I am happy to say not only did I have a better start, but I made some great strides in my jumping and also my cross country. Lets start off with the Provisional/qualification round on friday. Before this weekend, this jump is where I have been struggling, not having my best round and therefore not being qualified in the top 50 for the weekend. I had two pretty decent training rounds before this jump and I was able to focus in on my errors to produce a better jump. It wasn't anything amazing, but it got the job done. I had a good jump with some good wind in which produced a good result. I had qualified myself for the weekend which was a huge sigh of relief and I was able to take that heavy monkey off my back and focus on the weekend and the next event which was the team event.
We woke up that morning to heavy rain and some wind, so we knew we were going for a long day. The jump hill in Schonach is pretty protected so the wind wasn't too bad even though it was changing between jumping and some got more lucky then others, which is part of the game as it is an outdoor sport the last time I checked. It started raining as the competition began, so we pulled out the rain coats to protect our suits which is important as a wet suit can increase your weight by a pound or two making you heavier in the air. As the trial round began, jumps were all over the place and I didn't have a jump that I was happy with, I was late and I had more of a reaction to the jump rather then initiating the move to create the most power and direction. So for the comp round again I wanted to focus on the process and I was able to create my movement which was in balance and on time. The result was more than I was expecting giving my a distance of 94.5 meters. I was stoked and ready to watch the rest of the team produce some good jumps.
The race was going to be hard as it was raining very hard and was also very windy. The conditions made for tough ski selection as the mix of man made and natural snow causes your feeling to be changing with every meter you ski. I went with a pair of skis that have been good before and was happy with how they felt in the race. We all skied pretty well and I was able to catch and pass Czech Republic allowing us to finish in 7th place. We all got back to the hotel with our bags of soaking wet clothing, and started to hang it all up on any possible surface to dry. It was safe to say, I have never raced in so much rain or been that wet during a cross country race in the summer or winter.
The second competition was the individual. I was excited to keep my strong jumps going as I knew that it didn't need to be far to have a shot at a great result. Unfortunately, I expected too much as I kind of expected to have a great jump even though I have had two solid ones before. I had a much better jump than my trial round but it was still in the back off the field. On the bright side of my jump in which I wasn't too thrilled about put me in a good place to move up through the field. I skied the race pretty much on my own, passing and then dropping many of the skiers like I love to do. I finally caught Magnus Krog(Olympic Bronze 2014) and Jason Lamy Chappius (Olympic Champ 2010 and World Champion) and skied the last lap with them leading most of time. I finished 24th with the 2nd fastest time which I was happy about. I haven't raced much, but this gave me confidence knowing that I can ski fast and will get faster as the year pushes on.
We are now in Chaux Neuve, France. I have always love this place as it is a tiny village that gets thousands of spectators each year. Unfortunately, it looks like we will be getting more rain on the weekend which will be a bummer as there isn't much snow besides the race course so it wont look like winter all that much. I hope to continue improving and scoring points as we head toward world championships in mid February.
Remember to follow @usanoco on twitter for updates before, during, and after competitions for updates about the days events!
See you next Thursday!