New US women’s speed coach starts work
PARK CITY, Utah – Veteran alpine speed coach Stefan Abplanalp has officially joined the U.S. Ski Team as head coach of the women’s alpine speed team. Abplanalp brings strong experience to a veteran team that includes six-time FIS Alpine World Cup downhill champion Lindsey Vonn and four-time Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso. The Swiss born coach is already at the Center of Excellence in Park City working with the athletic staff to shape his program for the 2015 season, which includes the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo.
“The U.S. Ski Team is an incredibly well managed and respected sports organization. When you walk into the Center of Excellence, the core values are clear. I admire that and intend to utilize every bit of knowledge within the organization to help these athletes succeed,” said Abplanalp. “From this culture of success, it’s up to me to build a fire within my staff that drives us to execute the best plan to help each athlete perform at their highest level in every race. It will be a challenge, but as coach I seek challenges and the potential with this group is limitless.”
Abplanalp spent the last two seasons leading the Norwegian women’s program to a powerful resurgence. Before that he spent eight seasons with the dominant Swiss women’s speed team. He moves into the position with the U.S. Ski Team effective immediately, replacing Chip White who has moved on after 18 years with the national squad. Vonn and Alice McKennis will both return to competition this year after missing most of the 2014 Olympic season due to injury, and Abplanalp will be instrumental in those plans.
“This is already a strong group of athletes, so we needed an experienced and athlete-respected coach with a proven track record. We have that in Stef. He has the ability to motivate in a positive manner that continues to progress our unique environment of success, while keeping the fun atmosphere that make this program special,” said Alex Hoedlmoser, head women’s coach. “It’s already been positive to have him on board. He has been brought tremendous energy and innovation to the planning process. He has clear ideas on how to work as a strong group that supports each individual athlete needs.
Release courtesy of USSA