Steamboat Springs It’s not all training and competitions for Steamboat Springs-born Nordic combined skier Bryan Fletcher. Fresh off his first Olympics in February, Fletcher was elected to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Board of Directors as an athlete representative.
He was one of seven new members added to the board earlier this week.
“I saw an opportunity and always wanted to take a more administrative role in our sport,” Fletcher said.
Unfortunately, his first move on the board can’t be to reinstate full U.S. Ski Team funding for Nordic combined, which was cut last month. Fletcher applied for the position before he knew his team’s standing with USSA was in for a massive change. He said perhaps he’d have reconsidered had he been aware, but at the same time, he’s hoping that working on the board will give him a better understanding of how USSA sports are maintained and regulated.
In his role, he’ll help act as a go-between among board members and athletes, addressing concerns and, hopefully, solving problems.
“Three people on the board are in sports that have recently been cut,” he said. “Freshly being out of USSA, we can see both sides and get some really honest, helpful and hard-to-hear feedback for the board of directors.”
Fletcher isn’t the only member with Steamboat ties. Jon Casson, the longtime Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club snowboard program director through the 2012-13 season, is on, as well.
“It’s very important we have a role and a voice,” Fletcher said. “I’m really glad I did it and I’m hoping I will be able to live up to how I hope to be in being a good repetitive for the athletes.”
Taylor Fletcher honored by USSA
USSA also announced honors for several other Steamboat-related athletes and coaches this week.
Taylor Fletcher was selected as the Nordic combined athlete of the year. Fletcher endured an up-and-down season that straight-up tortured him at times as he tried to improve his jumping.
Competing in February in his second Olympics, he registered the worst jump score in his first event but improved dramatically in his second. His 20th place finish in the large hill Nordic combined competition was the team’s best individual performance in the sport at the Olympics.
Fletcher then closed his season strong, as well, with two top 25 finishes and an 11th-place finish in the season finale in Falun, Sweden.
Spencer Tamblyn, coach of the U.S. Snowboarding rookie team, was selected for the Snowboarding International Coach of the Year award. Tamblyn coached with the Winter Sports Club before moving up to the U.S. team.
Steamboat’s Gary Crawford also was given then Lifetime Achievement to Nordic Sports Award after nearly two decades coaching Nordic combined with the Winter Sports Club.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9