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Club News

SSWSC Appoints Interim Freestyle Director: Ann Battelle

Four-Time Olympian Ann Battelle Steps up for 2020-21 Season

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) has named U17/U19 Freestyle Head Coach Ann Battelle as the interim SSWSC Freestyle Program Director for the 2021-22 season, following the departure of Freestyle Program Director Bobby Aldighieri this August.

“We have been so fortunate to have had Ann coaching with the SSWSC, and she will be able to draw on her extensive experience in her new role as interim director,” said Dave Stewart, Athletic Director of the SSWSC.  “Our freestyle program, and the sport overall, benefit so much when legends like Ann make the choice to give back to the sport as coaches and leaders, passing on their knowledge and experience to the next generation of young athletes.”

Battelle, a four time Olympian in Freestyle Moguls, is one of the most successful athletes in the history of U.S. freestyle skiing and started her career with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. After graduating Middlebury College, Battelle moved to Steamboat Springs to join the SSWSC in Freestyle skiing at the age of 21, inspired by her hometown friend and elite skier Jeff Good, who grew up with Battelle in Vermont. Coached by Park Smalley and Tim Hadfield, Battelle set a two-year goal for herself within the program to make the U.S. Ski Team.  In-line with her goals, Battelle made the U.S. Development Team two years later and skied in the very first U.S. Ski Team Selections event in 1991. Through the selections event, Battelle qualified for World Cup Selections, and then through World Cup Selections, qualified for her first Olympics in 1992. Her pipeline proved the new selections program would give athletes on the Development team a shot at Olympic competition.  Battelle went on to represent the US at the Winter Olympic games of 1994, 1998, and 2002 for a total of four Olympic appearances. In addition to the Olympics, her accolades include World Champion and overall World Cup Champion in 1999, World Cup Champion in 2000, and a six-time National Champion during her career on the U.S. Ski Team.

“Ann has a competitive mindset, knows our Steamboat community well, and brings top to bottom experience both from her years as an elite athlete and as a coach at different age groups and levels.  I look forward to working with Ann more closely in this new role,” Stewart said.

Battelle has been coaching with the SSWSC since 2014 and worked up through the programs, starting with U13 athletes, moving to U15 athletes, and finally up to U17/U19 athletes. Her knowledge and time working with the program lineup at SSWSC will assist Battelle in her new role in overseeing nearly 70 SSWSC freestyle athletes.

“As a competitor for 13 years, I know the influence coaches have on athletes’ lives. I feel so honored to be involved in our mogul skiers’ development, both as athletes and individuals. By encouraging an inclusive, challenging environment, I hope to keep our athletes pursuing their dreams, on the hill and off,” said Battelle.

With this change, SSWSC coach Sam Tarrant will lead U17/U19 athletes this season, with Battelle assisting.

The freestyle program is in a healthy position with an enthusiastic and skilled group of mogul skiers and experienced coaches to carry forward the strong legacy of the SSWSC freestyle program. As with all its director positions, the SSWSC will conduct a national search for the Freestyle Program Director position through the winter, with the permanent position to be announced in the spring.

SSWSC offers youth development and competitive programming to approximately 1,000 athletes each year, claiming 95 Olympians with 165 Olympic Appearances, more than any other town in North America.