Three-time Olympian Liz Stephen hired as XC Comp Team coach

PARK CITY, Utah. — The Park City Ski and Snowboard Cross Country Team has brought on Parkite Liz Stephen as the competition team head coach. She knows a thing or two or three about competition, as she has represented the United States in the Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, and PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Stephen has worked as an assistant coach for the team for the last three years as it trains on a year-round basis utilizing roller skis through the warmer months. Speaking of work, Stephen finds time to coach while she holds down a job at the Park City Hospital as a Patient Care Tech and Endoscopy Tech.

“I am over the moon, and also a little nervous too,” Stephen said. “I have never been fully in charge of a team before, so there is a lot to learn. Thankfully, however, I had three years of learning from Gordo and Ruff and so I feel much readier for the challenge than I would have felt without that wealth of knowledge being passed down.”

Both the cross country and nordic combined athletes will now benefit from her tutelage. The team is comprised of local 14- to 18-year-old athletes, many of whom are simultaneously on the respective junior national teams.

Emma Garrard, director and head Devo coach of the PCSS – Nordic Team, said, “We did a lot of searching and we’re really happy that Liz applied. We know she’s super excited about the job and we’re grateful for her leadership. We have had a lot of positive feedback from the families and kids in our program and we look forward to working with her further.”

Stephen’s mere presence on the staff roster personifies the high-caliber of capable coaching the Park City Ski and Snowboard Team (PCSS) has on offer in all its different disciplines as a veritable who’s who in the ski and snowboard industry.

Liz Steven et al. Photo: Courtesy of Liz Steven
Stephen said to TownLift, “A big focus for me has always been creating positive and effective team dynamics. My time spent on the National Team as well as at Burke Mountain Academy where I attended high school, was focused on creating and maintaining a community and team culture that we all wanted to be a part of and contribute to.” She went on to say, “Results are important in the moment, they keep you motivated, teach hard lessons when you come up short, and give you direction for goal setting. The ownership of creating and maintaining community and team culture is where the real learning in sport happens, and it is the difference between a good team and a great one. I am highly motivated to continue the work we have already started with the majority of the members of this team and strive to achieve that status.”

PCSS – Nordic is also a Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) supported team.

The perennially packed popular program is limiting its participation this summer due be in alignment with COVID safety protocols. Gordon Lange passed the proverbial torch to Steven after his decades of coaching cross country skiing.
Liz Steven is ready to share her outdoor adventurous spirit to the xc athletes of PCSS. Photo: Liz Steven


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