In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Ski & Snowboard took action similar to other sports leagues, such as the FIS and NCAA, and canceled all remaining USSA and FIS events in the country. As a result, U19 athletes have faced an abrupt end to the ski season and the cancellation of major championship races.

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail junior and U.S. Development Team rookie Emma Resnick was having a stellar first-year FIS season. After placing fifth in the GS at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland in early January and winning the super G, GS, and slalom at National Junior Championships in Snowbasin, Utah in early March, Resnick was looking to build upon her momentum in the final races of the year.

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“Unfortunately the biggest races of the year were canceled. NorAm finals, US Nationals and spring series were races that I was looking forward to,” Resnick said. “I was feeling really confident with my skiing and I’m bummed to not be able to have those experiences as a first year FIS racer.”

Now, Resnick hopes everyone follows the protocols and stays healthy so the world can return to its normal state and the ski racing community can return to the slopes during the spring and summer. Resnick is enjoying time with her family before diving into a longer-than-expected dryland training block this offseason. 

Stratton Mountain School senior and first-year FIS athlete Jay Poulter was also having a great season. Poulter started off in December with strong Eastern Cup races at Whiteface, N.Y. Skiing from bib 65 to 29th in a very competitive field, Poulter made his first big mark on the FIS circuit. After his continued success during the first two months of the ski season, with results in the 60s in both SL and GS, Poulter was invited to a US development team camp in Europe, where he continued to ski very well, earning several top-15 results. 

Poulter said, despite the disappointment of not being able to compete in the season-ending championship races, “I am happy with my results from the Europe trip and other races, and I’m lucky to have gained those valuable experiences.”

Now, he is focused on next season and is trying to implement an effective dryland training program including core, balance, pushups, squats, and running. 

“Fortunately, now, I have some time to catch up on my school work and rest before hitting the ground running again,” Poulter added.

For Resnick, Poulter and other first-year U19s, the early end to the season is a setback, but with the majority of races completed, it could have been worse, they say. For athletes in the middle of an important PG year, on the other hand, this may affect their college or national-team goals, since critical year-end races and scoring opportunities were lost. In the meantime, U19s will all focus on dryland training and other productive off-snow activities while hoping for minimal disruption in the spring, summer and fall skiing schedule.