UPDATE FROM NYSEF SNOWSPORTS
A MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JOHN NORTON
Winter enrollment launched in August and we already feel a great sense of excitement from our current and new families to get on snow. Even under last year’s strict COVID-19 protocols, the 2020-2021 season was very rewarding - our athletes spent plenty of time on snow with limited indoor breaks. Our younger athletes were busy mastering fundamental skills and exploring new terrain while our older athletes were able to have plenty of high-level training and competitions. Action continued throughout the summer and fall with local sport-specific training as well as travel to on-snow projects. While the coming season is sure to include some of the restrictions from last season, we expect a significant sense of normalcy to return.
Perhaps most exciting is that many of our programs will benefit from the variety of ORDA venue upgrades that are underway around the region. In anticipation of the 2023 World University Games – the largest winter multi-sport collegiate athletic event in the world – many of the area’s winter sports complexes have already been upgraded or are slated for improvements. Some venue upgrades include:
- Gore Mountain will host freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions - upgrades include trail widening/ grading in the Arena directly in front of the base lodge as well as automated snowmaking on the competition hills (including Echo, the primary alpine venue).
- Mt. Van Hoevenberg will install permanent waxing buildings for traveling groups near the new biathlon range and stadium. The new snowmaking system can cover 5K of trails in 3 days and the new lodge is simply incredible.
- At the Olympic Jumping Complex, frost rail tracks have been installed on the inruns while the landing hills of the 100M and 128M have been reprofiled. Next summer, the venue will have plastic on both hills - making the complex the best year-round jump venue in North America.
- Whiteface Mountain, which will host the alpine events, will have substantial lift, snowmaking and trail widening/ grading upgrades to make sure athletes can have early access and great coverage on the race and training hills.
- Although Belleayre is not a part of the Games, there have been major improvements to the venue to ensure that there is proper snow coverage early including new water lines and snow guns - the race hill, Dot Nebel, is scheduled to be one of the first trails to open.
A number of NYSEF staff members are playing major roles in supporting the development, creation and execution of the Games - some are currently serving as sport managers while others will fill key roles as we get closer to January 2023. We’ll be heavily involved in a number of test events this coming season including NorAms in alpine and freestyle skiing and snowboarding as well as Olympic trials in ski jumping and nordic combined and a Super Tour event in cross country.
Another exciting addition to our snowsports community is the return of a familiar face. NYSEF alum Tommy Biesemeyer took over this spring as Director of Skiing at our partner institution, Northwood School. After a 12-year career with the U.S. Ski Team including the 2018 Olympic Games, we’re happy to have Tommy back with us.
NYSEF is working hard in preparation for another successful season. We appreciate the commitment from our members, families and community in making sure our programs have all the resources in place to excel.
TRAVELING TO JUMP AND RECRUITING THE NEXT GENERATION
COLIN DELANEY, Head Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping Coach
Although we were unable to train on our local hill in Lake Placid this summer, it gave our youth jumping team the opportunity to travel and test their legs on other competition hills. Athletes trained and competed in Park City, U.T. in the Springer Tournee and most recently in Fox River Grove, I.L. in the annual “Jumptoberfest” – hosted by the Norge Ski Club. As the new 10M and 20M hills take form at the Olympic Jumping Complex, we will be doing recruiting events to attract more U10 athletes into our program. With the help of donors to support the purchase of youth ski jumping equipment and our committed group of U12 - U16 athletes, we will pull in more athletes locally while eliminating the financial burden involved in purchasing new jumping equipment.
Looking ahead, USA Nordic is hosting their National and Junior National Teams this fall to train on the newly finished 100M hill. This is likely the first of many World Cup preparation camps that USA Nordic will run in Lake Placid in preparation for the Olympic Trials on Christmas Day - a memorable occasion for the next generation of Olympic hopefuls. We are looking forward to running many national camps and competitions in the next two seasons!
BIATHLON GROWTH AND NORTHWOOD RE-LAUNCHES XC PROGRAM
SHANE MACDOWELL, Head Biathlon and Cross Country Coach
Our program has been making great strides within the biathlon community by adding more air rifles to our popular devo (youth) program. This program allows more athletes to experience the sport without needing to purchase their own rifle. Our junior biathlon team partnered with Paul Smith's College, adding 5 athletes to train on the range with us. Training more frequently alongside both collegiate skiers and US Biathlon National Team members is a terrific opportunity for local athletes. On the cross country side, we have re-established the nordic program with Northwood School, creating an avenue for elite cross country ski athletes to focus on both their academic and athletic careers. We
currently have 2 local athletes enrolled at Northwood,- excelling in the classroom while dedicating themselves to training full-time with NYSEF.
In September, Mt. Van Hoevenberg hosted its first elite event, featuring top level athletes throughout North America. The fall race season concluded with our historic Climb To The Castle – a 5-mile rollerski up the Whiteface Memorial Toll Road.
BELLEAYRE SHINES WITH NEW EVENTS, NEW TECH AND NEW BIBS
JIM CATALANO, Belleayre Program Director
As we approach the upcoming winter, plenty of work is going on in the background within NYSEF and at Belleayre. Major upcoming events include the New York State Ski Racing Association (NYSSRA) U14 State Championship Super G, in addition to several freeride events. When you show up to compete, we’ll be ready to provide a great venue.
Additionally, we purchased tools for each age group coach including iPad Minis, which allow for quick and constructive video feedback. Last but not least, athletes will look stylishly sharp on the course with new race bibs – thank you to Gabrielli Trucks and the Gabrielli Family for supporting this project!
THE NEXT BIG INVESTMENT
RICH BURNLEY, Gore Program Director
As soon as enrollment opened, families wasted no time in getting their athletes signed up for our programs. Our U10/U12 programs are at a record high, sitting at 84 athletes and counting. We are ready to get them and the rest of our members on snow to train and compete this winter.
This summer, we were granted an occupancy grant from Warren County to enhance the overall racer and visitor experience with the purchase of a live timing screen. The screen will display results in live-time directly from the source rather than through a multi-step process which includes volunteers and score sheets. This structure will eliminate error, decrease our waste generated at events, and create a better race experience for our racers, guests and staff. We are thankful for Warren County’s support!
FREERIDE PROGRAMS EXPANDING
AND UPCOMING EVENTS
MIKE KIRCHNER, Freeride Director
This season, our freeride team continued to cool down in the pool at the Olympic Jumping Complex – training with Coach Yari Novak and other eastern teams. We also introduced a 6 - week prep gymnastics program at the Lake Placid Center of the Arts (LPCA) led by Head Coach Yarka Novakova, international level gymnast and trampoline coach. Although currently held in Lake Placid, we hope to partner with similar programs in the Belleayre and Gore regions to help develop coordination, strength and general pre-season conditioning for competitive athletes.
US Ski & Snowboard, USASA and FIS at Gore and Whiteface are joining forces to sanction test events in preparation for the World University Games. Arena Snowparks – a renowned industry leader in quality freestyle services – has been contracted to design and build the Nor-Am level Cross and Slopestyle/Big Air courses which will be modified for use for the remainder of the season. This will provide unprecedented training and competition opportunities. These are exciting developments for our athletes and venues!
CELEBRATING GROWTH AND HARD WORK IN WINTER TERM
BEATTY SCHLUETER, Winter Term Program Director
The NYSEF Winter Term has been in existence now for almost a decade. And while that may be hard to believe, I remember when it all began with a small group of imaginative staff who dreamed big and questioned how NYSEF can better support aspiring skiers who want to train with NYSEF during the winter season without forgoing their personal commitments at home. From the outset, we implicitly understood that the Lake Placid snowsports community was currently missing a program that is designed for and caters to student-athletes who are seeking high-level skiing and academic support exclusively during the winter season – and NYSEF could meet that need.
Since then, Winter Term has evolved and adapted to meet the ever-changing needs of student-athletes. The program continues to provide aspiring student-athletes an opportunity to pursue athletics at an advanced level while supporting academics without compromise. The Winter Term program is open to athletes of all ages with a recruitment focus on U14 and postgraduate athletes. As we head into our 9th year, we stand by our vision while thanking the athletes, families, friends and staff who helped build this premier program. Whether you are supporting an athlete through the Dare To Dream Scholarship or helping to purchase a piece of technology for our academic team, we thank you for believing in our Winter Term Program and for giving us opportunities to grow.
SUMMER EVENTS AND VOLUNTEERING IN THE COMMUNITY
By DANIELLE LACAVALLA, Communications & Development Director
Volunteering in the Community
NYSEF athletes, families and staff were busy volunteering in the community this summer. A variety of members supported local endurance events in Lake Placid, rode 50 miles in the Kelly Brush Foundation Ride to raise funds for b-net, and arranged children’s activities during Lake Placid Community Day – an event to celebrate volunteers.
The NYSEF Golf Open
In June, NYSEF welcomed 32 teams to play in our annual Golf Open! Community members, staff and athletes came together to enjoy being active outdoors and engage in some friendly competition. Thank you to those who participated and congratulations to the winning team consisting of Cris Lussi, Serge Lussi, Tom Rancour and Bob Modliszewski.
Honoring JD Reynolds
A private event was held at board member Steve Reynolds' home to honor his father and former NYSEF board chairman, JD Reynolds, who was recently inducted into the NYSEF Hall of Fame. Because of JD’s vision, dedication, and efforts as a board member, ski racer, parent and supporter, NYSEF remains a leader in snowsports. Congrats, JD!
Thank you for your engagement and pride for NYSEF and our programs this summer!
THANK YOU to everyone who supported NYSEF this fiscal year!
The annual report acknowledges gifts received by NYSEF between September 1, 2020 - August 31, 2021.
The names under each membership level reflect gifts of cash, securities and in-kind. The report is compiled by the staff and the Board of Directors. The utmost care has been taken in preparing this report. Occasionally, however, errors do occur. We apologize if this has happened and ask that you notify us with any inaccuracies or omissions
CLICK HERE to access our 2021 Annual Report.
A Special THANK YOU To Those Who Volunteer Their Time And Treasure And Support NYSEF, We Are Grateful For Your Commitment!
Pictured: Board Member (and Olympian) Andrea Burke representing NYSEF this summer during an ORDA presentation at Mt. Van Hoevenberg.
Support Athlete Dreams
As the weather begins to change, our staff is busy planning and making sure this winter will be successful. Like many organizations, our priorities have shifted to ensure the health and safety of our athletes and families. NYSEF is working hard in preparation for another successful season. We appreciate the commitment from our members, families and community in making sure our programs have all the resources in place to excel. Whether it is your time, talent or financial contribution, your actions ensure that NYSEF can continue to be a leader in snowsports.Thank you for supporting our aspiring athletes!