U.S. Ski & Snowboard names its first female CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt

Cross-Country Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 12
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Sophie Goldschmidt was named U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s incoming president and CEO this week, making her the first woman to lead the national governing body that has existed under various names since 1905.

She replaces two-time Olympian Tiger Shaw, who held the position since March 2014. Shaw will transition to U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation Board trustee.

Though she counts herself as an avid skier, Goldschmidt is the first non-athlete to serve in the role in at least 25 years. Bill Marolt, Shaw’s longtime successor, is also an Olympic alpine skier.

Goldschmidt has a breadth of leadership and marketing experience at a handful of sports and entertainment properties including Adidas, WTA, NBA and England Rugby, though this is her first time with a U.S. Olympic organization.

Most recently, she served as CEO of the World Surf League from July 2017-February 2020. Goldschmidt will relocate from Los Angeles to the Park City, Utah, area where U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s headquarters and world-class Center of Excellence training facility are located.

When she starts on Oct. 18, Goldschmidt will have less than four months to get up to speed in time for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to start on Feb. 4.

“I am thrilled to be the next leader of U.S. Ski & Snowboard,” Goldschmidt said in a statement. “My priority is to build on the organization’s strong foundations. To take the levels of performance to new heights, to grow the number of participants and fans we engage with, in addition to creatively unlocking new value and investment. I see significant opportunities to further develop the profiles of the sports and of the athletes, who are inspirational role models.”

U.S. Ski & Snowboard oversees athletes – from grassroots to the elite level – for just over half of the Olympic Winter Games program.

In PyeongChang four years ago, 50 of the 102 events fell under the six skiing and snowboarding sport disciplines; in Beijing, that number has increased to 55 of 109.

The NGB has developed a recent tradition of excellence, accounting for 60.2% of the U.S.’ medals at the past three Games, which Goldschmidt will look to continue in Beijing and beyond.

Kikkan Randall, a five-time Olympian and 2018 gold medalist in cross-country skiing, was co-chair of the search committee that appointed Goldschmidt.

“I am particularly excited about Sophie’s experience working directly with world-class athletes across a myriad of sports; she really understands how to put athletes at the forefront,” Randall said.

Goldschmidt will be the 10th woman to currently head a U.S. Olympic or Paralympic sport, and the only one on the winter side.

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