In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, new U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) CEO Tiger Shaw announced a major change in USSA’s mission with the addition of Competitive Tubing to the organization’s sports.
“We have made great progress in our results in all the snow sports of Nordic, Alpine, Snowboarding, Freestyle, Nordic Combined, and Jumping,” Shaw said. “But, once Lindsey [Vonn] blew out her knee again, we lost the attention of the wider world. Now is the time to add tubing. It’s all-American, great television, and we feel we can have multiple medalists at the next Olympics.”
As part of the changes to USSA to accommodate the addition of tubing, the “All Out” motto, that often clashed with the Nordic team’s “All In” motto, will be changed to “All Aboard”. The world governing body for tubing, the Federation Alliance de Tubing (FAT), headquartered in Geneva, has recognized USSA as the governing body with the provision that they change the organization name to States United for Exercise-free Tubing (SUET).
There is no doubt that the U.S. leads the world in Competitive Tubing. The sport requires absolutely no skill, no training, and only a large body mass. A frustrated Nordic coach, who wished to remain anonymous, plans to switch to coaching the new sport.
“Look, Americans are never going to do well in a sport like Nordic that requires extreme fitness, years of hard work, and offers little in the way of financial reward or fame. But, we lead the world in obesity and are expert at lying down and letting ourselves slide downhill. Here’s a sport we can dominate,” the coach said.
With Competitive Tubing now recognized as both a national and Olympic sport several elite Nordic racing programs announced that they were expanding their programs to incorporate the new sport.
Gus Kaeding, head coach of the Stratton Mountain School (SMS) T2 team, and noteworthy for his tall-and-slender frame, commented, “Look at how lean all the T2 skiers are. Everyone has an impressive six-pack and looks like a super model. But they are all lightweights who couldn’t drink a six-pack without passing out. We’re going to get some big boys and girls for our Tubing team. We’re planning on having a hot-dog eating contest at the SMS cafeteria to find young people who can really pack on the pounds as they grow.”
Craftsbury Green Racing Project head coach Pepa Miloucheva quickly countered the SMS threat, “Babe, have you had our maple bacon at breakfast? I tell you it will give a lazy person the kilos they need to win in just one season. I have Bulgarian friend that I will bring over to motivate our tubing team at the table.”
Erik Flora, head of Alaska Pacific University’s elite team, took time out from planning his summer glacier trips to comment on the tubing issue. “By next winter we will have a fleet of 10 test tubes so that we can pick the fastest rides for our team. This summer we will expand our glacier training to include tubing. We have contracted with the Air National Guard to bring in heavy lift Skycrane helicopters to bring our competitors up to Eagle glacier. We’ll use the Nordic skiers to pull the tube team back up the hill for each practice run. We don’t want the tube team to burn any calories walking up a hill. I think we can win the national tubing relay next spring just like we won at Super Tour Finals in Nordic.”
Reid Lutter of the Loppet Nordic Racing (LNR) club, the top junior club at Junior Nationals, feels that LNR can dominate tubing as well, “We don’t have big hills out here, but we have big people. We love beer, brats, and of course cheese. Sure there’s a big Scandinavian tradition of Nordic ski racing here, but here also a big Scandinavian tradition of partying. Just look around and you can see that we know how to pack on the pounds when it’s important. I plan to lead the parties for the tubers the way I do for the coaches at JN’s”.
Sponsors have flocked to the new sport as McDonalds, Burger King, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi battle for the chance to be associated with the sport that their products made possible.