Steamboat athlete, coach earn US Ski and Snowboard awards

Annika Belshaw lays out over her skis Friday morning while competing in the USA Nordic Junior Championships special jumping team event in March 2021.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

This month, U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced the winners for their annual awards celebrating the top athletes and coaches in their respective winter sports. 

Among the award winners are Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club alumni Annika Belshaw, Jaelin Kauf and Chris Gilbertson, according to a news release. 

Belshaw was named the U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s Ski Jumping Athlete of the Year.

At just 19 years old, she had seven top-10 finishes and placed fourth overall in the Continental Cup standings, which holds as the best U.S. finish since Sarah Hendrickson took second in 2015. 

“I feel delighted to win this award, and I am excited for this upcoming season,” Belshaw said in the release.

Gilbertson is the recipient of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Coach of the Year award.

Despite taking a seven year break from coaching between 2013 and 2019, Gilbertson made his triumphant return to the coaching scene in 2020.

He was the winner of the Nordic Combined/Ski Jumping Development Coach of the Year award in 2001 while working with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, and continues to collect hardware over 20 years later. 

“Nordic Combined is a team sport, regardless of the individual results. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of the whole team,” Gilbertson said in the release. 

Kauf, a former SSWSC freestyle moguls skier, is the recipient of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s Freestyle Athlete of the Year award.

Kauf took silver in Beijing and is considered to be one of the fastest skiers on the tour. She is also seen as a big supporter and motivator to young girls in her sport.

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