This past week we were in Sochi for our test event for the Olympics. This is my second time here in Sochi, and I am ready to get comfortable with the 2014 Winter Olympic Venues. I was coming into this events with a great 5 weeks of racing which include my first podiums, one individual and one team event. I knew my form was strong on the xc side but my jumping seemed to be getting better and better as the trip went on. My goal was to come in to the individual in hopes of grabbing another podium and leave myself with a great feeling before the Olympics.
In the first day of the competitions, we had the individual 10k competition. I was feeling very happy about my chances, but didn't get over excited. We got to the hill to see that we really couldn't see anything at all. The hill and the course were completely incased in fog, and you could barely see enough in front of you too jump. Sometimes that the best feeling as you are going completely off feeling and the rhythm of the jump. I didn't have the best trial round jump, but I knew I was capable of a great jump and that is exactly what I did. I had my career best jumping rank (15th) and was not far from the front.
The cross country course in Sochi, is very brutal. With little to no rest and lots of climbing this was a course for a strong and powerful xc skier. Luckily I had some fast skiers in front of me and I was able to set my pace off them and start to make my way up to the front. The conditions made for a very slow and painful races as we had to ski the course 5 times instead of the normal 4x2.5km loop. Right before the last lap, I was about to make contact with the leaders of top 5. At that point one of the austrians got off on their own and left everyone else fighting for 2nd and 3rd. Unfortunately I ran out of gas on the last hill and had to settle for 5th place. I am very pleased with the result and couldn't of been more satisfied with my performances in Russia.
We are now off to Park city, Utah for a Pre-World Championship training camp. Stay tuned.