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Winter sports: Tiger Shaw to replace Bill Marolt as USSA leader

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Bill Marolt

By Michael C. Lewis

Special to The Tribune

First published Aug 28 2013 11:27AM
Updated Feb 14, 2014 11:33PM

Park City • When longtime CEO Bill Marolt leaves his position with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association after the 2014 Sochi Olympics six months from now, he will be replaced by a fellow former ski racer whom he once coached at the Olympics.

Two-time Olympian Tiger Shaw was named Wednesday to replace Marolt, who had announced previously plans to retire after an illustrious 18-year career that revitalized the once-foundering federation.

"I welcome his passion for furthering a ‘Best in the World’ vision that means a great deal to us both," Marolt said in a statement. "He has earned success on and off the slopes, and I’m confident that the USSA will be in good hands under his leadership."

It certainly was under Marolt’s.

The Colorado native took over the USSA, which is based in Park City, at a time when it was struggling financially and not enjoying much international success. He turned it into one of the most highly regarded sports federations in the world. Its gleaming Center of Excellence headquarters outside Park City stands as a testament to how far the federation has come under his leadership.

"It is because of his tremendous leadership and unwavering commitment to athletic excellence over the past 18 years that the USSA is well positioned for continued success," Shaw said. "I look forward to maximizing the opportunities presented by the exciting portfolio of sports within the USSA."

Shaw was a highly regarded member of the U.S. Ski Team for 10 years and raced at both the 1984 Sarajevo Games, where Marolt was the men’s coach, and the 1988 Calgary Games. He enjoyed eight top-10 finishes on the World Cup circuit and a 12th-place finish in the slalom at Calgary before knee injuries ended his career.

Shaw, a Dartmouth College graduate from Vermont, has been a trustee of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation for years and helped develop a program for athletes to attend college at little expense while competing internationally.

Shaw most recently was a senior director for response services at Global Rescue, a medical evacuation company that is an official partner of the USSA. The federation said Shaw will move to Park City and join the USSA as chief operating officer Oct. 1 to work alongside Marolt until replacing him as CEO after the Sochi Games.

"Tiger is an outstanding addition to USSA staff leadership as we prepare for Sochi and beyond," Marolt said. "He brings an exceptional combination of leadership skills, knowledge and experience gained as an Olympian, USSA club coach, athlete parent and successful entrepreneur and business executive."

Marolt will depart with a staggering legacy as an athlete, coach and administrator.

Not only has he led the USSA for nearly two decades, but also he was a 1964 Olympian and three-time national champion while racing for the University of Colorado. He later worked as a coach for the Buffaloes as well as the U.S. Ski Team — he won seven straight NCAA titles as coach of the Buffs and presided over unprecedented American success at the 1984 Sarajevo Games — and was the athletic director at CU for 12 years before returning to the USSA.

"We have two goals," Shaw said. "First, to continue our long-term vision of becoming the Best in the World in Olympic skiing and snowboarding by providing world-class training, education and athletic opportunities to USSA’s athletes. Second, to keep the Olympic dream burning brightly by increasing the visibility of our sports and continuing to return value to USSA’s members, sponsors and resort partners."

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