Vancouver, BC – Canada Snowboard is pleased to announce the appointment of Jan Wengelin as our new national alpine snowboarding team head coach. Jan’s coaching career has spanned over 30 years, including positions with Canada’s alpine snowboarding team leading up to the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the US alpine snowboarding program, and Alpine Canada. Most recently Jan served as head coach of the revitalized Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club in Smithers, BC.
Originally from Sweden, he has coached athletes at four different Winter Olympic games, including three Olympic medalists: Canadian Ross Rebagliati (Gold, Nagano 1998) as well as American riders Chris Klug (Bronze, Salt Lake City 2002) and Rosey Fletcher (Bronze, Torino 2006). That Olympic pedigree and experience is exactly what JF Rapatel, Director of sport and high performance, looked for to strengthen the alpine snowboarding program.
“We felt it was important to hire not only a highly skilled coach but also a proven leader who would have an immediate impact on our snowboard alpine program in our quest to once again become a leading nation in alpine snowboarding.” Rapatel said. “Jan has an impressive track record and his skills, vast knowledge, and experience will be instrumental in creating the structure and program that will help our athletes to reach their full potential. I am extremely happy to get the opportunity to work with Jan.”
Not only is Jan excited to get to work with the current national team, but he is eager to lay the ground work for future generations to succeed.
“I want to support the current World Cup athletes and help them reach their individual potential and really help to foster a team environment heading into the 2018 Winter Olympics. It’s also great to have the chance to work towards the 2022 Winter Olympics and even the 2026 Winter Olympics, not just focusing on short-term goals, but the long-term success of the program. My goal is to build up the program, build up the athletes from the younger developmental side of things and give them a red line, a path that they can reach to compete in World Cups and international competitions. Having an athlete represent their country at the Winter Olympics is one of biggest achievements for a coach, and I’m looking forward to helping Canadian riders get there.”
With two titles and five top three finishes across the men and women’s NorAm cup standings last year, Canada is well poised for another successful year on the world stage.