Ski Team Pinched Everywhere but Top
- 5,879 Posts. Joined 3/2002
- Location: Seattle, WA
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I'm as un-racing as you can get in terms of my interests & preferences in skiing. But it has been hard to avoid the news the past few years. There are lots of things that have struck me as odd wrt to Marolt & USST. The obvious big one being the recent DUI. Assuming he is guilty, it seems to me that competent & responsible governance would demand that the board/trustees remove any executive whose behavior was so at odds with rigid public policy they had personally implemented. Policy that would have gotten an athlete booted under similar circumstances. Although it would be comical if Marolt were to claim alcohol as a disability ;)
All in all, one has to wonder how viable the current organization & cast of characters is - despite recent podium showing-. OTOH, at least from where I sit, this is just a strange soap-opera style sideshow to skiing.
"We’re quite frankly really pleased with Bill’s leadership,” said Dexter Paine, the chairman of the association’s 21-member board, adding that Marolt was likely to earn his $250,000 bonus again this year. “Given the performance at the Olympics, it was certainly extraordinary."
So, in other words, who cares if athletes have to pay for the right to compete on the World Cup and the Olympics? There's plenty more where they came from, right? Right?
So, essentially, nothing is going to change until somebody convinces the USSA board that there's a better way, with a different leader. Until, for example, somebody points out to the board that the recent Olympic success was largely thanks to Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn, who, while they are nominally team members, have resources far outside their teammates that enable them to train, travel, and compete optimally. The problem for the US Ski Team is not today's problem...we have enough high level athletes to continue to produce success for a number of years. The problem is to continue to build a base for the future. The best athletes in this country are likely to look elsewhere when making the US Team is likely to incur a $40,000 per year penalty for the right to train and compete as an American...
Here's some more information, namely the board members:
USSA Board of Directors
Chairman: Dexter Paine, New York, NY (Foundation)
Vice Chairman: Jeanne Jackson, Portland, OR (Foundation)
Treasurer: John Bucksbaum, Chicago, IL (Foundation)
Greg Boester, Rye, NY (At-Large)
Andy Daly, Vail, CO (Foundation)
Bob Dart, Winter Park, CO (Alpine)
Glenn Eddy, Carrabassett Valley, ME (Freestyle)
Jon Engen, Ketchum, ID (Cross Country)
Joe Holland, Hanover, NH (Jumping/Combined)
Lisa Kosglow, Hood River, OR (Snowboarding Athlete)
Scott Macartney, Kirkland, WA (Alpine Athlete)
Mike Mallon, Weston, VT (Snowboarding)
Greg Mallory, Portland, OR (U. S. Adaptive Athlete)
Bill Marolt, Park City, UT (CEO/FIS/USOC)
Kipp Nelson, Ketchum, ID (Foundation)
David Pottruck, San Francisco, CA (Foundation)
Hank Tauber, Park City, UT (Foundation)
Tim Tetreault, Boulder, CO (Jumping/Nordic Combined Athlete)
Curtis Tischler, Tahoe City, CA (Freestyle Athlete)
Chris Waddell, Park City, UT (U. S. Adaptive)
Patrick Weaver, Burlington, VT (Cross Country Athlete)
Michael Berry, Lakewood, CO (NSAA)
David Ingemie, McLean, VA (SIA)
Andrew Johnson, Park City, UT (USOC Athletes' Advisory Council)
Dr. Bud Little, Helena, MT
Kind of interesting, because I had conveniently forgotten that there arfe some athletes on the board. So what's going on here? I find it hard to believe that the entire board agrees that it's okay to pay Marolt 600K a year and let him aquire yet another DUI while censuring athletes like Bode for skiing hung over (not drunk) and requiring B team members to cough up for training. Scott McCartney was quoted in the article as saying he didn't think the non-funding of athletes was a good thing...so does this mean that Dexter Paine really runs the show and the whole idea of a "board" is just a convenient fiction? Anybody know the inside story, and, more important, what those of us who are USSA members can do about it? I'm a writer by trade, I'd be more than happy to start writing emails to these folks on this topic...anybody got any contact information?