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CHAMPION Q & A: HEATHER MCPHIE
World Cup Rookie of the Year mogul skier Heather McPhie dominated NorAms for two years before moving a year ago onto the World Cup tour. Sixth in her first World Cup of the season, she went from top-10 to a top-5 result a week later at Utah's Deer Valley Resort. The Bridger Bowl (Bozeman, MT) skier went on to compete in her first FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, producing two more top-10s. Watch her Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. ET when NBC televises coverage of the World Cup moguls event from the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup at Whiteface Mountain outside Lake Placid, NY.

USSA: You were mixing studies at Westminster College with training. How did your preseason go?
McPhie: The preseason went really well. I focused on my skiing, things like picking my path through the moguls and my pole plants. By the second or third day in Chile (in August) we had a full mogul course and things were just so organized. Our fall camp (at Winter Park, CO, in early December) was just the opposite due to (lack of) snow. But the coaches did an amazing job of giving us something to do every day so we still got the most out of the camp. And our team dynamics, our team togetherness is just so great now. I'm really excited about that.

USSA: You've talked about greater team dynamics. How did that situation build?
McPhie: Scott (Rawles, moguls head coach) has incorporated the whole Team into what we do. He's having us become such a cohesive unit. We're all in it together. We travel together and eat together. We've become so supportive of each other.

USSA: Did this come together naturally?
McPhie: There's such good communication. It started at the top because the coaches are such good friends. And we have some great personalities with the athletes, so now we're all learning so much more about each other. We've got more in common than just being mogul skiers.

USSA: No World Championships this season, so what are your goals?
McPhie: I've been working on strong exits out of the top air (jump) because that's always steeper and harder than the bottom air. And then getting a big lift on my D-spin (off-axis, double rotation). I really want to show that trick off. Of course, I keep working my time and keeping my hips forward. If I do those things, the results will come and I can move from 5-10 into the top five.

USSA: How easy was your transition last season to the World Cup?
McPhie: I was discretioned (a coaches' pick) to that first World Cup at Mont Gabriel, so I went in with the attitude 'Hey, I've got nothing to lose. They gave me start, so let's see how I do.' I was sixth and thought, 'Holy cow! I am a World Cup
skier.' So, I went into Deer Valley with the same confidence and nothing-to-lose-attitude. And then getting fourth and having so many family and friends and supporters there was pretty special. I still had to learn about the mental, but I learned a lot about the skiing in a hurry.

Click here to read more Q & A with Heather.

DAWSON TURNS WISH INTO REALITY
Eleven-year-old Ryan Long, who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor, came from Pennsylvania with his family to meet his hero, Olympic medalist Toby Dawson. While in Utah, Ryan also got to meet most of the aerialists on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team. But by the time the youngster headed home just before Christmas, he was everyone's hero.

Long, who lives in Union Dale, PA, two miles from Elk Mountain Ski Area, is a member of the Hunter Mountain Freestyle Team, about two hours away in New York's Catskills. With the assistance of the Make-A-Wish Foundation , Long and his family spent a day skiing with Dawson at Utah's Deer Valley Resort. He later had lunch with members of the aerials squad, was given a certificate by USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt making him an honorary member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and came out to watch them perform during the U.S. Freestyle Selections event at Utah Olympic Park.

"It was so humbling that Ryan wanted to ski with me, that I'm his hero, because now he's become my hero," said Dawson, who retired after the 2006 season. (He moved to California and is pursuing a pro golf career.) Aerialist Ryan St. Onge, in his 11th season with the Ski Team, said lunch with the young skier "was one of the best experiences I've had since I've been on the Ski Team. Watching the way Ryan lives was inspiring." St. Onge also enjoyed his "Ryan-to-Ryan" time. "I went down between my jumps and was with Ryan. I think he'd been blown away by the lunch and he was having fun watching the aerials." The USSA participated with Deer Valley Resort and the Make-A-Wish Foundation in making Ryan's wish come true.

GET YOUR U.S. SKI TEAM/U.S. SNOWBOARDING HIGH PERFORMANCE FLEECE VEST!
Warm, soft and stylish, our new High Performance Fleece Vest — emblazoned with the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding logos — is perfect for a ski weekend, winter running and cycling, or for a quick trip to the grocery store on a blustery day. And it's a great way for YOU to stand out as a Team leader who's helping U.S. skiers and snowboarders win big this season! Simply make a donation of $50 or more to get your High Performance Fleece Vest.

GOLD NUGGETS
* Ski cross will be the newest Olympic skiing event at the 2010 Vancouver games, and the first World Cup SX will be held Feb. 2 at Utah's Deer Valley Resort. The freestyle World Cup tour makes two stops in the USA - Jan. 18-20 for the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup at Lake Placid, NY, and the Visa Freestyle International Feb. 1-2 at Deer Valley.
*Kikkan Randall gave herself - and the U.S. nordic community - an early Christmas present Dec. 16 when she won a World Cup sprint in Rybinsk, Russia to become the second American (behind Bill Koch) to win a World Cup.
* Lindsey Vonn swept two races in 24 hours in St. Anton, Austria, just before Christmas which moves her into second place in the list of U.S. women's alpine winners.
*Bode Miller's downhill win Dec. 29 in Bormio, Italy, gave him 26.
*Bill Demong earned his third nordic combined podium of the season Dec. 30 in Oberhof, Germany, finishing second in a photo finish.
* Olympic men's halfpipe gold medalist Shaun White and women's silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler won the opening event of the Chevy U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix Dec. 15 in Breckenridge, CO.
* Lindsey Van moves into 2nd place standings in Women's Ski Jumping.
* Disabled cross country skier, Laurie Stevens, finished third in her division at the IPC Alpine World Cup in Abtenau, Austria

WHERE TO WATCH
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup returned with the new year. You will be able to follow races on WCSN.com WCSN.com , which generally offers on-demand and same-day Webstreaming of World Cup races through the rest of the season.

WCSN.com debuted the "Ice Cold 12-Pack" of live alpine skiing on Jan 11. The special will Webcast exclusive LIVE coverage of 12 major FIS Alpine Ski World Cup events. Competitions include the men's downhill, slalom, super G, super combined, and women's downhill and super G events and will run through Feb 3. Visit WCSN.com for a detailed schedule.

In addition, the last two weeks of January and early February will bring the following coverage (all times ET):
Jan. 13, 5 p.m., Versus, Quarterpipe Paul Mitchell Progressions from the Chevy U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Breckenridge
Jan. 27, 3:30 p.m., NBC, World Cup moguls skiing from the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid
Jan. 27, 4 p.m., Versus, World Cup aerials from the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge in Lake Placid
Feb. 2, 5 p.m., Versus, re-air of the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup moguls event from Lake Placid
Feb. 10, 2 p.m., NBC, World Cup ski cross from the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley
Feb. 10, 5 p.m., Versus, Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge, Lake Placid, NY

WCSN.com will provide coverage of all World Cup competitions worldwide. Click here for the complete TV schedule.

STAY WARM THIS WINTER
Visit the U.S. Ski Team Shop U.S. Ski Team Shop and support the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes!
Check out this U.S. Ski Team hoodie equiped with the U.S. Ski Team shield logo stitched on the back. For snowboarders, try on this U.S. Snowboarding hoodie . Thick and rugged, this lifestyle piece is perfect for wearing off the mountain or taking cruiser runs through the park in spring temps. Both are great for layering, or can stand alone on warmer days. These and many other products are available at the U.S. Ski Team Shop . Each purchase goes to support our athletes in their quest for victory.

GOLD MEDAL LINKS
U.S. Ski Team News
U.S. Snowboarding News
Online Shop
Support the Team
Gold Pass (The Ultimate Lift Ticket)on Jan 11. The special will Webcast exclusive LIVE coverage of 12 major FIS Alpine Ski World Cup events. Competitions include the men's downhill, slalom, super G, super combined, and women's downhill and super G events and will run through Feb 3. Visit WCSN.com for a detailed schedule.

In addition, the last two weeks of January and early February will bring the following coverage (all times ET):
Jan. 13, 5 p.m., Versus, Quarterpipe Paul Mitchell Progressions from the Chevy U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix in Breckenridge
Jan. 27, 3:30 p.m., NBC, World Cup moguls skiing from the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup in Lake Placid
Jan. 27, 4 p.m., Versus, World Cup aerials from the Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge in Lake Placid
Feb. 2, 5 p.m., Versus, re-air of the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup moguls event from Lake Placid
Feb. 10, 2 p.m., NBC, World Cup ski cross from the Visa Freestyle International at Deer Valley
Feb. 10, 5 p.m., Versus, Nature Valley Freestyle Challenge, Lake Placid, NY

WCSN.com will provide coverage of all World Cup competitions worldwide. Click here for the complete TV schedule.

STAY WARM THIS WINTER
Visit the U.S. Ski Team Shop U.S. Ski Team Shop and support the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding athletes!
Check out this U.S. Ski Team hoodie equiped with the U.S. Ski Team shield logo stitched on the back. For snowboarders, try on this U.S. Snowboarding hoodie . Thick and rugged, this lifestyle piece is perfect for wearing off the mountain or taking cruiser runs through the park in spring temps. Both are great for layering, or can stand alone on warmer days. These and many other products are available at the U.S. Ski Team Shop . Each purchase goes to support our athletes in their quest for victory.

GOLD MEDAL LINKS
U.S. Ski Team News
U.S. Snowboarding News
Online Shop
Support the Team
Gold Pass (The Ultimate Lift Ticket)

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