USSA CEO apologizes to Ramos, Bloom |

USSA CEO apologizes to Ramos, Bloom

Steve Yingling, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Travis Ramos’ strained relationship with the U.S. Ski Team took a turn for the better Thursday morning.

A letter of apology written by Bill Marolt, president and chief executive officer for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, was read to Ramos over the phone. Marolt’s letter of apology appears in today’s Tribune on the Opinion Page on A6.

In the letter, Marolt apologized in behalf of the USSA for the scoring mistake that resulted in Ramos erroneously finishing behind Jeremy Bloom at the national championships March 25 in Bogus Basin, Idaho.

Marolt also apologized for not fixing the error sooner and for not communicating the correction more “effectively and personally to the two athletes involved.”

“It’s a closed deal for me,” said Ramos, who is the second Sierra-at-Tahoe freestyle skier to win the national moguls title in the past three years. “I’m glad the matter has come to his attention, and he has been able to fix this thing. He now knows that there are strange things going on in freestyle skiing.”

Ramos, however, doesn’t blame Marolt for the communication breakdown that delayed he and Bloom from learning of the switch in standings. Ramos learned he won the title when a friend in South Lake Tahoe told him, while Bloom first heard of the change from some fan mail. The U.S. Ski Team released a press release announcing the fix on April 18 on the team’s Web site.

“This problem with the national championship isn’t something I put any blame on the head hauncho,” Ramos said. “If there is any problem, normally it’s at the lower levels of the USSA … A lot of these things aren’t brought to his attention. It never gets to the president because they don’t want it to.

“I’m sure more than fixing the problem, they have had some unnice words come down to them.”

Earlier, Ramos had received a brief written apology from the U.S. Ski Team in the mail. However, Ramos still hasn’t received his $3,000 first prize or championship medal, which the team claimed it sent with the first letter of apology several weeks ago.

“I’ll trust that I’ll receive it. This whole matter is way behind me,” Ramos said.

Ramos, who has earned an automatic spot on the 2002-03 team after winning the national title, hasn’t decided if he’ll ski for the team next season. After being bypassed for the four-man contingent for the Salt Lake City Winter Games in February, Ramos has considered pursuing other interests.

“I can’t answer that question. It’s not a very pressing issue,” he said.

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