Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club tagged as the nation’s best
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When all the superlative awards are added up, the end result should have been predictable.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club was honored Thursday by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association for having the nation’s top alpine skiing program, the top snowboard program and the top ski jumping and nordic combined program. So, it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise that the club was also honored with the top overall award, the Club of the Year honor from USSA.
“We are thrilled to receive an honor like that,” club executive director Jim Boyne said. “What drives my coaches and team aren’t awards, but it’s serving the kids. Still, it’s certainly nice to be recognized by the USSA for what we do.”
It’s the fourth time the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has won the award, the most recent previously being in 2007. It also won in 2004 and 1998.
Steamboat was already the only program to have won the award three times in the past 20 years, and after Thursday’s announcement, it’s the only program to have won it four times.
Park City Nordic Ski Club won the honor a year ago, and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, twice a winner, won two years ago.
The individual program “club of the year” recognitions have been a little harder to come by.
Steamboat’s alpine acknowledgment breaks up a dominating run for Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, which had won the honor the previous three seasons. This year’s win was a first for Steamboat.
Adam Chadbourne directed the alpine program for the 2016-17 season, his first with the Winter Sports Club.
“There’s a lot of great competition in alpine for that award,” Boyne said. “Our program is very strong, and our athletes have done exceptionally well.”
The win in snowboarding, directed by Tori Koski, was the fifth for the team. It most recently won in 2012.
“In 2012, I went to the award ceremony as a head coach, and it was really cool to see (then-director) Jon Casson accept that award,” Koski said. “Once I took over the program, I set the goal to get that award again. It’s a big team effort to be nominated for that award, and we definitely have to thank all of our coaching staff.”
Steamboat’s now won the ski jumping/nordic combined honor three times, also winning in 2010 and 2007. Todd Wilson runs that program in Steamboat.
The most recent program to win such an honor before this year was freestyle skiing, in 2015.
“We’ve been building momentum for a number of years,” Boyne said. “The club has such a rich history, a legacy, but over the past couple of years, we’ve done a number of great things organizationally. We were named Gold Club last year, for the top 5 percent of clubs in the U.S. Our All Out ski racing venue grew facilities and terrain for our athletes. There’s just a lot that’s been building.”
It paid off this year in a huge set of acknowledgments.
“The important thing for us, we can’t rest on our laurels,” Boyne said. “I’m thrilled 2017 was our year, but we’re not going to work any less in 2018 and beyond.”
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