APU leader Flora honored as top U.S. Olympic coach
He is the first cross-country coach to win the award that dates back to 1996, but the fourth coach with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
The Alaska Pacific University coach’s fingerprints were all over Team USA at the world championships, with four of the 13 American skiers coming from APU.
The other finalists were gymnastics coach Aimee Boorman and diving coach Adam Soldati.
Flora helped many skiers reach new heights, including Alaska Sports Hall of Famer Kikkan Randall, who won this country’s first world championship gold medal in nordic skiing and led the U.S. women’s team to its first relay podium finish in World Cup history.
He also aided in breakthrough seasons by Alaskans Sadie Bjorsen and Erik Bjornsen as well as SuperTour champion Rosie Brennan.
Flora was also recognized as the 2013 U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Coach of the Year and the 2013 USSA International Cross-Country Coach of the Year.