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Climate change-themed race suit launched at Alpine World Championships

U.S. Ski & Snowboard, in partnership with Kappa and Protect Our Winters (POW) announce a race suit designed to elevate climate change as a priority for snowsports. 

The Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team will wear the suit in front of the world during the 2023 FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Meribel-Courchevel, France Feb. 6-19, 2023.

Climate change is an existential threat to the future of skiing. In the 2022-23 winter alone, teams around the world have seen the devastating effects of a warming climate with canceled races due to lack of snow, tracks made entirely of machine-made snow and athletes racing in 50-degree temperatures in the middle of winter. A warming winter is one of the biggest threats as athletes and fans look at the future of snowsports. 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard partnered with POW, a leading nonprofit organization advocating for systemic solutions to climate change, and Kappa, the team uniform partner, to bring to life a unique vision of climate change on the athletes’ speed suits. 

“From the initial vision and concept to the product in hand, we at U.S. Ski & Snowboard, POW and Kappa have created a suit that represents and brings attention to a warming climate,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “Although a race suit is not solving climate change, it is a move to continue the conversation and show that U.S Ski & Snowboard and its athletes are committed to being a part of the future.”

The race suit is designed by Kappa and produced in Italy with 100% Italian fabrics in a factory certified in terms of environmental sustainability. “We are proud, as the Official Technical Sponsor of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, to be part of this initiative in support of POW and its fight against the climate change crisis,” says Lorenzo Boglione, Vice Chairman of BasicNet S.p.A. The race suit features large chunks of icebergs sailing in the ocean, based off a satellite photograph of an expanse of ice breaking due to high temperatures. The design draws attention to the importance of taking a global view of the present-day situation.

The suit also bears a POW logo on the neck, showcasing the importance of the organization in U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Kappa’s fight against the warming climate, as well as an illustration of the POW snowflake logo on the leg.

“POW and U.S. Ski & Snowboard are aligned on the urgency of uniting the snowsports industry and community on meaningful advocacy on climate,” said POW Executive Director Mario Molina. “This World Championships suit designed by Kappa makes a statement that athletes, brands and winter enthusiasts worldwide can get behind. By coming together, we can educate and mobilize our snowsports community to push for the clean energy technologies and policies that will most swiftly reduce emissions and protect the places we live and the lifestyles we love.”

“As a POW Alliance member for the last few years, it’s really cool to partner with the Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team through POW to wear these Kappa speed suits for the 2023 FIS World Championships,” said Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team racer Travis Ganong. “These will help bring awareness to climate change and melting glaciers and shrinking snowpacks around the globe and how that affects our sport directly. We’ve had so many canceled races this year so it’s definitely happening in real time as we speak.”

The Stifel U.S. Alpine Ski Team will wear the suits throughout the World Championships. Suits will be sold at auction after the World Championships with proceeds going to POW. 

Header image: Travis Ganong shares the newest Kappa suit, a collaboration with Protect Our Winters. Credit: Kappa

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