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!