The USASA Foundation
To be on the snow, with good friends, in great competition, can change lives. The USASA Foundation provides financial assistance and the pursuit of excellence to the USASA and it’s members through various awards and programs for athletes, Series Directors, officials and coaches.
The following are stories from Athletes supported by the USASA Foundation in recent years.
Last year was the best ski season I have had. I skied and trained all winter and finished my season competing at USASA Nationals in Colorado. My local ski hill opened the week before Thanksgiving and the terrain parks were set up and ready to go. My Dad had made plans for us to go hunting the week before Thanksgiving. My brother and I were so excited to start skiing that we asked him if we could pass on the hunting and go skiing instead. He agreed so we headed for Great Divide with our skis.
This year was different because my brother Konnor moved to Truckee, California where he lived with my Aunt and skied on the Squaw Valley Freeski team. It was hard because Konnor and I had always skied together and had coached each other in the park. This year I had to be my own coach and figure out where I could improve.
Over Christmas we drove down to visit Konnor in Truckee. While we were there we went to Mammoth Mountain and competed in a Slopestyle and a Rail Jam competition. The mountain was huge and the park was really good. I took 2nd in the Slopestyle and won the Rail Jam. I met some really nice skiers from Mammoth and we all skied together.
My parents are series directors for USASA. We started having Slopestyle competitions and Rail Jams in late January. We traveled all over the northwest where I was able to compete. I did really well and it was super fun. I enjoyed skiing and competing with friends from the different ski hills.
I was able to qualify for USASA Nationals in both Slopestyle and Rail Jam so in April we drove down to Copper Mountain. I was excited to be there again and wanted to improve on my performance. I did Rail Jam first and placed 24th. I was happy but want to make the top 12 next year so I can go into the finals. The Slopestyle event was tough because the weather was really warm and the course was slow. My first run went great though and I ended up falling on my second run. I placed 18th which I’m really stoked about. Next year I plan to improve and want to make the top 10.
I had a great year even without my brother. This year we hope that we can ski together again. We both need the coaching and hope that we can figure out something. In the meantime, we’re working on ski edits, training on the trampoline and we’ll head for Windells in July.
Last year I had the opportunity to live in Truckee, California and be a member of the Squaw Free Ski Team. My Aunt Laura and Uncle Aaron live in Truckee and invited me to live with them so I could train and work with a coach. I packed up my skis and my Mom drove me down over Thanksgiving break. It was hard to say goodbye when my brother and my Mom left and drove back home. I attended a public charter school in Olympic Village and was able to go to school in the morning and ski in the afternoon.
I really worked hard at both school and skiing. I rode the public TART bus from town to Olympic Village every day. On the weekends I would often ride the bus too. I trained at Squaw Valley and at Boreal Mountain. Right away I met some other skiers and made some friends.
I competed in USASA North Tahoe Series. The first competition was a Rail Jam and I ended up winning! I also competed in 2 Slopestyle events and won both! I qualified for USASA Nationals in Colorado. My team headed south to Mammoth to compete in the Rev Tour Qualifier. I was too young to compete in Slopestyle but I entered the Big Air competition. While we were there it snowed and the wind blew for 4 days straight. All the events were canceled so we drove back home.
Over Christmas break I flew home and saw my family. My parents are directors for the USASA Inland Northwest Series. They had a Slopestyle and a Rail Jam event while I was home so I competed. I also competed in 2 USSA Slopestyle events at my local ski hill. I qualified for Junior Nationals at Sun Valley.
In March I traveled with my team to Sun Valley, Idaho and competed in Slopestyle. I placed 8th in the under 15 age group and was very happy with my results. It was really great to ski a course with big jumps. Squaw Valley had received so much snow that they were not able to keep up with the terrain park and the jump building.
In April my grandparents drove from Helena, Montana to Truckee. I was headed to USASA Nationals and then back to Helena. I said goodbye to my Aunt and Uncle and my favorite, Anna who I had spent nearly 5 months with. Anna is 2 years old and it was fun being around her. On our last day before we left we went to Lake Tahoe and played on the beach. We loaded all my belongings in their truck and we drove to Copper, Colorado.
At Nationals I competed in the Rail Jam event and then Slopestyle. The Rail Jam was awesome and I placed first! I was so happy! My family and my coaches were there and everybody celebrated my win. I then competed the next day in Slopestyle and placed 5th. I was really excited and felt like I had performed my best. The whole week at Nationals was so cool. I met other skiers from all over and made some good friends. I was really happy and now looked forward to going home. I had a great ski season and can hardly wait to begin training for next year.