TonyO Profile in Skiing small

 

 

Program Director - Head Coach

Tony Olin grew up skiing at Cedar Hills (just off the end of the Flying Cloud Airport runway). He had long hair - really long, and a lot of it; wore a ski hat to bed to keep it straight. Since that time, TonyO has cut his hair - and lost some of it too; traveled the world as a ski racer; become an elder-statesman of ski racing in the Untied States (one of few Level 500 Certified coaches in the US); raised two children with his better half Julie; and continues to be committed to the advancement of ski racers everywhere - whether they're just starting out, or aspire to World Cup level performance.

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Assistant Director - Eric Levander

Eric started racing for Team Afton over 40 years ago, competing at the FIS level in both Central and Rocky Divisions and is still associated with the team today…. A local who just can't get enough. He was on the 1989 MN State Ski Championship Team with Woodbury High School and is still giving that passion back! Catch him out on the hill in this year's latest fashions (he is our Uniform Guy, after all), and rocking it as a great ski racer dad, and generally amazing coach.

 

 

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Head of Non-Scored Programs & Club Administrator - Liesl Schultz

Liesl grew up skiing at Welch Village, participating primarily with D-team and high school racing, along with USCSA in college.  In her late teens, an attempted retirement from race programs ensued, but Liesl couldn’t stay out of the snow or away from her friends. An appreciation for racing shifted to an appreciation for skiing, with the discovery of twin tips and big jumps, skins and the backcountry.  Now, back in Minnesota for work and family, there were no other considerations to coach except for with Team Afton and TonyO. Over the years, she's coached at Park City, for Afton Alps ARC & Jr. ARC, as well as St. Paul Academy. A Master's level teacher by trade, with a background in systems reform and community wellness, Liesl has found her niche here at Team Afton, working with developing skiers and helping support the day-to-day functions of our awesome community.

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Head of Scored & FIS Programs - Sean Nolan

Sean has an explosive energy that you can see on and off the hill. He grew up on the flat land of Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his time at the nearest ski hill over two hours away, Bittersweet Ski Resort, was bittersweet indeed.  He is a graduate of St. Olaf College, where he studied music education and participated as part of their alpine ski team. Sean still competes at the FIS level in addition to his coaching. He is a lifelong student of the sport and his passion and dedication is apparent.

 

 

 

 

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Lead Coach - Teresa Christenson

Teresa is an All-State, Junior Olympian, All-American skier. She attended and skied for St. Olaf College, where she learned from the best -- the TonyO! She is Level 100 certified. And she has kept the tradition of racing going by raising two daughters on Team Afton, one of whom is still racing. They made it a family sport, her husband serving on our Board of Directors as a Member at Large & Treasurer for a time. She loves coaching and helping our racers progress in their development and has been coaching off and on, but more on, since 2000.

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Dr. Dave Thorson

Dr. Dave started coaching in the early 1970’s as a Buddy Werner coach at Park City. He became Head Coach at Duluth Alpine Club and UMD for 3 years before moving back to the Twin Cities to resume his college education. He coached on and off for the next decade +. His coaching resumed in 1994 with Team Afton. He has coached at the Divisional and National level, as well as worked as a physician covering skiing locally, nationally and internationally. Dave is our resident ski-tuning-guru and CANT'ing technician, while he continues to provide volunteer physician coverage for the U.S. Ski Team. As a ski racer, he raced in high school and college. He was the Age group National NASTAR champion in the under 30 – 40 age group. We extremely fortunate to have is expertise as part of our team at Team Afton.

 

 

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Coach - Doug Nordmeyer

Doug raced USSA and continued racing in college. He was a World Pro and Coors Tour Competitor, Military Alpine Competitor, International Military Alpine Competitor, as well as a participant of various other ski racing leagues and teams. He is a seasoned alpine ski coach with extensive background across all ability levels and age groups. That sums it up - Doug is in it for life! He's got so many stories (and most of them true). Doug was actually coaching TonyO when he first entered the ski racing fray - must've stuck. They're both still going strong in a sport they share a passion for.

Doug is a Level 400 U.S. Ski and Snowboard certified coach - and one of TonyO's chief collaborators and Principle Minion.

 

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Coach - Chauncey Charlson

Chauncey is one of those people we say has been with Team Afton "since he was in diapers". He grew up with TonyO and we're so glad he hasn't left. He was a Junior Olympic Silver Medalist during his time racing with Team Afton. Now he proves his stature by having his own "Chauncey sized" gate bundle... and he can carry two at once. It's no wonder he's always getting so hot.

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Coach - Joe Dean

Joe Learned how to ski in high school from a best friend that raced USSA. He became a ski instructor at Afton when his kids were on the D-team at age 5. He instructed for 7 years and has his USSS Level 100 coaching license. He lives in Stillwater with Stephanie, his wife, where they raised their two kids, Madi and Parker. He has enjoyed many years of fun family times while chasing two ski racing kids around the country and volunteering as a U.S. Ski Official at numerous races. Madi now lives in Park City and continues to peruse her ski racing dreams, while Parker hung up the race skis to peruse his talents in the terrain park.

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Coach - Emily Nash

Grew up Team Afton - poster child. She went on to ski for the University of Minnesota. She became L100 Coach Certified and is a seasoned coach with Team Afton and OL SkiRacing School. She famously told her coach in the starting gate of a very fast Junior Olympic Downhill that claimed the previous racer with a sled ride: "I'm trusting you..."

Experience.

 

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Coach - Hanna Gaertner

Hanna and her brothers grew up skiing at Afton on the D-team, then racing for Team Afton and with Stillwater Area Ski Team. She "retired" from racing to free ski in Colorado while attending DU, but now that she's back, we can't keep her away. She's a bit of a wizard with a drill (course setter leading apprentice), and a wizard when it comes to helping kids crack smiles as they're developing their turns. We're happy to have her "back in game" here with us at Team Afton.

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Coach - Doug Kryzer

This is not Doug's first time with Team Afton. In the early 2000's he coached and raced with Team Afton and now has returned after 20+ years of USSA coaching experience with four different clubs. He additionally has high school coaching experience as the Head Coach at St. Thomas Academy, and Mahtomedi High School, as well as a current assistant coach for Hill Murray. He was a former USSA Minnesota Cup Overall & Slalom Champion, and MSHSL Weight Lifting Champion.

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Coach - Nick Holz

Nick grew up 3 miles from Afton Alps and spent time on Team Afton and the Hastings High School Ski Team as a Junior Olympian and All-State skier with TonyO.  After College, life in the military minimized the available time on the slopes.  It is great to be back!!  He has a daughter on Team Afton and enjoys coaching and developing Team Afton athletes to reach and exceed their goals and expectations.

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Coach - Megan Myers

Megan grew up skiing at Welch Village (along with Coach Liesl; they've been skiing together for over 20 years!). She started out on the D-team, then competed with both USSA and High School. Megan always loved GS and competing with her dad in Nastar -- it's a family sport. Megan capped off her competitive ski experience by racing as an affiliate with University of Minnesota before spending a good chunk of her 20's teaching abroad. Megan is now back in MN and is, of course, impossible to keep off snow again. She's excited to be joining Team Afton.

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Coach - Denver Link

Denver started skiing at the age of three at Sundown Mountain in Dubuque, Iowa. He raced for the Sundown Mountain Junior Race Team, competing in the Wisconsin-Illinois-Iowa Junior Alpine Racing Association. His favorite hill growing up was Mt. La Crosse, as he traveled to many of the Southern Midwestern hills. He continued to ski for St. Olaf, while majoring in biology and environmental studies. Since graduating in 2021, he has stayed abreast in the coaching world and is excited to join Team Afton.

Additional Coaches 

Mark Lindemer

Nik Damberg

Kirsten Anderson

Luc Bollback

Kaarl Damberg

Parker Smith

Ethan Ross

Aric Arneson

Jen Santini

Erik Rasmussen