PARK CITY, Utah (March 13) - U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) President and CEO Bill Marolt has named Olympian Luke Bodensteiner as associate athletic director of high performance. Bodensteiner will be responsible for providing support services to the directors of each of the USSA's six sport programs.
Bodensteiner, a two-time cross country Olympian and three-time U.S. champion, has been with USSA's nordic programs since 1996. In his tenure he has developed greater depth and cohesion in the grassroots sport community resulting in stronger international results.
His responsibilities as high performance director will include overseeing strategic plan development and operational plan management with sports and athletic service departments including education, sport science and sports medicine. In addition, he will work with events, fundraising, sales and marketing, communications and athlete services to maximize support for athletic programs.
"This is a strong step for our organization to provide greater high performance support for each of our USSA sport programs including the athletes at all levels," said Marolt. "Luke has achieved great success with our nordic programs. He is a strong strategic planner who can coordinate athletic performance support to help each of our sports to be best in the world."
Bodensteiner's work will also help enhance the value to clubs and athletes in conjunction with USSA's new national training and education center, the Center of Excellence, which will open next year. The Center of Excellence will provide high performance elite training facilities plus educational support to athletes at all levels nationwide.
The USSA is an Olympic sports organization providing athletic programs from grassroots to elite national teams in alpine skiing, cross country, disabled alpine and cross country, freestyle, ski jumping and nordic combined, and snowboarding. Bodensteiner will work closely with the directors of each sport program, plus all of the USSA's support departments, to help develop and implement plans.
"We have an incredible group of sport directors providing services for athletes," said Bodensteiner. "My job will be to enhance what they do in leading their respective sports by coordinating support and strategic planning so that we can deliver high performance programs in every sport at every level nationwide."
"One of the keys to our growing athletic success has been strength in our individual sport programs," said Marolt. "Our sport directors will now have another resource to help maximize the benefits to athletes at all levels."
Bodensteiner joined the USSA in 1996 and became nordic director in 2001, overseeing cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping. In his tenure he has brought greater depth and cohesion to the cross country skiing community through outreach to clubs and empowerment of regional programs. One of his key developments was the growth of the crosss country SuperTour domestic series.
Among the many elite athletic highlights have been the first American nordic World Championship medals from 2003 nordic combined world champion Johnny Spillane, and 2007 silver medalist Bill Demong. In 2002, both the nordic combined and cross country relay teams had top-five Olympic finishes. U.S. cross country skiers are now consistently in contention at major international events, including the World Cup, with a breakthrough win by Kikkan Randall earlier this year. And the USSA now actively supports women on the U.S. Ski Jumping Team.
Bodensteiner will assume his new responsibilities immediately, as the USSA prepares for its April Athletic Summit planning sessions. A search for a replacement nordic program director is underway.
"Luke and I have discussed a number of top candidates for the position and we expect to fill it shortly," said Marolt. "We have strong nordic programs in place and I anticipate a smooth transition."
Bodensteiner grew up in West Bend, WI and graduated from the University of Utah in 1993, where he won two NCAA titles. He skied in the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games. He lives in Heber City, Utah with his wife, Vibeke, and daughters, Thea and Julia.