First off, I hope the snow has started in your neck of the woods and you have a day or two out on skis!
The purpose of this email is to formally make acquaintances with all the excellent people who are a part of the USSMA and begin the conversation about the coming year in the sport, and to introduce everyone to Ram Mikulas and Matt Hickey.
Ram is based out of Summit County (CO), and has been pivotal in the development and operation of the Summit Skimo club. He has also been a fixture of the skimo races in CO for a number of years, easily recognizable by his ever present smile and incredible enthusiasm for the sport.
Matt is also based out of CO, and currently carries the great title of Captain in the U.S. Army. He is the commander of the U.S. Armed Forces World Class Athlete Program, which serves to train and oversee many of the incredible athletes currently serving in the USAF. Matt has a long history in sport development, and though he is a relative new-comer to the sport, he clearly loves to suffer just as much as we do!
The big change at the USSMA is that I am stepping down as president, a role which will be filled by the very driven and capable Ram. Matt is stepping up as VP, and as we develop the association in the coming years, his incredibly deep experience in sport development will be critical. Though I have loved the role of president and the opportunity to helm this great organization, I could not have chosen two greater people to take the reigns. I have tremendous faith in both of these two, and will remain a part of the USSMA as treasurer/secretary as well as advisor to Ram and Matt during the transition.
The USSMA board is listed below:
Ram Mikulas: President
Matt Hickey: Vice President
Pete Swenson: Development Director
Joe Howdyshell: Training Director/Head Coach
Chad Brackelsberg: ISMF Delegate
Nick Francis: Treasurer/Secretary
Rhett Griggs: Medical Director
Stevie Kremer: Member at Large
Teague Holmes: Athlete Representative
Janelle Smiley: Athlete Representative
Layne Caldwell: UT Coordinator
Joe Risi: CO/NM/MT Coordinator and COSMIC Director
Jonathan Sheffetz: NE Regional Coordinator
Jeff Rivest: Skimo East Coordinator
This list encompasses the USSMA organization and operating board. Thank you all for the hard work you have put in, and thank you for the hard work we still have ahead of us. Each one of you brings so much to this organization, and you are all tremendously appreciated. Importantly, we have built a very strong and diversified organization that can now support the next step of development, which will take the expertise and hard work of all of us.
The current direction of the USSMA, and our primary focus, is to develop the association into a fully functional national sports organization. To this end, we have been busy working towards a meeting with the USOC to formalize our role as the governing body of the sport, and gain access to the assets afforded to Olympic level sports, which is something that we see in the near future. Our other major goal is to raise the capital required to support our mission of developing the sport in the USA. It is our goal to be able to effectively support sport growth and development in this country in the coming two years, and in that time see the sport flourish as we all know it can. The last two years have been building the infrastructure to support this goal, and now I am handing the next phase of the development to Ram and Matt. With their creativity, drive, and expertise, and the very capable group of people behind them, I very much look forward to what the coming years bring!
The first annual Northwest Passage Ski Mountaineering race is coming up fast! I just spoke with the Race Director, and the EVENT IS ON! They have around 3 feet on the ground right now, with more forecast for the coming week. Folks have been skinning at the resort, and snow conditions are sufficient to run the event.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO RACE BOTH THE VERT AND THE INDIVIDUAL TO QUALIFY FOR WORLDS. While we would love to see you at both races, we understand the drive is long and a Friday night vert race won't work for everyone. However, if you want to qualify for the vert, you of course have to race the vert!
IF (this is a very, very low probability if) the race is cancelled, the alternate qualifying event will be Wolf Creek, to be held January 7th.
Just a reminder to those hoping to qualify for worlds- the qualifying information (and important gear information for racing in Europe) can be found here. Please read through this carefully!
Juniors (under 23) hoping to qualify must race one of the two qualifying events. Anyone under the age of 18 must also be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian. If you are an interested junior, please email email@example.com for further information!!!