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US Ski & Snowboard Preparing For Upcoming Season

US Ski & Snowboard (Tom Kelly)

Although there’s no snow left on Park City’s hills US Ski & Snowboard athletes are training for the upcoming season. While the athletes are busy preparing their bodies the organization that supports them is working just as hard.

In June, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2026 Winter Olympic Games to Milan-Cortina Italy over a bid from Sweden. US Ski & Snowboard CEO Tiger Shaw says the Salt Lake Olympic exploratory committee now has its eyes on the 2030 games.

“The IOC keeps changing and improving, modernizing the bidding process,” Shaw explained. “We are definitely one of the candidates for 2030. We would formally enter the bidding process in a couple of years.”

US Ski & Snowboard is not an official member of the Salt Lake exploratory committee, but they do have a role in the efforts to bring the Olympics back to Salt Lake.

“Some people that are connected to our sports are certainly involved, but we're very close to the entire committee and constantly strategizing and working with them internationally too,” Shaw continued. “Because in the end, its often a vote of the members of the IOC over 100 people. So, it's very important to know those people and to stay in touch with them. Make sure they are aware that this is the greatest place on earth to hold the Olympics.”

Shaw says hosting another games in Salt Lake would build on the benefits already seen from the 2002 games.

“To have Olympic and world class venues for athletes and kids in this region to grow up with is a huge leg up,” Shaw said. “We use many of them to train our teams and athletes from all over the country. If we were to be bidding for the Olympics and there’d be more support, more money would go into the venues. The impact is that we’ll have faster bigger better athletes come 2030.”

In other news, US Ski & Snowboard is looking for a new director of marketing and communications after Tom Webb left the job. Webb was at the job for a year and replaced Tom Kelly who was there for 32 years. Shaw says they’re now planning to focus more on social media channels and their content.

“We need to reinvent ourselves,” Shaw explained. “We need to provide more content to our athletes. We need to help our athletes grow their social followings. Because when we host these events the digital reach is becoming far more important than the traditional media reach. The digital channels are so critical in telling that story. With our athletes and our followings, we reach millions of people quite easily, and if anything goes viral then of course there's many many more millions of people to be reached. Telling the story of our athletes, our resort partners, how you become great in these sports, and what their lives are like.”

Shaw says the position is posted now and that they’re looking for someone who lives and breathes in the post millennial area.

Shaw also spoke about how US Ski & Snowboard has been able to reduce travel costs for athletes.

“So, we’re out on the road constantly fund raising,” Shaw continued. “Philanthropy is about a third of our budget, commercial partnerships are about a third and we've been able to grow that, so that we've been able to cover more and more of the athlete travel costs. So, we put more than a million more dollars into that this year; which has reduced travel costs for all of our top athletes, bringing it nearly to closure. We still have some more work to do, but we are in a position where we have not been for more than 15 years now; in terms of funding our teams.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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