It has been a month full of travel since my last. First off my team and I arrived in Europe and traveled to Liberec, CZE, a town I haven’t been to in a long time. Liberec was actually one of the destinations on my first training camp in Europe so it was fun to go back after so much time. They have two unique hills that were great for training. We met the Nordic Combined Junior National Team in Liberec where we all had an awesome week of training both on the hill and cross-country skiing (or rather roller skating). We finished it off with a small team competition, I was very impressed with how much the Junior athletes had improved on their camp, it was awesome to see. For my team and I, it was a perfect camp to spend a week with our coaches making some improvements and tuning up for the Summer Grand Prix Competitions coming up. Check out some media from Liberec.
Here is a video of a fun jump in Liberec!
After Liberec my team and I traveled to Oberwiesenthal, GER the first stop of the Summer Grand Prix circuit (Summer Grand Prix is the summer version of World Cup). In Oberwiesenthal we had a Team Sprint event and an individual event, I paired up with Ben Loomis and then Grant Andrews and Jared Shumate made their Summer Grand Prix debut together. It was a decent day for Team USA, we learned a lot and were ready to keep improving. On the day of the individual event both Ben and I jumped within striking distance of finishing in the top 30, something neither of us had done on the World Cup level yet. We ended up skiing a good portion of the race together, playing it smart and both finishing in the top 30, a great step on day 1 of competitions. For results from Oberwiesenthal click here. We then got right into the vans and traveled to Villach, AUT the next venue for competitions. We would be competing only two days after our first competitions in GER. We stayed at our home away from home in Slovenia and drove the 30min to the venue in Villach for the comp. I was able to continue to work off of the momentum I had gained from Round 1, I jumped to 25thright in the middle of a big pack of skiers. It was a very fun race, the course in Villach is challenging with some technical downhills and hard uphill’s. I skied a smart race in a big pack (again Ben and I skied most of the race together) and move up a little bit finishing in 23rdplace, Ben had a stellar day as well ending up in 18thplace, Jared and Grant had awesome days as well making improvements off of their first competitions. For full results from Villach click here. Our last stop on the tour was Oberstdorf, GER where we would be competing on a larger hill and competing later at night (night racing!). I did not perform like I wanted to in Oberstdorf but learned a lot and got to race another fun course in front of a large and loud crowd! We also had athletes competing for the US in the competitions held for the younger kids, we got the chance to watch some of their comps and they were awesome enough to come out and cheer us on in the pouring rain! For full results from Oberstdorf click here. Below are some photo highlights from the Summer Grand Prix events!
After the competition period was over our team packed up and drove to Innsbruck, AUT for a week training camp. We actually stayed just outside of Innsbruck in a town called Telfs, AUT which was a quick drive to Seefeld, the location of this seasons World Championships. It was a great week of training with lots of productive sessions. With the help of Nick Hendrickson we made some great improvements on the cross country side of things during tough sessions. Our jump coaches (Jan, Martin &Tomas) did a great job of helping us make big improvements on the jump hill even though us athletes were quite tired from our week of competitions. We stayed in apartments and cooked our own meals so ‘family’ meals and spending time recovery together was great. Overall it was a great month in Europe with some positives and lots of learning experiences. I am now headed back to the US for a short month at home recharging the batteries. Check out some photos from our camp in Innsbruck!