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Longest-tenured U.S. Alpine skiing coach joins rival Austria

Alex Hoedlmoser

Alex Hoedlmoser US Ski team women’s head coach looks on during a press conference with members of the US Ski Team ahead of the 2013 Ski World Championships held in Schladming on February 3, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Alex Hödlmoser, the longest-tenured U.S. Alpine skiing coach, returned to his native Austria, joining that nation’s staff as women’s speed head coach.

U.S. Ski and Snowboard confirmed the move Wednesday in announcing staff changes for the upcoming season. Austria’s federation announced it in April.

Hödlmoser, a former ski racer for Austria, coached for U.S. Ski and Snowboard since 1997, spending his first 17 seasons with the women’s Alpine team, then three with the men and the last five back with the women.

During Hödlmoser’s time with the women’s program, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso developed into Olympic gold medalists. He was the U.S. Alpine International Coach of the Year at least three times.

The world’s top female speed racers are Italians Sofia Goggia and Federica Brignone, Swiss Corinne Suter and Lara Gut-Behrami and Americans Breezy Johnson and Mikaela Shiffrin.

The last Austrian woman to win an Olympic gold medal or world title in a downhill or super-G was Nicole Schmidhofer in 2017.

Austria was the standard of speed racing in the early 2000s with stars Michaela Dorfmeister, Renate Götschl and Alexandra Meissnitzer.

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