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News from the world of ski racing

Congress 2021

Congress May 17-21
With US Alpine Nationals winding to a close in Aspen, things are winding up for US Ski and Snowboard Congress May 17-21 (some meetings may happen sooner). This year will again be held in a Virtual format with all meetings taking place online. Schedules are still in the formative stages and the final may not be available for a little while, stay tuned.
Looking back to our Covid summer and fall leading into the race season, we planned to race in a quite different way. Protocols at races, one gender race days, virtual meetings, strange bib assignments, e-signatures, online everything, it was quite different. But then we started up and found that all these things could change and did so we could have races. Once it started in January, racing was heavy on the calendar with four-day mid-week series becoming the norm and nearly double the days on the calendar for some groups.
We got good at it too! The virtual TC meetings were clear and efficient, bibs bagged by team quick and easy and the online official posting board (whatsapp for most) allowed the quick changes between runs with the coaches fully informed and start lists delivered directly to them, almost instantly. The giant leap taken on some of the technologies will be a great help even when the masked and distanced rules fade.
Where we missed out was on our fall clinics. Without a virtual solution for the education, we missed a season of training for new officials and those looking to expand their certifications. With normal attrition RMSRO officials were fewer than previous years but our ranks stepped up and worked a tremendous load of mid-week races, some getting in over 60 days! We also had many taking on new people doing practical training with certification to come next fall.
Not missing the opportunity, RMSRO did receive approval to mentor TD aspirants who have been nominated for candidacy, they have started with their shadow assignments and will test in the fall. We are excited for this talented group to take the next steps to becoming Technical Delegates.
Chelsea Roth, Breckenridge
Chris Ogilvie, Vail
Scott Ptach, Steamboat Springs
Alice Black, Aspen
Also taking the next step and applying for FIS candidacy are Ron Rupert and Kristina Revello. Their candidacy will be subject to approval by the FIS TD Working group meeting at congress. RMSRO is also excited to see their commitment to the division and the Nation.
Please be sure to keep a look out for the meeting schedules and links and participate in Congress this year. See you online!

COVID best practices

Hope all had a great Thanksgiving are remaining healthy, safe and sane!
It was great to see US Nationals take place in Copper in the middle of November and very thankful for
those that worked the event and help ‘test the waters’ of Covid Racing! Today I would like to pass along
some items from their event wrap up to help everyone for the upcoming season.
Fact Sheet – make sure the communication platform is listed, whether it be What’s App, Team App, or
other platforms. This will create less confusion by providing platform info up front.
COVID Controls – lots of reminders of daily checks sent out via the communication platforms. Links can
be posted on the Fact Sheet, too. Make sure it someone designated to follow up on the daily checks,
don’t have it just land on the RA. They used google forms to collect the daily info so that everything is
completed online. One time bib distribution and collection, pictures provided on communications
platform on where to pick up and drop off bibs. Becomes a team effort to help remind athletes, coaches,
etc. to remain distanced.
Team Captains Meetings- announce your platform, send out link to the coaches with enough time to
prepare/attend. Found that roll call by team worked best in the online scenario. RA needs to be
comfortable with sharing screen, coaches are able to watch the work completed in the software as there
was no physical board. Remind coaches to be patient as the work is completed. They used a google form
for TCM sign in of coaches, jury and guests.
On hill communications – address at the TCM what happens if cell or Wi-Fi communications are lost.
Timing will communicate with the starter of the upcoming athletes, white board to write the next few
down helps. The TnC needs to be comfortable being able to help create 2 nd run start list if necessary due
to data transfer issues (the RA and TnC need to have a pre training session for the just in case scenario).
No announcer, DSQ’s were communicated via jury radio to announce within their vicinity. DSQ’s can be
posted via communications platform. They did not have any protests so this was not tested, but they
were prepared to meet outside, masked up, if necessary to complete the process. Make sure that the RA
has someone that can help with Jury Minute communications as necessary.
Jury Minutes – Cath used Hello Sign during a non-contact time frame. There is a fee with this program
so check them out early if looking to use this sort of method. Jury minutes were sent to the TD for
approval first then sent to the jury for signatures.
Other – practice using your communications platform prior to the event. Check out if there are any costs
to your communications platform as free version do not always allow for enough time or attendees.
Your team captains meetings will take longer. Set some ground rules for TCM regarding muting and
unmuting. Possible recording of your TCM for attendance reference as it records chat bar, too.
Be prepared that Live Timing shows athletes in bib order not in start order and this can create confusion
for coaches and officials.
A PORTABLE CHARGER FOR YOUR PHONE IS AN EXCELLENT STOCKING STUFFER THIS SEASON! With the
temps and communications/data time, it definitely draws power.
Fogged up glasses –the struggle is real! Google search home remedies using soap or wax.

It is in a good season to make a divisional plan on your communications, OC’s working together, etc.
Thank you to Karen Ghent, Cath Jett, Roger Perricone, Darlene Nolting, and all others that I may have
missed naming, for sharing their ‘take-aways’ with all of us as we prepare and prepare and prepare for
this upcoming season!
Looking forward to a great season and excited to see ski racing happen!
Happy Holidays.

Lucy Conklin
Alpine Officials Education Working Group Chair

Digital Signatures

AO Community,

I am forwarding onto you the info from US Ski and Snowboard regarding digital signatures as it has come up with our ‘least amount of contact’ discussions for the 2021 season. Please read and make sure you follow the procedures.

If you have any questions please reach out to me directly.

Thank you.

Lucy

Lucy Conklin
Alpine Officials Education Working Group Chair

Hi Jeff and Roger,

We accept electronic signatures captured through electronic signature platforms such as DocuSign, Hellosign, PDFfiller, etc.  Most jurisdictions recognize electronic signatures on documents and signature platforms allow for a digital audit trail if the signer opens a link from an email and signs or enters an email when completing the form and then receives a copy.

It’s fine for an organizer or club to use the option that is most cost efficient for them.  Any forms that would have typically been provided as hard copies with wet signatures may be accepted as electronic copies with digital signatures.

Let me know if you have additional questions.

Thanks,   

Alison Pitt            

General Counsel

U.S. Ski & Snowboard

COVID-19

A very abrupt end to the season 19-20 with all races being scratched just one week ago, now all ski areas are closed and most of US on some form of lock-down. US Ski and Snowboard has announced that Congress will take place as a virtual conference with call in numbers, stay tuned for more information.

Q&A with River radamus

River Radamus is a twenty-one-year-old American alpine skier, who focuses on tech disciplines. He was the first skier (or snowboarder) to win three individual gold medals at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer and scored his first World Cup points in 2018 at Alta Badia, Italy, when he finished 24th. Keep reading to find out more about River! 

“A star is born” is also the title of your skiing career. You already broke a record at the age of 16 with 3 gold medals at the YOG. What did that mean to you?
The Youth Olympic Games were definitely my coming out party. It was my first taste of international competition and big event success. It was the first time where I believed I could “make it” in ski racing. It was also just a special time in my life. I had a great time at the Youth Olympics. I made lifelong friends and memories for a lifetime. I’m excited to follow the games this year and watch the next generation do great things. 

Having so many successes at this early stage of your career is definitely a really good point to start from, but it can also be a disadvantage because of the pressure on your shoulders. Has this been the case for you? How have you handled that potential pressure?
Honestly, I don’t feel a great deal of external pressure to perform. I’m sure some have expectations for me given my previous successes, but I don’t really think that way. Many have accomplished far more than I at a younger age, and many have accomplished far less at my age and gone on to have tremendous careers, so I don’t think past performance does anything to predict future success. I know the only way for me to get from where I’m at to where I want to be is continual improvement and drive.

When you were a kid you grew up watching the best athletes in the world on tv and collected all the Birds of Prey posters. All of a sudden you were on the cover of the Birds of Prey poster last year.  What did you think when you found out you’d be the face of the event?
It was really cool to see myself on the poster. As you said, I collected those posters back in the day. I had the the posters of guys like Andrew Weibrecht and Steve Nyman on my wall, and those were the guys I looked up to. So, seeing myself on the poster, and the possibility that I might be that guy on someone’s wall inspiring the next generation, is pretty cool. 

Who is the most inspiring athlete to you and why?
As an American skier, there’s no bigger inspiration than Bode. I think our team kind of prides itself on doing things a little different from other nations. We have different advantages and disadvantages than other national teams so we have to be a bit unorthodox to succeed in this sport. There was no one more unorthodox than Bode. He always did things his own way and was completely unapologetic about it. And of course the results speak for themselves.  

Ted Ligety has had an important influence on your skiing style, and now you have the opportunity to train with him and discover his secrets. What are the most important lessons you have learned from him?
Haha if I told you his secrets, then they wouldn’t be secrets…

Seriously though, Ted leads by example. When Ted steps on the hill there’s an aura of professionalism that you can feel. He takes his business dead serious in a way that makes you feel guilty if you take it less so. Him being there raises the game of everyone around. 

How important is your team to you?
Team is crucial to me. My team is the reason I am where I am today. Our crew is really tight-knit. We push ourselves and each other extremely hard. We hold each other to a really high standard on and off the hill, and hold each other accountable when we fall short. I think when our standard of excellence is really high, it puts all of us in a position to succeed. We’re working hard right now to cultivate this culture, and make sure it’s sustainable beyond just our group, so that it lives as an understood legacy for years to come.
 

Tech events are your main focus.  Do you also aspire to ski downhill and super-g races?
I definitely want to be a speed skier one day. Racing the big ones like Kitz and Wengen is a real dream of mine. At the same time, I recognize how much work it takes to get there. More than any other event, I think downhill takes time and experience to succeed. I’m going to continue to focus on establishing myself on the World Cup tech tour, and in the meantime continue to gain experience on the speed side at events that make sense.  

Last year was your first World Cup year. What do/don’t you like most about being far away from home and constantly travelling?
It’s definitely tough being on the road for so long. Because of the nature of our sport, I’ve spent less than 30 days at home in the past year. With that being said though, I think I’m very lucky to do what I do. I have my dream job and get to travel to amazing places because of it. The beauty of places like Val d’Isere can get lost on us occasionally with the job at hand, but being able to see places like that while I’m young is easily one of my favorite parts of what I get to do.

Which is your favourite slope and why?
For me, it doesn’t get any better than Alta Badia. If you designed a GS hill in a lab, you couldn’t make one any better. The hill has all the variables you could ask for – from steeps to rolls, 180° trail turns and even a jump. It’s just perfect in every way. Sure, you’d probably think I only say that because I scored my first World Cup points at Alta Badia, but the best day of skiing I had last season was the hill free ski the day before the race there. Two of the best runs I’ve had in my life. 

You grew up in a sporty family with a big focus on alpine skiing. How important is it to have such an understanding family around you? What are the most important values they instilled in you?
I do come from a family of skiers. My mom and dad both raced and currently coach. They both obviously have a great deal of passion for skiing, so I was very lucky to be exposed to the sport at a very young age. My parents passed along their passion for skiing but never forced me into it. They have been nothing but supportive of me as I pursue this dream. They’ve helped me to stay grounded and remember that at the end of the day this is just a game. Because of them, I make sure to enjoy the ride wherever it takes me.  

What does your life look like? What kind of passions do you have and how do you like spending your free time?
Of course skiing dominates my life at the moment. I’m on snow or strength training 9-11 months out of the year. When I do get some time off though, you can typically find me surfing in Central America. As soon as the season ends, I like to head down there to unload and relax for about a month before preparation for the next season begins.