New season, new faces: Coaching changes in Snowboard
The end of the Olympic season is a time for teams to re-organise and re-think their strategies. In Snowboarding, there have been changes in the team staffing as well as in the structures of National Associations.
After announcing his retirement as an active race boarder, Austria's Ingemar Walder will stay on the circuit as new Head Coach of the Swiss national team, leading Olympic gold medallist Patrizia Kummer, Olympic silver medallist Nevin Galmarini and other strong, talented riders.
In France, the successful men’s Head Coach Nicolas Conte, a former World Cup racer who competed in the late nineties and represented the tricolore at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games, has left the SBX staff. The 40-year-old had a very impressive career with one gold and two bronze medals at the last three editions of the Olympic Winter Games. Conte will be replaced by Kevin Strucl, a former rider with five World Cup starts.
In addition to new coaching faces on the tours, there have been a few staff changes in the National Associations.
The former Head of Swiss Snowboard Franco Giovanoli said good-bye after successfully leading the team for ten years to take over the full-time role as Director of Sports of the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz (SUI), a position he held part-time since 2013. His position will be filled by 40-year-old Sascha Giger who previously served as Area Manager for the sporting goods corporation K2.
In Finland, Mats Lindfors has moved on to new professional endeavours. The former Executive Director of the Finnish Snowboard Association has joined the Ruka Kuusamo Tourism Association as CEO. His role will be taken over by Mika Andersson.