USSA Programs

Athletes and Leaders Honored by the USSA

by
USSA
2014-05-18 16:27
 

PARK CITY, UT (May 19) – Olympic and World Champion slalom winner Mikaela Shiffrin (Vail, CO) was honored by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association with the 2014 Beck International Award, the organization’s highest athlete honor. The USSA also recognized former USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt with the Julius Blegen Award, its highest honor, for vision and service that led the USSA to become Best in the World. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail was named Club of the Year and also walked away with top honors in four individual sports. The awards were presented May 16 in Park City during the annual USSA Congress at the Park City Marriott.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Olympic and World Champion slalom winner Mikaela Shiffrin was honored by the USSA with the Beck International Award, which is awarded to the top USSA athlete in international competition.
  • Former USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt was awarded the Julius Blegen Award for his lifetime of outstanding service to the sport. Marolt was responsible for 70 of the USA’s 95 ski and snowboarding medals in Olympic history.
  • Ski & Snowboard Club Vail won five club awards, including the overall Club of the Year award. The club had 13 current and alumni athletes compete in Sochi.
  • U.S. Freeskiing Slopestyle Coach Skogen Sprang was named Coach of the Year. His athletes won four medals in Sochi including a sweep of the debut Olympic men’s slopestyle skiing event.

 

2014 U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD ASSOCATION AWARDS

USSA Diamond Award
Julius Blegen Award (Highest honor for service to sport) - Bill Marolt (Boulder, CO)

USSA Gold Awards
USSA Club of the Year Award - Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
USSA Coach of the Year Award - Skogen Sprang (Olympic Valley, CA)
USSA Development Coach of the Year Award - Frank Kelble (Silverthorne, CO)
Beck International Award (top USSA athlete) - Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO)
Westhaven Award (top USSA technical delegate) - Gary Wright (Aspen, CO)

USSA Silver Awards
Paul Bacon Award (event organization) - Deer Valley Resort
John J. Clair Jr. Award (service to the USSA) - Allen Church (Albuquerque, NM)
Bud and Mary Little Award (service to FIS/USOC) - Chris Grover (Ketchum, ID)
Buddy Werner Award (athlete sportsmanship) - Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT)
Russell Wilder Award (service to youth) - Ted Sutton (Lincoln, NH)
USSA J. Leland Sosman Award (service as team physician) - Dr. Dave Goltz (Larkspur, CA)
West Family Award (USSA official) - Bill Van Gilder (Pocono Pines, PA)

USSA Athlete of the Year Awards
Adaptive Athlete of the Year Award - Tyler Walker (Franconia, NH)
Alpine Athlete of the Year Award - Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO)
Cross Country Athlete of the Year Award - Kikkan Randall (Anchorage)
Freestyle Athlete of the Year Award - Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT)
Freeskiing Athlete of the Year Award - Joss Christensen (Park City, UT)
Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year Award - Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year Award - Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT)
Snowboarding Athlete of the Year Award - Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, UT)

USSA Coach of the Year Awards
Alpine International Coach of the Year Award - Roland Pfeiffer (Park City, UT)
Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Frank Kelble (Silverthorne, CO)
Adaptive International Coach of the Year Award - Kevin Jardine (Carbondale, CO)
Adaptive Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Tim Emling (Aspen, CO)
Cross Country International Coach of the Year Award - Gus Kaeding (Stratton, VT)
Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Patrick Weaver (Burlington, VT)
Freestyle International Coach of the Year Award - Joseph Davies (Park City, UT)
Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Dan Studer (Winter Park, CO)
U.S. Freeskiing International Coach of the Year Award - Skogen Sprang (Park City, UT)
U.S. Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Dan Shuffleton  (Thornton. NH)
Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined International Coach of the Year Award - Greg Poirier (Heber City, UT)
Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Blake Hughes (Park City, UT)
Snowboarding International Coach of the Year Award - Spencer Tamblyn (Steamboat Springs, CO)
Snowboarding Domestic Coach of the Year Award - Elijah Teter (Vail, CO)

USSA Club of the Year Awards
Adaptive Club of the Year Award - Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club
Alpine Club of the Year Award - Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Cross Country Club of the Year Award - Stratton Mountain School & T2 Team
Freestyle Club of the Year Award - Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Freeskiing Club of the Year Award - Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year Award - Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage
Snowboarding Club of the Year Award - Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

USSA Chairman’s Special Recognition Awards 
Olympic Champion Award – Jamie Anderson (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) Slopestyle Snowboarding
Olympic Champion Award – Maddie Bowman (S. Lake Tahoe, CA) Halfpipe Skiing
Olympic Champion Award – Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) Slopestyle Skiing
Olympic Champion Award – Kaitlyn Farrington (Bellevue, ID) Halfpipe Snowboarding
Olympic Champion Award – Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, UT) Slopestyle Snowboarding
Olympic Champion Award – Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) Giant Slalom
Olympic Champion Award – Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) Slalom
Olympic Champion Award – David Wise (Reno, NV) Halfpipe Skiing

2014 U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD ASSOCATION AWARDS

USSA GOLD AWARDS

Julius Blegen Award – Bill Marolt
Presented for outstanding service to the sport.
In a career that spanned a half-century as an athlete, Olympian, coach, program leader, CEO and visionary, Bill Marolt (Boulder, CO) literally changed the face of skiing and snowboarding in America through his leadership. A 1964 Olympian who grew up in Aspen, Marolt led the U.S. Alpine Ski Team to one of its most successful periods in history during the early 1980s. He returned to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association in 1996 as president and CEO, establishing a vision of the organization becoming Best in the World. In his tenure as alpine director and later CEO, U.S. skiers and snowboarders won 70 of the 95 Olympic medals U.S. athletes have won in history.

Beck International Award – Mikaela Shiffrin
Presented to the top USSA athlete in international competition.
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) had another sensational season, winning Olympic gold in slalom and her second straight Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom globe. Shiffrin also gave her time as a very visible face of ski racing, motivating kids nationwide and energizing the ski resort industry through her ambassadorship of the National Ski Areas Association’s U.S. Ski Team Gold Pass program.

USSA Club of the Year - Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail had an extraordinary year at development and elite level across all sports. Under the leadership of Aldo Radamus, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail set the standard in the USSA’s new Club Certification program and is one of a small handful of clubs newly certified at the gold level. The overall Club of the Year honor came on the heels of winning the award this year at the sport level in alpine, freeskiing, freestyle and snowboarding. The club had 13 current and alumni athletes compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

USSA Coach of the Year - Skogen Sprang
Skogen Sprang’s (Park City, UT) freeskiing slopestyle team is one of the most successful programs within the USSA with four Olympic medals. Capping off this success, the men's slopestyle team of Joss Christiansen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper swept the podium at the 2014 Olympics. Goepper also earned a win at the 2014 X Games. Sprang is regarded as an outstanding coach and fosters a team environment that creates a positive, fun and winning team.

USSA Development Coach of the Year – Frank Kelble
Frank Kelble (Silverthorne, CO) took charge last season in managing the newly-created FIS National Training Group for women, calling on his over 20 years experience coaching at the U.S. Ski Team level to bring his new team to a new level in FIS and NorAm races, driving a high level of professionalism.

Westhaven Award – Gary Wright
Presented in recognition of service as a FIS Technical Delegate.
Since 1988, Gary Wright (Aspen, CO) has grown to become one of the most diverse and accomplished technical delegates for the International Ski Federation. After becoming involved as a parent race official, Wright grew his skills to be come a FIS TD in alpine, freestyle and snowboarding and continues to be a mentor for event organizers and young officials.

USSA SILVER AWARDS

Paul Bacon Award – Deer Valley Resort
Presented in recognition of contribution to event organization.
Deer Valley has become the premier worldwide venue for freestyle skiing over last 15 years, playing host to Gold Cup, World Cup, World Championships and 2002 Olympics. The resort served as final training camp for 2014 Olympics aerials team. It also stepped in at the last minute to hold 2014 U.S. Freestyle Championships – one of the best ever. Deer Valley put its foot forward again to be one of three resorts in bid for 2019 World Championships. Under leadership of Bob Wheaton, the Deer Valley Difference is a huge factor for the sport of freestyle skiing.

John J. Clair Jr. Award – Allen Church
Presented in recognition of service to the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding
Allen Church (Albuquerque, NM) has been involved as a USSA volunteer for 45 years. He has served from his home club in Taos, NM as well as throughout the Rockies and around the world. With a primary focus on race timing, he became one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts and has been responsible for training thousands of others. Church served as an alpine technical delegate from 1978 to 1995. In his career he has worked at the highest levels of sport including World Cup, World Championships and Olympics. He is a past recipient of some of USSA’s highest honors for officials including the Westhaven and Bud and Mary Little Award.

Bud and Mary Little Award – Chris Grover
Presented in recognition of service to the International Ski Federation or U.S. Olympic Committee
Known more as head coach for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, Chris Grover (Ketchum, ID) is playing an increasingly vital role behind the scenes within the International Ski Federation. As the Chairman of the FIS Cross Country Sub-Committee for World and Continental Cups, he is a difference maker for the sport worldwide. Grover has spent over 15 years in service with the U.S. cross country program as a visionary, program designer administrator, bridge builder and leader.

J. Leland Sosman Award – Dr. Dave Goltz
Presented in recognition of service to the USSA's Physician's Pool
Dr. Dave Goltz (Larkspur, CA) has been a volunteer of USSA Physician’s Pool since 2002 and has been a USSA Medical Committee member since 2011. He is currently the Head Freestyle Team Physician. Last season, Goltz covered 12 events on three continents with 53 total days of coverage. He stayed by injured athlete Heidi Kloser’s side all through her injury and made her Olympic dream come alive by pushing her in her wheelchair during the opening ceremony in Sochi. Goltz is a strong communicator who displays true compassion for the athletes and the sport.

Buddy Werner Award – Liz Stephen
Presented to an outstanding USSA athlete who demonstrated leadership and good sportsmanship.
A rising star on the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team, Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) is a source of inspiration and energy with her non-selfish enthusiasm a key to the success of the women’s team. This past season, Stephen rallied fundraising on her own to help support a physical therapist for the team. And she’s a frequent visit to schools and a leader of the Fast and Female movement, inspiring young girls about sport.

Russell Wilder Award – Ted Sutton
Presented in recognition of contributes to youth
Ted Sutton (Lincoln, NH) has made a lifelong commitment to fostering opportunities for youth. As a USSA official, he has touched the lives of thousands of young ski racers. He pioneered competitions for young athletes in the East including the Buddy Werner League as well as playing a key role in the creation of the Massachusetts State High Championships and New England High School Championships.

West Family Award – Bill Van Gilder
Presented in recognition of service as a USSA official.
Bill Van Gilder (Pocono Pines, PA) is a major backbone in the snowboarding and freeskiing community. He started as an athlete then transitioned into running an event series in his home state of Pennsylvania to give kids an opportunity to participate in the sport. Today, Van Gilder is technical advisor to the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix. He was also the technical delegate for Olympic halfpipe and slopestyle for both freeskiing and snowboarding. Throughout all of this, Van Gilder has continued to run his event series in Pennsylvania.

Team Athletes Giving Back Award – Ross Powers/Level Field Fund
In just its second year, the new Team Athletes Giving Back Award honors a national team athlete who uses his or her influence to give back to an important cause. Olympic champion Ross Powers pioneered the Level Field Fund, designed to bridge funding gaps for uniquely talented athletes, following the belief that opportunities to pursue excellence should not be limited by an athlete’s financial situation. In winning the award, the Level Field Fund will receive a $5,000 grant from a donor fund supporting the award.

USSA COACHES OF THE YEAR

Adaptive Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Ted Emling
Tim Emling (Aspen, CO) began coaching as a volunteer in 2009 with the Challenge Aspen Competitive Program and moved quickly to becoming a full time coach under Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club Adaptive Program. Currently, he is the head development coach in Aspen and works daily with many newly injured veterans. His athletes are not only relatively new to competition but many are new to skiing since their injuries. One of Emling’s development athletes qualified for the Paralympic Games in Sochi while another won the U.S. slalom championship.

Adaptive International Coach of the Year Award – Kevin Jardine
Kevin Jardine (Carbondale, CO) has led the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Team in a high performance director / head coach role since 2011-12. He is also the high performance director for Paralympic snowboarding. He qualified a team of 36 (10 in snowboard and 26 in alpine) to the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi where Team USA won 10 alpine medals and four snowboard medals with the first sweep in Paralympic snowboarding.

Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Frank Kelble
Frank Kelble (Silverthorne, CO) has been a coach for the U.S. Ski Team for more than 20 years in several roles with the men’s and women’s teams. This past year, Kelble was in charge of the newly created National Training Group FIS women's group. His dedication and knowledge took this program and the athletes to another level. The group as a whole performed on a very high level in domestic FIS competitions and Nor Am races. The results and professional culture Kelble drove with his team and athletes is highly visible and recognized by programs across the country.

Alpine International Coach of the Year Award – Roland Pfeiffer
In just his third season with the U.S. Ski Team, Women’s Head Technical Coach Roland Pfeiffer (Park City, UT) has been a difference maker for Mikaela Shiffrin. This past season the 18-year old Shiffrin continued her championship performances winning Olympic gold in slalom and her second straight Audi FIS World Cup slalom globe. Pfeiffer helps his athletes to achieve incredible results. He demonstrates unbelievable commitment to his team.

Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Patrick Weaver
Former national team member and now Univ. of Vermont Coach Patrick Weaver (Burlington, VT) has a long history of success with athletes at every level. This past season his UVM cross country team athletes had top results in the U.S. junior and senior championships, as well as NCAA Championships, and placed six athletes onto the Junior Worlds and U23 World Championships team.

Cross Country International Coach of the Year Award – Gus Kaeding
Under the leadership of Coach Gus Kaeding (Stratton Mountain, VT), Stratton Mountain School – T2 continues to produce outstanding talent and serve as a development ‘factory’ with strong results at all levels of the development spectrum. This past season Stratton qualified four athletes to the 2014 Olympic Team with two athletes earning World Cup podiums.

Freeskiing International Coach of the Year Award – Skogen Sprang
Skogen Sprang’s (Park City, UT) freeskiing slopestyle team is one of the most successful programs within the USSA with four Olympic medals. Capping off this success, the men's slopestyle team of Joss Christiansen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper swept the podium at the 2014 Olympics. Goepper also earned a win at the 2014 X Games. Sprang is regarded as an outstanding coach and fosters a team environment that creates a positive, fun and winning team.

Freeskiing Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Dan Shuffleton
Dan Shuffleton (Thorton, NH) has coached Freeskiing for the past 10 seasons at the Waterville Valley Academy and the WVBBTS/SEF.  Shuffleton coaches year-round and was instrumental in helping to design Waterville Valley Academy’s summer training venues. He manages three coaches and 30 freeskiing athletes. This season, four of Shuffleton’s athletes were rookies on the World Cup Tour and four alumni from his team qualified for the Sochi Olympics.

Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Dan Studer
Dan Studer (Winter Park, CO) has been involved with freestyle for 16 years. He is currently the FIS moguls coach and course designer for the Winter Park Freestyle Team, and one of the best course builders in America. Studer works with athletes at all levels of the sport. He is a tireless worker on behalf of the athletes. This year 15 athletes qualified to U.S. Championships and 14 athletes qualified to Junior Nationals.

Freestyle International Coach of the Year Award – Joe Davies
As a U.S. Ski Team aerials coach the past two seasons, Joe Davies (Park City, UT) has done a remarkable job in taking C Team athletes to the next level. Mac Bononnon made the Olympic team and finished fifth, plus earned his first World Cup podium and was FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year. In addition to Bohonnon, Mike Rossi and Kiley McKinnon were 2013 Rookies of the Year. This year, Davies’ athletes had 10 C Team World Cup starts and 8 NorAm podiums. In addition to his work with the C Team, Davies has been influential with the Elite Aerial Development Program and Fly Freestyle program in Park City.

Jumping/Nordic Combined International Coach of the Year Award – Greg Poirier
Greg Poirier (Heber City, UT) has been a key player in ski jumping and nordic combined for decades. He worked in Canada at the CODP in Calgary, ran the National Sports Foundation and was a leader with the Park City Nordic Ski Club. Poirier has changed many lives in the sport and given so much back to the sport he loves. As a longtime coach with the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, he has impacted elite athletes at the top level of the sport and played a vital role in moving athletes through the development pipeline.

Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Blake Hughes
Blake Hughes (Park City, UT) was a ski jumper at the development National team level before he began to coach with the Park City Nordic Ski Club under the mentorship of Alan Alborn. His passion for the sport has led him to helping both the Park City Nordic Ski Club at a developmental level as well as a development coach with the USA Ski Jumping program. Hughes traveled all around the world from Norway, Japan, New York and Alaska this winter, going above and beyond to support both organizations he works for and his development role, including coach the Junior Nationals team sprint champions.

Snowboarding Domestic Coach of the Year Award – Elijah Teter
Known for his hard work and dedication to snowboarding, Elijah Teter (Vail, CO) is an inspiration to riders and coaches. His hard work paid off this season with a gold medal for Kaitlyn Farrington at the Olympics. As head of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail's snowboarding program, Teter helped elevate developmental riders to elite levels, including Jake Pates, Zoe Kalapsos and Ryan Wachendorfer.

Snowboarding International Coach of the Year Award – Spencer Tamblyn
Spencer Tamblyn (Steamboat Springs, CO) has been dedicated to U.S. Snowboarding over past decade, first as an athlete and now as coach of the U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team. Tamblyn and his athletes had an amazing season. 13-year-old Chloe Kim was second in the X games and TTR World Champion, Ben Ferguson landed a spot on the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix podium and Taylor Gold won the U.S. Open and qualified for the Olympic Team.

USSA CLUBS OF THE YEAR

Adaptive Club of the Year – Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club
One of the most active adaptive programs among USSA clubs, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club had eight athletes on the Team USA Paralympic squad led by medalists Heath Calhoun and Laurie Stephens. As one of the leading adaptive programs in the country, AVSC is also focused on bringing more USSA clubs into the adaptive world.

Alpine Club of the Year – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Under the leadership of Alpine Director Karen Ghent, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes had a strong season. SSCV placed three current and alumni athletes on the Junior Worlds team, took nine top-10s at the U18 Championships, had the largest team with 13 at the U16 Championships and with a heavy focus on fundamentals through USSA’s SkillsQuest program, won 69% of the medals at the USSA Rocky/Central U14 Championships.

Cross Country Club of the Year – Stratton Mountain School and T2 Team
Under the leadership of Coach Gus Kaeding, Stratton Mountain School – T2 continues to produce outstanding talent and serve as a development ‘factory’ with strong results at all levels of the development spectrum. This past season Stratton qualified four athletes to the 2014 Olympic Team with two athletes earning World Cup podiums.

Freeskiing Club of the Year – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Under the leadership of Elana Chase, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s freeskiing program continues to prosper, winning the USSA Freeskiing Club of the Year award for a second straight season. Four current and alumni SSCV freeskiing athletes made their way to the Olympic team including halfpipe athletes Aaron Blunck and Annelisa Drew. One of the hallmarks of SSCV’s programs is strong education for its coaches on everything from athlete development to sport psychology to SafeSport and more.

Freestyle Club of the Year – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail is coming off another year of tremendous athletic success at all levels of the freestyle program. It has a diverse freestyle program in a very competitive skiing community. Under leadership of John Dowling, the club delivered strong performances at both the development and elite level. Approximately 33 athletes participated in the development program and 22 participated in the competition programs, with 16 athletes qualified for Junior Nationals, 13 athletes qualified to Nationals, nine athletes qualified to NorAm and two athletes on Junior Worlds.

Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year – Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage
The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage is a long-time leading USSA nordic ski club. It organized and hosted a successful ski jumping/nordic combined Junior National Championship. The club acquired a $1,000,000 grant from the State of Alaska to make significant improvements to their Nordic facilities, including the installation of summer ski jump surfaces (plastic) on all three jumps at the Karl Eid Ski Jumping Center. Anchorage also hosted the first USSA revised Ski Jumping Coaches' Education Seminar in November.

Snowboarding Club of the Year – Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s snowboarding program has helped develop many great young riders and provide pathways for success. Under the leadership of Ben Boyd as Snowboard Program Director and SSCV elite coach Elijah Teter, riders such as gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington, Jake Pates, Zoe Kalapos and Ryan Wachendorfer have taken major strides in their riding and are now mixing it with the world’s best. Ski and Snowboard Club Vail has great infrastructure, a great coaching staff and great on-hill support. The coaches are all involved in education, have been invited to coach at FIS JWC and Project Gold and continue their commitment to the sport of snowboarding. It was also a great season at the development level with 22 riders qualifying for USASA Nationals, bringing home a total of 10 medals. The club has had great success at every level of the sport.

USSA ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

Adaptive Athlete of the Year - Tyler Walker
Tyler Walker (Franconia, NH) has been on the U.S. Paralympic National Team (former U.S. Adaptive National Team) since 2003. In 2013-14, Tyler won his first World Cup overall globe as well as titles in both slalom and super G. Throughout the World Cup season, Walker never finished lower than 11th and had three wins and three second place results.

Alpine Athlete of the Year - Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) performed the second year in a row on an incredible level and secured the Slalom globe for the second year in a row. She had an incredible Olympic winter games by winning the Slalom after her victory at last years World Championship which made her the youngest World and Olympic champion.

Cross Country Athlete of the Year - Kikkan Randall
With three World Cup wins and five podiums, Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) forged her way to an unprecedented third straight FIS World Cup sprint title. Her success has continued to lift her U.S. Ski Team teammates to new levels including another World Cup podium in a team event this past season.

Freestyle Athlete of the Year - Hannah Kearney
This season was a real test for Hannah Kearney (Norwich, VT) as she found herself as the defending Olympic and world Cup Champion. She would win seven World Cup events and go into the last World Cup of the season with just a five point lead in the overall World Cup moguls standings. She finished the season with a victory in La Plagne, France which not only clinched the mogul title but also the overall freestyle globe for women

Freeskiing Athlete of the Year - Joss Christensen
Freeskier Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) has had his eyes set on the Olympics his whole life. Slopestyle skiing was added to the Olympics for 2014, giving him the chance to live out his dream. Christensen was the last named to the debut Olympic Team, selected on the basis of a stunning win on his home course at the final Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix. But he turned into the team’s leader, winning the first gold medal for slopestyle skiing and leading the historic Team USA men's sweep.

Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year - Taylor Fletcher
Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) has consistently risen to the top of the World Cup scene with impressive results, often crossing the finish with the fastest cross country time. Fletcher earned his best career Olympic result in Sochi, finishing 20th on the large hill, in addition to regularly posting top ten cross country finishes on the World Cup circuit. He also claimed silver at the 2014 U.S. Ski Jumping Championships in Lake Placid. At 23, Fletcher is anticipated to be a challenger in PyeongChang and beyond.

Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year - Sarah Hendrickson
After sustaining a serious knee injury in August 2013, reigning World Champion Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT) thought her dream of competing in women’s ski jumping’s Olympic debut was over. From the first day after her ACL/MCL reconstruction surgery, Hendrickson battled against the odds and held her head high, committing to an intense training and physical therapy regimen. In January, she was not only selected to represent the USA in Sochi, but also became the first-ever woman to compete in the Olympic Winter Games in the sport of ski jumping with start number one.

Snowboarding Athlete of the Year - Sage Kotsenburg
At the age of 16, Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, UT) sat down and mapped out his plan for the future. Slopestyle snowboarding was not yet an Olympic event, but he knew if he worked for it, his dream of being in the Olympic Games could happen. After four years of hard work and dedication, he won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in slopestyle snowboarding. In addition to his athletic success, Kotsenburg is known among his teammates for his unparalleled love of snowboarding and positive attitude. Not only is he a talented athlete, but he also is a great role model and ambassador for his sport.