Four years ago I hoped to make my first Olympic team, unfortunately that dream was never realized. I was not named to the team, instead my younger brother was. I decided the best thing to do was to go as a fore-jumper. I hoped that I could help the team in anyway, show my support for Taylor, and I knew that I would get an upfront seat for the action! That was the best decision of my life. Not being named forced me to refocus my career, my training, my direction, combine that with watching my teammates just dominate the games, I came away a new person. Today I can officially say I am on the U.S. Olympic Team bound for Sochi! I have waited 4 years to say that, it feels good to accomplish that goal. So onto Sochi I go… but before I get too far ahead of my self here’s what happened in the last couple weeks leading up to this moment…
Another week has come and that means it's time for a day off blog post before the weekend kicks off. Unfortunately my creativity is at an all time low today so bear with me. While I recapped the Triple last week the event still has confused many, however once it's been explained fully everyone seems very excited and enthusiastic about it. Personally I predicted that it was going to be spread out and a winner would be clear by the second day, however after debating this with my teammates and colleagues, I must admit I think I am wrong. The consensus is that it will be tight, and the fight for first will be an all out battle to the line on the third day. Several factors will play into this new consensus, the first is the jump hill. This hill is a large small hill, HS 108, K99. Everyone tends to jump between 95 and 105 meters in years past meaning that it will be a mere second or two separating competitors from each other. The second factor is that the first event is a 5km race, that means it will pack up and ski much more like a mass start then a Gunderson event. I predict it will be difficult to pull away or loose significant amounts of time in the first event. Which really puts the pressure on the second day of competition. Each competitor will have to put on their A game to get inside the top 30 and survive any deficits from the previous day. The third day is when the packs will separate. 15km will be a long enough race to break up the packs. That said I think it's anyones game with a strong race on the third day. My hope is that anyone inside the top 30 could win... Only time will tell but further predictions are welcome!
This will be a big weekend! Almost every nation will have to name their Olympic team promptly after... The last spots for most nations will be filled based of performances in this event. Prepare to see some great performances out there Exciting stuff!
That said GO USA!
I have a lot to of new things to say for once! I guess that makes up for the couple weeks I procrastinated on updating my blog. So in order, here is what has happened in my life since my last post. Shonach went well, I am sure my Facebook indicated that already so it's fair to say thats old news. But just incase your are really curious I was 18th the first day with a crash in the XC portion, I followed that up with a 9th place finish the second day, (no crash!). I was happy to end the period on a strong note before heading home. I arrived home just in time to celebrate the holiday's as best I could before Olympic trials the very next weekend. Olympic trials was an awesome event, most likely the biggest US event I have been a part of in the years, Thousands of people showed up and the whole thing felt just like a world cup. Jumping was not what I hoped for but I put together another strong Cross Country race to finish 2nd in the event. However the support from the crowd was amazing and I want to thank everyone who came out to the show!
After the event I was relieved to have a week off from racing. I spent my time enjoying the finer things in life, time with my fiancé, Cross Country ski's with my dog (Sochi) for the first time, had the opportunity to catch two movies, and enjoy some quality time with friends. It was the perfect break from the season, but I would be lying to say I wasn't missing competition. I am excited we are back on tour and I am ready to race!
In other news if you haven't seen on Facebook as well I used the break as an opportunity to update my new helmet for the Olympics! The artwork looks awesome and I am really excited to debut it this weekend in Chaux Neuve, France. I think it will be especially cool to debut it here because all the school children come with their classes to watch the world cups, a lot of them are probably close in age to Rhett and Charlotte so maybe it will garner some extra attention from them. I will post a gallery of the new helmet.
Outside of skiing I have been enjoying wedding planning with Nikki, she does most of the work but I like to pretend I am helping just like every fiancé does. But honestly it's really exciting and I cannot wait for the day already.
Looking forward, I will be in Europe for another 10 days. This weekend as previously mentioned is Chaux Neuve, and next weekend will be the big debut of the Nordic Combined Triple!!! Just as the name hints it's three competitions in three days. After each event there will be a cut, the first down to 50 competitors, the second cut will be down to 30 competitors. The first day will be a 1 jump 5 km race, the second a 1 jump 10 km race, and the third day will be a 2 jump 15 km race. Each person's time back after the finish of the XC race will be added to their start time after jumping for the next day of competition. So rest assured every competitor will be racing to the line because every second counts! Needless to say I am looking forward to the events this period as well as them being over because that means the Olympics is almost here! Our team will officially be named after January 20th, I couldn't be more excited for the journey to begin.
Until then he focus is here however on this weekend. I hope to build upon the results I have already had this season. Be sure to follow on Twitter or Facebook to see how I stack up this weekend.