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US Ski and Snowboard unveils new women's initiative this weekend

The new women's initiative by US Ski and Snowboard will launch at this weekend's alpine World Cup at Killington
US Ski and Snowboard
The new women's initiative by US Ski and Snowboard will launch at this weekend's alpine World Cup at Killington

U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s newly launched program, Heroic, will be presented at this weekend’s Alpine World Cup in Killington.

The first-ever Heroic Summit will feature speaker panels and meet and greets centered around the common goal of advancing women in winter sports.

On Saturday, some of the most powerful women in the ski and snowboard industry will discuss the initiative and its goals.

They will also discuss the challenges women face, improvements that have been made as well as advice for those entering the field.

Panelists include US Ski and Snowboard Chief of Sport Anouk Patty, President of the National Ski Areas Association Kelly Pawlak, as well as Olympic gold medalist in alpine ski racing Diann Roffe (RAWF) who’s now the Junior Program Director for Burke Mountain Academy.

The conversation will be moderated by US Ski and Snowboard CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, who says the event is an opportunity to highlight great female athletes along with areas that need improvement.

In its debut season, Heroic’s first focus she says will be on coaching.

“Only 25% of coaches in the US are female and we want to increase that,” Goldschmidt said. “And there's all sorts of reasons as to why that's the case. And actually, as you get further up the pipeline to sort of World Cup level, that number drops even more. So, we're really keen to get more women involved in in coaching. And by highlighting all the great stories across our sports, we think hopefully, that'll encourage more people to get involved. And we're also looking to make some structural changes to hopefully make it easier, and even more appealing for women to get involved in our sport.”

The Heroic initiative is building on a program spearheaded by women at US Ski and Snowboard. The system includes health and wellness programs, how to better fuel female bodies and make better-informed decisions on training. Two female sports psychologists were also hired this year to provide more mental training opportunities for women athletes.