Mikaela Shiffrin Captures Record Breaking Fourth World Title

Mikaela Shiffrin soared to new heights with her recent win at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Åre, Sweden. This win is a huge achievement for Shiffrin, breaking records and becoming the first ever athlete, male or female, to win four World Championship titles in a row.

Shiffrin rocketed into the competitive ski scene at the age of 16 when she took gold in slaloms at the 2011 US National Championships and became the youngest skier ever to win a national alpine title. She has soared into high ranks and now holds 3 Olympic medals, 7 World Championship medals, and 57 World Cup wins.

At only 23 years old, Shiffrin has astounded the world with her incredible performance on the slopes. She continues to prove again and again that she is, as Lindsey Vonn says, in a “league of her own.”

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Lindsey Vonn Final Career Race in Åre!

Renowned Lindsey Vonn claimed a bronze medal at the 2019 FIS World Championships this year, ending her career with one last podium to add to her tremendous accomplishments as a downhill skier. At 34 years old, this makes her the oldest female skiier to ever medal at the World Championships.

Vonn leaves behind the world of ski racing as one of the most accomplished athletes of all time. With eight World Championship medals, three Olympic medals, and 82 World Cup wins, the most of any female skier and just 4 behind all-time record holder Ingemar Stenmark, her long career leaves behind a legacy of success.

Vonn began skiing at age two. She burst into the international racing scene at age 14 when she became the first American female to capture gold in Italy’s Trofeo Topolino competition. Just three years later Vonn made her Olympic debut in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and from there it was nothing but up.

As Vonn steps away from competition, there is no doubt that she will be remembered as one of the most legendary skiers the world has ever seen.

Chongli, China, voted one of the places to visit in 2019

Chongli’s growing snow industry comes as part of China’s quest to become a major country for winter sports — and, they’re succeeding. The capital city of Beijing will host the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Chongli itself will be the competition grounds for several snow events including snowboard, freestyle skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined and biathlon.

Click here to see the full list of New York Times 52 places to go in 2019!

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Åre, Sweden set to host 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships!

In 2019 Åre, Sweden, will host the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships where skiers from all over the world will compete for first place, and members of the Champions Club can watch the fierce competition from the world’s best athletes.

The town of Åre is well-known as being one of the greatest places to ski in Northern Europe. It has been a popular destination for tourists, drawing in locals and visitors alike to enjoy the tall mountains and sweeping slopes.

But underneath the ski town surface, Åre has much more to offer.

For the avid outdoorsman, an abundance of activities await. In the warmer months visitors can enjoy kayaking, hiking, climbing, biking. In the colder months, of course, Åre resort is the largest resort in Sweden with spectacular views and even better snow.

For the foodie, Åre boasts a variety of restaurants to choose from. You can try local Swedish and Scandinavian scene, or hit something a little more familiar and try a local pizza straight from the oven.

For the history buff, Åre boasts beautiful churches and fascinating museums where you can learn about the history and culture of the town. Åre Old Church was Åre’s first Christian church, and its oldest sections were built in the 12th century.

With sweeping mountains and splendid scenery, delicious restaurants, and captivating history, Åre has something for everyone. We hope you’ll join us as we explore the town and cheer on our athletes as they work hard to become the best.

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Tiger Shaw Visits PyeongChang Olympic Venues

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (July 15, 2016) – President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard Tiger Shaw visited PyeongChang, South Korea to meet with heads of the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG).

“The Olympic venues look great and it looks like preparations are going well,” said Shaw after his visit. “PyeongChang will become a completely different place after the Games and feel tremendous economic development—like Vail or Park City in the U.S.”

POCOG’s President Lee Hee-beom, along with Executive Vice President of International Relations Kim Jae-youl, thanked Shaw for coming to Korea and asked for support for the Olympic Games from the U.S. “I hope U.S. Ski & Snowboard can help us in gathering international winter sports fans’ interest toward the PyeongChang 2018 Games through next seasons’ alpine World Cup which will be held in Korea,” said Lee. “The experience of U.S. Ski & Snowboard will also be helpful in building our organizational expertise.”

Shaw plans on returning to Korea this season for the women’s alpine World Cup races, and highlighted Korean-American snowboarder Chloe Kim, who is aiming to compete at the 2018 Olympics.

PyeongChang 2018 Test Events!

The first test events of Pyeongchang 2018 held at the new downhill venue of Jongseon were a success for both POCOG and for the U.S. Ski Team.  In the inaugural downhill race on the Bernhard Russi designed track, Steven Nyman found the line, and his first podium finish of the season.  The event was well organized, well attended, and marked the first-ever downhill race to be contested in Korea.

While Andrew Weibrecht skied out in the SG the following day, he showed clear speed by winning his splits before mid-judging a blind gate, a mistake made by a number of the other top favorites.

Immediately following the race, Andrew was whisked off to Incheon by private air transfer arranged by the organizing committee to help him get home to Lake Placid as soon as possible to see his new baby daughter, who was born while he was in Korea.  Although without Andrew, the rest of the team stayed in Korea for a five day training camp, which was arranged in close cooperation with the Korean Ski Association. 

Earlier this spring, Lindsey Vonn and I travelled to Seoul and Pyeongchang to establish a cooperative agreement with the Korean Ski Association in which we provide guidance in developing their team and training access at a number of our on-snow camps, and they provide us with exclusive access to train on the new Olympic venues.  The Koreans have been incredible partners, and are fantastic hosts every time we visit. 

For five days following the test event, our team trained with nine Korean athletes on the Jongseon downhill.  The course crew, many of who hail from Beaver Creek and our New Zealand training base Ohau, stayed on for the week "unofficially" after their contracts had expired, to help ensure that we could maintain the race surface.  We had half a dozen cats and drivers at our disposal through the duration of the camp and had exclusive use of the entire mountain. 

The athletes were able to take about 20 full-length timed runs on the track, and were also able to run technical sections as needed to gain comfort with the terrain and set.  Our team now has about five times the volume of all of the other international athletes on that track now, and also had a unique mid-winter speed camp during a week with no speed races. 

While on the hill, we were able to gather GPS data and accellerometry to understand the speeds and forces involved with different tactical lines, and collected a bevy of video data, including a "valley cam" that collected line data from the start to the exit of the Blue Dragon Valley corridor, a key point entering the finish jump.  Given that the track runs at about 95-100 seconds with no scary sections, the Olympic race will be about precision and building momentum.  With tailwinds, the jumps fly very long, up to 65m!

In addition to the volume of skiing our team achieved on the hill, we captured 360 virtual reality video of the track, which we will replay for the athletes through VR goggles, as well as digitized video that is synced to a skiing simulator being installed in the Center of Excellence to further expand our team's comfort and familiarity with the track. 

Finally, for the duration of the camp we stayed in a hotel property located 5 min from Jongseon, which we will use as team accommodation during the Games.  With the help of our chefs we were able to do a full test of the property, and gain buy-in from the athletes about the accommodation.  It's one of the few properties located at Jongseon, and we feel fortunate to have moved early to secure a setup for our team. 

Luke Bodensteiner
Executive Vice President | Athletics
U.S. Ski & Snowboard 

IOC Pleased with PyeongChang Test Venues

Test event venues come in for praise as IOC completes fifth Pyeongchang 2018 Project Review

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has completed its fifth Project Review visit to Pyeongchang ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralaympic Games, with the venues for next year’s test events, as well as the Alpensia Sliding Centre, coming in for particular praise.

Led by the chair of the IOC’s Coordination Commission Gunilla Lindberg, the delegation were briefed across two days of meetings on areas of Games preparations including venues, governance, workforce, marketing and technology and venue visits.

It comes some six months after the fourth Project Review, following which Lindberg stressed that timelines remained tight, particularly with the 2016 test events in mind.  

“We had a very good fifth Project Review visit to Pyeongchang,” said Lindberg.

“We could see that the Organising Committee, under chairman [Yang-ho] Cho’s leadership, is fully focused on its first test events, as it transitions from being a planning organisaton to one that must deliver operationally.

“We also visited the Bokwang and Jeongseon venues, where next year’s test events will be held, as well as the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

“The quality of the construction work at all three sports venues underlined Korea’s well-deserved reputation in this field.”

The Pyeongchang 2018 Organising Committee (POCOG) explained during the meetings how its workforce is evolving, as it moves into its delivery phase, and also presented a number of its communications and engagement initiatives

It is claimed the IOC delegation was happy with the growth in staffing that POCOG is planning in order to deal with this new role.

“We had very productive meetings and I am pleased that since the last Coordination Commission visit in March, we have made good progress in preparing for Pyeongchang 2018,” said POCOG President and chief executive Yang-ho Cho.

“Now we are making utmost efforts and working closely with the International Federations to successfully deliver the first test events which are only six months away, making headway with sponsorships with new signings and cooperating with all stakeholders including IOC, Central Government and Gangwon Province to ensure a successful Winter Games.

"I appreciate the continued support of chair Lindberg and the International Olympic Committee, and will move ahead to reach operational readiness, as well as increase our communication with the local and international audience."

The IOC visit coincided with the signing of another top tier domestic partner for POCOG, which confirmed the interest and support for the Games by the Korean business community.

Chair Lindberg also met with Gangwon Governor Moon-soon Choi during her stay.

The Project Review meetings are technical visits to the host city and serve as interim updates between full Coordination Commission visits.

The next update to the IOC will be POCOG’s presentations to the IOC Executive Board and Session next week in Kuala Lumpur with the next Coordination Commission visit scheduled for September.