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Bob Beattie on the State of U.S. Ski Racing

Bob Beattie recently shared some thoughts about the state of ski racing in the United States. Here's what Coach has to say:

  • Alpine ski racing is too expensive. When a parent calls to tell me she paid $25,000 for her kid to be on the U.S. 'C' Team, or $30,000 when moved to the “B” Team it makes me wonder. This is killing our sport!
  • Local programs are our future.  The USST has jumped in after many years away. We need top coaches and leaders at the local level who have leadership capabilities and the ability to keep parents on the sideline! (I could write a book on this).
  • Age levels have changed. Many USST racers are 30 years old or more. Maybe we should only support them if they excel, and only spend money on the younger ones!  Many have wanted to bring back Pro Ski Racing, but  we already have it within the USST – older racers have their own coaches, managers, travel etc.
  • We have a program in Aspen, in which almost 2,000 kids become skiers at  very low cost. They receive bus transportation up the valley and instruction by the Aspen Ski School instructors. Jeff Gorsuch gave 250 pairs of skis, boots, poles, and bindings last week at no charge. A large percentage are Spanish speaking. They could not be skiing without his support. The Aspen Ski Company gave 150 snowboards. We started this several years ago and it is run through the Aspen Valley Ski Club. I would like to see this number double. We should present this to other ski towns. Then we would truly be Best in The World.
  • Formats: Skiing is slow when it comes to new ideas. Let's push team events – with dual racing both at local level and USST.
  • College skiing is alive but not well in the West. Only two out of 12 skiers were Americans in last winter's NCAA Championships from University of Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, and only one from the University of Denver. Education is key, with scholarships and coaching. The USST has ignored college skiing.  It should work to bring it back.