World Cup notebook: U.S. Ski and Snowboard raises $2 million at gala |

World Cup notebook: U.S. Ski and Snowboard raises $2 million at gala

Ryan Sederquist
Vail Daily
Shaun White gets emotional after the men's halfpipe finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.
Gregory Bull/AP

VAIL — The 56th annual Gold Medal Gala — U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s largest annual fundraising event — returned to New York City on Oct. 27 and raised a record $2 million for the organization. The event included 500 passionate supporters of the team as well as 32 past and present athletes.

“We are immensely grateful to everyone who attended the event, both in person and virtually,” Sophie Goldschmidt, president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, said in a press release.

“To be in the same room with some of the best athletes in the world is a privilege and what better way to end the gala than knowing we raised an incredible amount of money to help them achieve their dreams. Thank you to everyone who donated and who continuously supports these incredible athletes year after year.”

During the event, Lindsey Vonn awarded five-time Olympian Shaun White the Golden Goat statue to honor the snowboarder’s transcendent legacy.

“This is a very hard time of year for me because the first races are happening and it always feels really weird to me that I’m not actually on a slope right now,’ Vonn, 38, told E!news in an Oct. 28 story. Vonn retired in 2019.

“But I am adapting to life after competition. I am still challenging myself in new ways, but there’s definitely nothing like racing down an icy mountain at 85 miles an hour. And there never will be anything like it, so I’ll just try to get my kicks wherever I can.”

Canceled women’s giant slalom to be rescheduled for Semmering

It was announced on Friday that the canceled women’s World Cup giant slalom from Soelden, Austria, which was set to be held on Oct. 21, has been rescheduled for Semmering, Austria, on Dec. 27. There will be giant slaloms on Dec. 27 and 28, followed by a slalom on Dec. 29.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard appoints snowboard and freeski sport directors

Two longtime U.S. Ski and Snowboard coaches were appointed to new positions on Monday. Former halfpipe head coach Rick Bower, who has led athletes to 14 Olympic medals since joining U.S. Ski and Snowboard in 2006, was appointed to Snowboard Sport Director. Skogen Sprang, a U.S. freeski team slopestyle and big air head coach since 2012, was named Freeski Sport Director.

“I am very excited to continue my work with the U.S. snowboard team,” Bower said in a press release. “Not only are these tremendous athletes, but incredible people to be around. My focus in this new role will continue to be giving them the tools and opportunities to excel.”

Bower is a five-time International Snowboard Coach of the Year and has worked with Olympic medalists Kelly Clark, Gretchen Bleiler and Chloe Kim.

“Rick brings a deep understanding of what an athlete needs to achieve their full potential and how to build a program around those athletes,” Anouk Patty, U.S. Ski & Snowboard chief of sport, also said in the release. “He will lead from experience with passion and purpose and we are super excited to see this snowboard team soar under Ricky’s leadership.” 

Sprang was the U.S. Ski and Snowboard coach of the year in 2021; in three Olympics, he’s guided athletes to eight medals.

“I’ve been with the U.S. freeski team for years and have learned a great deal, which has given me the tools and knowledge to provide even more for this sport and go even bigger in the years to come,” Sprang said in the release. “I look forward to continuing my work with these incredible athletes for years to come and cannot wait to see how this sport evolves in the future.”