About US Telemark
The US Telemark Ski Association is the governing body for the US Telemark Ski Team and Telemark Freeskiing in the United States. Telemark skiing is one of the few ski disciplines in the US which does not fall under the purview of the US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization managed by enthusiastic volunteers.
Telemark skiing is the original essence of skiing, and today it is an exhilarating experience and modern activity. It provides the opportunity to experience the outdoors, exercise, and truly enjoy the art that is the fundamental (and fun) part of skiing.
Whether you enjoy slicing across faces before hucking cliff lines, carving GS gates and preparing for the distance jump or skinning up ridge lines to enjoy fresh tracks after a storm, Telemark skiing is the embodiment of the mentality: Why do less when you can do more.
Most of the members of the US Telemark Ski Association (USTSA) came into the sport because they were looking to challenge themselves and to see how they could take their ski experience to the next level. Whether they are with one of the four US Telemark Race Teams, or competing in Freeski events, USTSA athletes uphold the core values of Telemark skiing.
The goal of USTSA is to develop the sport of telemark skiing through hosting telemark events, educating individuals and organizations on the enjoyment and benefits of telemark skiing, and organizing the US Telemark Ski Team.
With regard to the US Telemark Team, there is effectively one large goal, which is to make Telemark racing an Olympic sport, and we are making progress. In May of 2018 at the 51st FIS Congress, Canada’s bid to propose Telemark Racing as an Olympic sport passed. Unfortunately the IOC did not vote to include Telemark in the Olympics. The FIS committee will continue to work towards inclusion of Telemark in the Olympics in the future.
The voting was the culmination of many years of work, including several seasons of FIS Telemark World Cup LiveStreaming, making Telemark athletes and events more accessible and visible internationally. The sport has also adapted to modern viewing, having incorporated a new race format in 2012 which places the racers on adjacent courses and where they must fly off the same jump, jockey for position in the reipeløkke (the 360° banked turn before the skate), and skate together to the finish. In fact, this Parallel event was the event proposed and passed at the FIS Congress. In addition, after the success of the LiveStream (viewed by nearly 17,000 people in 136 countries) the sport was awarded an exhibition at the 2016 Junior Olympics in Lillehammer.
Beyond racing, USTSA has incorporated a Freeski Telemark into the organization beginning in 2017, furthering our efforts to become a consolidated governing body for the sport. Freeski events have seen incredible success, and we’re excited about the future of this branch of the sport. We are working to develop a Western Series in order to drive increased awareness and opportunity for tele skiers to compete.
The weight of the Olympic vote is heavy, and USTSA has plans to continue with the work to keep the international momentum of the sport moving forward. With plans to increase the number of sanctioned races and Freeski events, the focus remains on creating a unified front for USTSA; through membership sales, educational events, and media awareness.
USTSA continues to look to establish partnerships with businesses and entities who share its vision for adventure, hard work, and a fun approach to a very challenging sport.