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Dusan Grasic to lead ski team through 2010

Kerr named women’s team manager as Alpine Canada shuffles coaching staff



By Andrew Mitchell

Like many of Canada’s winter sports organizations, Alpine Canada typically operates in four-year cycles around the Olympic Winter Games. Most major changes to staffing and team policy take place after an Olympics as the organization gears up for the next four years. This year, following the 2006 Olympics, is no different.

The Canadian Alpine Ski Team is coming off its best season ever on the World Cup with a record of 3,060 points, 12 podiums (twice as many as last season’s tally), and three fourth place finishes at the Olympics in Torino. The team also remains one of the youngest on the World Cup tour, with the majority of athletes in their early 20s.

Last week it was announced that Dusan Grasic will replace Max Gartner as the Alpine Director for CAST, overseeing team development and management through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Gartner will remain involved as a consultant.

“The CAST has great momentum and most importantly tremendous potential,” said Grasic, who joined Alpine Canada as the men’s technical coach in 2003, and guided athletes to six podiums in the last two years, including firsts in slalom and giant slalom.

“In order to get a step closer to our goal of being a world leader in ski racing, CAST must increase the synergies within the speed and technical programs and across the women’s and men’s programs. I look forward to helping our athletes and coaches turn World Cup podiums into victories.”

Grasic’s first task will be to redesign the coaching structure for CAST, making it easier for athletes to train and compete in both technical and speed events.

“Ski racing being an extremely competitive sport, it’s imperative for our organization to continuously seek the winning edge both on and off the hill to be the best in 2010 and beyond,” said Alpine Canada President Ken Read. “Dusan, who knows what it takes to succeed at the international level, will play a key role in managing the ever-growing activities of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team.”

Grasic has also been awarded the Andrej Kozbial Award presented to the international coach of the year, as well as the B.C. Sport Coach of the Year Award.

Grasic is also based in Invermere, close to the national team’s summer training facilities on the Farnham Glacier.

To fill the coaching gap left by Grasic, this week Alpine Canada announced that Whistler’s Matt Kerr and Toronto’s Paul Kristofic will be team managers for the women’s and men’s national teams respectively.

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