Cross Country highlights: Andy Newell was chosen as XC Athlete of the year, while Chris Grover (USST) and Bryan Fish (CXC) were named International and Domestic Coach of the year, respectivley.
Demong Takes Top USSA Athlete Honor
PARK CITY, Utah (May 18) – U.S. Ski Team World Championship medalist Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY), two-time Olympian and former U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Chairman Chuck Ferries, and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club were among the top honorees in the USSA's annual awards recognition dinner May 17 at Deer Valley Resort in Park City during USSA Congress 2007.
Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY), only the second U.S. nordic combined skier to earn an Olympic or World Championships medal, was presented the Beck International Award, USSA's highest athletic award. Colorado's Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC), the multi-sport club covering alpine, nordic, freestyle and snowboarding with over a thousand development-level athletes, received the USSA Club of the Year Award for an unprecedented third time. Ferries, a two-time Olympic ski racer who became a success in the ski industry and has served in a variety of organization roles with USSA, received the Julius Blegen Award, USSA's most prestigious honor for service to the organization.
“I'm really proud of athletes on our Team like Bill Demong and Nate Roberts (who won the organization's Buddy Werner Award for sportsmanship),” said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. “They are a great example of why America wants to support our Team – they're hard working, dedicated, humble and want to give back to younger athletes so that they, too, can achieve their dreams.
“Chuck (Ferries) embodies what Olympism is all about,” added Marolot. “He was a great athlete who has given back to today's athletes with his service. He has been a trustee since 1984 and played a key role as USSA chairman from 2002 to 2006.
“We are fortunate to have 400 USSA grassroots clubs around the country to provide opportunities for young athletes,” said Marolt. “Steamboat is one of those model clubs that provides tremendous opportunities for young athletes in all sports. It's a credit to the work of Executive Director Rick DeVos and Athletic Director Sarah Floyd in building such a strong program with over a thousand athletes.”
Other gold-level award recipients included alpine women's speed Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser, who was named International Coach of the Year. Hoedlemoser's athletes won three medals at the World Championships in Are, Sweden, in February. Bryan Fish, first-year cross country coach of fledgling Team CXC (Central Cross Country) based in Seeley, WI, whose athletes won U.S. and SuperTour titles in its first year, sent two skiers to the Nordic World Championships and won a U-23 (under 23) world title, was selected as USSA Development Coach of the Year. Moguls skier Nate Roberts (Park City, UT), who had a big comeback year with two World Cup wins and a World Championships bronze, was awarded the Buddy Werner Award for sportsmanship. Roberts is considered as one of the Team's best mentors to young athletes – even giving up his spot in dual moguls at World Championships to a younger athlete. The Westhaven Award, honoring outstanding service as a technical delegate, was presented to longtime USSA Eastern official Barry “Bear” Bryant (Sunday River, ME).
Demong, 27, a three-time Olympian, captured the silver medal in the combined individual event at the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, Japan, in March and followed that with a World Cup win a week later in Lahti, Finland, He finished his season by sweeping all three U.S. ski jumping and nordic combined U.S. titles.
Athletes of the Year, chosen by sport, included: Alpine – Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO), who won two silver medals at the World Championships and three World Cup races before injury ended her season; Cross Country – sprinter Andy Newell (Shaftsbury, VT), who finished the season sixth in the World Cup sprint standings; Disabled – two-time cross country Paralympics and world champion Steve Cook (Salt Lake City); Freestyle – Roberts, bronze medalist at Worlds and a two-time World Cup winner; Nordic Combined – Demong; Ski Jumping – Lindsey Van (Park City, UT), who won three events and finished third in the Continental Cup standings; Snowboarding – Lindsey Jacobellis (Stratton, VT), who defended her snowboardcross world championship and won the SBX World Cup title.
Coaches of the Year, chosen by sport for international and development levels, included: Alpine – International: Hoedlmoser; Domestic; Chip Cochrane of Maine's Carrabassett Valley Academy; Cross Country – International: Chris Grover, World Cup sprint coach; Domestic: Bryan Fish of Wisconsin's Central Cross Country; Freestyle – International: Scott Rawles, moguls head coach; Domestic: Caleb Martin from Telluride (CO) Ski & Snowboard Club; Nordic Combined – International: Dave Jarrett, World Cup coach; Domestic: Martin Bayer from the Steamboat Springs WSC; Snowboarding – International: Jeff Archibald, World Cup SBX coach; Domestic: Spencer Tamblyn, SSWSC snowboard coach.
Clubs of the Year also was chosen for each sport. The winners: Alpine – Burke Mountain Academy (VT); Cross Country – Central Cross Country Ski Team (Team CXC); Freestyle – Park City (UT) Freestyle; Jumping/Nordic Combined and Snowboard – Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Other major awards included:
– Paul Bacon Award (contribution in event organization) – Mt. Bachelor Ski Education Foundation (OR), for its work in organization of the J2 Junior Olympics.
– John J. Clair Jr. Award (outstanding service benefiting U.S. ski or snowboard teams) – Greg Johnson of Vail, CO, for his work with development programs on the Birds of Prey downhill in Beaver Creek.
– Bud and Mary Little Award (long-term involvement in FIS or Olympic sport communities) – Bob Dart of Winter Park, CO, for his longtime service as a FIS and USSA technical delegate and committee member.
– West Family Cup (outstanding service) – P.J. Jenick (Avon, CO) for his longtime work as a USSA official in its Rocky Mountain Division.
– Russell Wilder Award (outstanding efforts with American youth) – Connie Webster of the New York State Racing Association and Tim Windell, founder and owner of Windell's Camp in Welches, OR.