PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — At the Olympics in PyeongChang, FasterSkier sat down with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s longtime Vice President of Communications Tom Kelly. After starting with the organization back in 1986, Kelly will be stepping down a few months after the Olympics. Kelly, 65, is the nerve center to U.S. Ski Team’s media and communications outreach. Shepherding athletes through the mixed zone or writing up a press release about Lindsey Vonn’s (make that Jessie Diggins’s and Kikkan Randall’s) latest win — yes Kelly oversees all the sports at U.S. Ski and Snowboard — are just some of his responsibilities.
Kelly, who goes by “TK”, is a pro’s pro. (He also usually has a trademark hat on.) With to without the hat, TK has mastered the combination of respecting both the athletes’ needs and being an open communicator with the snow-sport community. In Part 1 of this two-part interview, Kelly discusses his early career and how the nature of his position with the U.S. Ski Team has evolved. For Part 2 on his contemporary experiences, click here.