Just as the picture indicates the sun is setting on this period of world cup competitions with only one weekend left. Last weekend went well for me. The jumping was on par with Lillehammer but again I made up for it with my racing. On Saturday Todd Lodwick and I were just off the podium in the Team Sprint with a 4th place finish. We combined to be the fastest team on the course however. On Sunday I had my best race thus far this season posting the 2nd fastest time and finishing 7th! I was also stoked to have teammate Bill Demong in the top 10 with me in 9th place. So overall it was not a bad weekend and I am getting closer and closer to the goal.
This weekend we are in the Black Forest, Shonach, Germany. The period will wrap up with 2 individual events. The focus will be the same as the previous weekends and It will be nice to wrap up the period with two more chances at individual results before heading home.
The mold in my water bottle and lack of clean clothes suggest that it is time to head home. Plus I probably have a puppy at home who doesn't remember who I am. Hence it is definitely time to go reacquaint myself with my two loves Nikki and Sochi!
While at home I will also be looking forward to Christmas as well as Olympic Trials. On December 28th all the US Olympic eligible athletes in Nordic Combined will be out to battle for an Olympic spot in Park City. I encourage everyone to come out and cheer us on, both events will be held at the Olympic Park which will make for easy spectating!
So as usual provisional and OT tomorrow and competitions on both Sat and Sun. GO USA!
Well for starters I am sorry for the delay in my post from last week. I posted it on spotty Internet and it said published.... Now I realize that it did not in fact go up. So a little late but better then never.... The last post I wrote on Thursday before the comps in Lillehammer. This Thursday I will recap last weekend and forecast the weekend here in Ramsau, Austria!
Lillehammer went well, as I said in the last post I was confident there would not be a repeat of the weekend before and there was not! Jumping was still not 100% but that's ok considering it was my 3rd and 5th jumps in new boots for the competitions, things will only continue to get better. While jumping was not 100% it was good enough, I put myself into a position from which I could make some moves. I was very happy when I was able to ski solid and land myself a 16th place on Saturday, and Sunday that result was improved upon when I landed my first top 10 of the season, in 10th. My short comings in the jumping was definitely made up on the Cross Country side with the 11th and 5th fastest times again making the weekend an overall success.
Moving on, I arrived in Ramsau, Austria yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday) I was greeted by the morning sunshine! There is definitely a stark contrast between daytime here and daytime up north. So as you can guess I have spent some of the morning outside soaking up the Vitamin D and enjoying the nice weather. The weekend’s events start up tomorrow with Official Training/provisional followed on Saturday by the first Team Sprint of the season!!!! I am not going to lie I am excited for this event. It's never easy but it is very fun! Sunday will be an individual event. Conditions are great considering how the weather has been in Europe this winter... and the forecast for the weekend is good!
I am excited to build on the progress from last weekend, and hopefully I can continue to do so. Our team had some nice days of training in Lillehammer before we took the trip down and I think everyone is looking forward to the weekend. More importantly the rhythm of the season has been established for me, which gives me something to work with.
Outside of skiing some of the guys on the team have found a creative way to pass the time. It also makes us cringe and reminds us why we are skiers and not singers! Don't worry none of you readers will have to listen to us sing... We have started a very entertaining game in which one person puts on a pair of Bose headphones a song of their choice, closes their eyes and belts it out as best they can. Meantime the rest of the group is recording the audio and trying to control the laughter. Afterward the unlucky contestant gets to hear their track... Needless to say it's pretty hilarious!
And that's where I will leave this post now that there is a horrible image of us singing stuck in your imagination!
More to come after the week’s events!
Last week I was in Kuusamo, Finland in what most would call deep winter. It was dark, snowy and cold. This week I am in Lillehammer, Norway, and until today there was minimal snow and pretty warm temperatures. Today that has changed to dumping snow and cold temps. Some of the Norwegian Athletes have even said there is a winter advisory warning out!! I know for most people this sounds terrible but I cannot think of anything better for a day off. I am literally lying around watching it snow outside the hotel and it's gorgeous. Not to mention it should make for some exciting racing this weekend. Tomorrow we kick off the second weekend of World Cup Competition. As you may or may not know Kuusamo was not our weekend. We were plagued by multiple problems and it made for a shaky start to the season. This weekend will be different. If anything Kuusamo helped me work out my kinks faster than if it had gone mediocre. After a solid week of training here in Lillehammer I am heading into the weekend with confidence that there won't be a repetition of last weekend. Nordic Combined is a finicky sport, and weekends like the last happen to athletes often, but it's athletes passion and drive that keeps them climbing from the depths of a tough weekend that keep them going. "We are chalked full of that man” as Raoul Duke would say...
So as always it had been a short clip since my last post and usually I only find the time to write when I have a minute to reflect. Looking forward I will be on the road for another 3 weeks. After Lillehammer we will compete in Ramsau, Austria followed by Shonach, Germany. With each passing day I am filled with excitement and motivation about the weeks to come including this weekend. If your not planning on watching the comps this weekend I suggest you change your plans as Lillehammer is hosting not only Nordic Combined, but also Men’s ski Jumping, Women's Ski Jumping, as well as both Men’s and Women's Cross Country too. One of the events to keep an eye out for is the Mixed Team event for Ski Jumping. 2 men and 2 women make up a 4-member team for each country, which will be really exciting. GO USA!
Also keep an eye out for me in my new helmet designed by Rhett and Charlotte. They are the boy and girl of the year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They did a great job capturing how it feels for them to triumph over Cancer! Here are some up close and personal shots of their work!