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USST two steps back - Page 2

post #31 of 43

Let's stick with this part of the discussion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
Country club set??? Are they the only folks with money? Sheesh... I guess I missed that memo as well...

I understand the principal of the argument, but at some point if the organization can't (or won't) fully fund the athlete it has to come from someplace. Fundamentally I agree that the USST is broken and I'm not sure at what level or who is to blame.
...right now, it's not that complicated: the USST is definitely broken because the USST can't, apparently, fund some B and C team athletes...and they can't fund themselves, either, otherwise they'd have already done it, right? So the money "has to come from someplace"...it's pretty much that simple. The possibilities are:

- A donor, or multiple donors, will step forward, and come up with the current B and C team funding, and the issue will disappear...until next season.

- The funding won't appear, and the racers-without-funds on the B and C teams won't be able to continue this season...so the USST new criteria for winning at every level is "can you afford to ski at every level?"...and rich kids with points that wouldn't qualify them for a Smartwool race will represent the US on the Noram, Euro Cup, and maybe even the World Cup.

- The USST will magically find the needed funds.

Those are the possibilities, as I see them, for this season. After that, your guess is as good as mine. There's been a persistent theme throughout this thread and a similar forum on the Ski Racing site which is "If it costs more money to race for the US Team than it does as an independent...what do I care about the US Team? I may not have Bode Miller's money, but at least if I raise my own funding, I know how it's going to get spent."

So I think a major change is in the works. I think it's entirely possible that either the USST will fall on its own sword if the "rich kids only need apply" scenario happens, or possibly there won't even be a USST on the Euro and WC next season. How would this affect the World Cup? Maybe not at all. I'm sure the Austrians could care less whether the US ever fields a team again. But I think the FIS has got major problems of its own, and I'm not sure they'd like to see a major player like the USST off the circuit.

What kind of problems is the FIS experiencing? For example, as reported in Ski Racing last spring, the ski/binding/boot manufacturers had a discussion, which I don't think went anywhere, with the FIS to the tune of "we, the equipment manufacturers, are funding a large portion of this circuit and we are going broke." If a major force like the USST is suddenly off the WC, and maybe a few more teams for similar reasons...well, that's less exposure for the ski manufacturers, the competition and value of WC wins is diluted, and so forth.

I think ski racing is going to endure, in some form, but it's going to have to make a lot more sense, and dollars and sense, to not just the athletes but the supporting cast as well...and whether that's no more national teams, time for factory teams, or no more national teams, just local/regional teams, I don't know...
post #32 of 43
Enter skiercross, more money to be made, more excitement, does not need DH sized courses and the newest hotness.
post #33 of 43
Thread Starter 
Somehow Monster Trucks and NASCAR come to mind or "Burn Out" competition.

Half the talent ... all show .... I'd rather watch paint dry.
post #34 of 43
Dont know about half the talent, Rahlves has yet to win.
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
Please be general (no names)- but at what level is this athlete? (B, C, Development)

Look at Bode, he's the "star" athlete and is footing the ENTIRE bill! He came up with sponsorship to pay the bills for himself and his entourage instead of abiding by the teams agenda. . :
B teamer; not Bode....... & working hard for years
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriponsnow View Post
B teamer; not Bode....... & working hard for years
but how long should someone be able to stay on their national team if they get no international results? in the great white north for the longest time there were (some would say still are) skiers that have never produced at an international level but they stay on the team because they have "potential" or are/were good enough to beat all the younger kids coming up

last year the CAST had their best year ever according to the propaganda, yet i'm pretty sure there were individual athletes from other countries that actually had more points or podiums than the whole canadian team combined

ski racing has to change and the first thing to go has to be FIS, followed by the reliance on the ski industry supporting racing to its detriment...i hate to use NASCAR as an example but the car companies financial input into the overall money pit is minimal compared to the team sponsors...
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Somehow Monster Trucks and NASCAR come to mind or "Burn Out" competition.

X2!!!
post #38 of 43
Thread Starter 
Bode is not a one man show. Giardelli & Dad bought a sno-cat and the two of them set gates on the glacier .. alone.

Bode has been (so reports go), training with the Germans, Swedes and a few others. Could he go it alone? Probably, but he is still tethered to a structure.

Factory teams ... we have that now to a point. Herman .... Team Atomic and so on .... helmet space is another gravy spot ... we ate lots of Barilla
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
Country club set??? Are they the only folks with money? Sheesh... I guess I missed that memo as well...


You simply can not compare skiing on the US Ski Team to College Football or other mainstream sports. Comparing it to Darts and Bowling as someone else stated is a far more accurate. I'm sure companies like Nike, Under Armor and Gatorade probably spend millions on "stick and ball" sports annually, skiing simply does not have this luxury.

I understand the principal of the argument, but at some point if the organization can't (or won't) fully fund the athlete it has to come from someplace. Fundamentally I agree that the USST is broken and I'm not sure at what level or who is to blame.
Let me first say that I don't profess to know what goes on at the FIS or USST levels. I defer to those who know more which is likely just about everyone who posts in Epic Ski's race forum, I suspect. I just like following ski racing and participating in a local beer league.

It just seems that shrinking the potential talent pool will not produce the Team successes necessary to sustain successful fund raising over the long haul. Some truly promising skiers take a few years to hit their stride in competition. Maybe the USST could establish an account for those who want their contributions earmarked for B and C Team athletes subject to Assessment (if they haven't already)- sort of like a scholarship fund. I'll contribute to that.
post #40 of 43
Thread Starter 
That is not a bad idea. You have to wonder if the "powers that be" would ever allow that.

Lostboy, your idea makes so much sense, that's probably why it will never happen.

If mangaement is to blame, the last thing they want is a trail of checked boxes for the auditors to find.
post #41 of 43
Haven't read all of this but, a few observations:

- A Team racers were already raising money by begging for donations. Outside maybe at most 4 or 5 racers, none of them get enough support really to be able to live on it. This isn't remotely new. The amount of support (travel & coaching) given to racers nowadays is multiples of what it was twenty years ago. There didn't even used to be much of a team beyond the A Team.

- Ski racers are predominantly "rich kids" in this country. Unless you start handing out "learn to ski" scholarships (covering travel, lift tickets, lessons and equipment) to 7-10 year olds, that will always be the case. There are always some "ski-bum-family" exceptions, and the odd Bode Miller, but the pool of kids that ever even run a course is probably at least 80-90% upper middle class.

- On the other hand (maybe it's the same hand), ski racers in this country typically do not give up an education or a career, though they often defer it. A fair number of USST members are "slow-motion" college students while on the team (there are even some who have managed to graduate) and some more start college when they retire.
post #42 of 43
When none of America's best male skiers in recent decades- the Mahres and Miller qualified as upper Middle Class, then you have to question the wisdom of a program that just accepts the fact that ski racing is a rich kids sport.
post #43 of 43
Thread Starter 
There is some "big money" behind some kids. There are also many kids in the ski academy environment that are there on scholarship.

You can throw money at a kid ..... hell .... this is not drag racing where you walk into a speed shop and and order up a blower and "nox" to go faster.

In the end ... speed talks and Bull Schizz walks! Most of those rich kids walk.

You could arge too that there was some money in the Miller family through the tennis camp, how much is relative, too me that would be "big money" I guess.

If you have talent and do well in the JO's, you will end up with a sponsor and a scholarship.

The "J" ranks ..... some dads were diamond merchants, drove Ferrari's and others were truck dirvers, equipment operators and corrections officers. Many worked patrol or taught to keep the costs down. From those ranks the talent will rise. Most kids just drop out by the time J-1 hits .... the ranks are down by 80%.
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