U.S. Moguls Ski Team will host a fundraiser Tuesday via Facebook Live
What: Moguls and Muffins Virtual Fundraiser for the U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team
When: 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 18
The U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team invites its supporters to join a virtual breakfast to raise funds for its 2020-21 season.
The first Moguls and Muffins, a live, 30-minute show hosted by freestyle legends and Park City residents Trace Worthington and Sean Smith, will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday on the U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s Facebook page.
The event will feature a guest appearance by Olympic champion Hannah Kearney, and give a behind-the-scenes look at team training at the Utah Olympic Park, according to Worthington, a two-time Olympian, U.S. Ski Hall of Fame inductee and president of the Youth Sports Alliance.
“Obviously it’s great to meet and greet, shake hands, look at people in the eye and talk with them at a fundraising event, but it can’t happen this year because of COVID,” Worthington said. “So to do something like this is great. It’s a way to have fun and do some outreach and some sort of interactions with the donors.”
Worthington appreciates the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation’s creativity when it came to proposing Moguls and Muffins.
“We now think we should do something like this all the time, and we don’t necessarily mean just for a fundraising thing,” he said. “It might be fun to do things like this that will allow people to see what happens behind the scenes. The athletes can get more exposure and content out there.”
Worthington looks forward to emceeing the event with Smith, his freestyle-sport broadcast partner on NBC.
“Sean and I have worked together for a long time, so I’m sure we’ll come up with some fun stories that people can weigh in on in the chat room,” he said. “I’ve never done this style of Facebook Live hosting, but I know we’re going to have some fun hanging out with Hannah. She’s always fun to talk with.”
Fundraisers are vital to the U.S. Freestyle Moguls Ski Team, Worthington said.
“Sean and I both went to the Olympics and grew up to understand the meaning of funding and the impact it can do for you as an athlete to get to the next level,” he said. “Most of the other athletes from around the world get government funding, but the U.S. athletes are all privately funded. So, it’s rewarding for me to see our athletes compete against the others in the world, because these kids work hard.”
One of the athletes who will benefit from the funding is Parkite Nick Page, who placed 10th, and was the top American finisher, in his first FIS Freestyle World Cup in February at Deer Valley.
“A fundraiser goes a long way for us since we have to rely on the generosity of donors and sponsorships,” he said. “Our fundraising efforts will help us get things together for our upcoming season, and I think Moguls and Muffins will be an awesome platform to showcase what we do and what we’re asking for help with.”
Page said he’s coming full circle by participating in Moguls and Muffins, because of the Utah Olympic Park. “This is where I’ve grown up,” he said. “It’s where I first started jumping when I was 7. So, to now be 18 and part of the U.S. Ski Team, it wouldn’t have been a possibility if it weren’t for the UOP. I’ve been going there six to seven days a week during the summer since I started, and if you think about this being my job, you can say it’s the best job in the world.”
Page started his career in freestyle by taking ski lessons at Deer Valley.
“It was awesome, but I got to the point where I wanted more than they could offer,” he said.
His parents learned about another winter-sports group called Wasatch Freestyle, which trained at Deer Valley and Snowbird. And in the winter of 2009 and 2010, he joined Wasatch Freestyle’s Mogul Monsters team.
“Coincidentally that same year Bryon Wilson, who came out of the Wasatch Freestyle, won the bronze medal for freestyle in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver,” Page said. “I saw it on TV and knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
The dream came true last year when he was selected for the U.S. Moguls Team.
“I always grew up wanting to wear the U.S. flag on my chest, and I wanted to ski for the country,” he said. “So when I made the team, I was able to put on my own team jacket. It was an overwhelming sensation to realize I’m not just a little weekend skier, but on the world stage. I get to represent myself and my team, but bigger than that, my country.”
During Moguls and Muffins, Page will be interviewed at a safe distance on the UOP’s water ramp by Worthington, Smith and Kearney.
“It’s a weird time for all of us right now with COVID, but the U.S. Ski Team has done a great job finding ways we can stay productive during this time where a lot of teams can’t,” he said. “You can’t earn the medals if you don’t put in the work. You can’t put in the work if you don’t have the resources. And fundraising is the first step to achieve these dreams.”
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“One of the underlined themes of these works is my hope that if people see all Black faces in ski gear, conceptually, it will trigger some thoughts so they will feel different the next time they get on the mountain and see a person of color skiing or snowboarding.”