U.S. Ski & Snowboard has announced Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA) and Sugarloaf as the newest additions to its training partnership program. CVA has been designated as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard High Performance Center and Sugarloaf as a Team Development Site.

This collaboration, with the ongoing support of the Sugarloaf Ski Club and the town of Carrabassett Valley, marks the beginning of a new era for the winter sports academy and resort, located in the mountains of western Maine.


“This begins an exciting new chapter in the school’s storied evolution,” said Head of School Kate Punderson. “The partnership lays the foundation for providing our student-athletes with an unmatched level of training support and opportunity for success within their disciplines.”

Athletes will have access to exceptional on-hill training at Sugarloaf, and dryland training thanks to the generosity of the town [of Carrabassett Valley], which will provide free access to the Anti-Gravity Complex.

“Since the FIS World Cup in 1971, Sugarloaf has been a proving ground for the nation’s top skiers and snowboarders,” said Sugarloaf General Manager Karl Strand. “From Bode Miller to Kirsten Clark and Seth Wescott, many of the country’s greatest athletes have cut their teeth right here in Carrabassett Valley, and we are honored to open our doors to the next generation of competitive snowsport athletes as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Development Site and High Performance Center.”

As a High Performance Center, CVA will collaborate with U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Park City-based Center of Excellence and other high performance centers to share best practices in strength and conditioning, sport science and sports medicine and serve as a site to host training and education sessions for clubs in the region. As a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team Development Site, Sugarloaf will provide on-hill training days for regional and national development projects as well as access for U.S. Ski Team athletes.

“These partnership programs have provided hundreds of our regional and national athletes with the training opportunities they need to take their performance to the next level,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “The facilities at CVA and Sugarloaf will be invaluable resources for our national teams and local clubs as we prepare for the Olympic season and beyond.”

Carrabassett Valley Academy is one of just eight recently named programs in the United States that has been identified for partnership status, which opens the door for members of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard teams to train at CVA athletic facilities. It will also provide CVA with the unique opportunity to collaborate with other clubs who have received the partnership status, as well as U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s High Performance Team, to establish age-appropriate training progressions and fitness benchmarks designed to help young snow sport athletes reach their maximum potential.

“U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s High Performance Team will be an invaluable resource for the school,” noted CVA High Performance Director Shelby Downing. “It is a great advantage, not to mention huge inspiration, to be able to see U.S. team members in action, in the gym, and on the fields.”

CVA’s training facility, the Anti-Gravity Complex, boasts strength training venues, trampolines, an indoor skate park, basketball court, spin and yoga room, and climbing wall. Outdoor training sites on campus include additional trampolines, a soccer field, track, and slack line area.

CVA students and U.S. team members will also have the opportunity to experience world class mountain biking, white water rafting, canoeing, hiking along the incomparable Appalachian Trail, as well as sea and white-water kayaking. All of these resources provide outstanding dryland training opportunities.

Release courtesy of U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Carrabassett Valley Academy