It has been a busy December but a fun one for sure. After Lillehammer I traveled back to the US to compete on home soil. Something I don’t get to do very often so it is a special weekend for me. I wanted to share more about that and how it feels for my team and I to get that opportunity. Before we traveled to Steamboat for the competitions we were in Park City for a short week. We got some great training and fun skiing, the team got out on a fun backcountry ski, check out photos of that below.
After our week in Park City we drove over to Steamboat for the Continental Cup weekend. Because of how well our team performed on the Continental Cup circuit last year we had additional spots giving the opportunity for some younger skiers to test their skills on the international level. This is key for developing athletes and something that played a huge part in my development, it gives athletes incredible motivation to see where they stack up and continue to improve their level. For myself, competing in my hometown is very special, and one of the few times I have the ‘homefield advantage’. Steamboat put on an amazing event that all of the athletes were pleased with. Before the comps we had an evening skiing with some of the younger kids at the Winter Sports Club followed by an autograph session including all nations. It was awesome to see so many young kids totally pumped to be getting signatures from my team and all nations, there was a ton of energy in the room! The first day of competition was a typical perfect weather (rather cold) day at Howelsen Hill making for a great event. I didn’t have my best jump but was in contention enough for it to be a super fun race. We raced under the lights just after 6pm and man was it cold. It was almost comical watching all the athletes try to stay warm leading into the race as we were all changing. It was a super fun race right off the bat, after a few laps a large chase pack had formed in which we had several US skiers, while Taylor Fletcher had broken off the front (he skied away for the win!). It was a wild race, I lost a little steam at the end but had a solid day finishing in 9th place.
On day two Steamboat delivered again with perfect weather, and not quite as cold. Again I had an ok jump that put me into a very similar position to start the race as the day before. We raced in the evening again under the lights and a great crowd came out for the race making for a super fun atmosphere. Very early on in the race a large lead pack formed, it was almost 15+ skiers deep at times and we had 4 US skiers in the mix of it (myself, Taylor, Jared & Ben). It was super fun racing in the lead pack with three of my teammates in front of our home crowd. Thanks to our wax techs we had awesome skis and we able to get some good recovery on the flats and keep the pace high climbing the brutal hills. The lead pack started to pick up the pace and it ‘thinned’ out to about 10 skiers going into the final laps. At the very end of the race the paced got boosted and I did everything in my power to hang on as long as possible, I didn’t have enough juice to stay near the podium but I was able to finish in 8thplace, a solid finish to end the weekend. We also had 4 US skiers in the top 10 and 5 in the top 30, a great showing for our team. Overall this was an awesome weekend with tons of support from the home crowd.
I am now back in Europe for a few short days of training before I head to my next World Cup competition in Estonia next weekend. I am really excited for the new year and feeling good about how it will shape up. You can watch my team and I compete via the NBC Gold Pass here and you can always check results here. As always follow my social media for more up to date posts and media!
It was a quick two weeks in Norway and I am now back in the US for training and home competitions! Back tracking to my time in Norway, my team and I started in a town just outside of Lillehammer called Sjusjøen. It is a very small town mostly based around what is typically a very large system of Nordic trails. We stayed in this awesome little cabin walking distance from the trails for the first segment of the trip. Usually Sjusjøen has tons of snow and skiing however this year all they had was a 4km loop. Quite honestly, it was scary showing up to Norway a place I typically pair with being a Winter Wonderland to no natural snow on the ground. We were still able to make the best out of it and got some great training in, it’s always fun to be back on skis and snow regardless of the circumstances. We were also planning on jumping that first week however there was no snow on the hill when we showed up. Lillehammer did an awesome job of making an large amount of snow the first week we were there opening the jump for training the week leading into the competitions. It was a little behind schedule but really good to start jumping again, it feels great to be jumping on snow! As I expected I had to work out the kinks a little bit but each day I was able to take steps to continue to improve my jumping. My team and I had a great minicamp leading into the comp regardless of the snow situation!
A few days before the competition started we moved down to Lillehammer where we would be staying with the rest of the teams. Our wax team showed up and we all started to get back into the groove of competition weekends. Personally I didn’t put together a competition that I was satisfied with, however I did continue to make improvements each day. I had some jumps typical of where I know I can jump, and they are right in the mix which was good for me to realize I am capable. I also got to compete in my first ever Mass Start Nordic Combined competition, a format the World Cup hasn’t seen for 10 years. It was a learning experience racing with that many guys on such a hard course but very fun. If you want to check results from the weekend click here, and check out some media below.
I am now back in the US where I will be training with my entire team before the Continental Cup circuit kicks off in Steamboat. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to compete at home once again, that will be the weekend of December 14-15, I will post an update with more info on that so stay tuned!
At the end of every season I tend to think to myself, man there is so much time ahead for training before we start competing again. Yet, as I am heading to my first competition of the year it feels like the training season flew by. Backtracking a bit, since my last update I have been in Park City with the rest of my team in the midst of our final preparations before the season kicks off. Our team now has access to a new roller ski treadmill thanks to Park City Treadmill. This may sound weird, however, it is essentially a very large treadmill dedicated to roller skiing and it’s perfect for our workouts this time of year. Each intensity session is very specific in how hard it should be, i.e. not too hard but also never too easy and the treadmill is a perfect way to dial that in. This worked really well for our team as we all got multiple sessions and saw great improvements throughout each one. It allows for great hands on work with coaches so that each athlete is getting full attention during an entire workout. November tends to be an in-between month for the ski jumps as they have been closed to summer jumping and it’s sort of holding pattern waiting for the snow/temps to help us out. Regardless, this is an important time to make sure that all of my body mechanics and flexibility are continuing to improve along with maintaining the technical feelings I have from my last jump sessions in Oberstdorf. It is also key to get really good recovery so that I am fully energized and fit as possible for the start of the season. Due to weather we weren’t able to get the hills open in time for us before we left, so those gym sessions became even more important. This is wasn't that bad though, as we planned for something like this. We choose to skip the first weekend of World Cup competitions in Ruka, FIN and instead spend a week in Lillehammer, NOR training. That is where I am now, we will have the opportunity to work out the kinks and get some quality training before the first World Cups on Nov. 29th– Dec. 2nd. I am very excited for the next two weeks as Lillehammer is a one of my favorite places on the World Cup circuit and its FINALLY time to compete! To check up on results in Lillehammer click here. This season NBC Sports Gold has a new service that will allow you to watch all of my World Cup Competitions both Live or On Demand Replays so you don't have to wake up at crazy hours to see me compete, follow this link to learn more! Also Check out a few photos from our in between time in Park City.
I am currently joined by Ben Loomis & Taylor Fletcher in Lillehammer, after those competitions we will all fly home to compete in the Continental Cup’s in Steamboat Dec 14th& 15th! I am very excited to compete on home soil again this season, it is a very special weekend. Following Steamboat, Ben and I will be traveling back to Europe to compete in Ramsau, AUT at the next World Cup location. This next month will be a whirlwind but I will start to post more consistently so stay tuned! As the season approaches a great way to follow me is through my Social Media accounts (located on my home page) and the FIS Nordic Combined website. Also check out this video from FIS getting spreading the hype for the new season!
The second half of my fall camp in Europe blew by as always, I am now traveling back to the US. When I left off last time I had just arrived in Croatia, a new country for me, in fact it is the 26thcountry I have traveled to! One of the many things I love about my sport is the opportunity to travel the world and experience all of those countries. In Croatia we had all of the National Teams (Men’s & Women’s Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined) along with a large contingency of coaches. Our camp mostly consisted of dryland training and plyometric type of work. It was fun to spend time with all of our teams as it is rare that we are all in the same place together, intermixing and doing training sessions together made the camp very unique and fun! We stayed at a resort right on the beach, so naturally the first thing we did upon arrival was jump in the water! We also did several intensity sessions on roller skis, climbing up into the mountains and changing landscapes. Croatia is a beautiful country and it was very interesting to ski up through different parts of the countryside. If you haven’t seen any yet my teammate Jared Shumate started a Vlog (video blog) and made a funny little one from our camp in Croatia, check it out below! He also has a couple other good ones on his Youtube page you should check out here.
After Croatia we drove back to Slovenia for a few days rest before the final part of our trip. Naturally we took to the mountains and went on one last beautiful hike, it was classic Slovenian hiking gaining 4,500ft in elevation and then descending right back down in 3hrs. After our short rest we drove to Oberstdorf, GER for the final week of camp and finally time for some more ski jumping! We lucked out big time and had wonderful weather for almost the whole week, naturally it was rainy and cold the morning of our Time Trial, only making a warm shower and coffee that much better afterwards. The ski jumps in Oberstdorf are fun hills, however they bring out some of my weaknesses on the jump hill. With the help of my coaches I was able to learn from them and greatly improve during our week in Germany! We were in Oberstdorf with our entire USA Nordic National Team (same as Croatia) making for a super fun week. We all jumped together and stayed in the same apartments. USA Nordic has created an awesome team atmosphere and vibe that has gotten better each year I have been on the team. This camp was a great example of how everyone can work together and have a fun but productive training camp. After a month in Europe I am now traveling back to the US with all of the National Team, we will stop in Minneapolis first for another visit to the Mayo Clinic. This will be great to check up on each athlete before our final weeks of preparation and the season begins! As always keep scrolling for more media from the camp and stay tuned!
My fall training camp in Europe started off with a week in Planica, a familiar place. We jumped on the hills right in Planica and in Kranj (45min drive from Planica). It was fun to get back on the ski jumps in Europe and have some productive days on the hill. We also had several days of cross country training in Planica on the roller ski course located at the base of the jumps. It is a hard course but great for some intensity sessions where we worked on our top speeds. Whenever we are in Planica we stay at an apartment complex at the base of the valley and get to cook for ourselves. It is really nice to have this independence while we are in Europe, it helps to make it feel more like a home rather than just another hotel room. We have a fun time cooking with each other and coming up with new things to cook. One of our days we drove across the border into Italy, then up a valley none of us had hiked in before (only 15min from our place in SLO). It turned into a bit of an adventure hike as we missed the trail turning off and followed an old river bed. After getting ourselves back onto the trail and working our way up the valley we had a quick snack with incredible views before descending back down to our van. Check out some photos and videos from my week in Slovenia.
Training Jump in Planica
We then packed ourselves up and drove to Ramsau, AUT for our second week of the camp. This was going to be a cross country focused week as we were going to be skiing on the Dachstein Glacier above Ramsau. This was my second year skiing on the glacier, it was a bit scary when we showed up to ski our first day as there was not much snow and the conditions weren’t ideal. It is sad to see the effects of Climate Change being so real in only a year. Regardless of the conditions we had several days of skiing in which the conditions actually improved with better grooming. We also did some intensity sessions on the roller skiing course in town and a beautiful run thanks to a local friend who took us out. Our wax techs were in Ramsau with us, they went to the Atomic factory to get our skis dialed in for the winter! While they were in Ramsau with us we all went go karting together during a morning off. It was a very tight race, however I’m proud to report that I took the win! It was super fun to spend time with all of our staff and have a little fun outside of skiing. We are now on our way to Croatia for a USA Nordic Team camp including all National Team athletes for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined (Men & Women). We will then all travel to Oberstdorf, GER for our final week of this camp! Check out some photos below and stay tuned for more!