Just back from the World Junior/U23 Championships in Italy, US Ski Team Development Coach Matt Whitcomb took the time to talk with FasterSkier about the trip.
FasterSkier: The World Junior/U23 Championships concluded last week. What is your overall evaluation of the success of the US Team?
Matt Whitcomb: We had an awesome trip. The food was over-board classic Italian, the venue was hilly and spectator / service-friendly, the snow was deep and the days were sunny and warm. My evaluation of this team is that it is the strongest team that we have brought to World Junior / U23 Championships in a long time, but overall, our results fell just shy of the strength of the team. There is not a trace of disappointment in this comment. The US no longer participates at this event just for experience. The team can now win medals from multiple individuals in both sprint and distance, and when we fall short of this it can be mistaken for a failure. The success of the trip lies not just in results, but in the athlete’s realization of where they are internationally, and where they need to go.