I'm back in the states now after a good couple weeks on the road. Swiss Nationals was a fun event with tough competition on the jump hill. Simon Amman - double Olympic Champion in Salt Lake and Vancouver, took the win in the jumping event and set the gate low.
Our friend Tim Hug took the win in the Nordic Combined event, ahead of Bryan Fletcher and Bill Demong. I came in a solid 4th after a challenging running race.
Tim is the lone Swiss NoCo athlete on the World Cup circuit. Over the past couple years, our team as adopted a partnership with the Swiss. We try to get together to train during summer camps, and come winter, he'll travel with us and work with our wax techs. His coach is from Oberstdorf, and extremely helpful for our team.
After competing in Einsiedeln we drove a couple hours through the mountains to sunny Oberstdorf, Germany. The first day there was beautiful, but the good weather didn't last for long.
Fortunately we were able to get a couple great sessions on Oberstdorf's large hill and one on the small hill. In October they run their refrigeration system on the iced-track inrun. The landing hill is still plastic, but it's a half step towards winter jumping and great to feel snow underfoot.
The best part about being in Oberstdorf this time of year is seeing the competition. The German, Austrian, Finnish and Norwegian Nordic Combined teams were all jumping at the same time with us. Since we're so removed in the states, its important to see where the level is at. Bryan's usually the strongest jumper on our team, and he was right in there with the best guys. I had some of my best jumps of the summer on Oberstdorf, and was pretty happy with how close I was to the other jumpers.
Tuesday morning brought rain, and by that night, it turned to snow. We were hoping to have an intrasquad competition on Wednesday, but in October snow can be a bit difficult. Too sticky for the landing hill and too slippery for roller skiing. Bryan, Brett and Taylor had already planned to leave on Wednesday. Although they were bummed to not get in one last comp, they picked an alright time to head home.
The snowstorm turned out to be more serious than we had imagined. Wednesday evening I went for a run and just a couple kilometers up into the mountains from our hotel the snow went from 3 or 4 inches to a solid foot deep. If we had cross country skis, we could have got some decent skiing in. Unfortunately we were relegated to the gym and wet running or roller skiing for two days, before we packed up and drove to Stams, near Innsbruck, Austria.
In Stams, we were just below the snowline, and back to Indian Summer. We got in a good day of jumping and a competition to finish off the camp. Michael took the win - proving he's ready as anyone for the winter to get started.
We spent Saturday night in Munich and then fly home the next day. All-in-all it was a great camp: quality training, good competitions, and a fun chance to show the younger athletes the ropes.
Now it's time to fight off a little jet lag and get ready for the season! Less than 4 week and I'll be back over in Kuusamo, Finland to start the World Cup season. Our team is taking four guys - Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, Brett Denney, and me. I'm psyched to be starting the season on World Cup for the first time.
If the weather right now gives any indication, northern Finland will be deep into winter by the time we get there! Check out the forecast: http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Ruka+Finland+1965:11
Last but not least we have just over two weeks left in the Drive for 25 and over $12,000 of matching grants still up for grabs! Please consider helping our cause now. Your donation will be doubled as we're working towards our $20,000 matching grant. And, as always, it's tax-deductible.
I can’t stress enough how important NNNF support has been to my career, and I wouldn't be where I am today without it. As I've progressed from a developing junior to a member of the B-team, the NNF has helped fund vital training and competition opportunities. This community-based support keeps our pipeline alive, and will continue to benefit the next generations of athletes. We really need your help to reach our $20,000 matching grant. If you donate now, you’re dollars will be doubled. We’re a community driven sport, which means that every individual’s support goes a long ways, and we couldn’t do it without you. The funding from this drive will go to support athletes for the next year at World Junior Championships, Continental Cups, and development camps in the US and Europe.
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