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Aerials coach Christensen savors U.S. citizenship

Matt Christensen grew up in Toronto and competed for seven years as a World Cup aerialist for Canada. He’s coached the U.S. Ski Team since the 1998 Olympic Winter Olympics and has been aerials head coach since the 2001 season. But Wednesday, in a federal building in Salt Lake City, he landed arguably his biggest trophy: Christensen became a U.S. citizen.
MATT CHRISTENSEN
grew up in Toronto and competed for seven years as a World Cup aerialist for Canada. He’s coached the U.S. Ski Team since the 1998 Olympic Winter Olympics and has been aerials head coach since the 2001 season. But Wednesday, in a federal building in Salt Lake City, he landed arguably his biggest trophy: Christensen became a U.S. citizen.
    “It was pretty special, just awesome. There were almost 200 other people sworn in as new American citizens, too,” he said. U.S. Freestyle Director Polly-Jo Clark and former head coach Wayne Hilterbrand attended the ceremony “and that was great because Wayne hired me, and P.J. gives us such strong support.”
    Christensen, who will have dual citizenship, has lived in the United States for most of the past decade. “I’ve been going through this process of citizenship for the last few years and, personally, this is a great moment for me. I’m tremendously happy to be an American citizen.”
    “Matt has been waiting for a long time to gain his status as an American citizen,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt. “He has worked hard on this and is very excited and proud to now be called an American! We are equally as proud to have Matt on our team as a coach and now a citizen.”
    Coincidentally, Christensen has a final preseason training camp for his aerialists later this month — at Apex Mountain Resort in Canada. The traditional North American swing will begin Jan. 18-20 at Lake Placid, New York, for the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup and includes the Visa Freestyle International Feb. 1-2 at Deer Valley Resort in Utah.

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