Austin Savaria Joins U.S. Ski Team Coaching Staff

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announcement:

Following spring planning meetings, the U.S. Alpine Ski Team has announced key staffing changes for the upcoming 2022-23 season.

Despite a 2021-22 season filled with challenges associated with COVID-19, the alpine team had its fair share of success, featuring 19 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup podiums, six World Cup victories among four athletes, an Olympic silver medal, one Overall Crystal Globe, three World Junior Ski Championship medals featuring one victory, and many solid results across levels. The staff, once again, were the real superheroes behind the scenes, working day in and day out to keep their athletes safe and healthy.

Along with the previously announced addition of Anouk Patty as Chief of Sport and Patrick Riml as Alpine Director, there are many new faces and the return of longtime staff members. The program features a new structure, with the World Cup and Europa Cup tech groups merging across both the men and the women, enabling athletes to train together in an effort to create a positive competitive team environment.

“This structure allows for a better team culture,” said Patty. “Not only is it operationally more efficient as we are one team rather than a group of disparate teams, but it also drives performance as higher-performing athletes pull up the rest of the team.”

On the women’s side, with longtime coach Alex Hoedlmoser’s move to the Austrian Federation, Jeff Lackie will take on the role of women’s speed head coach. Lackie had previously been working with two-time Olympic champion and six-time World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin, and more recently the Europa Cup women’s team. Lackie will be joined by Burkhard Schaffer, who has vast experience on the World Cup speed and tech circuits, having worked for the Austrians, Norwegians, Slovenians, and, most recently, the Canadian men’s speed team.

Longtime head coach for multi-discipline athlete Shiffrin, Mike Day, will remain in his head coach role, as Austrian Mark Mitter joins the group as assistant coach. With the World Cup and Europa Cup groups merging, Magnus Andersson will remain as head coach, with Kipp Spangler as assistant coach, and they will be joined by Marjan Cernigoj as head Europa Cup coach, moving up from the development group. With Cernigoj’s move to Europa Cup, Shaun Goodwin—who was most recently serving as a private coach at the NorAm and Europa Cup levels—will take over the women’s development program, along with former U.S. Ski Team athlete and two-time All-America First Team Dartmouth College NCAA athlete Foreste Peterson. Paul Kristofic will remain as the head coach for the women’s alpine program.

Notable changes on the men’s side include the return of Parker Gray, who comes from Gould Academy to join the World Cup and Europa Cup tech group. Ian Garner will oversee the World Cup and Europa Cup tech groups, while Matt Underhill will focus on leading the Europa Cup tech team. Former Slovenian World Cup skier and Olympian Matic Skube, who most recently coached for the Polish Federation, will be joining the crew with a focus on the men’s World Cup slalom team.

On the speed side, Randy Pelkey remains head coach of the men’s speed team, along with Urban Planinsek, Scotty Veenis, and Ben Black as assistant coaches. Austin Savaria will join the men’s speed team staff as an assistant coach, most recently serving as a coach for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Graham Flinn will continue to lead the men’s development program, along with assistant coach Nathan Bryant. In addition to his role as Alpine Director, Riml will also directly oversee operations for the men’s alpine program.

“It has been energizing to be back with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, working with our coaching staff to build what I know will be a solid, dynamic support staff for our athletes,” noted Riml. “It’s not only rewarding to see former U.S. Ski Team coaches like Parker (Gray) rejoin the team, but it’s equally rewarding to see former athletes like Foreste Peterson join the program as a coach who has the opportunity to create a significant impact on these young athletes’ development. I look forward to working with this staff to support our athletes achieve their dreams and reach the podium.”

The men’s and women’s teams have already hit the slopes at Official Training Sites Mammoth Mountain, California, and Copper Mountain, Colorado, as well as in Norway to kick off the 2022-23 season. Many of the staff and athletes are currently at the USANA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah for a vital strength and conditioning block, physical testing, and SkillsQuest testing prior to their next on-snow camps in the Southern Hemisphere.

A full staff announcement will be released this fall, in tandem with the official U.S. Alpine Ski Team announcement.

Jake Adicoff with guide Sam Wood Named Adaptive Athletes of the Year

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announcement (June 20, 2022) (LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT)

Jake Adicoff with guide Sam Wood - Adaptive Athletes of the Year
Jake Adicoff and his guide Sam Wood were named Adaptive Athletes of the Year. The duo teamed up for a pair of individual silver medals at the Paralympics, plus anchored Team USA’s gold in the mixed team event. At the World Championships, they won gold, silver and bronze. Beyond the medals, Adicoff and Wood have been role models in the sport with their professional way of working together and communications style - setting a new high bar for how visually impaired athletes and guides work as a team. Their example has elevated the entire U.S. Paralympics Nordic program.

Idaho Mountain Express Story

"Their example has elevated the entire adaptive team."
—U.S. Ski and Snowboard, on Jake Adicoff and Sam Wood

Alpine Staff Additions and New Roles for 2022/23

SVSEF Alpine has some Key Staff additions and new roles leading into the 2022/23 season.

Full-Time FIS Coach: Will Courtney

We are excited to announce that Will Courtney will be joining our FIS staff starting July 5th. Will is joining us from the US Ski Team, where he was a World Cup Men’s Tech coach and Strength & Conditioning coach for the past three seasons. Before his time with the US Ski team, Will gained experience as the head Men’s FIS coach at Park City Ski & Snowboard for two years, one year as the Fischer Race Director and two years with Global Racing.

Will’s vast experience with all levels of racing and athlete development will be a great asset to our program. He has a personality that connects with athletes and truly cares about everyone’s relationship with the sport of ski racing. I am excited to see Gladys and Will lead the FIS program for years to come.

New Position - Alpine Coach Education and Career Development Director: Sue Schwartz

We're excited to announce Sue Schwartz's new position within SVSEF Alpine. Sue will oversee the Alpine coach education pathway and advancement of our SVSEF coaches through the US Ski and Snowboard certification process. In addition, she will help facilitate the career development of our alpine coaches within SVSEF.

Sue will continue within the FIS team in an assistant role, but she will start her new position immediately and can be reached at

New Position - Junior Program Director: Chuck Harris

We are also thrilled to welcome Chuck Harris back to SVSEF! With the amazing growth and excitement around our program, we have decided to onboard Chuck as our new Junior Program Director. In this position Chuck will oversee all programming for our Baldy Devo, All Home Teams, U12 and U10 Travel Teams. He will be implementing the new Cheeso Cup Home Series and supporting all Mini World Cup and North Series Home events.

With a wealth of experience and coaching knowledge, we can’t wait for Chuck to rejoin our team. Most recently Chuck was the Alpine Director at Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, where he was in charge of all alpine programming from entry level teams through post graduate ski racers. Before becoming Alpine Director at Sugar Bowl, Chuck was Head U16 and FIS coach with us here at SVSEF in addition to prior experience as Head U16 Coach at Jackson Hole Ski Club, Alpine Director at McCall Winter Sports Club, Head Women’s Coach at Ski Club Vail, and Men’s FIS Coach at Burke Mtn Academy.

As Junior Program Director, Chuck will provide additional support for our families, athletes, and coaches in our rapidly growing youth programming. He will also facilitate proper team placement for EVERY young athlete within SVSEF Alpine. Starting July 5, Chuck Harris can be reached at

KEY Departure - Austin Savaria: US Ski and Snowboard World Cup Men’s Speed Assistant Coach

We are excited to announce that Austin Savaria has accepted an offer to become an Assistant Coach with the US Ski Team: World Cup Men’s Speed Team. Losing a coach on our staff of Austin’s caliber is never easy, but just like our athletes it is incredible to see our staff develop within our organization and chase their dreams. Austin’s passion for the athletes he works with will be missed. We look forward to following the World Cup for years to come knowing that two recent SVSEF staff members are on the hill supporting the US Speed Team (Randy Pelkey also coached our FIS team, and is the Head Coach for the US men’s speed team).

Returning Full-Time & Head Coaches:

  • Gladys Weidt: Head FIS Coach
  • Nate Schwing: Head U16 Coach
  • Anika Angrimann: U16 Coach/ Social Media Coordinator
  • Charlotte Gourlay: Head U14 Travel Coach/Alpine Team Coordinator
  • Adele Savaria: Head U12 Travel Coach
  • Jude Arvidson : Head U10 Travel Coach
  • Brian Eggleton: Technical Coach/ Boot Service

We are anticipating a majority of our amazing assistant coaches to be returning to their roles for the 22-23 season. There will be some shuffling of our assistant coaches due to career development and staffing needs once registration is finalized for our programs.

I am extremely excited about the additions and changes we have made this spring. I look forward to working with this world class staff to create another amazing ski season for all our athletes and families.

—Will Brandenburg, SVSEF Alpine Program Director

SVSEF Welcomes Becky Woods as New Cross Country Program Director

Woods brings wealth of collegiate Nordic team competition, coaching and leadership to SVSEF

Effective August 1, 2022, Becky Woods will step into the role of Cross Country Program Director at Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF). Woods comes to SVSEF from Bates College in Lewiston, ME, where she served as the Head Men’s and Women’s Nordic Ski Coach alongside additional leadership roles from 1994 to 2022.

“We are thrilled to welcome Becky Woods to the team at SVSEF and to embrace her exceptional leadership and coaching experience at the helm of our Cross Country programs,” said Scott McGrew, SVSEF’s Executive Director. “Her proven ability to guide athletes in the pursuit of excellence both on the trails and in the community, along with her deep appreciation of the Nordic culture and the passion behind the sport, will make Becky a tremendous asset for our cross country teams and for our greater ski community in the Wood River Valley.”

Woods’ leadership as a collegiate coach, mentor, administrator, and teacher offer a unique skillset and balance to the Cross Country Program Director position at SVSEF. In her role as Head Men’s and Women’s Nordic Ski Coach at Bates College, Woods was responsible for leading and managing all aspects of a successful Division I Nordic Ski Program, while bringing staff, athletes, and volunteers along to carry out a clear mission as a top priority. She attributes much of her success in her career to fostering a culture of trust, respect, and support, and understands the importance of imparting a true love of skiing and a respect for the process it takes to be successful.

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead this great group of SVSEF coaches and athletes,” said Becky Woods, incoming SVSEF Cross Country Program Director. “It is evident there is expertise, talent, and support within the organization—and a true sense of community. Having spent time in the Wood River Valley, I am honored and excited to become a member of the team and help SVSEF Cross Country continue to grow and excel as a ski community.”

In Woods’ role as SVSEF Cross Country Program Director, she’ll provide program-wide leadership and day-to-day management while supporting the overall vision and mission of the organization. She’ll be instrumental in the successful recruitment, training, and retaining of a world-class coaching staff and the ongoing development of an athletic program that supports each participant in achieving their personal and athletic potential.

Founded in 1972, the SVSEF Cross Country Program has consistently been recognized as one of the best in the country; most recently as the 2021 USSA Cross Country Club of the Year, and in 2022, the Junior Girls brought home their third consecutive National Championship team title. From the youngest Devo kids to elite athletes at the Comp Team, Post-Grad and professional level, our program is 250 athletes strong and steeped in Nordic traditions driven by a strong sense of family, community, competition, and camaraderie.

During the 2021/22 season, three members of the XC Gold Team competed in the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, and two additional SVSEF alumni were named to the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. For the upcoming 2022/23 season, five athletes from the SVSEF Cross Country Program have been named to the U.S. Cross Country and Para Nordic Ski Teams.

Current Cross Country Program Director, Rick Kapala, will be assuming a new role with SVSEF as the Director of Sport Development. In this new role, Kapala will lead with a broader strategic lens for SVSEF, alongside event management and fundraising for the cross country community.

For more information about the SVSEF Cross Country Programs, please visit

Photo: Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

SVSEF Congratulates Paul Smith on Move to NYSEF

Smith to Take Over as Head Coach for New York Ski Education Foundation Cross Country Skiing Program

After six years as a member of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Cross Country coaching staff, Paul Smith is moving home to the east coast to lead the New York Ski Education Foundation’s Cross Country Skiing Program. Smith’s new role will leverage his years of coaching experience along with his drive and capacity to lead junior athletes to success at every level.

“My time at SVSEF has been tremendous for my own growth,” said Paul Smith, SVSEF Cross Country Post-Grad Head Coach and Comp Team Coach. “There is a structure in place that allows coaches here to work independently enough to learn to help athletes find success at the highest level. It goes without saying how beneficial it has been to work with such an experienced staff as well. My biggest learning lesson however will be how well SVSEF builds a community that is supportive of and enthusiastic about winter sports. The position at NYSEF is a great opportunity. I feel I have the skills and knowledge to help grow the sport in a region I am familiar with and I’m excited about this next chapter in my career.”

Originally from Barneveld, NY, Smith is a successful athlete and graduate of Burke Mountain Academy and the University of Vermont. His coaching career began after competing on the NCAA circuit and graduating from college. His first coaching position at Mansfield Nordic led to an assistant coach role at St. Michael’s College, and from there, Smith moved to the Jackson Hold Ski and Snowboard Club as the Nordic Comp team coach, and then to Sun Valley.

“Paul brings a very high level of commitment and enthusiasm to all aspects of his coaching with the SVSEF program,” said Rick Kapala, SVSEF Cross Country Program Director. “We will miss him for sure and are also excited for him and his stepping into the Head Coach role at Lake Placid. No doubt Placid is fortunate to have him lead their program and we wish Paul every success.”

In Smith’s role with NYSEF, he will manage the athletic preparation and competition plans for all ages while overseeing on-snow camps, strength and conditioning, and technical equipment support. Smith will begin working with the NYSEF this summer.

For more info, please visit

SVSEF Awarded Adaptive Club of the Year

U.S. Ski and Snowboard recognized the top clubs in the country at their recent annual awards, and SVSEF came out on top for Adaptive Club of the Year.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Announcement:

One of the most noted multisport clubs in America, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, was awarded the Adaptive Club of the Year Award. SVSEF was honored for its commitment to excellence at all levels of the sport, notably their integration of para-athletes into their teams.

Among the athletes in the SVSEF program are four-time Paralympic medalist Jake Adicoff and three-time medalist Sam Wood. Both are well integrated into the SVSEF cross country Gold Team program to not only benefit their training but serving as mentors to other athletes. First-time alpine Paralympian Jesse Keefe grew up in the SVSEF program from a young age.

The Gold Team is led by coach Chris Mallory who customizes elements of their training that is unique to Para cross country. He also served as a coach and wax technician for Team USA at the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

SVSEF has provided a roadmap for how to provide quality opportunities for more athletes in their community while also continually striving for competitive success across all areas of the sport.

SVSEF is a two-time winner of the overall Club of the Year Award (1999, 2013) but it is its first time winning Adaptive Club of the Year.

Link to full story.

SVSEF Alpine IMD Team End of Year Awards

Grumpy's was the place to be on Thursday evening, where the IMD crew gathered for burgers, fries, and end of year awards!

And the envelopes, please...

MOST IMPROVED - Best fundamental improvement throughout the season, dedicated and passionate about becoming a better ski racer
Reid Holman
Naomi Ries

MOST VERSATILE - Most adaptable, always up for a challenge, supportive of teammates
Zane Oliver
Ruby Campbell

COACHES AWARD - Fully invested in the sport, asking the right questions, on time and helpful, over the top supportive of the athletes around them, all around LOVE of ski racing!
Jay Blackburn
Ruby Smith

GOLDEN SKI OVERALL - Independent Feet, Goals, Mental Toughness, Teamwork, Focus, Tactics
Alyssa Huntsman

"It was our largest group ever, but also a group of athlete’s with a TON of passion. They were incredibly supportive of each other and their love of skiing was above and beyond any group I’ve ever coached. All of the coaches on the IMD Staff are extremely impressed with our group. We are so thankful to have been a part of these athletes’ paths to becoming great ski racers and even better humans!"

—Charlotte Gourlay, SVSEF Alpine IMD Head Coach

Tucker Reimund for the GOLD!

Today, Tucker Reimund, member of the SVSEF Alpine IMD Team, brought home the gold medal in the Boys Menehune (11-12 year old) Skier X National Championships at Copper Mountain, CO!

"The cold weather, wind, and snow did not shake T-man," said Darci Reimund, Tucker's mom. "He was loving the course, having fun, Coach Angry was fantastic, and super focused. He had the fastest time of day on the course out of everyone at 57 seconds, then proceeded to win every one of his heats, and ended each race by airing and clearing the triple at the end!"

2nd Annual Boulderdash Challenges Families and Friends to a ‘Wild Goose Chase’

On Saturday, Apr. 9, 32 teams of four in full costume took to Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain on a quest to complete eight challenges designed by the event’s sponsors. Winners of each challenge and the overall winner of the 2022 Boulderdash were announced today on the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s website and social media.

Teams were given the option to begin any time after the mountain opened at 9 a.m., as long as they finished by 3:30 p.m. A mobile app enabled the teams to upload proof of completion in the form of photos and videos at each challenge, and based on their success and creativity, they earned points throughout the event. The Boulderdash wrapped up with a deejay spinning tunes at River Run.

"It was an absolute blast to partner with Sun Valley and bring the Boulderdash back for its second year,” said SVSEF’s Executive Director, Scott McGrew. “It’s simply about getting out on the mountain with friends and family, getting creative, laughing a lot, and celebrating a really great season.”

Challenges ran the gamut from creating custom sunglasses out of pipe cleaners, moving a home-baked chocolate chip cookie from your forehead to your mouth using only your face muscles, and taking aim at squirrel targets, to dancing Zumba, team costume presentation, and air bicycling at the Greyhawk Yurt.

The 2022 Boulderdash Overall Champion Award went to Team Le Fishe’s with 5,550 points. The Skippy Animals took 2nd place, and the Dollar Store Pork Grinders and Furmented tied for 3rd place.

For the individual challenges, the winners were:

  • Team Smidiots — Smith Optics Sunny Side of Life
  • Team McGroovski — First Lite Squirrel Hunting
  • The Shredders — Sun Valley’s Lookie Lookie Who Has the Cookie
  • Meyerlicious — Brass Ranch’s Show Your Brass Side (costume presentation)
  • Dollar Store Pork Grinders — Wild Rye’s Ride On
  • Harrigan Heroes — Zumba for Zenergy, Shout Out to Team Youngzies for Honorable Mention

Thank you to James Tautkus Realty for the Tic Tac Taco game, and Magleby Construction for supporting The Golden Ticket challenge to thank Sun Valley employees and lift attendants on the mountain.

ATTENTION WINNERS: Please come by the SVSEF offices at 215 Picabo Street, Suite 302 in Warm Springs to pick up your prizes, anytime between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Hope to see YOU next year!

Season of Growth and Team Building for SVSEF Snowboarding

From Development to National Competition, Team Looks Strong into the Future

The SVSEF Snowboarding Program had the team’s biggest roster in years with 35-plus riders taking part in programs that utilize Sun Valley’s terrain on Baldy and Dollar Mountains, and 50 riders taking part in the Rota-Rippers programs at Rotarun in Hailey. It was a transformative year with veteran and returning coaches creating a real sense of stability and leadership, and new young coaches bringing an energetic and exciting perspective to things.

“In such an individual sport, this group really worked as a team supporting each other along the way,” said Andy Gilbert, SVSEF Snowboarding Program Director and Head Coach. “The kids did the heavy lifting to create the tone and team community they want, and it showed. This was a great season of progression and bonding for this group!”

The Baldy Development Team pushed 20 riders this season and the staff focused on creating savvy, well-rounded riders ready for new challenges, terrain, and events as the season built. Building a sense of community and team was at the core of everything for this group. The kids were up for the challenge and all wrapped the season riding at a new level. At the season-end banquet, Coaches Recognitions went out to Felix Potts for his outstanding attitude, Clive Freytag for his Bell to Bell Passion for Snowboarding, and Scout Bilbro and Jack-Henry Kelso for Outstanding Rookies.

Snowboard Mini Shred (SVSEF's middle school program) saw 17 kids pushing themselves and each other every day. For many, this is where local and regional events become part of their focus. For those with a season or two under their belts, it’s where skills are honed and they help show their new teammates what is possible. Along the way, many of these riders qualified for bigger events they'll take part in in the future such as USASA Nationals. Two riders made the trip this year with Nico Lerner taking home a bronze medal in Boardercross (BX) and Naomi Gorringe grabbing two top ten finishes—8th in BX and 7th in Halfpipe. Snowboard Mini Shred rider, Callie Allen, was recognized at the year-end BBQ for her hard work and dedication to her riding.

“Next season promises to continue to build on the progress made,” Gilbert continued. “These kids and coaches prove that you get out what you put in! It’s been a great year of setting the bar for everyone.”