Last weekend the team and I were in Chaux-Neuve, France for the first World Cups of the new year. It was my first time in France and I had a great time! The atmosphere was amazing with tons of fans and lots of festivities at the base of the jumps. The fans were more then I have ever raced in front of, enough to line most of the course and drown out the sound of anything coaches yell at you during the race. On the jump hill I had more success doing what I was focusing on, however it was not what I needed to do in order to jump the way I want to. I got the opportunity to compete on both Saturday and Sunday, getting some good experience on the World Cup level. As I did not jump as well as I want to I started both days in the 40's. On the first day I did not feel very good on the course, feeling as if I couldn't quite ski with the quickness I would like. I finished in 44th overall, Bryan and Taylor finished in 19th and 20th, Adam in 37th, and Ben in 46th. We were all looking to improve. On the second day I felt better on the course and was able to have a better race. I finished the day in 45th, Taylor in 21st, Bryan in 25th, and Adam in 46th. It was certainly not the weekend we were hoping for as a team so we were all looking to improve in a big way moving forward. FIS put together an awesome video about Chaux-Neuve, check it out below.
On Monday we all loaded up in the vans and drove to Seefeld, Austria. This is my first time coming to this town in the winter and it is breathtaking to say the least. The surrounding mountains and valley are currently covered in snow and we have lucked out with beautiful blue sky days! We were able to get a day of training on the hill here in Seefeld yesterday. It was very nice to get some training jumps and make some improvements before the competitions this weekend. This is one of the biggest World Cup's of the year as it is a special schedule of events. FIS posted an article explaining whats on the line and how it works, click here to check it out. It is shaping up to be another fun weekend with a very competitive field and our whole team is very excited to compete! If you would like to check up on how we do this weekend before my update next week click here.
Getting the opportunity to start in several World Cup's this season so far has been an eye opening experience and motivational at the same time. To be able to take part in the highest level of Nordic Combined is an incredible feeling. Although I have not had what I feel as a strong performance from myself I still feel as if I have been able to take a lot away from each weekend. Seeing how I shape up against the best in the world is humbling and motivating. With every competition I am able to gain more experience and make improvements whether they are small or big. These opportunities have done wonders to motivate me to do everything I can to get to the level of Nordic Combined where I can be competitive on the World Cup circuit. As always thanks for reading and don't forget to check back next week!