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Park City Ski and Snowboard celebrates a five year mark

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City Ski and Snowboard (PCSS) has been a nonprofit training program that services 800 athletes, 600 families with 2,000 family members, 1,000 volunteers, and 125 coaches for five years now and has become one of the largest winter sports clubs in North America. They held their annual community meeting last night, virtually in the form of a webinar.

New board chair, Brent Nixon, spoke after Executive Director Christie Hind. Nixon said, “This Club is a remarkable entity and I’m privileged to be a part of it.” He grew up skiing in Crested Butte, CO prior to graduating with his law degree specializing in athlete representation. He said how he was merely a mediocre ski racer, however, later found his true passion surrounding the sport being able to now work in his practice with world-class athletes and their families.

Originally from Alaska, three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic coach, Alan Alborn, discussed the ski jumping and nordic combined updates as the sport program director with his 15-year history at the Utah Olympic Park. Their coaching staff includes local Olympian Abbey Ringquist. Alborn said, “I’m pleased to see the community coming together.” Alborn reported that those two are historically the smallest sports within the PCSS rosters.

Michael Bell spoke on behalf of snowboarding as its sport director telling webinar attendees that after he grew up competing on the East Coast and has coached the New Zealand National Team, he feels lucky to be working with the elite, International Ski Federation (FIS) – level competition athletes and help develop the snowboard cross discipline. He told of an 85% retention with 35% female participation and that on any given Saturday they’ll have 60 developing athletes show up for PCSS snowboarding.

Tommy Eckfeldt is the sport director for alpine ski racing. Tommy, who is from Vermont, said he’s happy to be putting his advanced physiology degree to good work with PCSS after coaching for the US Ski Team and then for Team Canada for ten years. Eckfeldt took the job in May and explained how he spent the summer seeking out and bringing on a predominantly new coaching staff and that now they’re ready for a successful season with the eight levels of coaching, 26-person alpine staff for 200 athletes. 

World cup and world championship athlete Adam Loomis, as the sport director, presented on video from his current coaching locale of Lake Placid, NY. The Midwesterner was updating about the PCSS’s ski mountaineering (Ski Mo) program. When Hind introduced his segment, she said, how his program has a lot of “uphill skiers.” Indeed, since the sport was added to the Olympics for 2026, his program has seen steady growth in participation with 30 athletes in only its second year.

Chris or “Hatch” Haslock as he’s been known over his last 38 years of coaching is the sport director for Freeski which is both park/pipe and big mountain skiing. Hind explained that Hatch’s program is experiencing, “unbelievable popularity and the participant numbers are skyrocketing.”

Emma Garrard presented as the sport director for her cross country ski program which includes coaching by three-time Olympian Liz Stephen. Since Garrard, who skied as a young athlete in Alaska, has been with the program, her roster has tripled in size to its present 200 athletes. Garrard was quick to share praise and to give praise with the local nonprofit Solomon Fund which ensures that Free and Reduced Lunch recipients as well as every child in Park City can find the funding to join these PCSS sports.

Ryan Devine, Freestyle Sport Director, described how his athletes gain applicable skill-building in the Shredders program which has grown into one of the largest multi-sport programs in the country whereby participants get to try many of PCSS’s offerings that promote, “all around skiing for a life-long passion in skiing with great friendships.”

Mikaela Wilson videoed in from Sweden, where she was coaching some of that team’s elite athletes. 

Live Like Sam Executive Director, Ron Jackenthal expressed gratitude for the partnership of his nonprofit with PCSS. 

Dr. Travis Dorsh finished out the PCSS webinar with a presentation from his Utah State University families in Sports Lab where he collaborates with US Ski and Snowboard and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) in the field of Quality Parenting.

PCSS is hosting a community watch party on February 10 to watch the Beijing 2022 Olympics, location to be determined.

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