Skiing and snowboarding have always been among the spotlight sports at the Olympic Winter Games and the 2022 Games in Beijing will be no different with Mikaela Shiffrin and Chloe Kim being among the biggest names for Team USA. But getting to Beijing and passing strict COVID protocols has been a hot topic in the Olympic world, among many others as China hosts another major sporting event. Named as the president and chief executive officer for U.S. Ski and Snowboard in September, Sophie Goldschmidt joined the national governing body off a stint as CEO of the World Surf League, with international experience ranging from the NBA to the WTA Tour and the Rugby Football Union.
Goldschmidt joined SportsTravel Senior Editor Matt Traub recently for a conversation about the logistical hurdles that athletes will face to get to Beijing, health and safety protocols the organization has implemented this winter ahead of the Olympics, being the first female president and CEO of the national governing body, balancing the needs of high-performance athletes and growing the sport at the grassroots level, and more.
Among the topics featured in this episode:
- Participating for an event amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and how U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes will get to Beijing (2:25)
- Her own personal preparation before going to China as part of the USOPC delegation (3:45)
- How her experiences at World Surf League compare to planning for the Olympics (5:35)
- Keeping athletes healthy during World Cup competition around the world ahead of Beijing’s closed-loop system (7:15)
- Preparing athletes heading to Beijing, where political turmoil surrounds the Games. (9:37)
- Why she joining U.S. Ski & Snowboard and her initial impressions (11:10)
- Meeting with key stakeholders while living through a pandemic (15:33)
- Being the NGB’s first female president and chief executive officer (17:21)
- Balancing the high-performance program with the growth of the grass-roots level (19:43)
- The NGB’s efforts to improve access to the sport and increase diversity among its participants (21:24)
- The popularity of Big Air and World Pro Ski Tour and its ability to move the sport to new venues (23:05)
- Her skills on the slopes (24:00)