School is now in session across the country, including at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s new USSA TEAM Academy. The innovative new high school program opened its doors this fall under the Olympic governing body for skiing and snowboarding, designed to enhance its Best in the World athletic vision with the new academic program. The Academy features a cutting-edge blended educational model using a mix of classroom and technology with teachers to manage customized curriculum while athletes train and compete at the sport’s highest level. Nearly two dozen elite team student athletes are enrolled in the inaugural program on campuses at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah and with USSA’s Elite Aerial Development Program (EADP) in Lake Placid, New York.
The Academy was developed by the USSA to provide a strong academic solution to a growing number of high school-aged athletes in elite development and national team programs who are training and competing full-time with USSA’s elite teams. That growth has been fueled by new Olympic sports in freeskiing and snowboarding, plus a directed effort by the USSA to drive higher-level athletic development programs in alpine ski racing down into U16 and U18 age categories. Athletes qualified for any of USSA’s elite teams – across all of its skiing and snowboarding disciplines – eligible for participation in the TEAM Academy. The age range for current students in the USSA TEAM Academy is from 13 years to 18 years.