VAIL — A long list of Vail Valley locals were officially nominated to the U.S. Ski Team’s Alpine 2019-20 squad on Monday.
Obvious list-topper Mikaela Shiffrin is the lone local named to the A Team, but the B Team has a newcomer as Kyle Negomir, a Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athlete from Littleton, now living in Avon, joins locals River Radamus, Paula Moltzan and Nina O’Brien on the B Team.
Most of the new local faces can be found on the C Team and the Development Team, where former Ski & Snowboard Club Vail athletes Bridger Gile, Jacob Dilling, Kellen Kinsella and Emma Resnick are all new to the team.
Negomir said the group has been close over the years.
“A lot of hometown kids are coming up, it’s really cool to see,” he said. “We all grew up skiing together, so it’s really cool to see everyone move on to the national team and hopefully the World Cup.”
Many of the athletes were coached by former Ski & Snowboard Club Vail coach Matt Underhil, who will now coach the U.S. Alpine Team’s Men’s Europa Cup team.
“I am really excited about our staff changes for the upcoming season,” alpine director Jesse Hunt told alpine communications manager Megan Harrod in April. “We have recruited some of the most successful young and veteran domestic coaches, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see them step up to the international level. These coaches are knowledgeable, dedicated and — in some cases — already have positive relationships with our athletes that were forged during their development.”
‘I SAW HIM DO IT’
Negomir, 20, won the North America Cup overall title this season, finishing second overall in downhill, second overall in the super combined, and third overall in super-G.
By taking the NorAm title, he also guarantees himself starts at every World Cup event during the 2019-20 season. He said that will result in a dramatic life change during the ski season.
“I’ll be living in Europe for most of the winter, I’ll get to ski a lot more with Ted Ligety and Ryan Cochran-Siegle and a lot of World Cup guys, so I think that will be a cool opportunity to really spend a lot of time in Europe,” Negomir said. “I always had dreams of the Olympics and stuff growing up, but to be honest I never really expected a lot. So this is super-cool.”
Negomir is taking a similar path as Radamus, of Edwards, who won the NorAm overall during the 2017-18 season.
“I saw him do it last year, and that was really cool, so that was my biggest goal this year,” Negomir said.
Hunt said athletes from the A, B and C teams will be fully travel funded for the 2019-20 season, allowing them to go into upcoming camps with a chance to focus purely on athletics.
“Thanks to commercial sponsors, the Bob Beattie Travel Fund, USOC Direct Athlete Support, dedicated trustees and donor gifts to our foundation, as well as dedicated fundraising activities carried out by athletes, multiple arms of the organization have been working together to make this happen,” he said. “The organization has also made significant headway in our efforts to decrease travel costs at the development team level, where members will be responsible for no more than $10,000 in travel and training costs with their team.”