This in no way represents the US Ski Team’s position, this is my opinion and my personal experience from years of competing in this sport, one of six US male athletes to be in the top-10 this past year. To be clear, I was not asked to write anything—I love this sport and would like to share my limited experience and advice. This will be my ninth year with the ski team; I chose not to go to college. As a kid, my mind was set on racing World Cup and nothing was to get in the way of that…I had no idea what that path would look like, but I was 100% committed. For me, that meant temporarily sacrificing the pursuit of education. Ski racing has a small window of opportunity to achieve World Cup success, and college wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so my best option at the time was to ski race, and ski race only. Below, I will try and organize my thoughts in a constructive manner. If you know me personally you know I will be honest and real, and the truth hurts sometimes. 

Ski racing is arguably one of the greatest sports to get involved with. The life skills that racers acquire can be achieved on any level and will last for the rest of their lives no matter how long they stay involved. As a ski racer, you develop a passion and gain a skill set to enjoy the sport of skiing for the rest of your life. If you’re reading this, you were or are personally involved with ski racing, so take a second to remember all the great memories that this sport has brought to you. Skiing with your parents, family, friends—I bet those memories are some of the greatest memories that you have. All of the long car rides to ski camps or races, the friends you made, the training sessions, the joys of pushing your limits, the improvement, the learning, the failures, the powder days, the races won or lost. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this sport from a grassroots perspective. For me personally, growing up and being a part of the Squaw Valley Ski Team was the greatest gift my parents gave me. It doesn’t matter if you’re a weekend warrior, a high school ski racer, a master, a hard corer, ski racing has impacted your life for the better, I promise you that.  

Advertisement

I’d like to preface this by saying I do not believe that ski racing in college is a bad option, it will probably be the best time of your life. I wouldn’t know, but I’ve heard. I’m not saying that you can’t race World Cup after college, I want to lay out the realities of this sport that make going to college and then becoming successful on the World Cup difficult. If you go to college, you will be making it harder on yourself. Is it possible to overcome? Yes. 

Now, let’s get real. If you decide to pursue skiing to the highest level i.e.: World Cup, we need to change the conversation a little bit. From a good ol’ time of just going ski racing, to probably one of the most difficult sports to pursue. 

This brings me to section 1- “Fast skiing is not fast skiing”. 

Fast skiing at a soft UNI race in Big Sky Montana is not fast skiing at the World Cup at Adelboden. Those are two completely different sports, they’re not even comparable course sets, snow surface, and level of competition. I cannot state this enough, If you think that winning a NorAm will translate to winning World Cups you’re delusional. Is it a step in the right direction? 100%, but they don’t translate directly. What US clubs, coaches, parents, athletes, and fans don’t seem to grasp is how difficult World Cup races actually are. The surfaces are constantly the hardest things you will be subjected to ski on, it beats your body down. The difficulty of these hills are nothing you have experienced, mix that with this insane level of competition that every year becomes more and more tight. It’s not like five guys at a NorAm pushing for the win, there’s 60 of those guys at a World Cup pushing, and those 60 World Cup guys would dominate NorAms. We seem to forget in the US that there’s people out there in other countries pouring everything into this sport, even pouring everything into a single discipline. The time acquired on those tracks and hills is invaluable.It takes years to gain that experience to become successful. Now imagine racing every weekend in high stress situations where one mistake is the difference between top-10, 40th, or your health. The mental breakdown you experience racing World Cup throughout a season is something that takes time to get used to. Managing emotions, energy, stress, and physical volume through a year to be successful on the weekend is so underrated and misunderstood. World Cup ski racing is flat-out full-throttle every time you push out of the start. And what about your equipment? How on earth do you expect to beat men and women that have factory service and the best equipment possible every weekend when you’re over in the corner tuning your skis with a dull file. I bet you don’t even know what your boot board measures out to, what your canting is, how about your ramp angles, what kind of plastic are you running? Do you even know what model of skis you’re getting, or how you like your skis tuned? Where do you set your plates? Where do you set the binding on that plate? Most US Ski Racers are amateurs. It isn’t entirely your fault. It is your fault because you should have recognized this setback and done something to improve, learn, and adapt to be successful. But it’s not your fault because no one talks about or understands these tiny details that have a significant impact on your results in this country. I don’t know where to point the finger on that one, but it’s a shame we’ve lost a lot of great athletes because they couldn’t acquire an adequate setup to be successful. Do you think Hirscher just showed up to the Atomic factory and they gave him a pair of boots and some skis a high five and said go get it? No chance, Hirscher was out there every day testing to find hundredths of seconds, blowing through 60 pairs of boots a year, developing the skis you probably race on now. I’m not saying it’s impossible. There’s a lot of details in this sport that get neglected in this country. If you ever get the chance to go watch a World Cup, go stand on the side of the hill and tell me it’s comparable to NCAA Championships… 

This brings us to section 2, “Attitude”. 

In case you didn’t notice the base of financial support for this sport is small, but what we receive is incredible, and to sell the people that contribute to the USST short is just plain ignorant. I’ve attended many fundraising events and the people that consistently pull out their wallets and spend enormous amounts of money to support ski racers are some of the most generous and incredible people on earth. Without them, nobody in the US would have any kind of opportunity to ski race.  So this bashing on the USST needs to stop. I’m the biggest critic of the Team, but I have to give it to the USST, there’s been a substantial amount of change in the organization for the better in the past three years. Are things perfect? No chance, but at least there’s movement in a positive direction. This is why attitude is so important. The Team doesn’t owe you anything, ski racing isn’t the only sport that the USST supports. Moguls, aerials, freeski ski and snowboard, cross-country, snowboard-crossare all under the same roof. They attain a certain amount of funding and have the hard choice of how to allocate those resources. If you’re under the assumption that every elite ski racer deserves support, then define “elite”. It’s called criteria. I’m not saying that going to college and then going to race World Cups isn’t possible. I’m just saying that if you chose the college path, your position becomes more difficult, and YOU made that decision. You’ve made your bed, now lay in it. Own that opportunity, be the best student and ski racer possible—no one’s talking down on that choice. Maybe you weren’t at the level needed to make the Team and school was your only option. You matured physically and mentally and your ski racing improved, but if it improved so much why aren’t you dominating NorAms, US Nationals, or sneaking into the top 30 at World Cups?  Because it’s difficult, and you have to do better, plain and simple. How do you do that? I don’t know, figure it out. If you weren’t able to overcome those obstacles, either accept it, or do something about it. Complaining about it isn’t helping you or the sport, I can guarantee you that. If you’re so good then prove it, no one is stopping you from skiing fast except yourself, and somehow, that is a hard pill to swallow in US skiing. This hand-holding and ego-stroking culture we’ve developed in ski racing is ludicrous. The idea that everyone deserves a chance is just not true, 30 people get World Cup points, not 100. Just because you believe you’re the chosen one for World Cup success doesn’t mean you’ll make it. You have to prove it. The clock does not lie. Never has, never will. Your decisions will be what determines your future in this sport. If you really want to race World Cup no one is standing in your way! The clubs and coaches across this country that are developing this “everyone gets a trophy” attitude is disappointing.  We should be developing self confidence and accountability  in all athletes. Letting athletes make decisions for themselves and helping to “gradually guide” and not “steer” athletes in a certain direction. You gain confidence from making your own decisions and seeing them through, successful or not. We’re so scared of failure as a skiing culture, but it’s the most important tool in life. Win or lose, learn something, and move forward. The belief that when you make the Team, the coaches and staff will give you this beautiful clear path to success is a fallacy. Ski coaches are not wizards—they’re ski coaches. They’re human beings, they have their own biases, beliefs, and experiences in the sport. If you believe that doing everything the coach tells you to do will translate to a crystal globe, then you’ve already lost the race. You have to have humility and self reflection to dig deep into your character to find what truly is holding you back, then become resourceful and make change. It takes patience and commitment to see your decisions through, it’s not an overnight process and I guarantee you it doesn’t get easier. This sport is hard if you haven’t realized. It’s not fair, but if you gain control of what you can control the results will start to come.

Section-3 “Solution”. 

So your goal is to race World Cup and be competitive on a global scale. You didn’t make the USST and went to a college team to hone your skiing and get some more tools for your tool box. Let’s say you get to be the fastest NCAA athlete, you’re dominating NorAms and you win the title. The following season you have your own World Cup spot, nobody’s taking that away from you. You then get one season to prove yourself on the World Cup. So then if “fast skiing is fast skiing” you’d be scoring points every weekend and we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But it’s not, so now we  have to have this conversation. Now, you have a choice: complain about how the Ski Team is holding you back or take that opportunity and make the best of it. You either perform or you don’t, plain and simple. I agree it takes time to become successful on the World Cup, and bridging the gap from NorAm to the World Cup in one season is difficult. So what are the options? Do you develop your own program to bridge that gap, or are you trying to get the USST to do that for you? The Team is clearly focused on top results for better or worse, it is how it is given the current financial climate. They’re not trying to stop you…they have limited resources and they’re trying to do their best with what they have. To put blame on the Ski Team is not fair, they tried to bridge that gap for NCAA athletes. Uni team? How did that go? Not well. What about NCAA athletes that have been given the discretion spots, granted full access to the National Team, training, service, pace, and all the other opportunities, how many World Cup points came from that investment? I’m not saying that depth on a team doesn’t matter, I’m just saying we don’t have that depth right now, and it’s not the Ski Team’s fault. If there was even one athlete on the fringe sneaking into the top 30, I would make the argument to keep them involved with the USST. There’s not many. So quit beating around the bush, as an NCAA athlete what you’re asking for is a US Ski Team-funded program that bridges that Nor-am to World Cup gap. Where’s the money going to come from? How do you decide who makes it? Is it current or former NCAA athletes? How many can you fund? How do you structure it? Men and women? Who’s coaching it? Do you take funding away from athletes that are succeeding at the World Cup? How is this program going to become the magical path to top-10’s in the World Cup? It isn’t, because there is no magical path. So if you’re one of these people that believe the magical path exists and there’s so many people missing out on being the best in the world, then do something about it…make your own team and prove everyone wrong, please.  

Section-4 “Conclusion”. 

This all may seem insensitive, but these are the realities of the sport. Ski racing is objective. You’re racing against a clock. Writing articles upon articles bashing on the USST and Tiger Shaw aren’t productive for our sport. I have extremely high expectations for the future of US ski racing. If you are ranked top-15 in any discipline in the US, men or women, you are a role model for future generations whether you know it or not. So please take that responsibility seriously. I know you all have a bunch of passion for this sport and you care a lot, I’ve seen it myself. I’m honestly not trying to sell you short as NCAA athletes…I want you to succeed more than anything, more than myself. I just don’t know if you realize the true realities of World Cup racing and how difficult it is to breakthrough from your current position. It’s not impossible, people have done it. If you feel so passionately about it, stop complaining, be a leader, and forge your own path. 

— Bryce Bennett
U.S. Ski Team

This letter was submitted in response to the article USST, NCAA butt heads over NorAm schedule and Thoughts from frantic college skiers

Have some thoughts on this? Send a letter to the editor. If it’s good, we’ll publish it.

Letters to the editor are wholly the opinion of the author. Ski Racing Media does not endorse, edit, or fact-check letters to the editor. We do have a couple rules, which can be found here.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Great article Bryce, now review the 990 filings for the US Ski Team for the last 5 plus years and wonder why the CEO, whether it be Mr Shaw or his predecessor Mr Marolt, is compensated at such a high level versus the top line revenue generation by this 501c3. Then wonder what “independent” compensation committee could possibly justify this level of compensation from United States Ski Association and their related entities? Good for Mr Shaw as be deserves EVERY PENNY he negotiated BUT is this appropriate for a non-profit?

  2. Bryce having met you and watched you and others compete on the World Cup level has been a highlight of my life. Our daughter Megan has provided insight and knowledge to myself and my wife that we would never had realized about World Cup Alpine Ski Racing. Your article approaches the dynamics involved very well and honestly! Hope to see races this season…🦄🎿❄️

  3. Bryce, thank you for expressing your opinion. You are an inspirational DH skier that has entertained me over the years. I certainly believe someday you will achieve a World Cup Podium and hopefully a World Championship and Olympic medal or two. I look forward to that day. Congrats on a great January last season.
    GO, Bryce!! Thanks again for your contribution to this conversation.

  4. Bryce – we have enjoyed watching your upward trajectory. Who knew a guy so tall could make it work on short (and long) skis? And you are are straight up here, with good reason. Ski racing doesn’t forgive, it just times you. Which as a human being, can be immensely difficult to process given all the variables each run. In fact, it can be downright damaging. Congrats on being strong!

    But additionally, different people mature at different rates in this sport, and the crux of the matter is you have to have the bucks to support someone thru years of development. I skied at high levels, was an All American myself, coached for 25 years and had kids who were uber talented, but as a parent didn’t have enough $ to keep them on par with other kids. Not expecting pity, but college was a potential way to keep developing in that case. Food for thought.

  5. Bryce is to be commended on his achievements. There’s some valid reasoning within his article…but just as he mention’s ‘fast skiing is fast’…so goes the argument that many USST members show up to these national races and get smoked! So, yes, ‘fast skiing is fast skiing’ even within the confines of our borders. Furthermore, there’s always a group of USST members that always seem to miss the nation’s biggest show, the US Championships…do I smell fear?

  6. always good to see feedback from usst members. bryce hit many key points any pro athlete would hit. being a top level pro is a significant, complex achievement, decisions for which mostly lie with the athlete in any forum, any level. nothing guaranteed for anyone. that said, having skied, raced and coached @ 51 years, i have yet to see anyone with a usst background articulate clear means-policy to consistently find and develop deep teams across all disciplines consistently every year. with so many usa kids skiing in all disciplines, how are they consistently funneled into champion development programs, with the required finance and tech supports bryce described? for decades i have read and heard this is what usa skiing lacks compared to europe. the kids who want to race know where to get almost career long support and from whom. whether college can be easily integrated into such long term development programs i do not know. bryce seems to say it occasionally works for some, apparently not by good program design but skier choice, effort, talent and probably finance too. imo a consistently competitive program has nation-wide finance and publicity of an obvious development program beginning quite young and ending for those making a usst only when they leave racing. the current patchwork system, relying on clubs, ski areas, some school etc to find and develop talent and keep it has changed little in my 51 year ski life; a real shame when i know the required athletes must exist, and, i assume with proper design a national talent discovery and development system can be created to compete with anyone. thanks to bryce for his thoughtful letter.

  7. Bryce…I enjoy watching you and all the speed skiers but I respectfully disagree…this whole discussion is about tech skiers and dozens upon dozens of college skiers have had great WC careers…top 10’s, podiums, Olympic and World Championship medals…. 2 of our best slalom skiers the past 15 years were college guys…multiple top 10’s and skied on Olympic & World Championship teams…..we just need criteria that selects the best skiers no matter where they come from…..college racers are upset because the unfavorable NorAm schedule no longer gives college racers the opportunity to race in many of the NorAms and reach their goal of securing a WC spot.

  8. That’s a lot of content to digest, but it’s worth noting that Bryce has never finished inside the top 10 in a Uni race (yes, he raced some) and has won a total of 1 of 125 NorAm races entered. Big Sky might not be Adelboden, but then again, Lake Louise isn’t exactly Wengen either.

  9. Taking a ski lesson from a downhiller is akin to taking golf lessons from John Daly. They are both one-dimensional…and unfortunately all it takes is one lucky run to make people think you’re some superstar. Let’s hope Bryce finds some hardware soon or even Tommy Moe’s single highlight might dwarf Bennett’s career.

  10. It is disappointing that several commentators decided to take personal shots at Mr. Bennett. He gave us an insiders view of the path he chose and explained how hard the college route to the WC is. Disagree with him all you want, but the personal shots are unnecessary.

    • re Jake: ideally this would work both ways. Mr Bennett opened himself up for the criticism when he takes shots at NCAA Champions, NorAm Champs, etc (achievements of which he has yet to achieve himself!).
      We are all on the same team here folks…these ‘role models’ should be just that and learn to give back to the sport that they were so grateful to receive support from. Bryce needs to have a slice of humble pie and realize that there’s more than one way to reach the top. Lastly, he would have very little insight to the NCAA vs USST pathway debate because he is a one event skier…downhill. There isn’t anything wrong with that…just the fact that NCAA does not race downhill so, therefore, he didn’t have an alternative pathway to the national team.

  11. Bryce is spot on about what it takes to make it at the highest level. And he’s a total stud. No question.
    But the discussion is how to prepare for that stage- How best to get to the world cup and when the “growing experiences” of racing the famed euro hills are of most value and worth to the athlete and most importantly- when is the athlete is ready for that experience?

    An interesting sidebar to this conversation is that in 2015 as a 22/23 year old (college senior age), it appears he would not have made current usst objective criteria….

    https://usskiandsnowboard.org/sites/default/files/files-resources/files/2019/Alpine%20U.S.%20Ski%20Team%20Criteria%202020-21_1.pdf

  12. Great Bryce. But I think you’re completely missing the point in this letter. A German coach once told me over beers that if the NFL was run like the USST, there would be no Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or, God forbid, Tom Brady. I think all scouts would agree that any, even 2nd team NFL RB, would at 25 years old run for 250+ yards in any college game. There is a reason why scouts in the NBA and NFL don’t want pro athletes until at least 19 or 20 minimum, respectively. Their job depends on it. Maybe Tiger’s should. You can go to college, even for only a couple years, put on muscle, pounds, intelligence and come back and train. And win. Every other sport does it.

  13. Mikaela Shiffrin and Bryce Bennett are some of the nicest, thoughtful, genuine athletes I know. Mikaela has reached the peak of peaks and maintained these traits. She is an excellent role model. And someone kids should look up to. The directions and demands that are put upon her while maintaining this genuine personality is very rare and should be respected. NCAA athletes should be respected in their own light as well. Neither Bryce or Mikaela are down playing their achievements they’re just saying stop pointing the finger. The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team is trying to do what they can do. Hopefully the NCAA is doing what they can do but it sounds like they don’t want to budge. The complaints are over moving 2 races in a 29 race series. You can make it to the World Cup thru the NCAA. The US Ski Team currently has 5 athletes who are former NCAA athletes on it. Several of my coaches are former NCAA athletes. I was ready to race in the NCAA after giving myself one extra year post school to try and make the team. I ended up winning World Juniors, scoring in my first World Cup directly after and made the US Ski Team. My family didn’t have much money we made it happen with a lot of support from local efforts of monetary support. I was wearing used 90s stretch pants from a ski swap I bought for $10. It’s great to look back on. After making the Team I was basically shot up from Park City Ski Team to the US B Team and proceeded to get my butt kicked internationally. But I buckled down and figured it out with the help of coaches, teammates, internal belief and passion for the sport.Rose to next level, either got hurt or beat down result wise demoted to a lower team but figured it out and kept clawing at it. During those times of demotion I had to pay but then got back to a place where I didn’t. Hearing these words from Bryce is even more meaningful because during his rise thru the ski team ranks every year he was told if he reached this level he would be covered, he would do that and then the funding would become tighter and he was told sorry but if you reach this level you would be funded….he would again and then he was told he had to find funding. This happened for three years straight. (Why this occurred is a different issue and the ski team has fixed it for the most part and is working to do more) So for him to show that fortitude and also state how much better the Ski Team is now is a statement. But basically the story is make it happen. If fingers are to be pointed it is that ski racing and skiing in general is very expensive. Why can we ski in St Anton Austria, arguably the best resort in Austria for $52 but to ski at the premier ski areas in the US are well over $200 for a day pass! People are on here saying you don’t see athletes from other sports talking down on the NCAA. That too is untrue. They do all the time the NCAA and pro athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL are fighting for marketing rights. It’s a $13 billion dollar industry that have been taking advantage of athletes since its inception. Some of that money helps fund the smaller NCAA sports like skiing so it should be respected and it is something we can better utilized and can be better run. Do you hear NCAA athletes asking the major leagues to soften their criteria so they can make it to the pros? NO! You fight tooth and nail to get to the top and once again figure out how to make it happen.

  14. In the late 90s the US ski team pretty much washed their hands of anybody that was under 19 years old and “didn’t show potential.”
    NCAA Racing changed the face of that…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.skiracing.com/uncategorized/vonn-way-unusual-trajectory-has-taken-thomas-vonn-top/amp

    plenty of other people have come off the NCAA circuit and had pretty impressive results… Pretty sure Tommy won Pretty sure Tommy won World Cup this year?
    I don’t have the time to do a thesis paper on an online forum but the girls have had equally impressive results…
    Haugen Had a pretty good season as I recall as well After a college career in CO.

  15. Well done Bryce, my Bryce would have liked it. Once again, “The cream always rises to the top”. Yes you can do it without NCAA, but you can do it a college education as well. The real question is, do you have what it takes? Is your focus extreme enough and do you have all the mental and physical attributes to be the best? To be at the top of any sport you have to have all the pieces to the puzzle. Not an easy accomplishment.

  16. I agree with what Bryce has to say about the difficulty of World cup courses, especially Downhill tracks. I also disagree with most of what he puts forth; First, “…soft uni courses in Big Sky Montana” is disrespectful to collegiate athletes nationwide. How many soft courses are there on the eastern carnival circuit? Collegiate athletes don’t get to pick the tracks they compete on any more the world cup athletes do. This coming from a guy with a world GS ranking of 5574. Second, Dan Leever asked for comment on this subject (The NCAA path) and Bryce doesn’t want to hear any criticisms about the team and how it chooses to handle this. How tolerant. Third, “The Team doesn’t owe you anything.” Really? Some of the athletes have been asked to pay upwards of $30,000 to be on the team. Who exactly is supporting who here? When you buy your race license, donate money to the team or support the team as a product supplier, you have every right to question how those resources are allocated.
    At any time in the winter we have more kids running slalom and Gs gates then almost any country in the world. The owner of Waterville Valley, Tom Corcoran put it best; “We are a nation of slalom skiers.” So how is it we have no men’s tech team to speak of and no depth at all. Yet, we have a collegiate circuit that turns out first seed tech skiers for Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and other countries but not the U.S.
    Bryce Bennett has been on the US Ski team for 9 seasons. Over the last two seasons he competed in SG, DH and Alpine Combined. His average finish over those two seasons was 20th. He should be proud of what he has accomplished, but you should ask yourself this; how many tech skiers are allowed 9 seasons to get to 20th in the world?

  17. @Codher
    Here’s the thing though. The East May have icier hills but he’s just giving an example he did mention course sets being different and course lengths longer. Also, downhill and super g take several years longer to learn the game than tech, I don’t see any 19 year old Kristoffersons winning Wengen Downhill. If it took Mr. Bennett with full 100% commitment to ski racing 9 years to get consistent 20th what makes you think someone showing up after racing college at age 24 at least 4 years behind the euros has any chance. It’s slim. Not impossible, but slim. There are some examples like Leif but he was fast before college he didn’t “mature” later. The college system needs to be utilized better for growth. But look at it this way. The Europeans grow up watching the sport on tv, all there friends do it they know all the top racers names. At 17 they’re getting their butt kicked in Europa Cups for years before the US kids even know what a Europa Cup is. Just making the US team qualifies you to go get wrecked by the Europeans on terrible rainy steep tracks that are unlike any track you will ever ski in the US. Those are the precious years of experience that are hard to match on the collegiate circuit and that is what I believe he is trying to point out.

  18. @codher

    A few corrections to your argument. A-C Team has been fully funded for 2 years now. D team only has to pay 10k and the ski team is working on funding that. It takes time for change and change is happening. Also Slalom is the most common and SL or GS are how most of the speed team made the US Team then branched off and focused on their strengths. You have to have solid tech base to make the team skill and rank wise. He’s ranked 5555 or whatever because he hasn’t raced the event in years. But I can tell you he’s pretty damn fast at it when he trains and can still crush SL.

    • Steve,
      Thanks for being part of this conversation. Only in ski racing do we say things like “…only has to pay $10,000.” Of course if you’re the Resnick’s and you have two daughters on the D team it’s “only” $20,000. Look I’m glad the team is moving in this direction and yes it’s progress and yes, Tiger did make some staff cuts this year, but this is a $90,000 problem. (9 D team members at $10,000 per). The team likes to portray this as a funding problem that can only be solved but cutting athlete programs or invoicing athletes. I see it as an executive compensation issue that can be solved overnight by asking the 30+ USSS employees who make over $100,000 to take a 0.05% pay cut. As part of the racer x community, myself and others will continue to make athlete funding a priority over executive compensation.

  19. Anyone else see those salaries on the 990 filing? Screw Worldcup and Olympic dreams… Im aiming straight for CEO. Better pay, world travel, and a front row seat on all the action. Probably have a bit more time to take some free runs with boys too. Call me crazy but I think everyone is chasing the wrong positions on the team. Good on ya for giving me the opportunity to earn that jacket back. Im skipping the fall prep period and putting this college degree to work!

  20. The 990 filing only scratches the surface. There is a handful of people living high-on-the-hog…including some third party organizations too! I mean, 100k for payroll services? A quickbooks subscription and a few keystrokes monthly by the accounting personnel or CFO should reduce this expenditure immensely! Furthermore, anyone notice the additional ‘related entities’ that are listed with a legal domicile in Colorado (although the reporting address is Park City, Utah)? Trust me on this one…The United States Ski Association is top heavy an NO team athlete should front ANY money to be honored to compete as a national team member.
    Consider the ‘Schedule M’ within the filing that list airline tickets as noncash contributions…they cannot even claim that the athlete fee is to cover travel expenses…because evidence shows that the ‘team’ is granted a contribution that should be passed down to the members that the organization serves, its ATHLETES!

  21. To compliment Bryce Bennett’s story let me give you a little more reality and a reason that colleges should work with the USST and NGB to help develop a deeper pool of athletes. And yes I am going to use Bryce Astle as an example.
    In one of Bryce’s last races (NorAm) up at Pandora before he was killed he started the GS 85th, he got waved off and had to start over, so let’s say he started 95th. Well this physically immature skinny kid ends up 7th in that race. You take that same kid put him into a World Cup race and think he is going to do the same, you are dreaming. Bryce told me just before he left for Europe “I just need to put on man muscle so I can hold a tighter line”.

    So just because you do well in a NorAm don’t think you are going to go to a World Cup race and think you are going to get a second run. You are now competing against full grown seasoned men, professionals with professional support teams which in many countries draw from a very large talent pool. The reason that the United States only pumps out one great ski racer every ten years is because our talent pool is small.

    Until the NCAA decides they don’t need to be politically correct and make the rule to only allow Two foreigners on a ski team nothing is going to change. Kids will go through USSA get to 18, not make the USST, not make a college team and quit. Bye-bye talent pool.

    Also folks, sorry to say, making the USST is not the goal, the goal is to be one of the top five skiers in the world. Only you can make that happen, so dial in your focus of what you need to do to reach the goal. For example if your 20 year old kid doesn’t have 2000+ days of skiing bell to bell he probably doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here