PARK CITY, Utah (April 30, 2018) – U.S. Ski & Snowboard will recognize 31 individuals and organizations for Athlete, Coach, and Club of the Year awards at the upcoming U.S. Ski & Snowboard Congress. Top honorees this year include Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.), recipient of the Beck International Award, U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s top athletic honor, U.S. Snowboard Team’s Mike Ramirez and David Reynolds for Coach of the Year, Troy Price for Development Coach of the Year and Alaska Pacific University for Club of the Year.
Jessie Diggins made history this season when she and teammate Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) brought home the gold medal in the team sprint at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. It was the first U.S. women’s cross country medal and only the second cross country medal ever following Bill Koch’s silver at the 1976 Games. Diggins also had a spectacular World Cup season with eight podiums, including victories in Seefeld, Austria and Falun, Sweden.
“It is an honor to be receiving the Beck International Award, and I’m extremely grateful to the team that created so many extraordinary racing opportunities this season,” said Diggins. “Our coaches and staff have worked tirelessly, putting the rest of their lives on hold to travel the world with us and help us achieve athletic excellence. Our teammates have put in thousands of hours of training to push the level of skiing in this country forward. This season wouldn’t have happened without such amazing support!”
U.S. Snowboard Team coaches Mike Ramirez and Dave Reynolds led their team of 18 athletes to four Olympic medals, including two gold, three X Games medals, 11 World Cup podiums and an overall World Cup title. Their guidance and dedication to their team have helped U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s slopestyle and big air teams become the Best in the World.
As junior program director at Rowmark Ski Academy in Salt Lake City, Troy Price has fostered a high level of development for his athletes at Rowmark and the entire intermountain division. He established the division’s development committee nine years ago and has served as committee chair since its inception, playing a key role in managing development projects, running the Tri-Divisional Championships and fielding a Western Region team for this season’s Whistler Cup.
Alaska Pacific University has long supported the development and success of cross country skiing athletes at every level. This season, APU had a total of nine current and alumni athletes compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, including Olympic Champion Randall, Sadie and Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) and Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah).
All award recipients will be recognized at the annual Chairman’s Awards Dinner on May 3 in Park City.
2018 U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Beck International Award: Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.; SMS T2)
Alpine Athlete of the Year: Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle/Vail, Colo.; Burke Mountain Academy/Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
Adaptive Athlete of the Year: Tyler Walker (Franconia, N.H./U.S Paralympic Team)
Cross Country Athlete of the Year: Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.; SMS T2)
Freestyle Athlete of the Year: Jaelin Kauf (Alta, Wyo.; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Freeskiing Athlete of the Year: David Wise (Reno, Nev.)
Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year: Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, Wisc.; Flying Eagle Ski Club)
Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year: Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, Ill.; Norge Ski Club)
Snowboarding Athlete of the Year: Jamie Anderson (S. Lake Tahoe, Calif.; USASA South Tahoe Series)
2018 U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD COACHES OF THE YEAR
International/Snowboard Coach of the Year: Mike Ramirez + Dave Reynolds (U.S. Snowboard Team)
Development/Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year: Troy Price (Rowmark Ski Academy)
Adaptive International Coach of the Year: Graham Watanabe (U.S. Paralympics)
Adaptive Domestic Coach of the Year: Erik Leirfallom (National Ability Center)
Alpine International Coach of the Year: Chip White (U.S. Women’s Alpine Ski Team)
Cross Country International Coach of the Year: Jason Cork + Matt Whitcomb (U.S. Ski Team)
Cross Country Domestic Coach of the Year: Bryan Fish (U.S. Ski Team)
Freestyle International Coach of the Year: Matt Gnoza (U.S. Ski Team)
Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year: John Dowling (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
Freeski International Coach of the Year: Ben Verge + Andrew Woods (U.S. Freeski Team)
Freeski Domestic Coach of the Year: Jesse Mallis (Stratton Mountain School)
Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined International Coach of the Year: Uroš "Balki" Vrhovec (USA Nordic)
Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year: Colin Delaney (NYSEF)
Snowboard Domestic Coach of the Year: Brady McNeil (Ski & Snowboard Club Vail)
2018 U.S. SKI & SNOWBOARD CLUBS OF THE YEAR
Club/Cross Country Club of the Year: Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Center
Alpine + Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
Freestyle Club of the Year: Winter Park Freestyle Program
Freeski + Snowboard Club of the Year: Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club