It always seems like the time between updates fly’s by, I doubt that will ever really change, and this month has been no different. Taking advantage of the break in our season my team and I flew back to the US in February to full on winter, and man did it put a smile on my face. My first day home I woke up to below 0°F temps and dumping snow, I was pumped. I have not had the opportunity to do a longer training camp mid-winter before, especially one at home. It worked out really well. Park City provided some great conditions for quality training so we were able to be very productive both on the ski jump and cross country skis. Plus it’s hard to complain about being able to sleep in my own bed and make some powder turns during my free time!
After a snowy break in Park City we packed our bags again and headed back to Europe to finish the season off. First stop was Eisenerz, AUT a new town for me on the circuit and one of few towns in Europe that actually had snow this winter. It is a funny little town with a massive mine and a population on the older side, making for a funny dynamic. They did have great conditions, at least for Europe this season, which was a nice change for a competition weekend. It was a fun weekend with some positive results for the whole team. We had both Women’s and Men’s Nordic Combined competing that weekend so it was fun to have a full squad competing together!
It was then off to Lahti, Finland for the final two weekends of the season. We arrived to absolutely no snow on the ground, only on the racing course and ski jump. Because of that we were not allowed to ski on the course or jump beforehand as they wanted to keep the course closed in order to maintain the snow for the weekends competitions. It was a very weird experience because Finland is typically one of the coldest places on the tour. We took it in stride and had a fun time. Our entire team was together (all athletes, most coaches, techs) and we took part in some athlete vs. staff competitions; badminton, frisbee golf, floor hockey, etc. Needless to say we stayed busy and all had fun together. The first weekend of competition was a World Cup and the second was a Continental Cup. Both events had some positives and it was fun to end the season with better jumping and solid skiing. The cross country course in Lahti in my opinion is one of the hardest courses we race, after two weekends of racing it I was rather tired and feeling the BURN.
We all packed our bags and headed out after two weeks in Lahti. Ben and I traveled to Seefeld, Austria for a few days of skiing on the awesome trails and relaxing on the balcony in the sun in the afternoons. It was a nice little break to get some long skis without a strict schedule to follow. We then made a slightly faster and more rushed departure for home than originally planned, however I am now home safe and sound enjoying sleeping in my bed and recharging the batteries!
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!
We are off to the races in Europe after a snowy and fun start to the season in the US. After my I returned from Norway with my team for our pre-season camp we had a few weeks before the only competitions of the year in the US. We had a three day Continental Cup Competition weekend in Park City to kick off the season. It was great to compete on home soil and get some competitions under my belt. It is always incredible to have the chance to compete in front of friends and family even if it is infrequent. Following those competitions Ben and I spent a week finalizing our entry into the WCAP program, a huge item to check off and very exciting. After meeting more athletes and the people who make this program possible I am even more excited to be representing the US on an international level.
I was then able to spend some time with family relaxing and enjoying a snowy Christmas in Steamboat. Any time I get to ski Steamboat Resort and catch up with friends and family I come out of it with fully charged mental batteries and excitement for what is next. After the holidays I returned to Park City for some training with my whole team before we packed it all up for the season. Park City had tons of snow and great conditions making for some fun skiing and good training. Check out some photos below.
My team and I then packed our lives up for the next three months and boarded planes for Europe, excited for the competition season. We started off in Planica, SLO for some quality training and a little extra time to adjust both physically and mentally. There isn’t much snow in Europe right now, often a sad sight. However the venues in Planica had great conditions on the hill and a short but quality loop for skiing. It was nice to all be in the same place as an entire team before we split groups for a bit, some heading to World Cup and some to Continental Cup. I just finished the first weekend of competitions in Oberwiesenthal, GER and will be heading to Klingenthal, GER for another weekend of competitions coming up. I am pumped to start competing and be representing the US in a new way. I’ll be posting more frequently in the coming months so stay tuned!
Oh how time flies when you are having fun, or busy, however you want to look at it. This summer I experienced both sides of that. The majority of my summer was spent in Fort Leonard Wood, MO and if I’m being honest was more on the side of flying by because I was busy, real busy. During Basic Training our days started at 4:30-5 am and lights out was a strict 9pm, the time between that was packed, and naps were a big no no, I learned that the hard way. On the flip side I have been back to my Nordic Combined life since late August and that time has flown by because it has been so da** fun. I definitely appreciated the life of a professional athlete before this summer, however I enjoy every part of it exponentially more now, the freedom is UNREAL.
After I returned from Army training this summer I spent about a month in Park City with my team getting back into training and the swing of things. It was great weather in Utah and my coach Nick built out a great re-entry into training for us. I enjoyed each day of training so much, getting back on the jump hill was especially fun, man had I missed it. Check out some photos from that time!
In September my team and I had a fair amount of traveling on the plan with lots of exciting things included. To start we made a quick trip to Steamboat for the Oktoberfest Fundraiser, it was a great turnout and fun to be home for a few nights! Then we packed our gear and started with a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis. As always it was a solid trip, being able to sit down with our team doctor and participate in some more cool testing that the Mayo Clinic has come up with in order to help our team succeed. From there we flew to Austria for the beginning of our training camp in Europe. We started in Ramsau, one of my favorite places to train, we were greeted with classic fall weather. Ramsau served up both rainy, cold days and beautiful sunny warm days, all of which made for productive and fun training. We got to ski on the Dachstein Glacier several days, one of which was the best days I have ever skied on that glacier! While in Ramsau we visited the Atomic factory and got a very cool in depth tour of how they produce our fleet of race skis! Following Ramsau we escaped to the mountains for an overnight adventure and lots of time running in the mountains. Nick had an awesome route and plan for us, we were able to peak a beautiful mountain (Speckkarspitze) and scramble down to a warm lunch at a hut, we then had a 20km jog out the valley. We finally made it to Seefeld where we would be staying for the remainder of our trip. Check out some photos below!
After a few days in Seefeld Ben and I traveled back to the US for a weekend with the National Guard, the remainder of the Team spent a few more days in Europe before coming home as well. Since I have been back Park City has gone through the full Fall cycle, having snowed and been sunny and warm. Ben and I actually got to rip some turns after strapping skis to our packs and hiking up into the mountains, worth it! I have been quite busy since returning from EU with lots going on in the background. I have been able to enjoy some productive and fun training as well, this time of year is one of my favorites as winter is right around the corner!! In the next month my team and I will travel to Scandinavia for an early snow camp and Ben and I will be making big steps in regard to the National Guard, more on that next time, enjoy some more media!
It has been a fulfilling spring so far with lots of skiing and great times with friends and family! I have been able to spend lots of time backcountry skiing which is one of the biggest things I miss throughout the year and my favorite thing to do upon returning home. Of course Utah has delivered with some awesome weather and great conditions! I also made a trip to Jackson Hole for some awesome skiing and great company. The past few weeks have been the perfect time for me to spend the quality time with my family and friends. Below are some photos from my adventures!
I have very exciting news that I want to share as well, I have decided to make a more serious commitment to my sport moving forward! I have Enlisted in the Utah Army National Guard in a program call the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). This program enables Olympic level athletes to pursue their sport at the highest level while supported by and representing the National Guard. This won’t be taking away from my Nordic Combined career, in fact it will help me in a tremendous way. I will now be able support my personal life for the long run. I will be doing this with my good friend and teammate Ben Loomis. In order to join this we will be going to Army Basic Training this summer, so I will be out of communication for the entirety of that. If you want to read more about this program click here & here. I am very excited about his opportunity and can’t wait to share more, I will be graduating in August and will post an update then!