Seven Steamboat Athletes Confirmed to U.S. National Snowboard, Alpine Skiing and Freestyle Teams

Former SSWSC athlete Jaelin Kauf flies over the moguls course at Bokwang Phoenix Park, South Korea, during the women’s moguls qualifying event at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Unsurprisingly, Kauf was named in the U.S. Mogul Ski Team for the eighth time in his career on October 19, 2022.
Joel Reichenberger / Steamboat Pilot and Today’s Archives

The 2022-23 U.S. Snowboard, Alpine Skiing and Freestyle Skiing teams have been announced with seven former members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club making their respective teams.

In snowboarding, veteran Taylor Gold and Steamboat native Cody Winters made the men’s halfpipe and snowboardcross teams, respectively. This will be Gold’s 11th year on the team and Winter’s first.

The United States will host three Snowboard World Cup events this year, including two at Copper Mountain Ski Resort and the third at Mammoth Mountain in California.

In alpine skiing, three SSWSC alumni qualified for the team, with Jett Seymour earning a spot on the men’s B team and Cooper Puckett and Jay Poulter both making the men’s C team.

Puckett was on the D team last year and is thrilled to have qualified for the C team for the first time.

“On Team C, everything is fully funded, so this is my first year of free skiing, which is really amazing,” Puckett said. “It’s really great to do this for my family.”

With the races coming up, Puckett and other team members travel to Copper Mountain to complete their pre-season training. Puckett said once the season starts, the races are fast and furious and there won’t be much time for practice. Still, he’s thrilled to have the season just around the corner.

“For my career, this seems like a natural step,” Puckett said. “Of course, I’m proud of it because it takes a lot of hard work to get there every day. It’s certainly not unexpected, but I’m super grateful to be at this point.

Former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club skier Cooper Puckett races down the slalom course at the U16 Nationals in Breckenridge. Years later, Puckett earned a spot on the US Men’s Alpine Skiing C Team.
Dan Gilchrist/Courtesy Photo

Two SSWSC alumni qualified for the US Freestyle Ski Team, both for moguls. Jaelin Kauf and Olivia Giaccio have competed with the team for several years now, and they recognize that it is an honor to continue competing for their country.

“We’ve been in the national team for seven years together now,” Kauf said. “We both qualified at the end of the 2015-16 season together, and we were on Steamboat for a few years before that. I know her, I ski with her and I train with her for a long time.

Kauf said she had confidence in the women’s team this year and was committed to strength and conditioning training ahead of the season. The team will travel to Europe in early November to train in Sweden and Finland ahead of the inaugural World Cup in Finland on December 3-4.

Kauf, along with the other members of the national team, can’t wait for the season to begin. She is excited to see where this season takes her.

“This time of year where we’re almost into the season, it feels like it’s starting to slow down a bit,” Kauf said. “I’m still really looking forward to getting things done, and we’ve been doing this preparation and training work for four months now. I’m definitely looking forward to starting the season, going out there and taking those classes.


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