Olympic medalist Danny Kass joins Ski & Snowboard Club Vail as coach
VAIL — Two-time Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass has joined the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail staff for the 2019-20 season, coach Ronnie Barr has confirmed.
Barr said the timing was right, as the club had an opening just as Kass had been pondering a future in coaching.
“So we were able to arrange getting (Kass) on our staff,” Barr said. “We couldn’t be more excited.”
Kass will be coaching all around, with a main focus on halfpipe.
Kass is a seven-time X Games halfpipe medalist, winning gold in 2001. He became well known outside the sport in the 2000s, when he appeared in numerous product endorsements and a reality TV show. Kass saw the sport of competitive snowboarding through its transition into larger halfpipes and higher degrees of rotation, becoming known for performing back-to-back 900s and 1080s with a smooth, stylish spin.
In the 2014 film “Snowboarding: For Me,” produced by Oakley, Kass predicted the two avenues of progression that would mark the 2018 Olympic halfpipe competition, where Shaun White and Ayumu Hirano performed back to back 1440s for first and second, while Ben Ferguson and Chase Josey performed switch McTwists and switch Michalchuks for fourth and sixth.
“I think you’re going to see some people come out with some insane style, and you’re gonna see some progression that’s gonna scare the poop out of people,” Kass said in the 2014 film. “Truly, I believe at this point, the more snowboarding progresses into tech tricks, like doubles and triples and corks, it only makes doing a frontside 360 indy that much cooler.”
Kass finds a fitting home in Vail, where the Burton U.S. Open has taken place since 2013. Kass is originally from New Jersey and enjoyed an eight-year reign at the Burton U.S. Open when it took place in Vermont. Between 2001 and 2009, Kass won the Burton U.S. Open halfpipe competition five times.
In 2018, Burton Snowboards, the town of Vail and Vail Mountain officially announced a three-year contract extension that will keep the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail through 2021.
The International Ski and Snowboard Federation announced that for the first time in 19 years, a ski jumping World Cup event will take place on American soil from Feb. 10-12.
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