January has been an actioned packed month of competitions and travel. After our first weekend of competitions in Oberwiesenthal, GER I then traveled to Klingenthal, GER for the next competitions. Due to a lack of snow the races were held in Oberhof, GER about 2.5 hrs away from the ski jump. Because of this we had a different comp schedule. On Friday night we had Official training and a competition round, the following morning we had another jump competition. We then packed up and drove to Oberhof to race in the afternoon, on Sunday we had a morning race based off the competition jump from Friday morning. Definitely a different way of doing this compared to a typical Nordic Combined weekend but we were all just happy they were able to pull the competition off. Learning to roll with the punches and adapt to new ways of doing things is key, and this weekend was no different. Oberhof is also one of the more popular venues for the Biathlon World Cup. During the winter months I love to watch Biathlon, it is incredibly impressive and fun to watch. It was cool to race at a venue that I have watched on TV so many times, and man the TV makes the hills look far less steep than the actually are ha!
After Klingenthal I was off to Oberstdorf, GER for a weekend of World Cup competitions. Oberstdorf is the location for next year’s World Championships so this was an important weekend to learn from. With newly remodeled facilities and decent snow it was a great weekend to see how it will work next year. We had a team event and individual event in Oberstdorf, adding some fun to compete along side my teammates. The competition circuit does not have a large amount of team competitions. Our team spends so much time working with eachother to improve our skills that Nordic Combined feels more like a team sport at times. So regardless of the result it is always a good time and fun mix up to compete under the same bib number with my teammates.
I then traveled back to Planica, Slovenia for another weekend of Continental Cup competitions. My family was able to come and watch this event, it is always nice to have familiar faces and American voices cheering you on during the competitions. Planica was able to pull of great competitions with beautiful weather, it was quite warm but beautiful nonetheless. Planica is a complex that I have spent a lot of time at over the years so it is great to compete at a venue that is familiar to me. It is also the location for the ski jumping teams home base, or at least it is in close vicinity. We were able to spend some time with our fellow US competitors (the ski jumpers) who we do not see in the winter very often. Overall that made for a much larger showing of Americans, adding to the fun of the weekend. Due to a break in competitions and a lack of snow in Europe my team and I then made the decision to travel back to the US for a two week training camp on home soil. I am very excited to enjoy lots of snow and good conditions while spending time at home!