US Ski Team to host key fundraising event in Vail in bid to be fully-funded |

US Ski Team to host key fundraising event in Vail in bid to be fully-funded

John LaConte
Vail Daily

VAIL – River Radamus is feeling blue, and he’ll tell you all about it on Thursday.

The U.S. Ski Team is hosting one of its most exclusive fundraisers in Vail on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.; Yama Sushi will host the event and a suggested donation of $500 or more should get you in the doors.

The team is about $150,000 short of being fully funded for the season, which is not bad considering they have a packed schedule this year on several continents – 44 men’s events at 22 venues and 41 women’s events at 21 venues.

Vail ski racer Kyle Negomir is set to compete in his first full season on the circuit as a member of the U.S. Ski Team’s B Team. By winning the North America Cup overall title last season, Negomir earned invites to every World Cup event this season.

“It’s all new to me, but there’s also a lot of events that will be new to everyone this year,” Negomir said. “There’s a speed event in China and a tech event in Japan. All sorts of cool places.”

Getting around won’t be cheap, but this year the ski team is better funded than in years past. U.S. Ski Team veteran Tommy Biesemeyer is helping to organize the event; he said while the $150,000 goal sounds steep, the team is feeling good about its situation this year.

“That’s what the ski team needs in order to fund the athletes on the A through C teams,” Biesemeyer said. “The D Team is also funded. They have a capped fee of $10,000, which is actually a huge improvement from my time on the team.”

‘Moving in the right direction’

Twelve years ago, when Biesemeyer was on the U.S. Ski Team’s D Team, the development team, the fee for him to compete was $30,000.

“Now that they’re just paying a fixed price of $10,000 … It’s moving in the right direction,” Biesemeyer said.

Biesemeyer said guests to Yama Sushi on Thursday will hear a few stories from his early days, as well as stories from some of the other veteran competitors on the team. Ted Ligety and Steven Nyman might be there, and Mikaela Shiffrin could show up, as well, Biesemeyer said. Shiffrin’s 2019 Alpine World Championships slalom suit, which she was wearing when she won the gold, will be up for auction, along with several other high-value items.

“It’s an opportunity to get to know each other and get an idea of who you’re supporting,” Biesemeyer said. “I think once you get to know us, hear our stories, the passion and determination is very clear, and it’s contagious, and I think people really feed off of that energy. And visa versa, the support from the ski community is huge. It makes this dream possible.”

Top destinations

Radamus said during his first full year of World Cup competition last season, he saw in the U.S. Ski Team a group of determined young men who took nothing for granted.

“This is their dream job,” Radamus said. “And they don’t take that lightly. … We go out there and work our butts off because we’re representing our nation and we’re representing everyone who supports us along the way.”

And getting there, to the bulk of the World Cup events, is just a little more difficult for Americans, something Radamus said he also saw first hand during his World Cup experience last season.

“If you’re in Europe, you’re a four-hour drive from basically every World Cup,” he said. “If you’re from the U.S., you have two events in North America and then you’re over in Europe.”

And when you’re in Europe, you’re really in Europe, visiting some of the nicest places imaginable.

“We’re in Val d’Isère, France; Kitzbuhel, Austria, and all these amazing places, and we’re really lucky, but it’s not cheap,” Radamus said. “We work really hard for it.”

Radamus said heading into this season, after all his time spent among the Euro-fashionistas abroad last year, he was ready to change up his look.

He said he’ll tell you all about it on Thursday.

The event takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Yama Sushi is located in the Solaris Plaza in Vail. For more information or to make a donation to the team, visit