U.S. Ski & Snowboard Wins Big at Team USA Awards
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2018) – U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes, coaches, and staff brought home four awards from the Team USA Awards, Best of the Games, recognizing Team USA’s outstanding performances and awe-inspiring achievements from the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Shaun White (Carlsbad, Calif.) was named Male Olympic Athlete of the Games, Chloe Kim (Torrance, Calif.) was named Female Olympic Athlete of the Games, U.S. Cross Country Ski Team coach Jason Cork was named Olympic Coach of the Games, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard Vice President, Communications Tom Kelly received the Building Dreams Award.
With an impressive 97.75-point final run to claim gold, White became the first snowboarder to win three Olympic gold medals and is the first American man to win gold medals at three Olympic Winter Games. He now owns the second-most gold medals among U.S. men in Olympic Winter Games history.
In her first Olympics, Kim nailed a 98.25-point on her victory lap run in halfpipe, that included two back-to-back 1080s, after posting a 93.75 on her first run to secure the gold medal. She is the youngest woman from any nation to win a gold medal in snowboarding.
As a coach for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, and the personal coach of two-time Olympian Jessie Diggins, Cork was instrumental in leading Team USA to its first-ever Olympic medal in women’s cross country skiing, and the first U.S. gold medal in the sport. In addition to the historic gold medal in the team sprint, Cork also guided Diggins to three individual top-five finishes – the best-ever for an American woman in Olympic cross-country skiing (prior to the gold medal).
In a career that has spanned 32 years and nine Olympic Winter Games, Kelly has dedicated his life’s work to telling the incredible stories of Team USA athletes and highlighting the historic milestones that have made U.S. Ski & Snowboard a perennial power on the world’s biggest stage. In a pioneering move that reimagined media coverage at the Olympic Games, Kelly was the mastermind behind the USOC’s Managing Victory tour, which is designed to help Olympic medalists capitalize on their success and promote their sport in the immediate aftermath of their podium performance. Now a cornerstone of both summer and winter versions of the Games, Team USA celebrated the sixth installment of the program at the PyeongChang Olympics, which also marked the final Games for Kelly in his current role with U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
Other Team USA, Best of the Games winners include:
- Olympic Team of the Games – U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
- Female Paralympic Athlete of the Games – Oksana Masters, Nordic skiing
- Male Paralympic Athlete of the Games – Dan Cnossen, Nordic skiing
- Paralympic Team of the Games – U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team
- Paralympic Coach of the Games – Gary Colliander, Nordic skiing
- Jesse Owens Olympic Spirit Award – Kristi Yamaguchi, 1992 Olympic gold medalist, figure skating
The six athlete and team award winners were determined by online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/Awards, where nearly 600,000 fan votes determined 50 percent of the final tally. Members of the Olympic and Paralympic family – including an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – accounted for the other 50 percent. For coaching awards, National Governing Bodies selected their nominees and the winners were determined via selection committee.
The awards were presented during a live recording of the Team USA Awards, Best of the Games ceremony, held on April 26 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. The awards show will be televised as a 90-minute feature for the first time ever and will air May 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard Update - April 2018
In this update from U.S. Ski & Snowboard, I’m writing to share important topics with which our team is currently engaged.
Reflecting on the 2018 season, we have much to be proud of - from the Olympic Winter Games to the World Cup and Grand Prix circuits, to all major events in which our incredible athletes excelled. While we have had a number of great successes, this season has also revealed areas where we are simply falling short of our ambitious goals and objectives. My laser focus and that of our entire organization is on improving our operations, the culture of our teams and the effectiveness of our overall athletic development systems, all of which is aimed at helping our athletes become, and remain, the Best in the World while providing a safe and healthy environment.
Like every organization striving for excellence, we have, and always will have, challenges to face and tackle. We must always be committed to a culture of continuous improvement. We have made plans to address key challenges and opportunities over the last several years that we are already executing. At the same time, we are also carefully listening and responding to input and challenging every assumption and plan. We embrace public dialog and the feedback we receive from all quarters. We also hear and understand the need for more transparency. With this in mind, I wanted to share with you some key updates within our organization:
Team structures: We are restructuring our freestyle and alpine departments to provide a new and renewed focus on domestic and development level programming combined with supporting our national teams. These restructuring efforts will be ongoing, and are focused on improved culture and domestic program integration.
Athlete safety is of paramount importance and a fundamental priority for our organization. We are continuously evaluating how we improve SafeSport training, awareness and enforcement at all levels of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s operations. Additional details on this critical work will be discussed further during U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress in early May.
Financial transparency is of critical importance and a goal of this organization. We publish information which gives clear details of our operating budget (available here), and will publish mid-May when our 2019 budget is final and approved, additional information about sport-specific athlete costs and benefits involving funding allocations and the specific steps we are taking to increase funding and decrease costs for our athletes. This includes the Bob Beattie Travel Fund and other campaigns supporters have so generously helped us all to create. Benefits of being a team member will also be detailed, including our highly utilized significant career and academic support.
The upcoming U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress, May 1-5 in Park City, Utah will be the perfect opportunity for attendees to learn more about the important topics that our team is engaged with, and to provide thoughts, ideas and feedback on the changes we are implementing to help us achieve our vision and goals by executing our mission. Those who know me and this organization know that we always welcome any and all feedback. We are listening carefully and working hard to make U.S. Ski & Snowboard stronger, with our core focus, as ever, on athletes.
Thank you for your continued support.
President & CEO
U.S. Ski & Snowboard