New season, new faces: Coaching changes in Freestyle Skiing
At the end of the Olympic season, some Freestyle Skiing teams and coaches have taken a new direction for the future. Below is a round-up of some of the notable changes for next season.
In moguls, Finn Janne Lahtela ended his eight-year coaching career for the Japanese moguls team. The Olympic gold and silver medallist from 2002 in Salt-Lake City (USA) and 1998 in Nagano (JPN) successfully coached Aiko Uemura, among others, one of the top ladies’ moguls skiers who retired after the Sochi Olympics.
In Australia, ski cross Head Coach Matt Lyons left the team to take up a contract role with the Australian Institute of Sport, Performance Coaching and Leadership. He will continue his mandate as a member of the FIS Ski Cross Advisory Group.
Meanwhile, the German Ski Association announced that Peter Stemmer, previously responsible, along with with Dennis von Brocke for the Europa Cup ski cross Team, will take over as the World Cup Head Coach. The 40-year-old has worked in ski cross since last season after he gathered experience in the speed and technical sectors. Stemmer will be supported by Max Pupp who will continue as Assistant Coach.
In the Norwegian ski cross team, Morten Ring Christensen was named the Director of Sports until the 2016 season. He recently retired at the age of 23 from his active career. “I have a body that cannot master being a top athlete anymore. This is a good opportunity for me and it is really a dream job. I can still be part of the amazing ski cross team and take on the full responsibility”, he commented.
In Canada, a few organisational changes have been announced. Bruce Robinson has been appointed CEO of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, succeeding Peter Judge who has taken on a new role as Director of Winter Sport at “Own the Podium”.. Furthermore, Dave Ellis, Director of ski cross will be joining “Own the Podium” as a High-Performance Advisor. His position will be filled by Willy Raine who was previously ski cross Assistant Coach.
In Finland, Marko Mustonen has become CEO of ski sport Finland. Mustonen, a former coach, served as Marketing Manager at the association before and is a member of the FIS Freestyle Skiing Committee.
There are several other positions presently open which will be filled shortly, including coaching positions in Australia, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.