The weekend of Ramsau, Austria is here. Despite very warm temperatures and almost no natural snow they have managed to put together their usual full 2.5 km course and the jump hill. The weekend forecast calls for warm sunny weather so it might seem like a springtime race. Nonetheless I am looking forward to getting back into the action!
Last weekend I spent helping the team at the Continental Cups in Park City, UT. The comps were a success for our team with a number of athletes scoring either their first points or landing a much-needed podium. Personally I spent the weekend fore jumping, testing skis with our wax techs, and cheering as loud as I can give splits. As you may already know Taylor skied extremely fast on the XC course all three days landing himself a 3rd place, a 2nd place and a 1st place on the last day. But the highlights didn’t stop there. Almost every single one of the competitors achieved a personal best finish. I was impressed and motivated by these performances because it shows just how much depth our team has built over the last 3 years. The potential of the young guns is awesome and I really hope they can see it through.
For me it was good to go home and reset after the first block of competitions. I got a boost of energy and some good training at home and I hope to carry that momentum into Ramsau. After this weekends competitions we have a short break for Christmas and then the real bulk of the season begins. I will most likely spend 8-9 weeks on the road because of the competition schedule. I am looking forward to some steady weekends of competition, but there is no doubt that spending that length of time on the road will come with it’s challenges. Nikki will be joining me for a few days in the midst of it all that will give us both an opportunity to recharge for a bit. I am also very excited to show her what goes on behind the scenes at the world cup.
On a completely different note, the year-end is approaching fast, and if you’re interested in donating to ccThrive now is the time to do so! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or simply go to www.ccthrive.org to donate online. It’s very simple to donate and all donations are tax deductible! Thanks and follow my results from the weekend on Twitter or Facebook!
Well the Ruka Nordic Opening has come and gone. Yet no nordic combined competitions have happened yet. In my 8 years on World Cup I have never seen a weekend get entirely blown out. Sure, we have had 1 event in a weekend blown out several times, however to not only have the provisional blown out, but also the two days of competitions blown out is rare. That is exactly what happened in Ruka, Finland.
Needless to say we did a lot of waiting on the wind to no avail. However when it comes down to it, I think every athlete was happy that we did not start. It comes down to safety when the winds were as strong as they were. I am happy the safety was recognized because there is no point in risking the season for the athletes in the first event of the season.
The thing about waiting is it is almost harder then skiing in the comps. One has to sit around relaxed but also be ready to compete at a moments notice. Most of the weekend the competition was only pushed back by 30 minutes at a time. Meaning that 15 minutes from the time of delay, the first athletes have to start getting ready to go up to the top. So as you can imagine being in that state of preparedness for the entire day is exhausting, but that is what makes a world cup athlete. A world cup athlete is one who can perform at their best consistently despite any number of variables thrown at them. I often say what makes a good world cup athlete is not how well you can perform when the conditions are perfect, but instead how well you can perform in the worst conditions. Hard courses, soft snow, ice, wind, rain, falling snow, spotty grooming, snowmobiles, delays, horrible mattresses, buffet food that is both good and bad are just a few of the things you will deal with on the circuit. But I am not complaining those challenges are what make it so much fun to be on the circuit. They are also where the best stories come from.
The art of waiting is probably different for most people, but I think a key to success on this circuit is being able to wait patiently. Which is typically hardest on the down days. Today is one of those days since it’s my recovery day. After last weekend’s cancellation I am ready to go here in Lillehammer and get this season under way. Since there is no fast forward button, waiting patiently is the only option. So what is the plan for today? Well I will read my book which is currently, The idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, next I will probably do a little jog followed by some imitations and jumping work, to recover from that I will work on ccThrive, and lastly the team and I will go see the Hunger Games Mocking jay Part 2 tonight. The last part is only fitting because two years ago when we were here, we ventured out to see the first Hunger Games. So it seems natural to finish the series where it started for us.
Tomorrow we will kick of the season with our official training and provisional competition rounds. Saturday will be a Team event and Sunday will be an individual event. Just incase you haven’t heard, all of our events will be broadcast live at the time of the event on NBC Universal in the USA. You can get our events on the NBC Sports Live Extra app or on your TV if you get the NBC Universal channel. The app usually gives the timetable for our events so you can see what time it will be on where you live. So obviously I highly encourage you to tune in and watch! It will be some of the best World Cup action you will see on TV.
Next week if you are in PC come out to the Continental Cup competitions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The comps will take place at the UOP and Soldier Hollow and I promise there will be some stiff competition for the podium. I will post a timetable for the events next week.
Thanks for reading and check back next week for a new update.