The trip was a success. I made a major breakthrough with my cross country skiing and skied faster than I ever have before. This allowed me to hold onto my good position after the ski jumping portion of the competitions. The first day I jumped to 24th and skied back to 33rd. I lost 9 positions in the race. In the next competition I jumped a little better which started me in 20th place out of 55 competitors. This time I held on for dear life and had an even better race. I only lost 6 positions and finished in 26th place, achieving my goal of top 30. I'm very happy about my results but more importantly I'm motivated for next year. My goal is to finish in the top 15 and I know that with hard work I can achieve that. Thanks everyone for the support. I couldn't do it without you.
For the last three days my team and I have been in Harrochav, Czech Republic which is an hour drive away from Liberec. The point of our time in Harrochav is to recover and make sure we are in the top physical shape possible for the World Junior Championships. This means we have been doing lots of intense cross country skiing sessions. When we are not skiing we are in the sauna, cold tub, or sleeping. Our time here has been worth while and I feel very prepared and confident heading into the competition. Tomorrow we will head back to Liberec. Monday and Tuesday will consist of official training on the ski jumping hill. Wednesday is the 10 km event, Friday is the 5 km, and Saturday is the 4 man x 5 kilometer team event. I'm looking forward to it and ill keep you updated on my results.
The last 5 days has been very busy. A long day of travel to Europe ended with a bang when I was upgraded to first class from Washington to Munich. This was such a cool experience and i made sure to enjoy every last second of it (I even took the complimentary toiletries bag). Once in Munich, we were missing two ski bags full of all our cross country skis. They arrived in Liberec last night so we had to ski on my coaches skis for a few days. Although my seat fully reclined into a bed, I didn't get very much sleep. This led to the next day being absolutely brutal. Jet lag hit me like a train. We arrived in Munich at 8:30 a.m. but I couldn't go to sleep because I needed to be on the right sleep pattern. So to keep my teammates and I awake we went to the BMW museum and Olympic stadium. It was a very fun day. On the following day we drove to Liberec, Czech Republic which is the city hosting the world junior championships. Since then we have been training and had a little competition as well. The jumping hill is very difficult and unlike any hill I've ever jumped. Luckily I have a week and half to get the hang of it. We had a small competition with some Czech and Polish kids. I didn't jump up to my standards but I had a descent race. It was good to see what I needed to work on with about a week and a half till my first world junior championship event (next Wednesday). So after a long week my teammates and I got a day off today. We all went and watched a cross country World Cup that happens to be taking place in Liberec this weekend. The rest of my day will consist of waxing skis, attempting to play the guitar, and mostly just sitting on my ass. Starting tomorrow however, I'll be back in training mode so I can kick some ass. I will keep you updated. Oh and check out some of the pictures ive taken below. Thanks-Ben
Recently I traveled to Park City, Utah for the first continental cups of the season. For those of you not familiar, continental cups are the step below world cups. With these being my first continental cups ever I did not know what to expect. To sum it up, it was eye opening! 58 competitors from France, Germany, Austria, Japan, Russia, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Canada, and Switzerland competed for points. The top 30 in every continental cup earns points. 30th place earns 1 point and 1st place earns 100 points. I went into the competition with my sites set on earning points. The first day started very well. Every comp starts with a trial jump that doesn't count then goes on to a competition jump that counts. After trial I was in 4th place out of 58 competitors. That jump was 93.5 meters and unfortunately my comp jump was 90.5 meters. This was still a very good jump. I started the race in 21st place and tried to hang into the top 30. I had a great race but finished in 37th place about 45 seconds out of points. I was shocked because everyone was so fast. The next day I was a little worn out and had a rough one. I finished in 50th place. I am very motivated after seeing how tough the competition is at this level of my sport. My goal is to work hard enough to be able to compete at this level by the end of the year. My next focus is on the world junior championships held in Liberec, Czech Republic in January. Ill have updates on that in a few weeks. Thanks-Ben