That’s All, Folks!
As the crocuses poke their heads up
through the rapidly melting snow, how quickly it seems another competitive season has
flown by. It was a season of firsts with inaugural FIS Freestyle World Championship
medals being presented for slopestyle and
skier pipe, and the IOC approving women’s
ski jumping and ski halfpipe, among other
new additions, for the Sochi 2014 Games.
The U.S. Ski Team’s results were gratifying as well. Hannah Kearney, who graces our
cover for the final issue of this season, more than proved she is a deserving champion
with armload of firsts. Now she becomes the first freestyler ever to win Ski Racing’s
Skier of the Year title. Congratulations, Hannah!
Our other winners also had terrific seasons and rightly deserve their awards. This is
particularly true of Ski Racing’s Juniors of the Year, Burke’s Mikaela Shiffrin and Mt.
Mansfield’s Ryan Cochran-Siegle. These two, along with the likes of Nolan Kasper,
Laurenne Ross, Tommy Ford, Alice McKennis, and Travis Ganong, to name but several, bode well for the future of alpine competition.
Also in this issue, Bill McCollom talks about “screw loose” masters racers whose love
of speed takes them nationwide in pursuit of the Molecule F Speed Series title. Bill
also wraps up his Finish Line season, social networking the old fashion way: face to
face! Ron Kipp, the USSA alpine sports education manager, discusses how practice,
and lots of it, will pay dividends down the road. Emily Cook spends time with adaptive
athlete Alana Nichols. She is quite a star. Our Backshop expert, Dave Peszek, finishes
his chats with owners of the nation’s top flight race shops nationwide; and, importantly
at this time of the year, tells you how to put the skis away till next time.
Hopefully next time will be at one of the summer camps that you found in one of our
previous issues. You can still find this information by selecting the “Back Issues” tab on
this screen. Grabbing time on the summer snow, or winter if south of the equator, can
only do great things for next November.
All of us received a horrific reminder of just how potentially dangerous travel is when
we learned of the accident involving a Rowmark Academy Suburban that was smashed
by an oncoming Jeep passing on a blind corner. The accident severely injured coach
Scott Veenis and Rowmark Academy racer Hank Shipman, and injured others less
severely. Our prayers are with all involved as are our wishes for a speedy recovery.
Where it all began this eason: Soelden, six months ago.
With snow still flying in parts of the Rockies and the syrup still running in New England,
it is our turn to thank you for being a part of our community this season. Over the past
two seasons, you have learned to use digital instead of paper. We miss the hard copy,
too. But we have all learned the extraordinary opportunities digital delivery allows.
Once again Sarah Tuff has been the editorial driving force behind the magazine, outlining the content, pushing us to make the magazine better, and ensuring it all comes
together on deadline. She is a true pro. Rand Paul is responsible for making Ski Racing visually exciting, full of catchy graphics and pictures. He does a terrific job. On the
writing and reporting side, Hank McKee, the nation’s senior ski sport journalist, has
been doing — well — what he has been doing for 30-plus years, keeping you abreast
of many facets of ski competition. Just three years ago, Eric Williams was a rookie.
Now he is a veteran, making sure the Ski Racing website is keeping you up to date and
filling the magazine with good stories and videos from sites around the world.
This season we were lucky enough to convince two talented individuals to join us
as interns. Emily Cook managed to do TV interviews, write stories and contribute to
the website — all while attending the University of Utah, competing on the World Cup
circuit and in the World Championships; and taking her fifth national aerials title. We
never heard a single complaint about her jam-packed schedule. Claire Abbe, a graduate of the Erich Sailer School of fast skiers and a DU Pioneer NCAA champion, worked
on marketing, the website, sales and writing while still managing to demonstrate why
she was All-American by being too fast to give her points away in an early season slalom. On the business side, Nancy Merrill sells the magazine, and Amy Doxey makes
sure the publication is circulated and that the virtual office functions.
It would be wrong to not include our regular contributors who help make the publication
the authority it is. Bill McCollom, himself a brilliant masters racer, keeps you informed
what is going on in the senior circuit as well as entertaining you with his thoughts in the
Finish Line. Bryce Hubner follows the college circuit and distinguished the publication
by getting Ski Racing’s college Power Rankings on ESPN and other media outlets.
Dave Peszek sharpened all our thoughts this season with his Backshop efforts.
Make sure to visit our website regularly this spring and summer. There is a lot going
on. Watch for some major announcements by USSA at its convention next month and
news coming from the FIS calendar meeting in Slovenia in June. Mammoth and Hood
will be rocking once more. And pretty soon we will be reporting results from below the
Enjoy your summer, be safe, and we will see you in the fall. — G.B. Jr.
SALES AND MARKETING
PETER Q. GRAVES
GARY BLACK JR.
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