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Champions on the Mountain

Six Youth Olympians

The Youth Olympic Games come around just once every four years and SSWSC athletes were ready to seize the opportunity in 2020. SSWSC freeskier Riley Jacobs qualified and Niklas Malacinski, Tess Arnone, Alexa Brabec, Annika Belshaw and Erik Belshaw claimed five of the eight spots for U.S. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. All six athletes traveled to Lausanne, Switzerand in January to represent Team U.S.A. and compete with the best in the world at the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games. Malacinski led the way for U.S. Nordic Combined, placing 5th in the individual nordic combined event, and all five SSWSC Jumping and Nordic Combined athletes skied to top-25 results. Jacobs shone in the Freeskiing events, claiming top-10 results in both halfpipe and big air.

Five Years, Five Athletes

Landon Wendler became the fifth SSWSC athlete in five years to be named to the U.S. Freestyle Team, joining Steamboat’s Kenzie Radway and SSWSC High Performance Moguls Team alumni Avital Shimko, Jaelin Kauf and Olivia Giaccio for the upcoming 2020-21 team. Wendler, a home grown SSWSC athlete who started in Little Vikings, launched into the season, taking the overall win at the U.S. Ski Team Selections event before going on to finish 3rd on the NorAm tour, qualifying for his second Junior World Championships. Kauf ended the year ranked as the #1 American and #2 mogul skier in the world with one win and four podiums during the 2019-20 World Cup season.

Ben Brown Named Coach of the Year

Among nearly 5,000 member coaches across the country, SSWSC U16 Head Coach Ben Brown was selected as U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Alpine Domestic Coach of the Year. This prestigious award last came to the SSWSC with Aldo Radamus in 1990, who later went on to lead the U.S. National Development Team for several years. In its announcement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard commented on Brown’s  humble approach and unparalleled work ethic. They noted his high expectation of his athletes top-to-bottom and the success not just with the top athletes but with the whole U16 team. Brown serves as the chairman of the Rocky Alpine Competition Committee and has coached for the U.S. teams at international competition for the last couple years. In sharing what has made him so successful, Brown said, “It is my goal to help all my athletes become great ski racers as well as to guide them into becoming model citizens who care about their teammates and the world around them. As a team we strive to build each other up during the tough days and we share in the celebrations of achievement with one another.”

Taylor Gold Lands Gold at X Games

During the 2020 X Games inaugural Superpipe session, Steamboat Springs native Taylor Gold broke out a new trick, a double Michalchuk 1080, moving him up from bronze into gold medal position in the final round of competition. The trick, which requires three 360-degree rotations and two inversions in a flat-spinning backflip, has never been landed by anyone but Gold, and earned the 2014 Olympian his first-ever X Games gold medal.

SSWSC Alumni on U.S. National Teams

U.S. Alpine Ski Team

Jett Seymour 


U.S. Cross Country Ski Team

Noel Keeffe


U.S. Freeski Team

Riley Jacobs


U.S. Nordic Combined Team

Grant Andrews, Tess Arnone,

Alexa Brabec, Taylor Fletcher,  Jasper Good, Annika Malacinski,

Niklas Malacinski 


U.S. Ski Jumping Team

Annika Belshaw, Erik Belshaw,

Decker Dean, Nita Englund,

Logan Sankey


U.S. Snowboard Team

Mick Dierdorff, Taylor Gold,

Arielle Gold, Rosie Mancari, AJ Muss

SSWSC Alumni on

NCAA Teams

Evan Barbier

- University of Denver, Cross Country

Jimmy Colfer

- University of Denver, Cross Country

Sadie Cotton

- University of Denver, Cross Country

Jordi Floyd

- Montana State University, Cross Country

Waverly Gebhardt

- University of Vermont, Cross Country

Wyatt Gebhardt

- University of Colorado, Cross Country

Kieran Hahn

- University of New Hampshire, Cross Country

Noel Keeffe

- University of Utah, Cross Country

Dasha Kutznetsova

- University of New Hampshire, Cross Country

Finn O’Connell

- University of Vermont, Cross Country

Kathleen O’Connell

- Montana State University, Cross Country

Cole Puckett

- University of Denver, Alpine

Elliot Ryan

- St. Michael’s College, Alpine

Nick Santaniello

- University of Denver, Alpine

Jett Seymour

- University of Denver, Alpine

Tyler Terranova

- University of Colorado, Cross Country

Simon Zink

- University of Denver, Cross Country

SSWSC at Junior World Championships

Tess Arnone - Nordic Combined

Annika Belshaw - Ski Jumping

Erik Belshaw - Ski Jumping

Alexa Brabec - Nordic Combined

Decker Dean - Ski Jumping

Riley Jacobs - Freeskiing (event cancelled)

Annika Malacinski - Nordic Combined

Niklas Malacinski - Nordic Combined

Finn O’Connell - Cross Country

Cooper Scheel - Snowboard (event cancelled)

Will Taylor - Snowboard (event cancelled)

Nate True - Snowboard (event cancelled)

Landon Wendler - Freestyle (event cancelled)

Cody Winters - Snowboard (event cancelled)

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