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New CEO of US skiing ‘confident’ of Olympic results, medals

The new president and CEO of the American Ski and Snowboard Association keeps vivid memories of the first time she tapped a shoe on a mountain in Chamonix, France, during a school trip at the age of 12. Sophie Goldschmidt’s best sport has always been tennis – that’s always what made her from London to Baylor University on a scholarship – but the affinity for skateboarding stuck.

Goldschmidt now runs an association that will make up about half of American athletes heading to the Beijing Olympics in less than two months, and likely some of the biggest names, such as ski racer Michaela Shiffrin, ski racer Chloe Kim and Sean White.

“We have sorts of internal goals that we don’t share publicly, because I think it adds pressure on the athletes and others, but we have action-oriented goals, medal goals, the number of athletes who actually qualify overall,” she said Wednesday in a video interview with The Associated Press… “But we are confident that we can get some really good results and hopefully we can get a bunch of medals.”

Goldschmidt was the CEO of the World Surfing Association and her previous experience includes stints in the NBA, Women’s Tennis Association and the European PGA Tour. Her appointment by the USSA to replace Tiger Shaw was announced as CEO in September; She started working there in October, and is based in Park City, Utah.

The group governs alpine, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, freestyle swimming, snowboarding, combined Nordic and snowboarding in the United States.

Given the rapid turn to the Winter Games, which open on February 4, Goldschmidt doesn’t expect any immediate moves.

“I don’t have specific plans or changes decided on kind of at this point. I think this would be kind of putting the cart before the horse,” Goldschmidt said. Because I’ve never done snow sports. So I want to be thoughtful. I will not delay making changes as needed. But I also want to make sure that I really spend time learning, listening and speaking.”

During her time on the women’s professional tennis tour, Goldschmidt said she met Peng Shuai, the Grand Slam doubles champion from China who pulled out of the public scene last month after accusing a former high-ranking government official there of sexual assault in a social media post that quickly vanished. .

The WTA announced last week that it would suspend all tournaments in China So you can contact Peng and have a full investigation into her allegations.

This issue has resonated with China’s preparations to host the Olympics.

“What happened to Peng…was scary.…There needs to be a deeper understanding and direct personal communication to make sure she’s okay.” But at this point, our athletes, rightly, want to focus on their training, the upcoming competitions and put themselves in the The best possible place to compete with the US team and hopefully they will be successful in Beijing. I think this is their job. … It is clear at the end of the day, that athletes are free to communicate however they want and we will never limit or prevent them from expressing their opinions. This goes against everything we stand for.”

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More from the AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics

More skiing on AP: https://apnews.com/hub/skiing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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