PARK CITY, Utah (September 21, 2015) – Women’s Ski Jumping USA (WSJ-USA) is pleased to announce an expanded relationship with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). Beginning on October 1, 2015, USSA will assume responsibility for coaching and other operations affecting the women’s ski jumping program.
“The best direction for WSJ-USA is one that best serves the athletes,” said Peter Jerome, interim President of Women’s Ski Jumping USA. “I am pleased that USSA will be taking responsibility for the national women’s ski jumping program, including the employment and contracting of our two national team coaches, Alan Alborn and Vasja Bajc, and our partnership with UOP for our development coach, Lindsey Van. WSJ-USA will focus our organizational efforts on cultivating and supporting development programs and athletes―with an emphasis on the successful Fly Girls development program. This expanded partnership is a clear win for both organizations and will increase operational efficiency, while simultaneously addressing the specific needs of a wider range of athletes and athletic abilities.”
Women’s Ski Jumping USA’s Fly Girls program recently concluded its second summer development program and will continue to operate and be funded directly by WSJ-USA.
Members of the WSJ-USA board look forward to working with USSA to expand fundraising efforts and solidify back office operations to raise visibility of the sport in the U.S. market. “Women’s Ski Jumping USA has done a remarkable job in raising awareness for the sport across the US and in providing a foundation for the women athletes leading up to their Olympic debut in Sochi,” said USSA Executive Vice President, Luke Bodensteiner. “We greatly respect the organization’s new focus in looking to the future with an emphasis on development through Fly Girls. Together we feel that the right next step for the program is to more actively integrate with the existing systems of USSA, while working jointly to raise money to support the program.”
USSA is providing direct athlete support to ski jumpers Nita Englund (Florence, WI) and Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT), who have achieved national team criteria. Additional women’s ski jumping athletes may be competing on the World Cup tour and will be able to continue to take advantage of the elite level coaching provided through the program.
The top U.S. ski jumping athletes will next be in Lake Placid, NY on October 10-11, 2015 for the Flaming Leaves Festival, which features the normal hill event of the U.S. Ski Jumping Championship.
Kathryn Zwack, WSJ-USA Board Communications Committee
Women’s Ski Jumping USA is the primary support organization for the U.S. women’s ski jumping program and for the U.S. national team, officially called the Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team. The organization administers and finances the team’s coaching, travel, training, equipment, and the Fly Girls junior development program. The mission of Women’s Ski Jumping USA is to support and run a successful and sustainable team and to grow participation in the U.S. women’s ski jumping program through the facilitation of national development efforts to produce the best women ski jumpers in the world. In addition, WSJ-USA aspires to remain an influential voice in advocating for gender equality in sport.