THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: Athletes come, compete and leave, usually with nothing more than their medals and memories.
Bill Marolt, CEO/president of the U.S. Ski Association, is making a change in the routine. He believes retiring ski-team athletes should be recognized for their contributions.So from now on, retiring skiers and coaches will be honored and then presented with a special ski-team jacket and a framed photo at a special banquet.
Among this year's honorees were Trace Worthington of Park City, the 1995 World Freestyle Champion, A.J. Kitt of Rochester, N.Y., the 1993 World Championship bronze medalist, and Tommy Moe, Jackson, Wyo., the 1994 Olympic gold and silver champion.
Other retiring members include Matt Grosjean of Steamboat Springs, a three-time U.S. slalom champion. Grosjean raced in several Utah events over his career, including America's Opening in Park City.
Sean Smith of Park City, a competitor in the 1994 Olympics in freestyle, was also among the retirees.
Randy Weber of Steamboat, long considered one of America's top ski jumpers and winner of four U.S. championships, is another of those retiring from the program. Weber has been a favorite of spectators at the Utah Winter Sports Park over the past few years.
AWARDS PRESENTED: At the same time, a number of awards were given for past and present service to skiing.
Alan Hayes of Salt Lake City, a longtime official of junior racing in Utah, was given the Russell Wilder Award in recognition for his efforts to promote junior ski racing.
Wayne Hilterbrand of Park City, head coach of the U.S. Freestyle Team, was given two honors - Coach of the Year and Freestyle Coach of the Year. The U.S. freestyle team won three of the four Olympic gold medals and three World Cup titles last season.
Herrwig Demschar of Park City, recently named the 2002 alpine director for the Salt Lake Olympic Committee, was named Alpine Coach of the Year.
Corby Fisher of Park City, was Coach of the Year for ski jumping and nordic combined.
And, Johnny Moseley of Tiburon, Calif., winner of the gold in freestyle mogul skiing, was given the Beck International Award as the No. 1 skier for the 1998 season.
VAN ERT HONORED: Sondra Van Ert, a former Utah skier now living in Ketchum, Idaho, heads a list of those named to the U.S. Snowboard Team. Van Ert, who skied for the University of Utah and later made a switch to snowboarding, was on the U.S. Olympic team this past winter.
Also on the snowboard team are Ross Powers of South Londonderry, Vt., winner of the bronze medal in the halfpipe; Mike Jacoby of Hood River, Or., the current world champion; and Jeff Archibald of Salt Lake.
Van Ert won a bronze medal in the GS and parallel slalom at the '96 FIS World Championships, then went on to win the GS title at the 1997 World Championships.
This past season she was 12th in the Olympics in the GS, then went on to win her fourth national GS title at the U.S. Snowboard Championships.
Ricky Bowers of Park City was named to the halfpipe C team.
BOBSLED WINNERS: Jim Herberich of Winchester, Mass., and Paul Wise, of Geneva, Ill., teamed up to win the two-man bobsled push title in competition held, of all places, in the tropical community of Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The U.S. pair had push times of 5.49, 5.47 and 5.46.
Herberich then joined up with Dave Owens of Tulsa, Okla., Chip Holston of Gulf Breeze, Fla., and Earl Shepperd of Pittsburgh, Pa., to place third in the four-man push competition.
The four-man team from the Czech Republic won the event, with France taking second.
Jean Racine of Waterford, Mich., and Meg Henderson of Houston, Tex., finished third in the women's event.
The bobsled push competition is the kickoff event for the World Cup season. Bobsledders have long contended that a good push is the biggest step towards the gold.
The first men's event will be in Calgary, Canada, Nov. 14-15. The women will begin their season in Park City, Dec. 5-6.