Nordic Combined Athlete
Jumping Farther, Skiing Faster
I am reporting from inside the Hotel Babylon in Liberec, Czech Republic. Today I had the first of two competitions here in Liberec. Friday left all the competitors wondering if it would be possible to get the competitions off here. After several attempts to get the competition off all failed. They moved our competition from the big hill to the small hill and still the jury found it too windy to hold the competition. Naturally our saturday morning started a little earlier then planned in order to get the necessary jumps off that we didn't get on Friday. Despite a delayed start the competition was held and the provisional round was completed. Upon completion of the provisional they decided to forego the Competition jump and use the provisional comp as todays race.
I ended up jumping to 16th place in my provisional jump. I was in the hunt, I knew I had a tough race ahead of me though. Spring skiing conditions were out in full force today. It's tough to ski when the slush is almost 1/3 of your body height. Despite my best efforts today I was not able to move up. However considering my track record in slushy races I feel that today's race was a solid effort on my part. I did what I had to do in order to hang with the group, although it cost me in places at the finish today I think it was the best way to prepare myself for future races in this conditions. Tomorrow could be exactly that, and after watching my teammate ski his ass off in this condition I know that speed in attainable. Bill Demong was impressive to say the least. Watching him or Mikko ski in these conditions is probably the best teaching anyone can get. Tomorrow I hope to imitate and put the hammer down myself.
After the race tomorrow, Taylor, Nick, Brett, and myself will be driving up to Travemunde to board our "cruiseship" to Finland. We will drive our car right onto the ship and probably take a much needed siesta. 24 hours later our crew will land in Helsinki and after a short 1.5 hour drive we will arrive in Lahti. I am looking forward to Lahti and what it has in store for us this year. However for now I have my sights set on tomorrows competition.