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.
Hi! My name is Michael Ward. I am a 23 year old from Aspen, CO now living in Park City, UT to continue my career as a Nordic Combined athlete. I am on the 2015-16 US Nordic Combined Team and am honored to live and train with the best in the world.