I think Greg is right on the money. It's appalling that our athletes are so underfunded. I believe the National Team format can work, with adequate funding and organization. I do not believe the FIS, by the way, is going to allow any other format. The Austrians and the Swiss, to a large degree, pretty much run the FIS...look at how the new men's GS equipment regs came to pass.
The U. S. is enjoying a wave of success right now, but as Greg notes, the architects of that success are getting pretty long in the tooth, and while there's promise in some of the skiers coming up behind them, it's just that...promise...and there's no critical mass. Or incentive for U. S. ski racers to continue without the kind of funding they need to race, let alone win.
Yep, what Greg says is all true...unfortunately, I don't see any kind of fix coming to the U. S. team's athlete funding problems, which are embedded within the larger problems of ski racing, the WC, and what the FIS is doing (or not doing) to further the sport. On the one hand, we live in very heady times for ski racing, with athletes like Marcel Hirscher and Lindsey Vonn making astonishing efforts to beat out very competitive fields. On the other hand...I think ski racing is dying, and I don't know what it's going to take to revive it. Or, more accurately, I know exactly what it's going to take, starting with canning all the current FIS officers, getting rid of Marolt and all the admin flunkies, and getting money and support to all ski racing athletes...but that would make too much sense, wouldn't it?