New USSMA executive director Anthony Armstrong is aiming for ski mountaineering success at Milan Cortina 2026 ©USSMA

Newly appointed United States Ski Mountaineering Association (USSMA) executive director Anthony Armstrong has vowed to strengthen the sport in preparation for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Armstrong was recruited by the Colorado-based organisation last month after creating the role of executive director.

The USSMA said Armstrong, who is currently serving as vice-chairman of investment banking for Morgan Stanley, brought three decades of "executive leadership" to the position.

Armstrong has been tasked with leading the USSMA as the US looks to make their mark in ski mountaineering at Milan Cortina 2026 where the sport will make its Winter Olympic debut.

He said he was determined to ensure success at the Games and had been looking at ways to support athletes over the next three years in preparation for the event.

"If you prioritise everything, then you prioritise nothing," said Armstrong in a report by the Aspen Times.

"The way that we are thinking about it is that all these constituents matter, who are you going to focus on first?

"Our view, unsurprisingly, is to support our athletes and have success in 2026 in Cortina.

"That is the single best thing we can do to support the broader community."

The USSMA is looking to
The USSMA is looking to "grow the base of financial support" for ski mountaineers in the country ©USSMA

Armstrong said he had been on a "rapid-fire meeting, listening and learning tour" since taking on the role as he looks to set out a plan for the future.

Among his goals include strengthening ties with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and creating a better platform to enable athletes to develop.

"Doing what we can do to grow the base of financial support for ski mountaineering so we can do all of the things that other, more established, governing bodies have," added Armstrong.

"U.S. Ski and Snowboard have training centre, they have partnerships with ski resorts, they have nutritionists and trainers on staff.

"Those things come over years and years of working and investment."

Speaking at the time of Armstrong’s appointment, USMMA Board member Jim Moore claimed that the new executive director would bring a "new level of energy and professionalism" to the organisation.

"The sport and our US athletes will benefit from his ability to raise capital and thoughtfully grow the organisation, building on the hard work of our dedicated volunteers over the last several years," said Moore.

"The US is a key geography for ski mountaineering and I look forward to working with Anthony to leverage the expertise of our European partners to continue building the sport in our nation."