Topic Team USA Olympic Ski and Snowboard
Date July 18, 2017

Team USA Olympic Ski and Snowboard with Kate Anderson

Kate Anderson is the Athletics Manager at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, managing day-to-day operations across all ski and snowboard disciplines at the U.S. national team level, as well as coordinating inter-departmental special projects. She also represented Team USA as their Young Ambassador during the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Norway. She is a Young Change Maker for the International Olympic Committee, leading groups of elite athletes on service trips around the United States and Mexico. She holds degrees in Business Administration and French from Saint Michael’s College, and previously interned with the French Olympic Team at their training center in Paris. Next up, Kate will be directing the Friends and Family Program for U.S. Ski & Snowboard at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

On the 18th of July 2017, Kate hosted a live 30 minutes Q&A session on Goodwall. The session was attended by 85 students from around the world.

"Athletes that pursue a career in Olympic Sports do it because they love their sport!"

How it's like to work with Olympic athletes? —Ximena

It’s really fulfilling. they are all very friendly and motivating people. Very inspiring to be around.

I would love to know how I can make sure to get to the Winter Olympics figure skating for my home country Ireland as in am just beginning at the age of 14? —Saoirse

I’m not sure how Ireland’s Olympic pipeline works, but in the U.S. you join a local club, which opens doors to regional, then national, and then international competitions. Figure skating is a beautiful sport, I used to compete when I was very small

What have been 2 or 3 of your favorite moments working with olympic athletes? —Vijay

My favorite moments have been getting to take the athletes outside of competition. We travel in the United States and in Mexico doing volunteer work. It’s very eye-opening for the athletes to see people living in different circumstances than they grew up with, and they come away with new perspectives and goals. Many athletes report doing better in competition after these types of volunteer trips.  I also love seeing them compete, when they’re in their element!

What is the background experience do you need to become an Athletics Manager for an Olympic team? —Muhammad

I work specifically with skiers and snowboarders, although I was a volleyball player and coach myself in college.

How did you get where you are now? —Ximena

I have always wanted to work in Olympic sport, since I was 16. So I never wavered from that goal, and every career decision I made was in pursuit of that. I got an internship with the French Olympic team when I was studying in France, and I took a job at a sports academy soon after I graduated from university. I applied for the job I have now, and thankfully was accepted.

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Do you have any quick advice for people that want to become professional athletes? —Muhammad

I would say to get involved in your school or community team first. That development level is where all of our athletes come from in skiing and snowboarding, we do not have open tryouts for our teams. That’s a great way to meet new friends and mentors as well.

What do you do and how did you get to where you are today? —Dawood

I work with Olympic athletes, mostly skiers and snowboarders. Our goal is to help them become the Best in the World. I worked very hard at university and took every opportunity that came my way to get where I am.

Do you train people who are internationals? Or do you just help those US nationals? If I’m living outside of the US, how can I do all the training? —Muhammad

There are several international athletes that train in the United States, particularly at the university level. We sometimes help coordinate with them to get them in touch with the right coaches/schools.

Do you visit the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters as part of your work? —Samuel

I do! I was in Lausanne last fall. It’s a beautiful city. I was very excited to be able to speak French as well, it’s a skill I don’t get to use often.

Is there any other country that you would want to coach? —Ximena

I’m not sure! There’s certainly many countries that I would love to visit and explore. As part of my role as Young Ambassador for the Youth Olympics last year, I made friends from all over the world, and I would welcome the chance to work with any of them again.

Do we need a sports visa if we want to work with you in US? —Muhammad

I am not sure, I don’t typically work on the government/legal side of things.

What are your favorite places to ski in the US? —Roman

That’s tough! I live in Park City, Utah, and there is great skiing here. I also love the town of Vail, Colorado. But…I would probably say Mammoth Mountain in California. It’s very remote, and you can see for miles from the top of the mountain, no buildings or cars.

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Was working with skiers and snowboarders your dream job? What made you interested in it? —Dawood

I have always been interested in skiing and snowboarding. Shaun White has always been someone that I looked up to from when I was young. I am passionate about the Olympic Spirit, and would be happy to work in any Olympic sport, but I am very glad that I get to be with skiing and snowboarding for now.

Which skills do you need to be an ambassador? Is there a lot of work? —Ximena

It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun! I had to have a good understanding of the Olympics Values of Friendship, Respect, and Excellence, and be able to model these to all the young athletes in attendance at the Youth Olympics. During the Games, I was awake at 06:00 in the morning, and often didn’t get to bed until after midnight because I was going to as many competitions as possible, meeting with the other Young Ambassadors, and making sure all the athletes were safe and having fun.

Topic Team USA Olympic Ski and Snowboard
Date July 18, 2017