Hey everybody! I just wanted to share an article about the U.S. Nordic combined team and what we are doing to raise money for this upcoming season. The article talks about a trip that the team will take to Aspen in August for a training camp and fundraiser. If you are in Aspen the 14-18 you can join the U.S. Nordic combined team on some great runs, bike rides, and at our fundraiser. Attached is the link for the article.
I can't believe that it is almost August! Time flies when you are having fun. I wanted to catch you up with my training since the 4th of July. After training and competing in Steamboat, I returned to Park City. My goal for the next month was to really focus on my jump training. I have definitely had some good days of jumping, but I need to step my level up and become more consistent. Over the weeks I have been working hard and although it has been frustrating, I am slowly making progress. This past week has been very busy. Monday marked the first day of the Springer Tournee camp. Springer Tournee is one of the biggest competitions of the summer. Ski jumpers and nordic combined skiers from all across the country have come to compete. Two days ago, the coaches organized a day where the national teams coach the younger athletes. Each national team athlete get 4-6 kids that they coach. I had a great group of young athletes and was really impressed by their hard work. In the morning I coached my kids on the HS68 and HS100. Even though I only had 5 athletes, I didn't really understand how hard of a job it is to coach. First you have to remember what color suits they are wearing so you don't send the wrong kid down the jump, as well as remembering every jump. This is important so that you can give each jumper feedback before they head back up to the top. Needless to say, it was really exciting to see the kids jump. In the afternoon, we took the kids to the gym for testing. We tested there agility, speed, vertical jump, and broad jumps. I was really happy with my group. Each athlete put 100% into every test and their results were phenomenal. I cannot wait to see the progress that each of the kids make in the next four years.
Now I am focusing on the competition this weekend. Saturday morning is a competition on the HS100 followed by a cross country race in the evening. Sunday is the U.S. ski jumping nationals on the HS136. There are a lot of good ski jumpers and nordic combiner's on the start list which will make for a great weekend!
It has been a while since my last update so let me get you caught up with what I have been up to. About three weeks ago, The U.S. Ski Team put on a bike race at the Sundance Ski Resort. It is called the Sundance Sufferfest and yes the name speaks for itself. It is only about 8 miles long but you gain almost 2,000 feet and it is one of the hardest time trials that I have done. I did pretty well and finished with the 6th fastest time. It is always a fun race to do with other ski team members and afterwards we all get to eat brunch at the Sundance Lodge.
After the Sundance Sufferfest, I drove to Steamboat Springs for the 4th of July competition we have every year. I started jumping pretty good in Steamboat and was making some good improvements. On July 2nd, we had the Fishcreek time trial and it went really well. I had the 3rd fastest time and this really boosted my confidence because I haven't been roller skiing very well the past couple weeks. On the 3rd, we had a jumping competition. I jumped ok, but had bad style and didn't get the result I was hoping for. Then on the 4th we used, the jump from the 3rd for the sprint race down main street. This is one of my favorite competitions because I get to ski in front of friends, family, and many people who have never seen the sport of nordic combined. I had a great race and skied up to 5th overall and had the 3rd fastest time. Following the race, we had one last jumping competition, this time a long standing. A long standing is an elimination competition where the top half of the field with the longest jumps without crashing, move on to the next round. I had a good first jump and made it to the second round. Unfortunately, my second jump wasn't good enough to make the 3rd round. All in all it was a great 4th of July competition and I had a lot of fun. After the competitions, they named the 2014-15 U.S. Nordic Combined Team. The "A" team is Taylor Fletcher and Bryan Fletcher, the "B" team is Brett Denney, Adam Loomis, Ben Berend, and myself. We also named a "C" team this year with upcoming athletes, Jasper Good, Aleck Gantick, and Nicholas Madden. We have a strong team this year and I am honored to be named with all these incredible athletes!
After the 4th of July, I went home to Aspen for a couple days to see friends and family. It was good to take a little break from training and regroup mentally. One of the nights for dinner, my family, several family friends and I went up to the Maroon Bells for a picnic dinner. It was just what I needed.
I was only in Aspen a couple days before I had to head back to Steamboat for another training camp. Jumping went well again and we did another nordic combined competition. I skied really well and finished 2nd with the 1st fastest time. I was really happy with this result and it boosted my confidence for the upcoming competition in Park City in a couple weeks. It was a successful camp, and I made some good improvements on the jump that I hope to take back to Park City.
I have only been back in Park City for three days and I have continued to train hard. Yesterday was my VO2 skate and double pole max test. I did really well on the skate test which I was really happy about. My double pole test didn't go very well, but I think I was just tired from the first test in the morning. I feel like I am in great form right now and hope to build on this as the summer continues.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and I will continue to post blogs in the upcoming weeks!
This week was a big week of training. I returned from Steamboat and Aspen and jumped right back into things here in Park City. Monday was my first day back on the HS100. It was really fun to be back on the jump hill. My first session actually went better than I expected which is always a confidence booster.
Wednesday, the team went on a 4.5 hour bike ride with an hour steady state up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was one of the longest rides I have done this summer and it was a lot of fun. We rode from Park City, over Emigration Pass to Salt Lake City, then over to Big Cottonwood Canyon, up to Brighton and over Guardsman Pass, and then back down to Park City.
We had one more jump sessions on the HS100 and then on Friday we had an all hills competition. We jumped the HS20, HS40, and HS 68. I jumped really well on the really small hills but struggled on the HS68. I had a lot of fun and hope to improve before we do it again. Unfortunately, it was too windy to jump the HS100.
Saturday, the team went on another long 4.5 hour ride in the morning. We rode from Park City up and over Deer Valley to Heber, up the back side of Wolf Creek Ranch down into Kamas, up Browns Canyon, and back to Park City. Needless to say I am very tired after this big week of training.
I just returned from a great week of training, splitting my time between Aspen and Steamboat. In Aspen I went on a good ride with my Dad and friend Riley to the Maroon Bells. It was also a good time to catch up with my family whom I haven't seen in a couple months. After Aspen, I went to Steamboat and continued my training plan.
Last week marked the beginning of a new period and the amount of training that I will be doing for the next three weeks will go up dramatically in order to get a good endurance base for the rest of the summer and winter. While I was in Steamboat I was also able to sneak in the graduation party of my friends, and National Training Group nordic combined athletes, Nicolas Madden and Jasper Good. It was great to see them and some of my family friends I hadn't seen in a long time.
I finished the week off with a jumping session on the HS 75. I had a good session and it really raised my confidence after such a poor season. It is one of my favorite hills and can't wait to come back for the 4th of July Ski Jumping Extravaganza!
On Sunday I drove back to Park City to get ready for another big week of training. This morning we jumped on the HS 25 and HS 45. The session went really well and I feel like I am already making progress. Tomorrow we will be jumping the HS 68 and HS 100. I am really excited to start jumping the HS 100 and start flying!
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
Hello everybody! I am not dead. I have just been procrastinating and putting this blog off but now I realize that was a mistake. I am sorry about not being professional and staying up to date with my blog. I will be better than that. My followers deserve better.
If you haven't heard already, the USSA has cut the nordic combined team because some people think we don't have Olympic or World Championship medal contenders on our team. We are now on our own but looking to unite with U.S.A. Ski Jumping. We have to raise more money than ever before in order to continue our national program. I will give you more information once I hear what our plan of action is going to be. Right now I am focused on my training. I am motivated to prove to everyone who doesn't believe in us that we are still a threat and we are going to kick ass this upcoming season. They are wrong about U.S. Nordic Combined!
I haven't posted in a while but I will get you caught up with some of the spring and early summer activities. After Western Regionals in Park City, teammates Tyler Smith, Colin Delaney, and I extended our season by two weeks and drove up to Whistler for Canadian Nationals. Yes it was a long drive but it was a fun road trip. We could have flown but the ticket prices were too high and with no money it made sense that we drive. However I really have to thank the National Nordic Foundation because they gave us $500 for the trip and we used it towards gas which helped us a lot during the drive! Thank you NNF! Training went really well. I had jumped poorly all winter and jumping really big hill with a lot of air pressure really seemed to help. However I couldn't pull together a good competition. I skied a great cross country race putting in the fastest time. Tyler Smith won the days event. It was a fun trip and a good training camp and I even with the bad result, I finished the season with confidence. On our way back to Utah, we stopped for a night in Vancouver then the following night we visited friends in Bellingham, WA, and then Portland, OR the last night, before making the long drive back to Park City.
After we returned to Park City, I went home to Aspen with some teammates and we went on a hut trip. Brett Denney, Adam Loomis, and Tyler Smith joined my dad, cousin Peter, and me on a three day excursion. We had so much fun and I will put up pictures in the photos tab. There was lots of hiking but it was all worth it because we all had some spectacular lines. All in all it was a perfect way to kick off the 2014-15 offseason.
The exact same day that we returned from our hut trip, Tyler Smith and I drove to Denver and flew to Mexico with our families and two other friends for a week in La Saladita, Mexico. We had such a fun time. We surfed, and fished, and surfed some more. One day, I went into the city of Zihuatanejo and walked around the outdoor market and even got a big piñata for one of my friend, Riley's, 21st birthday. The trip was a blast and I can't wait to go back next spring.
I returned to Park City after Mexico and jumped right back into training. The day after I got back I went on a great road bike ride with Noah Hoffman, Taylor Fletcher, and Bryan Fletcher. It was a good first ride of the summer. I have been training hard everyday. We just recently started jumping the K20 and K64 hills as part of basic ski jump training. It is going well. I also just finished up with a class at Westminster. I have been taking classes with them in the spring, which I plan to continue in the following years. I just started taking classes online with DeVry University and plan on taking them year round so that I can try and get as many credits as I can before I am done skiing.
I am now in Steamboat Springs for a week of training. I arrived last Saturday. I spent a couple days in Steamboat training and then I went home to Aspen for a day to see my parents and grandmother. Everyone at home seems to be doing great and enjoying the summer weather. Even my little cousin Molly, who is living with my parents is doing well. She is making jewelry for a store in Aspen and makes much more than I do working at a pizzeria. It was good to see the family. I drove back to Steamboat on Tuesday so that I was back in time for the Rabbit Ears time trial on Wednesday. The time trial never seems to get any easier. My goal for the day was to beat former ski jumper Jake Barker, who now bike races for Middlebury. That didn't happen. He blew by me and I held on for a couple minutes but fell off his pace. I was really happy my girlfriend came out to cheer because I was hurting really badly and her words of encouragement helped me get to the finish line. Jake Barker rode really strongly and I congratulate Jake on a great ride. Ben Berend, another one of my teammates, was in it and rode very well. Next time I just have to race smarter.
I will be in Steamboat for a couple more days for some ski jumping and then I am heading back to Park City for a couple weeks before returning to Steamboat for the 4th of July competitions.
I will work much harder at staying on top of my blog this summer so that you may follow me more closely!
It has been a long time since my last post, so I will try and update you about my training in the previous weeks.
After the Olympics, my coaches returned to Park City. I had a meeting with them and we talked about my plans for the rest of the season. I had been training in the U.S. since mid January focusing on improving my jumping and was hoping to get sent back to Europe and compete in the final COC competitions. Unfortunately, the weather has been so warm in Park City I never actually had a chance to jump. Therefore the coaches decided that it wouldn't be beneficial, in the long run, for me to return to Europe and compete for only two weekends.
Since then I have been over to Steamboat several times because Steamboat has had more snow that Park City and they at least were jumping. I was here last week training with NTG athletes Colin Delaney, Jasper Good, Nicholas Madden, and the rest of the SSWSC kids. I was able to get one day of training on the HS75 and one day on the HS45. The weather was really warm both days and it was hard to make changes but I was just happy to finally jump.
I have also been cross country racing almost every weekend. I raced in several 20k races this past month and they have gone very well. I finished 1st at the Round Valley Roundup in Park City and then the following weekend I raced with Tyler and Wes Savill( Canadian nordic combiner) in the final citizen series race in Park City. I had the best race that weekend and finished 1st. I was happy to see that my cross country skiing was still very strong but now needed to focus on ski jumping.
This past weekend the Park City hill crew worked hard and opened up the HS100 for Western Regionals. Saturday was my first jump back on a HS100 since mid January! I was hoping that all the gym training had paid off but unfortunately, not being on a jump that size in so long was not good. I had two very poor jumps and jumped to 2:30 behind the leader. The race in the afternoon was really warm and slushy, but I had been racing very well in the past month so I was hoping that I could make up a lot of time on the leaders. I skied an ok race and finished 4th overall with the 2nd fastest time. This might sound good, but there were only 6 competitors in the field. I realized that after the weekend what I really needed was a solid couple jumping sessions on a larger hill to get back my feeling.
Park City unfortunately could not keep the hills open this week so Tyler and I decided this past Sunday night that we were going to go back to Steamboat for a week and jump. The club in Steamboat was very optimistic that they could get the HS100 ready for a couple days of jumping. I am really excited to get back to training on a larger hill and try and make some big improvements.
I am going to be in Steamboat until this upcoming Sunday and then will return to Park City for a week, before heading up to Whistler for Canadian Nationals at the end of March. The competition in Canada will be my final competition and I plan on finishing the season on a positive note. I will keep you updated during the final weeks of the season!
After my last trip to Europe, I returned back to Park City to train and work on my jumping. I started slowly improving my jumping but I didn't feel like it was at the competition level. When it came time to head back to Europe, my coaches and I decided that the best option would be to stay in Park City and focus on my ski jumping. As hard as it was to agree with the decision, I think it was the best decision I could have made. Over the years, I lost the thing that made me love the sport in the first place, having fun. With the goal of bringing the fun back into nordic combined, I decided that it would be best to get out of town and head to Steamboat Springs for a week of training. Teammate Tyler Smith and I headed to Steamboat together and had a great week of training. Steamboat opened up the large hill and we were able to take a couple sessions on the hill. The hill is really high flying and is always fun to jump. I also took several sessions on the HS75 and went back to ski jumping basics.
My last session on the HS75 Tyler and I jumped with the young ski jumpers and nordic combined skiers (definitely some future Olympians). One of my favorite little jumpers is Decker Dean. He is very small and young but he is one heck of a jumper. I can just tell that he is having so much fun doing the sport that he loves. At the end of the session we decided to have a long standing competition (whoever jumps the farthest and doesn't crash wins). It sounds a little dangerous but it makes jumping much more fun and besides the goal of the sport is to jump as far as possible. I went to the top of the jump and had a very good jump, around 75meters. Decker had a good jump but was just short the 75 meter mark. However just being able to train with the young group of kids was so much fun. I was happy to finish the week with my best session of the winter. The week was a success and I definitely found the fun in ski jumping again.
The following day, Tyler and I competed in the University of Colorado NCAA Invitational 20k cross country race. Being a nordic combined skier, I am used to only racing 10k but this was twice the distance. I was really looking forward to skiing against college racers. The race started faster than I expected and I didn't think I could hold onto the lead group. However throughout the race I slowly picked skiers off one by one and realized I was skiing in the top 15! I skied smart and slowly people started dropping off. I came into the finish with a pack of 4 skiers and it came down to a sprint. I was able to edge out two of them and finished the race 10th overall and was the top American in the field! I was extremely happy with my result and it helped boost my confidence in my racing.
I am now back in Park City training hard and working on my ski jumping. I have been jumping with the club team here but due to poor weather I haven't had many jumping sessions. However the cross country skiing has been good and I have been able to take some long skis. I even went alpine touring with some friends last week to change up my training a little bit.
I am enjoying my time here at home watching the Olympics but growing restless watching my teammates on TV. I hope to be back in Europe competing in a couple weeks. Be sure to watch the Nordic Combined events on:
February 18th; 2:30amMST (or replayed on NBC later in the day)
February 20th; 3amMST (or replayed on NBC later in the day)
Well the season has been a bit of a struggle for me. I have not been jumping well and was hoping it was going to turn around in Norway. Unfortunately, I continued to struggle with my jumping and did not score any more COC points, which was my goal. However the second day I skied the 4th fastest time in the cross country race which helped lift my spirits.
The following weekend we were supposed to compete in the Klingenthal, Germany COC. Unfortunately, most of Europe has had warm weather and there was no snow to compete. Since that was the case we decided to return to Park City and train at home. I have been back for almost a week and have been staying busy. This past Saturday, teammates Adam Tyler, and I raced in a 10k classic race. It was my second classic ski of the winter and first classic race since I skied on the Steamboat Springs High School team my sophomore year! It was hard. But I had a lot of fun and enjoyed racing at home. The weather has been beautiful the past couple days, and I been on some long easy distance skis. This past weekend was also the Olympic qualifiers for slope style and half pipe. On Saturday night, I went to cheer on the athletes and watched them throw down some incredible tricks. To top it of OAR and Matisyahu had a concert after the event.
With the Olympics just around the corner everyone is wondering who is going to make the team. The nordic combined olympic team was just recently named. Bill Demong, Todd Lodwick, Bryan Fletcher, and Taylor Fletcher have been chosen to represent Team USA in Sochi. Because I haven't gotten the results, I did not make the 2014 Sochi team. I am disappointed, but because of the way I have been competing, I am not ready to compete at the Olympic level yet. However the season is not over. I am heading back to Europe in a couple weeks to compete on the COC circuit and hopefully finish the season on the World Cup. I am training just as hard and now even more determined to earn a spot on the World Cup circuit.
This past week was the OR Show down in Salt Lake City. This year the National Nordic Foundation had a booth and I went down with some other teammates to help out. Our goal was to raise awareness for the National Nordic Foundation. Without the NNF many athletes, including myself, wouldn't have the opportunity to train and compete with "power house" nations like Norway, Germany, and Austria. Additionally we would not be skiing at such an elite level with the NNF.
After Olympic Trials, I traveled over 13 time zones to Chaykovsky, Russia for my first World Cup of the winter. I flew to Russia on December 30 and spent New Years Eve in Moscow. I had a great time in Moscow, taking in the sights and walking around the Red Square. Unfortunately, because we had an early flight the next day, I headed back to our hotel and spent New Years with the team.
The next morning I flew from Moscow to Perm where we were joined by the Norwegian women jumpers and took a 5 hour bus ride south to Chaykovsky. It was a long couple days of traveling. Our first day in Chaykovsky, we went for a morning ski (10am). The conditions were extremely good but we were all surprised about how dark it was outside. We learned that the sun doesn't rise until 11:30am and sets at 5pm.
Friday was qualification for Saturdays World Cup on the HS105. We were all excited to finally get to jump. Qualification did not go for the U.S. team and three of us, including myself, did not qualify for Saturday's competition. Taylor and Brett were the only teammates to qualify.
Saturday went very well for teammate Taylor Fletcher. He didn't have a great jump but skied a blistering fast race and skied from 49th up to 6th and had the first fastest time! The lesson I learned was never to give up after the jumping. Tim Hug of Switzerland, and good friend, took the win making it his first World Cup victory of his career!
Sunday we moved from the HS105 up to the large hill. I was hoping to get another shot at qualifying for Sunday. However the conditions were far from ideal. It was snowing lightly and there was a strong tailwind on the hill. The jumping was delayed about an hour and they tried to send a couple athletes. Eventually the organizers cancelled the competition and decided to use everyones qualification jump from the HS105. This meant that all 54 athletes were able to race. The race on Sunday was really fun because it was my first World Cup competition. I started the race with Nick and we skied started skiing up but he dropped me in the last laps. Taylor skied another fast race and finished in 6th again.
Because of my poor results in Russia I will not be going to Chaux Neuve, France for the next World Cup. Instead I am now in Hoydalsmo, Norway on the Continental Cup and hope to have some breakthrough results that will help boost my confidence and jumping.
This past weekend, I competed in my first Olympic Trials in Park City. The atmosphere was incredible. Over a thousand of spectators showed up and NBC was there to televise the competitions. It almost felt like I was back at the Olympic games in 2002! There were a total of 10 athletes gunning for the first chance to make it to Sochi, Russia in February (winner of OT automatically qualifies for the Olympics). Saturday morning, I had another hard time on the ski jump and disappointedly jumped into 9th place, over 2 minutes back from the leader, and five time Olympian, Todd Lodwick. The cross country race however went much better. My official time back from Lodwick was 2:32 but started in a "bus" start. This means that everyone that is supposed to start after 2 minutes actually starts in a wave at 2 minutes. Because I my official time was 2:32, I would have to beat everyone I passed by at least 32 seconds. I skied a strong race and caught three skiers but could not beat two of them by 32 seconds. I ended up 8th overall with the 5th fastest cross country time. I know now that I can ski with the best in the world, but need to work harder on my ski jumping so that I actually have a chance of making the podium. Todd Lodwick ended up winning the event earning him the first spot on the nordic combined Olympic team. Sochi will be Todd's 6th Olympics!
I am now off to Chaykovsky, Russia for my first World Cup of the season! I am really excited to compete in a new country and at a new venue.
Happy New Year!!!