It has been an exciting and fast paced month since my last post! I was in Steamboat for the majority of the time, this year I got to spend more time at home then the past few years. It was great for me both mentally and physically! I was in Steamboat for a little over a week before I got to compete in my first international competition on home turf, and man was it fun! It was a full Continental Cup (COC) weekend with three days of competition, a 10km race each day! The weekend started off on a strong note, on day one I was able to set myself into a good mindset for the jumping and perform in the competition round. I jumped to 12th place, my start position for the race under a minute back from the leader. I had a strong race and was able to pace it well, I skied up to the lead pack which was new for me. At one point during the race it was Norway in place 1-3 and then my teammate Ben Loomis and I in 4th and 5th position. It was an incredible moment and motivating to be fighting in the lead group with my friend and teammate! Unfortunately I broke a pole with about 3km left in the race, because of that I lost time and was unable to claw my way back to the front. I still had a strong finish crossing the line in 10th overall! I was bummed about my pole but I was able to move past it as that is how sports work (sh** happens). The following day I was pumped to get another chance to fight, again I had a solid performance jumping to 13th place in a very similar start time as the day before (under a minute from the leader). I had another solid race, I wasn't able to bridge the gap to the lead pack, however I skied a smart race and finished in 8th place, a career best finish for me on the COC!
On the third and final day I did not have a very good jump, my timing was off and it didn't go as planned. I would be starting the race in 24th just over a minute back from the leaders. I had a plan for the race and was able to execute on that, skiing a good race and almost catching up the the lead pack. I was really feeling the last two days of competition at the end of the race and pushing through the wall of pain at the end. Unfortunately a freak accident happened and my ski came off with about 300m left in the race. I had a moment of panic before I got my ski back on thinking I was going to lose to many places. However, I was able to still hold on for a 12th place finish, I was bummed with that turn of events but again thats how sports work. Overall I had a great time competing on home soil in front of a home crowd, the amount of support my team and I had during the competitions was incredible, motivating me to perform my best! I was able to take a lot away from this weekend of competitions both positives and negatives as always. My entire team and I had a great weekend, Ben Loomis having a strong weekend with three 5th place finishes, and multiple top 20 finishes and even more top 30s for the whole team! If you would like to see results from the competitions follow this link. USA Nordic also put together a great live stream of the event, which you can rewatch by following this link and then clicking on the respective days. Below are some more photos of the competitions!
After the competition weekend in Steamboat I got to spend an awesome week recovering and enjoying being home with friends and family! After our time off for the Holiday I traveled back to Park City where I am currently located. This weekend we have US Olympic Trials, the winner of this event will punch a ticket to the Olympic Games, the rest of the team will be decided based upon international ranking on January 22nd. There is a possibility that you can watch a highlight of our event this Sunday at 1pm EST during other Olympic Trials TV on NBC Sports. After this weekend I will be traveling to Germany for the first weekend of COC competitions fo the new year! Stay tuned for how this weekend goes and what comes next!