Armstrong moving to SSWSC

Gold medalist to lead sports club's Alpine program

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Deb Armstrong

— Former Olympic gold medalist Deb Armstrong has been named the new Alpine program director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Armstrong won a gold medal in giant slalom at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. She's also been a guest coach for the United States Skiing Association's National Development System Camps, an assistant coach for the University of New Mexico ski team and an examiner for the Professional Ski Instructors of America. She is one of only 13 members nationally on the PSIA Alpine Team.

Armstrong spent last year as the technical director for the Steamboat Ski and Snowboard School at Steamboat Ski Area. She said her time as a racer, instructor and coach make the new job a perfect fit for her.

"I have a real passion to like what I do, but I also have a real passion at being good at what I do," Armstrong said. "This job has the best of what I have to offer. I bring a unique blend of skills to the table."

Although Armstrong's career as a racer speaks for itself, she said the work she's done in the ski industry during the past 10 years has really prepared her for this position.

Her work with the PSIA allowed her to gain perspective and help refine a lot of technical aspects of skiing. Being a PSIA member and a racer, Armstrong said she's seen the best and worst parts of coaching. This, along with her pedigree as a racer and a hard worker, made her an easy choice for the position.

"I want to identify the best things out there," Armstrong said. "I've wanted to understand the best coaching techniques, the best ways of teaching and the best technical aspects of skiing. That's been my quest the last 10 years."

Armstrong replaces Anje Worrell as the club's Alpine program director. Winter Sports Club Executive Director Rick DeVos said Worrell - who held the position for about a year - will stay with the program and work closely with Armstrong.

He said Worrell's role hasn't been defined, but he said she'll definitely be more hands-on.

"We want to get Anje on snow more," DeVos said. "She's a superior coach on snow."

DeVos said they're always looking to get the best coaches into the club and with the help of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., hiring Armstrong became a possibility.

"We're always watching for the right kind of individuals," DeVos said. "This opportunity became evident in the last 60 days. We had the right conversations, and we're really excited to get her."

Armstrong said she has a lot of ideas for the club and would use the first part of her tenure as a feeling-out process.

"We want to keep growing and developing," she said. "I want to get a feel of where we're at. I come with a brand-new perspective. I come with ideas, opinions and philosophies. :I've got a lot of ideas brewing inside me. But it's important to get feedback from parents, athletes and coaches."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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