Local ski athletes garner top awards

US Ski and Snowboard Association to dole out honors in Park City, Utah, today

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— Two of Steamboat's brightest and best hopes for winning medals at the 2010 Olympics were honored as U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Athletes of the Year on Tuesday.

Steamboat's Todd Lodwick was named the Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year, while former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete Ryan St. Onge was named the Freestyle Athlete of the Year.

Lodwick put together a banner year after coming out of retirement. The veteran skier took over the World Championships, winning gold medals in the mass start and Gundersen events.

St. Onge was nearly as impressive. He finished second in the aerial World Cup standings and highlighted his season with a win at the World Championships.

The two will receive their awards today at the USSA Congress in Park City, Utah.

Coach Martin Bayer honored

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Nordic combined ability coach Martin Bayer received the Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year Award from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Bayer, who also won in 2007, helped coach Taylor Fletcher, Brett Denney and Nick Hendrickson to the 2010 Nordic combined team.

"I think the main thing is his dedication," said Gary Crawford, the Winter Sports Club's head ability coach who works closely with Bayer. "It's his unrelenting dedication to the kids. That's what we're all here for is the kids. He puts in an inordinate amount of time."

Bayer joined the SSWSC Nordic staff in 2006. A two-time Olympian, Bayer moved to the United States from Slovakia and started coaching in Ishpeming, Mich., before eventually landing in Steamboat.

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