PARK CITY, UT (May 17) Olympic double-silver medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) capped a breakout season last week, picking up two major awards at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s annual convention while U.S. halfpipe Head Coach Pete Del Giudice (Mammoth Lakes, CA) and freestyle Coach Nick Preston (Campton, NH) were honored as Coach of the Year, and the National Sports Foundation at Bear Hollow, based on Utah Olympic Park, was chosen Club of the Year.

The honors were announced on the next-to-last day of Congress 2002 at the Yarrow Resort and Conference Hotel. About 150 delegates have been attending committee, subcommittee and working groups in alpine, cross country, disabled alpine and cross country, freestyle, jumping, nordic combined, and snowboarding.

Miller, who won the first U.S. men’s Olympic medals in giant slalom and combined in addition to four World Cup victories, received the Beck International Award and the Buddy Werner Award. The Beck, the highest athlete award made by USSA, is given annually to an athlete for outstanding international results and the Buddy Werner Award goes to the USSA who demonstrated leadership and good sportsmanship in national or international competition.

In addition, Del Giudice, snowboarding’s International Coach of the Year, was honored as USSA International Coach of the Year. Preston (Campton, NH), a former U.S. coach who runs the Waterville Valley freestyle program, was named national Development Coach of the Year and the Freestyle Domestic Coach of the Year.

The NSF was honored as Jumping/Nordic Combined Club of the Year and was selected as the USSA Club of the Year after building a program which is the largest jumping and combined in the nation, and for the support its volunteers provided during the Olympic jumping events at Utah Olympic Park. In addition, NSF s Gordon Lange was named Jumping/Nordic Combined Domestic Coach of the Year.

The final Gold Level Award, the Westhaven Award for outstanding service as a technical delegate, was presented to nordic combined TD Joe Lamb (Lake Placid, NY) for his continued service.

Among other top honors:

Paul Bacon Award for event organization: John Aalberg (Park City, UT), chief of competition for Olympic cross country events at Soldier Hollow

John Clair Award for outstanding service: Bill Slattery (Buffalo Grove, IL)

Bud & Mary Little Award for longtime service to the International Ski Federation or Olympic community: Bruce Crane (Park City, UT)

West Family Cup for outstanding service as a USSA official: Gail Barber (Park City, UT)

Cross country, Snowboard Club of the Year Stratton Mountain School (VT), which also saw snowboard Director and Head Coach Scott Palmer chosen as snowboarding s Domestic Coach of the Year.

Alpine Club of the Year: Winter Park (CO) Competition Center

Freestyle Club of the Year: Alpine Meadows (CA)

In addition to Del Giudice and Preston, USSA s sport-by-sport Coaches of the Year: – Alpine International Coach of the Year, Jesse Hunt (Park City, UT); Alpine Domestic, Kent Towlerton (Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation – Bend, OR); Cross Country International, Miles Minson (Heber City, UT); Cross Country Domestic, Dragan Danevski (Bridger Nordic Ski Foundation – Bozeman, MT); Disabled, Julie Minahan (National Abilities Center – Park City, UT); Freestyle International, Jeff Wintersteen (Littleton, CO); Jumping International, Kari Ylianttila (Park City, UT); Nordic Combined International, Jan-Erik Aalbu (Steamboat Springs, CO); Nordic Combined Domestic, Gordon Lange (NSF – Park City, UT); and Snowboard Domestic, Scott Palmer (Stratton Mountain School – Pawlet, VT).

– Best in the World! –