Steamboat club, coach, athletes earn honors
Winter Sports Club named Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year
April 22, 2010
Steamboat Springs — For the second time in four years, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Nordic program has been recognized by the Unites States Ski and Snowboard Association as the 2010 Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year.
"It's great news," said Todd Wilson, the club's Nordic director. "This award is huge because it helps build, recognizes a job well done and encourages development of young skiers at the development level."
Wilson said the award also shows just how important club programs are to the success of the U.S. Ski Team and winter sports in the United States. He said he hopes the award, and the success of former Winter Sports Club athletes such as Todd Lodwick, Johnny Spillane, Billy Demong and Taylor Fletcher at February's Olympics, will draw more elite athletes to the club down the road.
"I've had a lot of cold calls from parents who want to know more about the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and more about Nordic combined skiing," Wilson said.
He said he would not know the impact the award and top Olympic finishes have had on his programs until next fall, but he said the attention and accolades have not hurt.
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The award was announced this week and is scheduled to officially be given to the club May 14 during the Chairman's Awards Dinner during the USSA Congress 2010, which will be held at the Yarrow Hotel & Conference Center in Park City, Utah.
U.S. Nordic combined coach Dave Jarrett and local athletes Spillane and Lodwick also will be honored at the awards ceremony, which recognizes athletic excellence with more than 60 awards.
Jarrett, who grew up in Steamboat Springs, earned the USSA Coach of the Year and International Nordic Combined Coach of the Year honors. Jarrett said this is the first time he's won the Coach of the Year title. He was nominated in 2009 but lost out to freestyle coach Matt Christensen.
Spillane, who won two individual and one team silver medal at the 2010 Olympics, was named Nordic Combined Athlete of the Year, and Lodwick collected the 2010 Paul Nash Layman Junior Award, which goes to the winner of the U.S. National Championships. Demong, who trained and lived in Steamboat Springs for several years, earned the Olympic Champion Award for his gold-medal performance in the large hill competition at Whistler Olympic Park.
Jarrett said he was thrilled to have earned his honors from the USSA and thinks both honors were a reflection on the team.
"For us, it's about the team," Jarrett said. "I could not have done this without the other coaches, the service guys and the athletes who made it happen. It's nice to be recognized personally, but this is more of a reflection on the whole team and what we've accomplished since 2007."
The USSA also recognized several other clubs at the awards dinner, including Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, which won the Club of the Year and Alpine Club of the Year Awards. Alaska Winter Stars won the Cross-country Club of the Year, and Nybora Freestyle won the Freestyle Club of the Year Award. Auburn Ski Club collected the Snowboarding Club of the Year award, and National Sports Center for the Disabled won the 2010 Adaptive Club of the Year.
Wilson said the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club takes pride in winning the Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year, but the coach insisted that the award goes well beyond the walls of the lodge.
"The reason that we have had so much success is our family approach and the support that we get from the community of Steamboat Springs," Wilson said.
He said the success of the Winter Sports Club would not be possible without help from the city of Steamboat Springs, the Howelsen Hill Ski Area, Steamboat Ski Area and the entire Steamboat Springs community.
"We share this award with the entire community," Wilson said. "We would not be able to do the things we do."
— To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org