Believe in U.S. is an all-encompassing rallying cry that broadcasts to the world that it takes an entire team of passionate individuals to make U.S. athletes’ Best in the World Olympic dreams come true.
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 7) – With one year to go before the opening of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, U.S. skiers and snowboarders are busy preparing for one of the most important events of their careers. To help illustrate the support of their country behind them, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has launched a thematic campaign – Believe in U.S. - to help take its athletes up to Sochi. Believe in U.S. is an all-encompassing rallying cry that broadcasts to the world that it takes an entire team of passionate individuals to make U.S. athletes’ Best in the World Olympic dreams come true.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, the sport’s Olympic governing body, has launched a thematic campaign – Believe in U.S. – to rally support for its athletes leading up to the Sochi Olympic Winter Games just one year away.
The campaign is focused on the fact that the Team is more than just athletes - it's each and every one of the people who have been a part of an athlete’s journey to the medals podium in Sochi.
Believe in U.S. will make its debut across all USSA social media and web channels this week to highlight the one year out mark to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The theme will also be captured in the launch of the Sochi 2014 Believe in U.S. website at www.ussa.org/olympics where athletes will be chronicled up through the Sochi Olympics.
Believe in U.S. will be carried through thematic content through the Sochi 2014 Olympics, with American skiers and snowboarders telling their stories of support and how it helps them achieve their Olympic dreams.
GRAPHICS Believe in U.S. will be conveyed through an ongoing series of info graphics with social media deployment and through the USSA’s newly launched Believe in U.S. website aggregating news articles and video content leading up to the Olympic Winter Games.
KELLY CLARK, Olympic Champion A Vermont native, snowboarder Kelly Clark found her way to Olympic gold at age 18. In more than a decade since then, her belief in herself took her from the depths of despair at barely missing the medals in Torino back to the podium in Vancouver and continuing as the pacesetter for her sport.
“Behind every great athlete is a team of great people, my career is a testament to that. There are definitely days when I don't believe in myself. I rely on the people I surround myself with to remind me of who I really am and what I am capable of."
BILLY DEMONG, Olympic Champion Billy Demong has been part of defining the legacy of a sport with few roots in America. Growing up near the Olympic village of Lake Placid, Billy was surrounded by supporters who believed in the Olympics and the dreams of young athletes. He was made to feel at home by the community of Steamboat Springs – the home of nordic combined – and later by the Olympic town of Park City, where he makes his home. Through it all, he learned about Team.
“Believe in U.S. is a great theme for the 2014 Games because it applies to all the people who have put into every athlete's career on the USSA’s teams. It applies to the Team as a whole. It's going to take all of those people who are behind us producing all of these opportunities for athletes and ultimately their belief and their potential that gets our Team to the podium.”
JULIA MANCUSO, Olympic Champion When you live in an Olympic community, belief is instilled at an early age. Julia Mancuso is a ski racer’s ski racer. She’s gritty, hard-working, determined. She thrives on pressure and challenge. And when conditions are tough, she’s the one you go to. Her motivation comes from her family, her friends and her fans.
“Growing up in Squaw, the Olympics have always been a part of my life and I always believed that I would be a part of them. Actually, when I was a kid, I had a Tommy Moe poster that said two gold medals on it, but on the back I drew a picture of myself and titled it four gold medals. I still have some work to do on that, but I still believe in it.”
KIKKAN RANDALL, World Cup Sprint Champion As a teen Kikkan Randall stood in the Olympic stadium in Soldier Hollow in 2002 and surveyed her dreams. She knew it would take time to achieve her Olympic dreams in cross country skiing. She mentally set target years and through the dozen ensuing seasons allowed herself to be wrapped in the support systems to help her get to 2014. Along the way, Kikkan has lifted the entire level of her sport in America. And the fans have responded!
“Since Vancouver people have seen the potential and they've really come on board. Every year we've been setting new benchmarks and breaking through barriers. It was cool for us to start off this season with the relay podium and you could almost feel the energy coming from across the pond. Then we got the chance to go to Quebec and Americans just flooded to be there on the course. For us we feel like the support is at an all time and that's just lifting us even higher and we're just excited to do something that's never been done before.”
HANNAH KEARNEY, Olympic Champion At Torino in 2006, Hannah Kearney’s Olympic dream was over before it began. The reigning World Champion, she stumbled in moguls qualifying and didn’t make the field. Her friends and family never let her down, rallying her back to new heights and on to Olympic gold in Vancouver. Since then, she has become the leader of her sport.
“Believe in U.S. is what everyone has been doing since Vancouver. The support we receive from trainers and staff and coaches and all the thousands of fans that come to events like Deer Valley prove that everyone is behind us even if it's not the Olympics quite yet. Everything we do is to get us a little bit closer to our Olympic dream. To have so many people support that dream is pretty unbelievable.”
STACEY COOK, World Cup podium veteran and member of number 1 women’s speed team in world Growing up in Tahoe and ski racing in Mammoth Mountain, Stacey Cook learned early on how tough it can be away from family and relying on others for support. But she also learned that if you believe, you will succeed. Stacey knows what it’s like to stand on a World Cup podium. And she knows what it has taken to become the best women’s speed team in the world!
“Believe in U.S. defines our team and the fact that we can be in a sport that is dominated by another continent and still compete - and even dominate as of recently. It's a cool statement for me personally because belief has defined my career. Nothing has come easy. Every step along the way has taken a lot of belief in myself and the people around me. There are so many things I've done in my career that I never would have imagined. There's so much more I know I'm capable of but you can't do it without belief.”
NATE HOLLAND, Two-time Olympian In the rough and tumble world of snowboardcross – traveling a global circuit to bang boards with four other riders on twisty turny banks and berms – friends, family and team are important. Nate Holland is a Best in the World athlete with seven X Games titles and two Olympic appearances. As rough as his sport is, it’s one where gold is defined by the most minuscule factors.
"It always seems to come down to the little things that win races. But it's truly the big things, like a wonderful support net that I have from my wife Christen, my family, and our USSA staff that allows me the opportunity to compete at the highest level."
TOM WALLISCH, X Games Champion Tom Wallisch and Devin Logan are pioneers of new sports anxious for their Olympic freeskiing debut. Both know well what it takes to build a sport out of passion and how vital support has been along the way. Two years ago the IOC welcomed their sports of slopestyle and halfpipe skiing into the Games. Their engagement with U.S. Freeskiing has provided a new level of support to help them achieve their Olympic dreams.
“Getting support from your family, friends, and loved ones is always nice, but it really resonates when support goes beyond your circle from sponsors to coaches and teammates. It's cool to represent our country and team - especially for freeskiing since it is a new Olympic sport and we will be on the world's stage. Having support from the U.S. Freeskiing team is so helpful and it is one less thing we have to worry about knowing that the U.S. has our backs.”
DEVIN LOGAN, X Games Champion “Up until last year we did not have a team, we were on club teams or independent athletes. It's helpful to have the support of our new team and think it has brought us all together. I know I am thankful for the support and my teammates, I'm pretty lucky.”