There was a large field of 60 competitors from 14 countries. Many of the countries showed up earlier this week to train on the jump, get acclimated, and used to the time change. On Thursday, we jumped with the French team. It was great being able to finally see where I "stacked" up against them. They are great jumpers and it really made me step my jumping up to the next level.
Friday was the first competition of the weekend. Since there was no official training on Thursday, we had an optional training jump, then a trial round, followed by the competition jump. My nerves were at an all time high, but I turned in an outstanding competition jump of 92 meters. This left me tied for 15th place with four other competitors. This was the best jumping result I have ever had in an international competition! But it doesn't stop there. I started the cross country race two seconds behind teammate Todd Lodwick (13th place) and just one minute behind the leader. I skied an amazing race and finished in 2nd place! This was my best result of my career. I was so excited with my first podium and I was fortunate enough to to stand up there with teammate/World Champion Todd Lodwick. It was a dream come true and the perfect way to start the season.
Saturday was our second competition. I was ranked 2nd overall and was hoping to pull together another great result. The jumping didn't go as well as I had hoped, and jumped 88 meters and placed 42nd. My jump put me 2:06 behind the leader meaning I had to ski a fast race to get back into points. I started off the race with a fast pace, and planned to put the hurt on. I skied a blistering 4th place time and cross the finish line in 11th! I really surprised myself and was extremely happy with the overall result. After the day I had dropped down to 3rd in the overall COC rankings.
Sunday marked the last day of competitions for the weekend. Again, my hope was to finish the weekend with another great result and stay in the top three overall COC ranking. The jumping in the morning started off well, but unfortunately took a nose dive. I had a poor jump and started the race 3:00 behind the leaders. I went into the cross country race with only one goal, to pass everyone in front of me. I had a great race and finished the race in 37th with the 4th fastest time. It wasn't result I was looking for, but I know I need to learn from my mistakes and use them to get better.
Overall, it was an outstanding start to the season. I am currently ranked 9th on the COC circuit. I now have until February to improve my jumping and cross country skiing. I plan to make the most of the upcoming months and push myself to my full potential.