As it usually goes during the season, it has been a whirlwind of travel and learning experiences these last few weeks. To start I traveled to Lahti, FIN where I was reminded what very cold, humid weather feels like (time to bundle up ha!). With some improvements in parts of my jumping I was able to put together a solid performance during the team sprint event (I was paired with Taylor!). The team sprint is a 1.5km loop and each athlete does five laps, tagging off to their teammate after each lap. It is a high paced race that goes by real fast, except this time when I would be looking forward to putting my puffy coat back on coming down the hill into the stadium as the wind and cold was cutting to the core. Regardless it was still a fun weekend at a venue I have spent very little time at being reminded what Winter is supposed to be like, below are some photos from Lahti!
After Lahti I traveled to Oslo, Norway which in my mind is the Nordic mecca of the world. I may be exaggerating but I have been told the amount of people that show up to the events at the legendary Holmenkollen venue are over 50,000 people. Most of those people show up days before the event, pitch their tents along the cross country loop for a weekend of camping, partying, and watching their favorite sports live. It is an awesome vibe and so fun to be around and experience, it truly reminds me why I love my sport when the people I am skiing by are just as excited about me skiing as I am. My performance in Oslo was not what I wanted which didn’t make me all to happy, but I was able to ski off some frustration and gain back my good mood rather quickly. After Olso we then traveled to Trondheim, NOR for the next set of competitions. I made steps in the right direction each day, however they were still nothing to write home about.
On the other hand Team Dad-Bryan Fletcher who had announced that Trondheim would be his last competitions before retirement went out with an incredible bang. It was so inspiring watching Bryan truly embrace his love for the sport and put together some of his best performances all year. Makes you think that when tapping into your love and enjoyment for something is when true potential is shown. Bryan has been the veteran (and Team Leader/Dad) on our team ever since I was named to the National Team. He has played a key role in my progression and for that I will be forever grateful, pumping him for stories and hearing his opinion on things was always a good time. More on the tremendous amount Bryan did for our team at a later date! Check out some photos below from our Norway tour.
After Norway I traveled back to Central Europe, Klingenthal, Germany to be specific. I had been here earlier this year (January) and it felt slightly odd to be coming back to the same place for another competition. We jumped right into the swing of things with minimal time to catch our breath before the competitions, fine by me. Klingenthal is known for how windy it can be and it lived up to that during our competitions. Nordic Combined is an outdoor sport so there is no complaining, only focusing on the things I can control. I continued on the right trend with my jumping and unfortunately my best jump wasn’t used for a race as it got to windy and the round was cancelled, however I was still happy with my jump. Germany is a powerhouse on the World Cup circuit these days so a home event filled the stands with tons of noise makers, cowbells and excited fans making for a fun but brutal race. After Klingenthal we packed up and headed to our final stop of the season here in Schonach, GER. It was another learning experience for me with trends in the right direction and as always lots to learn and motivation gained. I am now on my way back home for some rest, recovery and enjoying the spring time with family and friends! Below are a few more photos from the end of the season!