CEO Update: December 2016

The 2016-17 season is well underway for our national teams and clubs around the country. The USSA kicked off the 21st season of the U.S. Grand Prix, with its new title sponsor Toyota, last weekend at Copper Mountain, CO. Fans saw seven U.S. athletes on the podium, including Olympic medalists Jamie Anderson and Devin Logan. The USSA also hosted a very successful alpine women’s World Cup over Thanksgiving weekend at Killington Resort, VT. With 30,000 fans in attendance, it was one of the biggest crowds the women’s circuit has ever seen. The atmosphere and athletic performances will have a lasting impact on ski racing in the east for years to come.

Both the USSA Board of Directors and Board of Trustees hosted successful meetings in November and December. A full recap from the Board of Director’s meeting can be found at I would like to thank our boards for continuing to engage with and support our organization. Their feedback and support continues to be invaluable as we look to achieve our Best in the World vision.

The opportunities to see our athletes compete on home snow continue after the holidays with the Putnam Investments Freestyle Challenge in Lake Placid, NY and the second stop of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix tour at Solitude Mountain Resort, UT. Thanks to our partners at NBC, fans all over the country can tune in to these events and many of the other domestic and international events coming up this season via livestream at or on the NBC and NBCSN broadcasts. With over 250 hours of coverage this season, the World Cup tours for nearly all sports will be available. A full schedule for the season can be found at

Hope everyone has had a great start to the season, and happy holidays!

Tiger Shaw
President and CEO
U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association


Aspen World Cup Finals
Since winning the bid in 2014, the USSA and Aspen Ski Company have worked together to ready the mountain and city of Aspen for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals March 15-19, 2017. The event will feature the top 25 men and women in eight tech and speed events as well as a mixed gender team competition – the newest Olympic event. The USSA, in partnership with NBC, has solidified a live broadcast and streaming schedule for the entire week.

2017 FIS Nordic Junior & U23 World Ski Championships
The USSA and the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF) are just weeks away from hosting the best junior athletes in the world at 2017 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Ski Championships. Events will take place on the 2002 Olympic venues at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, UT and Soldier Hollow in Midway, UT. The organizing committee is currently accepting volunteer applications for the event. More information, including a full event schedule, can be found at

Toyota Signs on as Sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix
The USSA announced last week that it reached an agreement with Toyota that makes the automaker the title sponsor of the U.S. Grand Prix. This was the culmination of a two-year effort by the company to bring a major global automotive brand to its freeskiing and snowboarding programs. Now in its 21st season, the U.S. Grand Prix is the longest running winter action sports tour featuring the best skiing and snowboarding athletes in the world. The Toyota U.S. Grand Prix will makes stops at Solitude Mountain Resort, UT Jan. 19-22 and Mammoth Mountain, CA Feb. 1-4.  Competitions at Mammoth will be the first Olympic qualification events for halfpipe skiing, slopestyle skiing and slopestyle snowboarding.

USSA Partners With The Hershey Company and Blue Diamond Almonds
The USSA announced this month new partnerships with The Hershey Company and Blue Diamond Almonds. Hershey will serve as an official sponsor and the exclusive candy and confectionery partner of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. The partnership primarily features the Ice Breakers brand. Blue Diamond Almonds will work with the USSA’s Director of High Performance and High Performance Dietician to incorporate Blue Diamond Almonds into athlete snacks and meals at the USSA’s Center of Excellence, the organization’s training facility in Park City, UT. Both partnerships will continue leading up to the  2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang and beyond.

Marolt Athlete Endowment
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation relaunched the Marolt Athlete Endowment on Dec. 1 at its annual Board of Trustees meeting. The Marolt Athlete Endowment is a $50 million campaign in support of the USSA athletes’ most pressing needs in the areas of athletics and education, including athlete travel and elite coaching. It also focuses on developing the whole athlete through support of athlete education and career skill development. The endowment will be a focal fundraising point for the Foundation and the USSA as they continue to support U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing athletes in their pursuit to be Best in the World.

USSA Live Timing
In a continued effort to supply its membership with useful tools, the USSA has released an updated live timing platform for the 2016-17 season.

The new platform, developed in conjunction with USSA’s live timing partners, allows users to see live timing from all the races in the U.S. in one place, including races run through from Split Second and Vola sanctioned by USSA, FIS, and NASTAR. The platform currently gathers all live alpine competitions all in one place. Additional sports and competitions may be added in the future.

The updated platform is currently live at Users can also navigate to the home page and click on “Live” button within the carousel. Feedback on the new platform can be sent to

Olympic Selection Criteria
At its meeting in November, the USSA Board of Directors approved Olympic selection criteria for ski jumping and nordic combined, pending final approval from the USOC. The criteria and schedule of qualification events will be posted on in Spring 2017. Olympic selection criteria for snowboarding, freeskiing and freestyle has been approved. Selection criteria for alpine and cross country will be approved in Spring 2017. The first qualification events for halfpipe skiing, slopestyle skiing and halfpipe skiing will be held Feb. 1-4, 2017 at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, CA. The first qualification event for aerials will be held Feb. 3, 2017 at the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley Resort, UT. Additional qualification events will be determined in Spring 2017.

NASTAR racers have seen significant updates from the world’s largest recreational racing program this season. Liberty Mutual Insurance officially came on as the new title sponsor in November, giving the program a new look and a great partner to help continue to grow ski racing in America.

NASTAR has also partnered up with Global Reach Sports to provide its host resorts with a top-notch software system that will improve the overall experience for race staffs and NASTAR fans. Any bugs that may have caused some hiccups in the past have been corrected. More information on the software update can be found at

New USSA Board Members
The USSA Board welcomed two new directors at its November meeting. U.S. Freestyle Ski Team alumna Heather McPhie Watanabe (Bozeman, MT) joined the board as the freestyle athlete representative, replacing Emily Cook. U.S. Cross Country Ski Team alumna Holly Brooks (Anchorage, AK) will join the board in January 2017 as the new United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Athletes’ Advisory Council representative, replacing Grete Eliassen. A complete list of current board members can be found here.

USSA’s Vision, Mission, Values and Goals
Last May, the USSA introduced it’s new vision, mission, values and goals. Supporting athletes is the heart of what USSA does, and that network of support extends across the whole organization. The new mission, values and goals reflect that and demonstrate USSA’s dedication to and support of what its members are doing for the organization. As the season continues to progress, remember these values and goals and embody them in everyday operations:

USSA Vision
The Vision of the USSA is to make the United States of America the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding.

USSA Mission
The mission of the USSA is to lead, encourage and support athletes in achieving excellence by empowering national teams, clubs, coaches, parents, officials, volunteers and fans.

USSA Goals

  • Achieve athletic excellence
  • Grow the visibility of our sports
  • Engage, lead and grow our communities
  • Cultivate organizational excellence
  • Achieve financially sustainable growth

USSA Core Values
Integrity – Action based on values rather than personal gain.
Passion – Motivation for doing what we love.
Fun – A fresh, positive, creative culture.
Team – Individual humility and collective pride.
Community – Exceptional stewardship and lifetime inclusiveness.
Excellence – Personal and collective wins every day.
Grit – Courage, tenacity and perseverance on the path to excellence.