PARK CITY – Just three months before U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping makes its debut in the Olympics, the team that led that fight for inclusion has lost one of its coaches.
Paolo Bernardi resigned as the U.S. team’s traveling coach this last weekend for personal reasons, according to a press release from U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping.
"It was the best decision for myself and for my team because our roads were not going the same direction anymore," Bernardi told USA TODAY Sports Sunday. "After 2½ years, eventually we are not on the same page anymore and so I had to quit."
Norwegian Erik Renmaelmo, who has 13 years of ski jumping and coaching experience, will replace Bernardi Dec. 1. Renmaelmo was most recently an assistant with the Norwegian women’s team.
Renmaelmo will join head coach and athletic program manager Alan Alborn, who will also take over some expanded duties with Bernardi’s departure.
“Erik will be a dynamic addition,” Alborn said. “We are fortunate to have this opportunity to welcome him as part of the Visa Team in what will be an historic season.”
The World Cup season begins Dec. 6 for the women’s ski jump team in Renmaelmo’s home town of Lillehammer, Norway.
Bernardi told USA Today that quitting a few weeks before the World Cup opener wasn’t the best situation, but he said the U.S. athletes understood.
"They are amazing athletes and they are going to have great success without me," he said. "I'm going to cheer for them during the Winter Games and we'll see. I don't have any plans right now except I really want to stay home."
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