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Sitka Supports the USA Luge Team | PR: USA Luge appoints Scott Riewald as Chief Executive Officer

Date: June 10, 2024
Contact: Lauren Howe, Phone 978-400-3036,   

USA Luge appoints Scott Riewald as Chief Executive Officer  

Riewald brings 25 years of experience in high-performance sport in Olympic and professional sport organizations; takes over for Jim Leahy who will be retiring June 30  

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. –USA Luge today announced the appointment of Scott Riewald, PhD, to Chief Executive Officer of the organization. Riewald takes over for Jim Leahy, who announced his retirement earlier this year.  

Riewald has worked in the field of high-performance sport for the past 25 years, both in Olympic and professional sport organizations, where he developed strategic performance plans to help athletes achieve best-in-world performance.  

He comes to USA Luge from the Boston Red Sox, where he served as Manager, Minor League Performance Development. In this role, he leveraged science, technology, and analytics to achieve high performance in the sport while also managing a multi-disciplinary performance team of sport science and medical professionals. He also serves as a High-Performance Consultant for Invictus Performance Systems to develop high performance plans for sport organizations based on their capabilities and opportunities.  

Over his career, he has worked in a variety of roles for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), the United States Tennis Association, and United States Swimming.  

While at the USOPC, Riewald developed and implemented an organizational strategy encompassing technology data analytics by building integrations to impact athlete health, wellness, and performance, and oversaw a multi-million-dollar technology program to support performance impacting technology and research initiatives. He also mentored and led a talented staff to work with world-champion professional athletes, and developed and oversaw sport-specific culture and leadership initiatives focused on improving coach-athlete interactions.  

“I am tremendously excited to have the opportunity to work for USA Luge, and I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m eager to bring my background in high-performance, winter sport, technology, and management to the CEO position,” said Riewald. “During my 25 years in sport, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different teams, but I’ve developed a special affinity and admiration for luge, both the sport itself and those supporting it—the USA Luge athletes, the staff, partners, like the Olympic Redevelopment Authority (ORDA), the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF), the USOPC, as well as Lake Placid and the larger winter sport community. Anyone who has met me knows I am passionate about the Olympics, Team USA, and winter sport. I look forward to supporting the growth of luge in the U.S. while helping the athletes achieve their goals, both in performance and life. Exciting days to come!” 

In addition to his work in sport, Riewald served as an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University, where he developed and taught graduate level courses to give coaches a foundation in physical sport sciences and biomechanics related to athlete health and performance.  

He earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Boston University College of Engineering. 

A collegiate swimmer for Boston University, he is a member of the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame and the 1992 Student Athlete of the Year. With his background in swimming, he published the book, “The Science of Swimming Faster,” as well as additional publications related to biomechanics, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and conditioning for swimming.  

Riewald currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colo., and will be relocating to Lake Placid, N.Y. soon.  

Jim Leahy, who served as the organization’s CEO for the past 11 years, will be retiring on June 30.  

During his tenure, Leahy navigated three Olympic Games, hosted multiple World Cup competitions in the U.S. in partnership with ORDA and the UOLF, worked in collaboration with the USOPC, and oversaw the construction and renovation of the USA Luge headquarters and start facility in Lake Placid.  

“It has been a great almost 11-year run,” said Leahy. “The road wasn’t always easy, but it was a great honor to serve our athletes, staff, officials, and parents during my tenure. I want to personally thank our wonderful sponsors, who over the years provided our association with much needed financial and physical support for our mission. Without them a lot of what we do would not be possible. I believe my greatest accomplishment was working with the State of New York to rebuild our headquarters/start facility in Lake Placid resulting in a state-of-the-art facility. I want to also thank the board members of USA Luge for their unwavering support of me over the years. I will always be appreciative for their guidance and direction during my tenure. I welcome Scott Riewald as the new CEO for USA Luge. He comes with the passion and commitment to continue the great work already established as we look forward to the 2026 Olympic Games.” 

“The board of directors at USA Luge is thrilled to welcome Scott as our new CEO,” said two-time Olympian and USA Luge Board President Erin Warren. “He brings a wealth of experience guiding high performance programs at the USOPC and has a long track record of applying his extensive technical acumen to helping U.S. athletes compete at the highest level. As he steps into the CEO role, we are eager to direct his expertise towards bringing USA Luge’s technology program to the next level. At the same time, the board of directors wants to whole-heartedly thank Jim Leahy for his 11 years as CEO. During his tenure, he led the development of a new state-of-the-art start facility, guided our athletes to achieve medals at all levels of competition, including the Olympic Games. On behalf of USA Luge, I want to wish Jim and his wife Betteanne all the best as he embarks on a well-deserved retirement.” 

The nine-circuit World Cup season will kick-off in Lillehammer, Norway, November 29-December 1, 2024, with the 53rd World Championships scheduled for February 6-9, 2025, in Whistler, Canada. 

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