As you can see from the picture, life on the road is not all that spectacular sometimes. Here we are in Lillehammer, Norway for the opening world cups and despite early season cold temps here the snow is now almost gone on the jumps. After a week of rain it's amazing the hills are in as good of conditions as they are. It's so warm out that I have the window open in my hotel room to get some fresh air while lounging in a T-shirt. What ever happened to the good old days of winter, when it was so cold out you had to sleep in your down jacket? Just two years ago in this very spot I was fighting a losing battle with frostbite every time I went outside. That was also the last time I saw two grown men crying in a wax cabin due to the unbearable pain associated with the frost bite.
Despite the warm temperatures I feel lucky to say that we will still have a World Cup opener at this point. There is plenty of snow at the cross country stadium, and the hills seem to be holding strong for the first Official Training tomorrow. The buzz around the town is filled with anticipation for the first events. The athletes are all feeling the unmistakable confident/nervous/giddy/excited feeling that comes with the season. It's a rare mixture of emotion where just a pinch more of this or that can tailor the feeling to any aspect of life, yet it still remains unique in it's own right.
As we get excited, you should be too! Many of you will spend the next 5 months staying up to all hours of the night just to catch a highlight reel of our comps online. Just for doing so I must say thank you for you loyal dedication as a fan and friend of Nordic Combined and of the US Team. For those of you who are lucky enough to see it live, remember the celebration goes all day so pace yourself! If you find yourself lacking information please go to www.fisnordiccombined.com to find just about everything you will need to keep yourself informed. As good as the website looks, sometimes it does have some glitches, spend sometime navigating it and click links, buttons etc. in time you will have it dialed.
So tomorrow we kick it off! Get excited and celebrate a bit tonight. Here is to what will hopefully be a great season!