Nordic Combined Athlete
Jumping Farther, Skiing Faster
As I sit here in the Laundromat washing my entire stack of clothes and race suits, I realized I have just about reached the halfway point in my trip. Shonach and Chaux Neuve were successful for me. Last week in Chaux Neuve, France I was able to ski to a 20th place finish as well as an 8th place finish. The second day was also made special because both Taylor and myself were inside the top ten. Taylor has been working very hard this year but has not had the results to show for it, and last week he finally created an opportunity for himself and took advantage of it. Taylor skied a blistering fast race finishing 5th just a few second ahead of me. We had a great time in France this year, the lack of snow made the competitions very interesting but I think it only added to the fun atmosphere of the competitions.
This week is the Seefeld Nordic Combined Triple, three events in three days! The snow conditions here in Seefeld are great, we are back to winter on the world cup tour. This jump & course are very challenging; it very well could be a fight for the podium each and every day from all of the competitors in the field. Yesterday we had the opportunity to ski the new redesigned course here, and I have to say they took an already hard course and made it even harder. It will be very exciting to see how it races compared to the old one. Each day of the triple takes into account the previous day. The first day is a one jump 5k race, after the event only the top 50 will get a start on the second day, which is a one jump 10k. The third day will be a 2 jump 15k race with only the top 30 competitors from the previous day. So hopefully if all goes well everyone on team USA will make it to the last day of competition! Last year I had my seasons best result finishing 5th in the triple overall. It would be a dream come true to repeat that this season. I am not overly concerned with the result however, my goal this year is to continue building on my competition strength and performance. My goal is to have just three solid days on the jump hill! If I can accomplish that, then the weekend was successful!
Outside the hill, our team has been playing some really good games of Canasta, A rummy type card game to pass the time. We have also enjoyed learning some new card games from our Swiss counterparts. I am not the biggest card guy but the last two weeks I have certainly played my fair share. Today’s day off will be spent enjoying the views from the Laundromat. School has also started for ¾ of our guys so it seems like that will start to fill up more and more of our time as the semester ramps up.
Another treat for our team this week is we have Dave Cieslowski, a former competitive skier turned PT. Dave worked with us for the first time last season, and this year he is back for not only Seefeld, but world championships as well. This season we have not had a PT traveling with our team regularly so after two weeks of hard competitions it will be amazing to get some work done and correct all the abuse we have thrown at ourselves. Thanks Dave!
The last thing I want to chat about is my friend and colleague Nick Fairall. Nick had a horrible crash in the four hills tournament a few weeks back. He was immediately taken to the hospital to have emergency surgery and is now recovering from that. As you can imagine he will have a hefty bill along with long road to recovery ahead. I want to encourage every one to please donate to his Rallyme to help offset costs and give him the best possible chance to make a healthy recovery! Please just go to this link to donate: https://www.rallyme.com/rallies/1342/nick-fairall
So there you have all my news for the week! Thanks for reading and hopefully next week I will have some very exciting blog posts from Japan!