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Branching out: Legendary tree-climbing women’s speed coach Chip White leaves the US Ski Team

Chip White chats with athlete Laurenne Ross. USST

Chip White talks with athlete Laurenne Ross during downhill inspection. Doug Haney/USST

On the U.S. women’s speed team, outgoing Head Coach Chip White has played the role of everything from sports psychologist, travel agent and inventor to videographer, course-setter and tree-climber. But the one description that’s repeated time and time again by athletes and fellow coaches is “hard-worker.”

Earlier this month, after the World Cup Finals, White stepped down from a position he’s held since just after the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games four years ago. His tenure with the national team, however, extends to several other jobs during the past 18 years.

Mostly, he’s been focused on women’s speed.

During White’s time, the speed team has produced 122 World Cup podiums, 13 World Cup titles, 10 World Championship medals and six Olympic medals.

“I think it’s time for a change for the team and for me also,” says a jet-lagged White on a phone call from his home near Mammoth Lakes, Calif. “After an Olympic year is really a good transition time because it allows the new coach a true block of time to build confidence and trust with the team going into another Olympic cycle. … To me, it makes perfect sense to do this at this time. [I don't feel] that I’m bailing on the girls at all. I’ve given everything that I have, and I feel very fortunate and privileged to have been part of this team.”

White, who had previously coached at Mammoth, first began working with the national team as a guest coach for the men in the mid 1990s.

“He was a guy who was passionate about coaching,” says former U.S. Ski Team coach Jim Tracy, who was working with the men’s team at that point and first hired White.

This is just a preview. Read the entire profile of Chip White in Issue 10 of the digital magazine here

Geoff Mintz

Associate Editor

Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in the woods above Vail with his wife, Colleen.

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