Professional snowboarders establish the country’s first, independent snowboard training organization with the aim to secure spots on Team USA and contend for medals at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games
(ASPEN, Colo., August 13, 2009) – In an unprecedented initiative, a newly-formed independent group of Champion alpine snowboarders announced today the launch of America’s Snowboard Team® (AST). AST is the first independent, professional snowboard team in the United States created by athletes for athletes. Their mission is to raise the profile of alpine snowboarding and provide a premier training environment for Olympic hopefuls to qualify, and ultimately medal, at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
AST is comprised of four U.S. National and World Cup Snowboard Champions: Chris Klug (Aspen, Colo.) , two-time U.S. Olympian and Olympic Bronze Medalist; Zac Kay (Mt. Shasta, Calif.), U.S. National Parallel Giant Slalom and Parallel Slalom Champion; Josh Wylie (Stratton Mtn., Vt.), 2009 U.S. Slalom Champion; and Erica Mueller (Steamboat Springs, Colo.), U.S. National Parallel Giant Slalom Champion. Each athlete has secured World Cup start positions for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers. The four AST athletes established an independent program to provide stronger funding and coaching in preparation for the race season and to ultimately secure spots on Team USA.
Rob Roy (Bend, Ore.), legendary alpine snowboarding coach and former U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team Coach in 1998, returns to coaching to join AST as Head Coach. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to coach the talented and motivated athletes of America’s Snowboard Team in pursuit of Olympic Gold,” Roy said. Ian Price (Bend, Ore.), former World Cup snowboard racer, and two-time U.S. Open Champion, will serve as AST Assistant Coach and Technician. Over the next eight months AST will be training at Mt. Hood, Ore., as well as Summit County, Colo. and Aspen, Colo. – home of America’s Snowboard Team.
Fans can meet the AST team at www.americassnowboardteam.com and engage in an interactive blog with the athletes and view a complete schedule of AST training camps and Olympic qualifying competitions. In addition, the Web site will feature a short highlight video, including riding and on-the-road footage, as well as interviews with the athletes.
“I am so excited about our new team. I believe this gives my teammates and I the best chance to contend for medals next February in Vancouver,” said Klug. “I’m looking forward to working hard with my teammates and Rob Roy again to achieve our Olympic dreams,” Klug continued. Kay added, “It’s refreshing to be a part of such a positive environment where the athletes have a real voice.” Mueller included, “I feel so honored and proud to be a member of America’s Snowboard Team. It has made me realize that with a little hard work and a strong desire, I can be part of something I truly believe in—a team based on passion and dedication to our sport and to each other.” Mueller continued, “I think these qualities are what will take us to the podium in Vancouver next February.” Wylie expressed, “I’m super excited! All of the hard work putting this team together is paying off.” “We’re on-snow in a couple of weeks with a great new coach and four highly motivated athletes, I can’t ask for anything else. This is going to be a great season,” Wylie said.
While in pursuit of their Olympic dreams, over the next few months, AST will not only be training and competing, but they will also be riding with a humanitarian purpose in support of organ and tissue donation awareness through the Chris Klug Foundation (CKF). “Currently, over 100 thousand Americans are on the national waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant,” Klug stated. “As a nine-year liver transplant recipient, I am passionate about sharing the life-saving message with others in all that I do. I’m proud that our new team is helping support this effort, “Klug explained. All AST members are registered organ and tissue donors and support CKF in promoting the critical need for organ and tissue donation in the United States.
America’s Snowboard Team is supported by the following sponsors: Hooters, BCF and Aspen/Snowmass. To learn more about AST, visitwww.americassnowboardteam.com .
America’s Snowboard Team®, is the first independent, professional snowboard organization in the United States created by athletes with the mission to raise the profile of alpine snowboarding and provide a premier training environment for Olympic hopefuls. Visit www.americassnowboardteam.com for more information. For media information and digital images, visit www.astpressroom.com.