U.S. Ski & Snowboard raised nearly $2 million at its 53rd annual New York Gold Medal Gala, October 24 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. It was a night to remember as 27 athletes across all seven teams showed the 500 guests what it meant to be “Inspired by the Stars,” this year’s event theme.
“It’s pretty incredible to be able to share [this night] with athletes that I don’t normally get to see during the year, and the supporters that support us, that we never get to see,” noted first-time Gala attendee and cross country athlete Kevin Bolger. “It’s super special.”
American Olympic teams receive no government funding and thanks to the generous donations of those in attendance and at home, the athletes of U.S. Ski & Snowboard will directly benefit from the funds raised as they ski and snowboard to podiums this competitive season.
The night was hosted by Olympic champion and favorite ski-personality Jonny Moseley, who never fails to wow the crowd with his wit and passion for sliding on snow. Guests were treated to top moments in U.S. Ski & Snowboard history through an immersive video mapping multimedia experience, transforming the Ziegfeld Ballroom into some of the top ski and snowboard competition venues around the world. Highlights of the evening included a record-setting fund-a-need and a heated live-auction that featured once in a lifetime experiences such as box seats to a New Jersey Devil’s hockey game with Lindsey Vonn.
The room raised a toast to Lindsey, who announced her retirement after last season and was honored at the event for her storied career.
“I just want to say thank you, all of you, for the support,” Lindsey said to the crowd. “I know many faces [here], many people that have supported me along the way and I wouldn’t have accomplished any of this without your support. It’s obviously been an up-and-down road for me, I’ve experienced a lot. But I know that my teammates have gone through a lot, and they’re still continuing to race. I won’t be following as avidly as I want to because I still have a bit of FOMO, but I am going to be following my teammates and their progress, and because of you they are able to keep following their dreams. So thank you again, for everything, for all of the years and I look forward to the future.”
Jonny welcomed Lindsey into the alumni club and fellow teammates Alice McKennis, Laurenne Ross, Katie Hensien, Paula Moltzan and Alice Merryweather made it even more special by presenting Lindsey with flowers on stage.
Olympic champion, cross country alumna and cancer survivor Kikkan Randall delivered the keynote address, during which she painted the picture of the long-game she trained and competed for to make history in winning the United States’ first gold medal in cross country skiing at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Kikkan noted the importance of supporters and events like the Gala, that help raise critical funds so that American athletes can have access to world-class training, coaches and competitions.
“If we can capture even half of the enthusiasm that’s in this room tonight, we are going to have the best season yet!” she declared while ending her speech.
This year’s Gala featured the most diverse representation of athletes yet, and those in attendance were given the celebrity treatment while in New York. On Wednesday Paragon Sports hosted a VIP shopping experience and athletes were able to connect with some of their East Coast fans while signing autographs. Thursday the men and women of U.S. Ski & Snowboard were styled by Authentic Brands Group and dressed in Hickey Freeman suits, Herve Leger and Vince Camuto dresses and Nine West accessories before turning their beanie-hair White Carpet ready at Paul Mitchell’s Raika Studio. “It’s nice to meet other athletes and other disciplines and get to know what our team looks like and how diverse it is,” said halfpipe snowboarder Maddie Mastro.
“What a night!” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “This year’s Gala was an incredible success. Each year I am humbled and amazed at the generosity of our supporters - we couldn’t do what we do without them. The funds raised at this event will have a direct and tangible impact on our athletes in their journeys to podiums this season. Thank you to our team behind the team, our staff. This event gets better each year and that is thanks to their dedication and tireless hours put in to make sure the evening is one to remember. We have a lot to look forward to this season but we can’t wait to be back for our 54th New York Gold Medal Gala!”
The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation is the non-profit fundraising arm of U.S. Ski & Snowboard!