U.S. Figure Skating Announces Team Staff for 2014 Olympic Winter Games
(7/23/13) - U.S. Figure Skating announced today the team leader, team managers and medical staff who will accompany Team USA to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games Feb. 6-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Candidates for these positions undergo a rigorous selection process. U.S. Figure Skating's Selections Committee nominates individuals who must be approved by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). U.S. Figure Skating and the USOC consider each candidate's previous history or current activity as a U.S. Figure Skating athlete, official, coach or medical staff; their knowledge and technical understanding of the sport's rules and regulations; and their working relationship with U.S. Figure Skating administration, athletes, coaches and officials. The USOC mandates that one individual from the U.S. Figure Skating staff be assigned to one of these positions.
Various staff responsibilities include serving as an onsite liaison with the USOC; ensuring that athletes and coaches of Team USA have minimal distractions, proper rule interpretations and a "playing field" that is handled accurately and without compromise to the athlete; managing team operations and logistics; and attending all practices and administrative and technical meetings at the Olympic Games.
Mitch Moyer's principal role will be to serve as team administrator, coordinating with athletes, coaches and staff to ensure peak performance. Moyer, who joined U.S. Figure Skating in 2006 as the senior director of athlete high performance, has 25 years of coaching experience and seen his athletes compete at the Olympics and World Championships. Moyer also served Team USA as team leader at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Kathy Slack's principal role will be to serve as manager and technical adviser for the singles and pairs competitions. Slack has served as team leader for 24 years at domestic and international competitions and has worked at events including the Four Continents Championships, ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, two World Junior Championships and two World Championships. She is a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors and a past Midwestern vice president, past judges chair and membership development coordinator. Slack has served on the judges, international judges and officials and selections committees. She is a national judge and referee for singles and pairs as well as a regional technical controller for singles and pairs. She serves as treasurer for the Troy Skating Club in Troy, Ohio.
John Millier's principal role will be to serve as manager and technical adviser for the ice dance competitions. Millier is a former competitor in pairs and ice dancing, and retired from competition after taking part in the 1990 Olympic Festival. He began trial judging in 1988 and has achieved gold test appointments in all disciplines as well as his sectional competition appointment in singles and pairs. In ice dancing, Millier is a regional technical specialist, sectional technical controller, national referee and competition judge, and a World judge. He has judged three ISU championship events and numerous international events. Working as a team leader since 1996, Millier has attended many Grand Prix Series events, three Grand Prix Finals, the World Junior Championships and four World Championships. Millier has served on several U.S. Figure Skating committees, most recently serving as chair of the Dance Committee, and the U.S. Figure Skating Board of Directors as an athlete member over the past 20 years. Millier resides in Atlanta.
Jen Burke, M.D.,is the chair of the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Sciences and Medicine Committee, and has served on that committee since 2001. She has been a physician for Team USA, traveling internationally and as camp faculty, for more than a decade. In her capacity as a sport medicine physician, Dr. Burke has lectured nationally and has provided sports medicine coverage for local, national and international events. In addition, Dr. Burke has co-authored several book chapters and articles about the sports science of figure skating and injury management. She practices primary care sports medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Melinda Couch began her career 20 years ago as a traveling physical therapist and worked in Massachusetts, Washington and California before settling in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1995. She has focused her career on outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine and utilizes an orthopedic manual therapy approach to her practice. Couch opened Peak Performance Physical Therapy in 2005 in Colorado Springs. In addition to working with figure skaters, she also focuses on working with runners and is a certified Pose Method of Running coach. Couch began working in figure skating in 1998. She was the off-ice strength and conditioning coach for the Broadmoor Skating Club from 1999-2002 and attended 1999 Skate America as her first international event. She has served as Team USA's physical therapist at several Four Continents Championships, the Grand Prix Final, two World Junior Championships and four World Championships. She also serves on the U.S. Figure Skating Sports Science and Medicine Committee.