USA Luge appoints Scott Riewald as CEO

Riewald brings 25 years of experience in high-performance sport in Olympic and professional sport organizations; takes over for Jim Leahy who will be retiring June 30

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – USA Luge announced the appointment of Scott Riewald, PhD, as its chief executive officer. Riewald will replace Jim Leahy, who announced his retirement earlier this year.  

Riewald has worked in the field of high-performance sport for the past 25 years, both in Olympic and professional sport organizations, where he developed strategic performance plans to help athletes achieve best-in-world performance.  

He comes to USA Luge from the Boston Red Sox, where he served as Manager, Minor League Performance Development. In this role, he leveraged science, technology, and analytics to achieve high performance in the sport while also managing a multi-disciplinary performance team of sport science and medical professionals. He also serves as a high-performance consultant for Invictus Performance Systems to develop high-performance plans for sport organizations based on their capabilities and opportunities.  

Scott Riewald will take over at the helm of USA Luge. Photo: USA Luge

“I am tremendously excited to have the opportunity to work for USA Luge, and I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m eager to bring my background in high-performance, winter sport, technology, and management to the CEO position,” said Riewald. “During my 25 years in sport, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different teams, but I’ve developed a special affinity and admiration for luge, both the sport itself and those supporting it—the USA Luge athletes, the staff, partners, like the Olympic Redevelopment Authority (ORDA), the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF), the USOPC, as well as Lake Placid and the larger winter sport community. Anyone who has met me knows I am passionate about the Olympics, Team USA, and winter sport. I look forward to supporting the growth of luge in the U.S. while helping the athletes achieve their goals, both in performance and life. Exciting days to come!” 

In addition to his work in sport, Riewald served as an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University, where he developed and taught graduate-level courses to give coaches a foundation in physical sport sciences and biomechanics related to athlete health and performance.  

He earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Boston University College of Engineering. 

A collegiate swimmer for Boston University, he is a member of the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame and the 1992 Student Athlete of the Year. With his background in swimming, he published the book, “The Science of Swimming Faster,” as well as additional publications related to biomechanics, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and conditioning for swimming.  

 Riewald currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., but will soon relocate to Lake Placid, N.Y. 

 Jim Leahy, who has been the organization’s CEO for the past 11 years, will retire on June 30.  

During his tenure, Leahy navigated three Olympic Games, hosted multiple World Cup competitions in the U.S. in partnership with ORDA and the UOLF, worked in collaboration with the USOPC, and oversaw the construction and renovation of the USA Luge headquarters and start facility in Lake Placid.  

“It has been a great almost 11-year run,” said Leahy. “The road wasn’t always easy, but it was a great honor to serve our athletes, staff, officials, and parents during my tenure. I want to personally thank our wonderful sponsors, who over the years provided our association with much-needed financial and physical support for our mission.”

The nine-circuit World Cup season will kick off in Lillehammer, Norway, November 29-December 1, 2024, with the 53rd World Championships scheduled for February 6-9, 2025, in Whistler, Canada.

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