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USA Luge Board of Directors elects new officers | Apr 12, 2014
Trio brings top business, Olympic experience and leadership to new board LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - At its first meeting since a special election on March 29 produced a new Board of Directors, the USA Luge board met April 10 and elected its officers. At the special election last Thursday, Dwight Bell emerged as President and will serve in that role through the Annual Meeting of members in 2018. Erin Warren was elected Treasurer and will serve in that role through the Annual Meeting of members in 2017. Mary Ann Deignan was elected Secretary and will serve in that role through the Annual Meeting of members in 2015. “Now that the new board of directors has elected it slate of officers, I look forward to working with them to further the mission of the United States Luge Association,” said CEO Jim Leahy. “And that is to achieve Olympic, World Championship and World Cup medals.” Bell served for 15 years on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Board of Directors. He was the Chef de Mission for the 2002 U.S. Olympic Team in Salt Lake City. Dwight founded Cannon Equities in 2001 as a diversified investment/development company specializing in both commercial and residential institutional grade real estate. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama. Warren was a two-time Olympian, finishing sixth in Nagano. Erin is the Chief Marketing Officer at CollegeWeeklive, which helps students with their college search. She holds an MBA from the Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Erin was elected in 2013 to the USLA’s Executive Board, where she serves as the Treasurer. Deignan is the Americas Head of Equity Capital Markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She has 25 years of experience in banking and capital markets, raising over $200 billion in new issue proceeds. Mary Ann has extensive expertise in equity advisory and across all equity financing products ranging from IPOs to Convertible Bonds. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College and has an MBA from The Tuck School at Dartmouth. “After the outstanding Olympic and World Cup season that just ended, coupled with a new board and officers, we have a starting point to improve that athletic excellence and will strive to make even bigger headlines between now and the Olympic Winter Games in Korea,” concluded Leahy. The 2013-2014 campaign ended with Erin Hamlin winning the first Olympic singles medal in team history. Hamlin was also the first American woman to medal in the sport. The national team also claimed five World Cup medals, the most since 2009-2010. Chris Mazdzer won two silver medals in singles, while Kate Hansen’s World Cup victory in Latvia was the team’s first singles gold since 1997. USA Luge also scored a pair of World Cup silver medals in the team relay.
USA Luge Slider Search hits four major cities this spring looking for future stars | Apr 9, 2014
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - How do members of the U.S. National Luge Team get their start in the Fastest Sport on Ice? It’s through the USA Luge Slider Search, now in its 29th year, which targets boys and girls ages 9 to 13. Young athletes who want to experience the thrill of luge and train under the guidance of USA Luge national team coaches and athletes can do so when the Slider Search rolls into select cities this spring. "The Slider Search is a key program for our organization," said Fred Zimny, recruitment manager for USA Luge and U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 2000. "We look forward to giving enthusiastic youngsters the chance to have fun, experience the sport and perhaps qualify for our Junior Development Team." Slider Search clinics will take each day from 9-11 a.m, 12-2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Participants can register for the clinic of their choice and all clinics are free. Plus, all participants will receive a free USA Luge t-shirt, courtesy of Pilot Chemical. Clinics are filling quickly, so register today for a chance to begin what could be the start of your Olympic journey. Here is the schedule for the 2014 Slider Search: New York City April 26 & 27 Crocheron Park 35th Avenue Bayside, Queens, N.Y. Washington, D.C. May 10 & 11 Bowman’s Farm Road (near Airport Drive) Frederick, Mary. Chicago May 17 & 18 South Cass Avenue (between 55th Street and West Dallas Street) Westmont, Ill. La Canada Flintridge, CA May 31 & June 1 Foothill Blvd. adjacent to La Canada High School La Canada, Calif. During a Slider Search clinic, USA Luge coaches and athletes teach youngsters the basics of riding a luge sled, including position, steering and stopping. Armed with the basics, the young athletes make several runs down a paved street on wheeled sleds. Those who show the most promise at the clinics are invited to train in Lake Placid, N.Y. or Park City, Utah and will be considered for selection to the U.S. Junior Development Luge Team. The Slider Search is among the programs supported by the Citi Every Step of the Way® program, which benefits the next generation of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and athletes of all ages in communities across the country. The program supports U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and Community Programs that inspired Team Citi athletes, including 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin, on their journeys from ambition to achievement. To learn more about the program, visit https://everystep.citi.com/ . USA Luge uses the Slider Search as its primary means of athlete recruitment. U.S. Luge athletes have captured over 600 international medals since 1994. Included in that total are silver and bronze medals during the 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, bronze in the Sochi Winter Games, 26 World Cup victories, four overall World Cup doubles crowns, 18 Junior World Championship titles and 12 World Championship medals.
Hamlin voted Best Female Olympian, Wins Best in US Award, Read her reaction | Apr 2, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games honorees for Best of U.S., a new awards program that recognizes outstanding performances from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as determined by fan vote. The Best of U.S. Awards Show will air April 7 on NBCSN from 7-8 p.m. ET. For Olympic sport, slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg (Park City, Utah) was named Best Male Olympian, luge athlete Erin Hamlin (Remsen, N.Y.) was selected Best Female Olympian, the U.S. ice dancing team of Meryl Davis (West Bloomfield, Mich.) and Charlie White (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) was honored as Team of the Games, and Noelle Pikus-Pace (Orem, Utah) took home the award for Moment of the Games with her medal celebration in women’s skeleton. "I'm pretty much in awe," said Hamlin after the announcement. "It's so amazing to not only get a medal, but then be honored because of it, especially with the company I had in the female athlete category. And to have it be a fan vote for a sport like luge is amazing for our program. I can't begin to say how excited I am. Such a crazy couple of months." Meanwhile on the Paralympic side, alpine skier Mark Bathum (Mercer Island, Wash.) was tabbed Best Male Paralympian, alpine skier Stephanie Jallen (Harding, Pa.) collected two awards for Best Female Paralympian and Moment of the Games, and the men’s sled hockey team was designated Team of the Games. Additionally, Horace Mann Elementary School (West Allis, Wis.) took home the Fan of the Games award, while figure skating coach Kori Ade was selected as the recipient of the USG Building Dreams Award, which honors an individual who has gone above and beyond in his/her support of Team USA athletes. The 10 awards were presented during a live taping of the inaugural Best of U.S. Awards Show supported by USG, held April 2 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. The awards show featured NBC’s Willie Geist as host, and figure skaters and commentators Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski as red carpet and backstage correspondents. Best Male Olympian: Sage Kotsenburg After landing a trick he had never before attempted, Kotsenburg earned the first gold medal of the Sochi Games in the inaugural Olympic slopestyle snowboarding event. He scored a 93.50 when he landed a 1620 Japan with an air mute grab – a move that he invented and nicknamed the “Holy Crail.” His win marked the first time a U.S. athlete secured the first gold medal of the Games since 1952. Best Female Olympian: Erin Hamlin With a bronze-medal finish, Hamlin became the first-ever U.S. Olympic medalist in singles luge. The results were even more impressive considering the 2009 world champion had not stood on a world cup podium in two years. Her performance also broke a 34-year German/Austrian hold on the women’s luge Olympic podium. Team of the Olympic Games: Meryl Davis and Charlie White Davis and White captured the first U.S. ice dancing gold medal and captained Team USA to the bronze medal in the inaugural figure skating team event. The duo, which has been skating together for the last 17 years, set world-record scores in the short dance, free dance and total. Moment of the Olympic Games: Noelle Pikus-Pace's medal celebration After a career altered by injury and a fourth-place finish at the Vancouver Games in 2010, Pikus-Pace's husband encouraged her to give her Olympic dream one more shot. With her family by her side, Pikus-Pace won the silver medal in skeleton with a four-run time of 3:53.86. The 31-year-old mother of two celebrated the victory with her husband and children, who were waiting at the finish line. Best Male Paralympian : Mark Bathum, Alpine Skiing Bathum, along with guide Cade Yamamoto, landed on the podium twice in the men’s visually impaired alpine skiing competition at the Sochi Games. His wins include silver medals in the super-G and the super combined events. Best Female Paralympian : Stephanie Jallen, Alpine Skiing Jallen won a bronze medal in her first-ever Paralympic competition – the women’s super-G standing event. She also won a second bronze in the women’s super combined standing event. Team of the Paralympic Games: Men’s U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team The U.S. men’s sled hockey team claimed the first-ever back-to-back Paralympic sled hockey gold medals win in the history of the Games with its 1-0 win against Russia. Moment of the Paralympic Games: Stephanie Jallen winning bronze in her first Paralympic race Jallen had an outstanding performance in her first-ever Paralympic race, earning a bronze medal in the women’s super-G standing event. Her excitement was contagious at the finish, as she and teammates rejoiced with pure joy. Fan of the Games: Horace Mann Elementary Stephanie Ticali’s second- and third-grade students from Horace Mann Elementary in West Alllis, Wis., were selected Team USA’s biggest supporters from the Sochi Games. The school is part of Classroom Champions, a program that connects Olympic athletes with students across the country and motivates them to set goals, play fair and recognize their potential. Drawing on inspiration from athlete mentor Erin Hamlin, the students learned that hard work, perseverance and healthy living are among the building blocks to a successful future. USG Building Dreams Award: Kori Ade Ade has dedicated 14 years to developing 2014 U.S. Olympic figure skater Jason Brown into a world-class competitor, guiding him through the junior ranks to his first Olympic appearance in Sochi, where he contributed to Team USA’s bronze medal and placed ninth in the men’s competition. A true mentor, Ade encouraged and challenged Brown to achieve his full potential – both on and off the ice. In addition, Ade is the founder of CitySkate Outreach, which focuses on helping professional skaters transition into coaching careers in the Chicagoland area. About the Best of U.S. The United States Olympic Committee created the Best of U.S awards program in 2014 to recognize outstanding performances from the Olympic and Paralympic Games. All athlete award winners were selected by fan voting, while the USG Building Dreams and Fan of the Games awards were selected by a committee comprised of Olympic and Paralympic family members. For more information on the Best of U.S. Awards, visit TeamUSA.org .
Results, photos and interviews from day two of the 2014 Norton Junior Seeding/National Championships | Mar 30, 2014
The 2014 Norton Junior National Championships and Seeding Race #2 LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – First-time winners were crowned in three disciplines at the 2014 Norton Junior National Championships held March 29-30 at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid, N.Y. The competition featured the nation's best athletes born in 1994 or after. Roswell, Ga. Native Raychel Germaine won the gold medal with a four-run combined time of 3 minutes, 1.127 seconds to win the first major national title in her career. Germaine, a member of the USA Luge’s Junior National Team, also competed in the 2012 Youth Olympic Games, where she finished 14th. Raychel is the daughter of Bob Germaine, a member of the National Team in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. "I did have a tough week with my Oma (grandmother) passing away," said Germaine. "When I got back to train, I didn't have a single clean run and was getting very frustrated, so I was ecstatic to have some clean runs in the races." Grace Weinberg took the silver medal in 3:02.029. Weinberg, of Middlebury, Vt., made her second podium appearance in as many weeks after taking the silver medal in last weekend’s Norton Youth A (for athletes born 1996-99) National Championships. Hannah Miller, who took last weekend’s Youth A title, was third, a mere .002 behind Weinberg after more than 2.8 miles of racing. In the men’s competition, Jonny Gustafson of Massena, N.Y., took the title after a mistake in the fourth and final heat of the race cost Riley Stohr the win. Stohr, of Whitehall, Mich., held a convincing lead until he briefly came off his sled while negotiating the tricky junior men’s start corner. Gustafson, who also took the Youth A crown last weekend, posted winning time of 3:06.478, with Stohr at 3:08.301. Last weekend’s Youth A silver medalist, Elijah Pedriani of New Haven, Vt., was third in 3:11.720. "I did not expect to win," said Gustafson. "I thought Riley had the win but when he messed up the start on that last run it put him to far back to catch up in the same run." The Junior World Cup silver medal winning duo of Justin Krewson of Eastport, N.Y. and Tristan Jeskanen of Peru, N.Y. secured a convincing win in the doubles event, posting a two-run combined time of 1:28.541. A close battle for second place ensued, with Jake Farquharson of Park City, Utah and Duncan Biles of Herriman, Utah edging out Blake Hagberg of Utica, N.Y. and Justin Taylor of Newark, Del. Farquharson/Biles posted a 1:31.480 to take the silver medal, with the Hagberg/Taylor duo notching up a bronze medal time of 1:31.562. "We were having really good runs all week so it was good to go into the race with the same type of runs," said Jeskanen. "We really had a solid four runs." The Norton Junior National Championship marked the final race of the 2013-14 luge season, though sliding will continue for development teams at the Olympic Sports Complex through April 11. Coaches are expected to announce team rosters for the fall later this spring. Junior National Championship Results Norton Junior National Seeding Race #2 Results The field from the 2014 Norton Junior National Championship series. The doubles Norton Junior National Championship is determined in two runs. Today's event served as the second seeding race AND the Junior National Championship events. From left to right: Jake Farquharson, Duncan Biles, Tristan Jeskanen, Justin Krewson, Blake Hagberg, and Justin Taylor. Men's Norton Junior National Championship podium, left to right: Riley Stohr, Jonny Gustafson, Elijah Pedriani. Women's Norton Junior National Championship podium, left to right: Gracie Weinberg, Raychel Germaine, Hannah Miller. Men's seeding race #2 winners, left to right: Riley Stohr, Jonny Gustafson, Elijah Pedriani Women's seeding race #2 winners, left to right: Hannah Miller, Raychel Germaine, Gracie Weinberg.
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