Olympian, Steamboat resident Deb Armstrong partners with Fischer
Olympic gold-medalist and Steamboat Springs resident Deb Armstrong is joining Fischer as an ambassador this summer. She’ll be repping the brand, testing product and talking with fellow skiers.
“I think that our passions really align,” Armstrong said of Fischer. “Our culture and who the company is and who I am really align. Bottom line, we have tremendous respect for one another, so I think it’s a really good fit.”
Additionally, Fischer appreciated that Armstrong has a high technical understanding of the sport of skiing and is able to convey that to the public well.
The partnership came to be last winter when Armstrong was skiing with Fischer’s Mike Hattrup. Armstrong, who won Olympic gold in giant slalom at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, was very popular on the slopes. People kept coming up to her and Armstrong would speak with everyone, catching up or sharing her knowledge.
“He saw me as someone who was relatable to the public and accessible to the public,” Armstrong said. “Also, he saw my skiing is still at a very high level and could give the company a lot of feedback and insight about the product. I think it’s a lot of variables that make for a very good partnership.”
Armstrong has made a second career as a ski instructor and educator. In 1999 she became a member of the Taos Ski Valley Ambassador team, where she still frequently skis. She also was a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America National Team, helping establish and innovate ski education. She held the role as technical director at Steamboat Ski School and Alpine director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club in 2008.
“Within the ski industry, I’ve worn about every hat you can wear when it comes to skiing on the hill,” she said. “So, I know a lot. That might sound kind of funny, but I’m at that age where I do. I really really enjoy conveying skiing to the public. I really like it.”
Most recently, her love for educating people about skiing has taken a personal and lighter approach.
Back when she was the Alpine director for the SSWSC, she started a Youtube channel to help her coaches teach different techniques. She’s periodically posted throughout the years, but started regularly posting in late 2019. Ever since, her channel has gotten very popular.
She explains techniques, like learning parallel, stacking for large radius turns and mogul fundamentals. Her video titled teaching skills for all mountain skiing has 119,000 views.
People obviously seem to find those videos useful, but what seems to keep her audience coming back is her personal videos in which she talks about mindfulness, visualization, finding one’s potential and her own experience. She’s genuine and has a knack for communicating.
Her video from March 2020 she shared a near-death experience and sympathized with those struggling in the early moments of the COVID-19 pandemic. The video has more than 5,000 views and the comments note how inspiring she is and thank her for her beautiful message.
Armstrong said the channel has given her career a shot in the arm. She’s tapped into a whole new level of communicating her sport and passion.
“They’re very authentic and very true to my nature and to who I am,” she said. “I don’t have to answer anybody.”
“You have to follow your nature,” she added. “You pay attention to who you are and where you gravitate and what makes you happy.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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