Strategy for a Stable Future

USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt
May, 2010

One of the most important keys to success for any organization is looking to the future. The success of USSA athletes in Vancouver, with 21 Olympic and 12 Paralympic medals, was clearly tied to programs and decisions made many years ago. With an eye on the future, two years ago we established a Strategic Planning Committee to provide insight to help our organization establish a stable plan that will help athletes of the future.


Recently the USSA board adopted the recommendation from the Strategic Planning Committee for a more sustainable business model which will make a positive difference for athletes in each of the USSA's sport programs. This plan will help us to better manage the diverse situations we face in each of our unique sport programs and provide new opportunities to support athletes through a variable approach to management of each sport.

Why was this project undertaken? After a half-century of little change in traditional alpine and nordic sports, the last two decades have seen explosive growth in Winter Olympic events. The USSA has taken on management of new sports or events in each of the last six Olympics– even more at the World Championship level. And the International Olympic Committee is presently considering several new Olympic events as early as 2014.

Our board recognized that maintaining traditional Team-based funding models simply could not be sustained across all sports. In December, 2008 an independent committee was tasked to develop a sustainable business model that provides future direction for USSA sport management, identifying methodology for evaluating funding direction and capitalizing on opportunities to achieve the USSA's vision of being best in the world.

What does this mean to our elite athletes? The USSA now has a roadmap and direction to look at the best way of managing our athletic program as a whole. Yes, there will be changes in some sports. We have elected not to name elite teams in skicross and alpine snowboarding, as well as ski jumping, where we have not operated an elite team for several years. However, this has also created the opportunity for the USSA to further stabilize and, in some cases, grow our support of other teams. Moving forward, there is now a guide for decision making and the opportunity to look at alternative ways of providing resources to athletes who are on a best in the world track.

Under the plan, the USSA will continue to provide basic governance in all sports including rules, competitions, ranking and selection and sport management. Additional program funding for development or elite programs, as well as access to high performance services, would be determined on evaluation of the sports within the decision-making process established through the plan.

Our board is very appreciative of the work undertaken by the committee under Andy Daly's leadership. It provides our organization a roadmap to manage our dynamic sports into the future. Please feel free to contact us, or your Athletes' Advisory Committee representative, to learn more.


Strategic Planning Committee Summary Report


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