It has been quite some time since I last posted an update to my website, and lots has been going on! To start, after Estonia Adam, Nathaniel and I drove back to Slovenia for a two week training period as I mentioned before. It was time well spent with productive training and regeneration in what feels like home. We had some great jump sessions on some of my favorite hills and some awesome endurance workouts in the breathtaking valley we live in. Check out some photos below of that little period of time!
At the end of this training period Adam and I traveled to Sapporo, JPN for a weekend of World Cup competitions (Feb 10-12). I was really excited to be traveling to a new country and a new venue that I heard nothing but good things about! It was such a foreign experience for me with things such as driving on the left side of the road, the cuisine, and my complete lack of understanding of their alphabet. The weekend of the competition rolled up and I was excited to see how I stack up against the top level of competition. My jumping in Japan was not quite where I had been training at but I was able to put some of my better jumps together for the competition jumps. On the first day I jumped to 35th place. It was a hard but fun course in Sapporo and I had a fairly good race for myself on day 1 finishing in 36th place. It wasn't the result I was looking for but a fairly average day of competing. Adam had a solid day jumping to 38th and skiing to 31, if you want to check out results from Day 1 click here. On day two I had a better takeoff on my comp jump but didn't fly it as well as I would have liked, I was still happy to have one of my best jumps in Japan during the competition. I would be starting the race in 33rd place, I had a rough plan going into the race and was able to ski smooth and save energy the first couple laps and pickup my pace on the last lap to finish in 34th position. Similar to the day before I was happy with the improvement I personally made in my competition day even though it didn't show on the result sheet. Adam jumped to 38th and skied to 36th, if you want to see results from day 2 go here. You can also go to NBC Live Extra and watch replays of the events, go to this link. Below are some photos from the competition weekend in Japan!
After the weekend of competitions in Sapporo Adam and I started our journey back to SLO, unfortunately due to some logistical issues we didn't actually get to Slovenia until Thursday afternoon. We actually ended up spending two days in Tokyo, JPN which was an incredibly cool experience. I don't tend to do many tourist type things when I am traveling as I am focused on competing so I was psyched to take advantage of Adam and I's time in Tokyo. We had a great time exploring the local fish markets, shrines, and vendor type market streets all across town! Of course we had to go get an authentic sushi bar dinner, it was delicious!
Once we did arrive in Slovenia it was right back to the competition mindset as we just competed this last weekend here in Planica. I was psyched to compete on the closest thing to home hills I have in Europe, I knew I could ignore the travel I felt in my legs and have a fun weekend. On day 1 I had a good jump that was a very fun one to fly, it didn't put me quite into contention as I hoped but I was still in it. I would be starting the race in 22nd place, it was a very punchy course with some gnarly corners, it almost felt like a roller derby on cross country skis (I had a blast). I skied with several skiers for the majority of the race pulling in people and forming a fairly large pack, on one of the last laps I tried to stick with one of the fastest guys as he came through my group. I was able to hang on to him for about a lap but going into the last lap he broke away and I was left to duke it out with what was left of my group. I had a fairly strong finish and ended up in 18th place, a solid and rather fun day! My teammates had solid days as well, Adam in 26th, Ben Loomis in 27th, Stephen in 29th, and Nathaniel in 37th. On day two I didn't have quite as good of a jump as the day before but I would be in a similar position, starting the race in 27th place. There was a fast AUT skier starting right behind me that I stuck with for the majority of the race reeling people in with him, again it was a fast paced fun race! I was able to save enough energy throughout the race to have a strong last lap getting into the top 20 right at the end! I ended up finishing in 19th place, it may not have been the results I was hoping for but it was definitely a fun weekend of competition! My teammates had solid finishes again, Ben L in 30th, Stephen in 33, Adam in 34, and Nathaniel in 38th. If you would like to check out some results from the weekend go here then click on the competitions with 'NC' next to them! I will now be here in Planica training for a while before I head back to the US, below I posted a cool time lapse of the view from our balcony in SLO!