and videographer Owen Dahlberg.


"Fortune Hunters" - Blank Collective Films

This winter, a fortune awaits.

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Aaron Blunck + Stan Rey, Alexi Godbout, Josh Daiek, ABM, Emma Patterson, Jordy Kidner, Jess Hotter, Jonathan Rollins, Mali Noyes, Greg Hills, Wyatt Gentry, Tucker Carr, Tenra Katsuno, and Trevor Semmens.


"UNIFIED" - HEAD Freeskiing Team Movie

In HEAD Freeskiing's inaugural feature-length film, "Unified," the team explores the unifying bond around the sport we all cherish. From endless deep powder & staircases of heavenly pillows, to iconic spine filled peaks - this spirited & dynamic team takes you on a lighthearted journey through the 2023 season and the shared experiences that unite them. From Japan to Austria to Canada and beyond, watch the team's season unfold, showcasing not only their remarkable skills & irreverent humor but the incredible places their skiing adventures take them.

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Aaron Blunck + Jess Hotter, Jordy Kidner, Hedvig Wessel, Emil Granbom, Cole Richardson, Jenna Keller, Xander Gouldman, Tao Kreibich, Abel Moga, Ian Morrison, Evan McEachran, Blake Marshall, Jonathan Rollins, Jesper Tjader, Sabrina Cakmakli, Bolinger Brothers, Billy Lloyd Blainey, Luke Miele, and more.


"CAKE" - Nitro Snowboards

CAKE is a movie dedicated to showcasing the current level of “fun progression,” how pro snowboarders like to ride for fun, and hopefully motivating everyone to get out and go snowboarding with their friends.

Featuring Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athlete Hailey Langland + Eero Ettala, Marcus Kleveland, Elias Elhardt, Simon Gschaider, Jared Elston, Christy Prior, Dominik Wagner, Celia Petrig, Tom Tramnitz, Griffin Seibert, Sam Taxwood, Torgier Bergrem, Zenja Potapov, Benny Urban, Yanneck Konda, Knut Eliassen, Ludvig Billtoft, Gabriel Almqvist, Brantley Mullins, Sean Miskiman, Mateo Massitti, Dia Okajima, Toa Okajima, Yuto Yamada, Alexis Roland, Hunter Goulet, and many more!


"Hotdog Hans Fore"

Featuring Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Alex Ferreira


"Sequencer" - Quiksilver Snow

Featuring Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athlete Red Gerard 


“REFLECTIONS” - Jamie Anderson

Jamie is a professional snowboarder who has won 2 Olympic gold medals and 21 X Games medals. The movie follows Anderson’s life and career, as well as her personal outlook on life, her love of snowboarding, and her process of being so dominant. The film also features riding by Elena Hight. REFLECTIONS is a must-see for fans of snowboarding and action sports.

Featuring Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athlete Jamie Anderson

Diggins Discloses Recent Struggles; Plans to Return Back Stronger

By U.S. Ski & Snowboard
September, 17 2023
Jessie Diggins skiing in a skate race during the 2022-23 season
Jessie Diggins skiing in a race during the 2022-23 World Cup season. (Nordic Focus)

On Sunday, September 16, Olympic champion Jessie Diggins disclosed that she recently struggled with her eating disorder after 12 years of being in recovery.  

“I’ve learned that sometimes the hard conversations we have can have the most transformative power,” Jessie wrote in a personal statement. “So although this isn’t easy for me, I have something I’d like to share with all of you. This summer, after 12 years of being in a great place of health, I’ve been struggling with my eating disorder.”

She spoke openly and honestly on her personal Instagram about how she is working daily with her team and focusing on putting herself, and her health, first. 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard and PEOPLE magazine worked together to help Jessie share her story

“Right now, I ask for your respect and trust that I’m putting my well-being first and foremost because my team and I all agree that a healthy and happy life is the primary objective.” 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard supports Jessie and anyone who may be struggling with their mental health. As she outlines in her statement, “To anyone out there struggling with mental health right now - I know that it can feel scary and hard to reach out for help, but it’s the best thing you can ever do.” 

Our mission at U.S. Ski & Snowboard is to empower athletes to achieve excellence, including providing the resources and tools necessary to ensure mental well-being. Mental health resources are available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Danelle Umstead: A Trailblazer in Para Alpine Skiing

By Ryan Odeja
September, 13 2023
Danelle Umstead competes in the Women's Super Combined, Visually Impaired event during the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang
Danelle Umstead competes in the Women's Super Combined, Visually Impaired event during the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang on March 13, 2018. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is highlighting HERoic trailblazers throughout our winter sports, both past and present. A HERoic trailblazer is a woman athlete who has gone above and beyond in her sport, moving the sport forward through grit and determination and inspiring the next generation of women athletes. 

Danelle Umstead, alumna of the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team, embodies what it means to be a HERoic Trailblazer. As one of the first and most dominant Para alpine ski racers in history, she has pushed the boundaries for her sport on and off the slope.  

Through her work as a motivational speaker and the founder of the Sisters in Sport Foundation, Danelle has promoted accessibility and paved the way for the next generation of disabled athletes. 

The Beginnings

Danelle’s motto is “living the impossible every day.” When she was 13, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and early onset macular degeneration, a condition that leads to total blindness. Over time, she lost her central vision and most of her peripheral vision. 

Despite her athletic success that we know today, Danelle’s skiing journey didn’t start until she was 29 when her dad convinced her to go to a local hill in New Mexico with him as her guide. She was hooked as soon as she felt the wind on her face as she skied down a run for the first time. Over the next few years, Umstead learned how to ski with a guide before meeting her future guide and husband, Rob Umstead. Rob grew up alpine ski racing and worked as a ski coach across the United States before landing in New Mexico where the pair met and immediately clicked. Meeting a guide that fits an athlete’s needs is tricky on its own, but finding a husband-wife pair is a truly special scenario. 

Not only do a ski guides help blind athletes ski down the hill, but they also help individuals in their everyday lives. When skiing, Rob skis slightly ahead of Danelle and constantly talks to her through headsets inside their helmets. He tells her about the course, the terrain and anything else she is about to encounter. They find the most success when they stay tight and keep constant communication. Danelle says that often Rob knows what she needs before she knows it. 

The pair quickly found their groove, and Danelle was determined to become a professional athlete. Together, they created Team Vision4Gold, and the Paralympic dream began. Outside of their Paralympic mission, in 2007, Danelle and Rob became parents to their son Brocton. The family is completed by Windy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. When not on snow, they love to hike, paddleboard, camp, and go on road trips together. 

A Story of Perseverance

In more than one way, the partnership between Danelle and Rob was a success. Danelle and Rob went to their first Paralympics in 2010 and took home two bronze medals in downhill and combined. 

Shortly after the Games in Vancouver, Danelle was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative nerve disease that complicates the body's communication with the brain. The disease paralyzed half of her body, and she was forced to relearn how to walk and eventually to ski again. Despite battling the symptoms of multiple sclerosis every day, Danelle rehabbed and was able to return to skiing, quickly getting back to winning World Cup races with Rob and winning U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Adaptive Athlete of the Year award, setting the tone for the coming seasons. 

The pair earned a spot on the 2014 Paralympic Team, where she left with another bronze medal in the combined. Winning back-to-back medals at the Paralympics cemented Danelle’s name as one of the best adaptive skiers and the one to beat moving forward. 

The pair went on to compete in two more Olympics, two more World Championships and countless World Cup races. Over the course of their 14-year competitive career, they won three Paralympic bronze medals, four World Cup medals (two silver and two bronze), two overall Crystal Globes, and had 50+ World Cup podiums. And not only was Umstead just a star within the ski world! In 2018, Umstead became one of the celebrities competing on season 27 of Dancing with the Stars, becoming the first-ever blind contestant on the show. 

A Lasting Legacy

Throughout her career, Danelle discovered the loneliness that can come with being a disabled athlete and the importance of having a solid support system. She found a tight-knit community through skiing that helped her to push through difficult times in her career, became passionate about providing this support to others and encouraging the next generation of disabled athletes to participate in sports. In 2020, Umstead created the Sisters in Sports Foundation to provide mentorship and education programs to women athletes with disabilities.

Danelle is also a successful motivational speaker, empowering leaders and teams to overcome obstacles to do the impossible every day. Her contributions to skiing and Para sports as a whole are immeasurable, and she continues to show her commitment to empowering the next generation of disabled athletes. Thanks to Danelle, Para alpine skiing is a more welcoming and accessible community than before

Nina O’Brien Injures Leg

By Sierra Ryder
September, 12 2023
Nina O'Brien
Nina O'Brien Injures Leg (Mike Dawson/U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team athlete Nina O’Brien fractured her left leg in training at a camp in New Zealand. 

“I’m really sad to share that I left New Zealand after re-fracturing my leg,” said O’Brien. “Ski racing, I love you but wow you can be brutal. I was having the best camp, and just want to get back to those moments. So I guess we’ll have to try this thing again. At least this isn’t my first rodeo.”

Nina O'Brien Injures Leg


O’Brien has been a key member on the women’s World Cup tech team, consistently scoring World Cup points. She is coming off a successful 2022-23 season where she became a world champion in the team event at the Courchevel-Meribel 2023 World Championships. She also had strong results in giant slalom last season, highlighted by a 10th place in the Kronplatz, Italy World Cup race. 

This is the second time she will go through the recovery process for a broken leg. O’Brien first broke her left leg while competing at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing when she suffered an open fracture to her tibia. She was the top U.S. contender in the giant slalom race, sitting in sixth place when she fell in the last few gates of the second run. 

O’Brien is having surgery Tuesday and will be out of competition for the upcoming 2023-24 season. 

Meet The 2023-24 U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team

By Ryan Odeja
September, 12 2023
Allie Johnson competing in Womens Super-G at the 2023 FIS Para Alpine Ski World Championships, Espot, Spain. (Photo by Marcus Hartmann)
Allie Johnson competing in super-G at the 2023 FIS Para Alpine World Championships in Espot, Spain. (Marcus Hartmann)

The U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team roster for 2023–24 features a wide range of ages and experiences. Get to know the team before the season starts as they come under U.S. Ski & Snowboard!

Allie Johnson

Johnson has been skiing since she was 4 when she started with her family in Winter Park, Colorado, but she grew up in the suburbs of Chicago where skiing every day wasn’t possible. Although she continued skiing throughout her life, she didn’t start ski racing until the 2018-19 season when her coworker/future coach Scott Olsen asked, ‘Why not?’ After her leap of faith, she quickly fell in love with the sport and realized that this was the path she was meant to be on. She had an impressive first season but suffered a broken tibia and fibula during her first downhill race. Johnson returned stronger in February 2021 and joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team. During her first full season on the World Cup circuit, she won her first race, claimed the overall giant slalom bronze, and had four World Cup podiums. Johnson made her Paralympic debut in Beijing in 2022, finishing 12th in the giant slalom and 14th in the super-G. 

Born without her right forearm, Allie grew up horseback riding and worked as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor, teaching individuals with disabilities how to ride horseback before committing to skiing. When she isn’t skiing or riding horses, she enjoys spending time with her partner, Marcus, and her dogs. 

Andrew Haraghey

When Haraghey was six months old, he contracted viral encephalitis, which resulted in cerebral palsy presenting as severe muscle tension from the waist down. He started skiing at 7 and began racing a few years later. 

The standing skier from Enfield, Connecticut, honed his skills at a young age, leading him to make his Paralympic debut as a 22 year old in 2018. Now 27, Haraghey has competed in two Paralympics and three World Championships, with his best result being a 10th-place finish in downhill earlier this year in Espot, Spain. He loves to water ski, kayak, play tennis, swim and camp when not skiing.

Andrew Kurka

Growing up, Kurka dreamed of going to the Olympics as a wrestler. His athletic ambitions were altered after an ATV accident at age 13 damaged vertebrae in his spinal cord. A few years later, Kurka discovered monoskiing through the Challenge Alaska program, and he was instantly hooked. Within a few years, he was named to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team and shortly after made his international debut on the World Cup circuit, where he has been a steady, consistent force ever since. Now 31, Kurka is a three-time Paralympian and two-time Paralympic medalist, taking home the downhill gold and super-G silver in 2018. Despite sustaining a shoulder injury during the downhill in the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, he returned to finish the race in fourth place. The sit skier from Palmer, Alaska, returned from injury this past March for the season-closing World Cup event in Cortina, Italy. His all-or-nothing racing style has also led to five World Championship medals thus far.

Kurka’s ski pursuits don’t stop at racing; he has also become the first person to monoski the Christmas Chute of Mt. Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska. Outside of skiing, he is a country music DJ and proudly owns a bed and breakfast in Alaska. His B&B is focused on providing people with disabilities the opportunity to explore the home state he loves. Recently, Kurka earned his Sport Pilot license in partnership with Able Flight at Purdue’s flight school, and he enjoys being outdoors as much as possible and spending time with his family and friends. Kurka is also an Athlete Mentor for Classroom Champions, a nonprofit organization that partners athletes with schools in underserved communities.

Audrey Crowley

Crowley was born without a fully developed right arm and began skiing with her family at a very young age. Growing up in small town Wisconsin, Crowley started skiing on a 196 vertical foot hill before moving to Colorado to pursue skiing more consistently. At only 16 years old, she has made a name for herself in both adaptive and able-bodied races nationwide. She was named the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy Athlete of the Year in 2019, and her proudest accomplishments include winning the U.S. Para National Championships in 2021 and super-G nationals in 2023. Crowley was first named to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team for the 2023-24 season and will start racing on the World Cup circuit this winter. 

Crowley loves animals and currently works with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue. She tries to get outside as much as possible and spend time with her family and friends. Crowley’s motto is “I just never thought I couldn’t.” - Lighting McQueen.

Jesse Keefe

Growing up in Bellevue, Idaho, Keefe wasn’t far from the skiing hub of Sun Valley, Idaho. That led to him skiing for the first time when he was 2 years old, not long after his right foot was amputated. At age 7, he joined the Sun Valley Ski Education race team and started his journey of competitive alpine skiing. He quickly rose through the national ranks and noted his most memorable athletic moments, winning the 2021 U.S. National giant slalom and slalom and placing third in super-G. The standing skier made his World Championships debut at 17 in 2022 before heading to Beijing as the youngest U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team member. Despite his youth — and having to deal with homework assignments between races — Keefe earned three top-20 finishes, including a ninth place in slalom. 

In three words, Jesse would describe himself as funny, kind and adventurous, which makes perfect sense as his favorite activities are mountain biking, camping and anything that gets him outdoors. When he’s not skiing or spending time outside, he loves to hang out with his dogs Cody and Finn, cat June Bug and leopard gecko Nikko.

Laurie Stephens

Stephens was born and raised in New England and hails from Wenham, Massachusetts. She was born with spina bifida and found skiing at age 12 when she joined a group of athletes with disabilities who skied at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. This experience led her to start racing at age 15 and join Chris Devlin-Young’s New England Disabled Ski Team. 

By 2004, at age 20, Stephens had already become the overall and giant slalom World Cup champion in her rookie season. Her first two seasons led to her being named the 2006 Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee (now the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee) and nominated for the 2006 ESPY for Best Athlete with a Disability. During her time on the team, Stephens has cemented herself as one of the most dominant sit skiers on the World Cup circuit. She is a five-time Paralympian, seven-time Paralympic medalist (two gold, two silver, three bronze), and a two-time world champion. Stephans previously held two U.S. records for Para swimming in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke. When she isn’t on the snow, Stephens loves to read and knit.

Matthew Brewer

Brewer had both legs amputated above the knee after developing compartment syndrome in 2014. After meeting Stephani Victor and hearing her story of Paralympic success, she invited him to learn to ski, and he was all in. Brewer decided to start skiing and made the move to Utah to start training competitively. He trained with the National Ability Center High-Performance team and was awarded their Sportsman of the Year for the 2020-21 season. In 2021, he was nominated to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team and started his journey on the World Cup circuit. The Huntington Beach, California, native made his Paralympic debut as a sit skier in Beijing at 46, finishing 12th in the slalom and 25th in the giant slalom. Between races in 2022, Brewer married his former prosthetist in October. 

Outside of racing, Brewer mentors new monoskiers to help them feel comfortable on the slopes and advocates for recovering addicts.

Patrick Halgren

Halgren’s favorite part about alpine skiing is the connection between technique and speed. “You can’t fake fast,” he says. He believes he was meant for something greater, so he is channeling his training to honor his late twin brother Lucas ‘Sven’ Halgren. Sven was the one who encouraged Patrick to take up Para skiing after his accident in 2013, which resulted in a left leg amputation. Halgren rose through the U.S. ranks and was nominated to the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2021. 

The 30-year-old standing skier was back on the World Cup circuit this year after making his Paralympic debut last March in Beijing. At this year’s World Championships, Halgren brought his barber with him to Spain to get a fresh haircut for the big event. That confidence helped him earn a 19th-place finish in the downhill and a 22nd-place finish in the super-G. When he’s not skiing, Halgren loves rollerblading and road-tripping.

Ravi Drugan

Drugan was born in Treasure Island, Florida, before moving to Eugene, Oregon, with his family. While growing up in Oregon, Drugan lost both of his legs after surviving being hit by a train. His injury led his parents to introduce him to Para alpine skiing through Oregon Adaptive Sports, a foundation that provides sports programs to people with disabilities. After his introduction to the sport, Drugan joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2017, and his career took off at the beginning of 2022, as he made his World Championships and Paralympic debut in the span of two months. At this year’s World Championships in Spain, the 33-year-old sit skier finished eighth in the downhill and 14th in the giant slalom. 

Besides alpine skiing, Drugan participates in mono skicross events and even won a bronze medal at the 2015 X Games. Outside of skiing, he loves anything that gets him outdoors, like camping, hiking and working on classic cars. 

Saylor O’Brien

O’Brien grew up in Woodland, Utah, trying every sport she could. Born with spina bifida, she found adaptive skiing at age 4 and immediately fell in love. When she was young, she met Picabo Street and decided to pursue skiing and academics at her school, the Picabo Street Academy. O’Brien credits Picabo as significantly influencing her skiing and who she wants to be as an athlete and person. O’Brien joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2022 and had a successful first season on the circuit. She took second and third in her World Cup debut this past January in Veysonnaz as a 19 year old, right before winning two bronze medals in super-G and alpine combined at the 2023 World Championships. 

Saylor comes from an athletic family, so it is no surprise that she has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. When she isn’t skiing, you can probably find her dying or cutting her hair, making lots of art, going to concerts and hanging out with her dog. 

Spencer Wood

Wood started skiing very young and started racing at age 5. He was diagnosed with hemiplegia of the right side of his body as a baby due to a stroke and although he was diagnosed early in life, Wood’s parents didn’t tell him about the diagnosis until he was 10. The standing skier from Pittsfield, Vermont, began competitive Para skiing after he attended a Disabled Sports USA race camp in December 2014. He joined the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team in 2017 and made his Paralympic debut in PyeongChang just three years after becoming a competitive Para alpine ski racer. He finished 25th in giant slalom and improved on that finish in the Beijing Games, finishing 14th in alpine combined and slalom and 12th in super-G. The 26-year-old has also competed in two World Championships, with his best result being a 14th-place finish in the downhill.

Wood’s favorite quote is “Believe” - Ted Lasso, and he credits his mom and two-time Olympic medalist able-bodied alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht as the most influential people in his career. You can find Wood watching Formula 1 or mountain biking when he isn’t skiing. 

Thomas Walsh

At the age of 2, Walsh began skiing and was on the race course by the age of 5. As an avid athlete, he was also active in the arts and has been acting since age 6. Since then, he has continued to be involved with acting, music, dance and numerous other sports, including nordic skiing, hockey and competing in triathlon. In 2009, Walsh was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma but returned to racing shortly after his final radiation treatment in 2010. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Walsh returned to racing and was invited to be on the U.S. Para Alpine Ski Team the following year. Within his first year on the international circuit, Walsh won his first slalom and giant slalom World Cup races. 

The 28-year-old standing skier from Vail made his Paralympic debut in PyeongChang and had two top-10 finishes, including fifth in slalom. When he returned to the Games in 2022, he took home a silver in giant slalom, making him the only U.S. Para alpine skier to medal in Beijing. He has also competed in four World Championships, winning two bronzes in 2019. Outside of skiing, his hobbies include the arts, traveling, mountain biking, film, thrifting and being outdoors. He names Mikaela Shiffrin and Steven Nyman as his idols, and as a cancer survivor, he races for all who cannot. He credits his mother as the most influential person in his life and career.


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U.S. Wins Freestyle & Freeski Marc Hodler Trophy at Junior World Championships

By Libby Arganbright
September, 5 2023
U.S. Freeski team with trophy
U.S. athletes win the freestyle & freeski Marc Holder Trophy at the 2023 Junior World Championships in Cardrona, New Zealand. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

CARDRONA, NZ (Sep. 5, 2023) – The 2023 FIS Park & Pipe Junior World Championships came to a close on Sep. 4th in Cardrona, New Zealand after the big air finals and the U.S. Freeski Junior World Championships Team helped secure the Freestyle & Freeski Marc Hodler Trophy, awarded to the best overall nation. 

“The level of skiing at Junior Worlds gets better every year,” said Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athlete Kate Gray, who earned sixth place in slopestyle at the Junior World Champs on Aug. 30. “The women’s field in particular stood out this year with many dub 10s and it set the bar high for this coming competition season. ”

Notable U.S. finishes in big air include Elaina Krusiewski of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail finishing eighth and 16 year-old Eleanor Andrews of Killington Mountain School finishing in ninth. Flora Tabanelli of Italy won the big air event, while Linshan Han and Ruyi Yang of China finished second and third respectively. 

For the snowboarders, Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team rookie team rider Brooklyn DePriest took to the big air jump and was the leading American finishing in fifth place. Taiga Hasegawa of Japan won the event. Rocco Jamieson of New Zealand took second and Ian Matteoli of Italy finished in third.

The Stifel U.S. Freeski Team athletes’ results helped secured the Marc Hodler Trophy, finishing with 111 points ahead of Canada with 109 points. The U.S. Junior World Championship snowboard team finished sixth overall. It was a successful Junior Worlds for the U.S. and the next generation of freeski and snowboard athletes are bringing forward undeniable talent as they enter the 2023-24 season. 



Men's freeski big air 

Women's freeski big air 

Men's snowboard big air 

Women's snowboard big air 






Kelly Clark: A Trailblazer in Snowboarding

By Libby Arganbright
August, 30 2023
Kelly Clark waves to the crowd in the FIS Snowboard World Cup Halfpipe Finals
Kelly Clark waves to the crowd in the FIS Snowboard World Cup Halfpipe Finals during the Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort on August 30, 2015 in Wanaka, New Zealand. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is highlighting HERoic trailblazers throughout our winter sports, both past and present. A HERoic trailblazer is a woman athlete who has gone above and beyond in her sport, moving the sport forward through grit and determination and inspiring the next generation of women athletes.

A three-time Olympic medalist, five-time Olympian, seven-time X Games gold medalist, eight-time US Open winner and trailblazer for women’s snowboarding, Kelly Clark redefined snowboarding as one of the most profound and dominating athletes to ever enter the halfpipe. 

Rapid Ascent 

When you look back at the sport of competitive snowboarding, ‘Kelly Clark’ comes to mind. The impact she had on the sport is undeniable, but the success did not happen overnight. 

Clark started early. Born on July 26, 1983 in Newport, Rhode Island but growing up in West Dover, Vermont, she started snowboarding at the age of seven during a family vacation. It did not take long for her to fall in love with the sport. Only a few years later after being on a board for the first time, she was enrolled in Mount Snow Academy, and as it goes, the rest is history. 

Only in 1998 did snowboarding become an Olympic event and in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games, Clark found herself dreaming of becoming an Olympic champion. It was watching those Games where she realized exactly what she wanted to do. Fastforward, Clark began competing at 14 years old and quickly became one of the best. In 2000, she was named to the U.S. Snowboard Team. 

On Fire 

The same year she joined the U.S. Snowboard Team, Clark won her first FIS event at the Junior World Championships in Berchtesgaden, Germany, and the momentum followed. The following season, she was winning at the highest stage of the sport, including the National Championships at Sunday River, Maine. 

But it was in 2002 that everyone started to know who Kelly Clark was. She took home a gold medal at X Games, the US Open in both halfpipe and quarterpipe and was the overall U.S. Grand Prix champion. Then her dreams of being an Olympic champion came to fruition in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games when Kelly became the first U.S. woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in halfpipe snowboarding. 

Clark’s Olympic journey continued with remarkable consistency. In her illustrious career, she competed in five Winter Olympics from 2002 to 2018, capturing two more Olympic medals after her victory in Salt Lake — a bronze in both the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games. In Sochi, Clark’s medal came 12 years after her first gold, showcasing her resiliency and relevancy in the sport that only became more competitive each season. 

Clark’s impact went far beyond the medals; she transformed the sport of snowboarding with her groundbreaking tricks, mentorship and willingness to push the boundaries. In 2011, right before another victory at the X Games, she became the first woman to ever throw and land a 1080 in the superpipe. In her 2015 season, Clark was nominated for her second ESPY, this time for Best Female Action Sports Athlete, showcasing her impact on the entirety of the sports landscape. She also took home another silver medal at the X Games, tagged her eighth win at the US Open, scored her sixth U.S. Grand Prix tour title and ended by adding her fifth World Snowboarding Tour title to her name. 

Legacy of Inspiration

The numbers speak for themselves. After 20 years, 200 events, 137 podiums, 78 wins and more pipe laps than you can count, Clark called it good in 2019, securing herself as one of the best competitive snowboarders in the world. After reaching her competitive glass ceiling, she officially announced her retirement and left professional snowboarding — but the fun never slowed. Now, Clark spends her time road biking, surfing and chasing pow on her snowboard in Mammoth Lakes, California.

Outside of sport, Clark spends her time fundraising for the Kelly Clark Foundation, which gives opportunities to promising young snowboarders. As well as her charitable pursuits, in 2017, Clark published her autobiography 'Inspired' which chronicles her snowboarding career and the constant growth and development needed to stay mentally and physically fit at such a high level. 

Kelly Clark transformed the sport and thanks to her determination and dedication, she has influenced generations of athletes, both men and women, and set the tone, showing that anything is possible in the world of snowboarding. 


Two Top 10s at 2023 Snowboard Junior World Championships Slopestyle Contest

By Libby Arganbright
August, 29 2023
U.S. athletes at the 2023 Park & Pipe Junior World Championship in Cardrona, NZ.
U.S. athletes at the 2023 Park & Pipe Junior World Championship in Cardrona, NZ. (U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team athletes Rebecca Flynn and Brooklyn Depriest showed up at the 2023 Park & Pipe Junior World Championships slopestyle finals and both landed in the top ten. 

Flynn, a third year on Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team came in fifth, a testament to a strong summer of training. Flynn has a history of big results - in 2022, she clinched first place in the big air contest at the Aspen NorAm Cup and secured three more second-place podium finishes at the NorAms in Copper, Sun Peaks, and Aspen. Now, achieving a top ten result in the Junior World Championships further strengthens her position as she enters the 2023-24 season.

Seventeen-year-old Brooklyn Depriest, a rookie on the Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team's slopestyle roster secured the sixth-place Junior World Champs result. Depriest has clinched three top-three finishes in the 2023 NorAm Cups and was the National Champion in slopestyle at Copper Mountain. Much like Flynn, Depriest's addition of a top-ten result to his already impressive resume bodes well for the upcoming season.

Hydro Flask U.S. Snowboard Team rookie slopestyle coach Eric Beauchemin was on hand to help guide these riders. 

Up Next: Big Air 

Junior World Championships snowboard big air qualifications kick off on Saturday, September 2nd, followed by big air finals on Sunday, September 3. 


Women’s Slopestyle Results

Men’s Slopestyle Results