Thirty-year-old Bryan Fletcher has a full plate. College classes, a new baby, a big training load, and refining his jumping technique were all part of the Park City based athlete's offseason. After perhaps a bit less sleep than usual, the 2013 World Champs bronze medalist is fired up for this season.
Adam Loomis on the benefits of doing nordic combined: "Cooking (and eating) are honestly some one of my favorite activities. Fortunately, I’m not a special jumper." He's been training with his younger brother Ben and focusing on speed in cross-country skiing.
After finishes of 11th and 12th at last year's World Junior Championships, nordic combined athlete Jasper Good is focusing on the jumps while he transitions to more senior competition categories. And - "I started taking classes at the University of Utah, got to start sometime!"
A silver medalist at 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, 18-year-old Ben Loomis was named this year to the U.S. National Team for nordic combined.
Between a rafting trip on the Snake River and working on his jumps with a new coach from Austria, Ben Berend also got in lots of nordic combined competition this summer: he podiumed at U.S. Nationals and competed in Europe in the Grand Prix. Bernend will start the season on the World Cup for the first time this year.
In this FS podcast, it's time to learn about jumping, the other half of nordic combined many might lack an understanding of. To help guide us through the sport, we spoke with U.S. Nordic Combined Team leader Bryan Fletcher and jumping coach Clint Jones. Get ready to fly.
On the final days of the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix, Taylor Fletcher raced to 15th overall for the U.S. while teammates Ben Berend and Ben Loomis proved they can fly. "Throughout the two-week Grand Prix Tour I had some of the furthest jumps on the hill," Berend told FS. “By the time we got to Oberstdorf my confidence was through the roof."
It's a full three weeks until the end of summer, a perfect time for the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix. Last Sunday, Taylor Fletcher scorched in the 90-degree heat to ski the fastest time on the day and place seventh overall for the U.S. Racing wrapped up in Austria on Wednesday.
Two years ago, the U.S. nordic combined community suffered a moment of letdown as its major source of funding, USSA, changed course with regard to its sport. Now, the newly formed USA Nordic Sport is spearheading efforts to rejuvenate interest in jumping and nordic combined. Its leader is Olympic gold medalist and former team veteran Billy Demong.
Happy Father's Day to all the pat-on-the-back, "go get 'em kid!" dads out there. We asked U.S. and Canadian national-team skiers to share the best advice or lessons they learned from their dad. As Ian Torchia's dad told him: "You know what happens to hot dogs, Ian? They get eaten!"
Adam Loomis moved from Wisconsin to Utah when he was 17. His brother Ben was 11 at the time. Together again in Park City, the two U.S. Nordic Combined B-team members try to sync schedules on the weekends whenever possible. "There’s definitely a special competition that provides extra motivation between brothers!" Adam explains.
"What role did you mom play in your development as a skier?" was the single question we raised to North American cross-country, biathlon and nordic combined national-team members. Many of them had a hard time holding back in their responses.
This year's nordic-combined award winners are Bryan Fletcher, who led the U.S. in 20th overall on the World Cup, and U.S. development-team member Jasper Good, who notched 11th and 12th at Junior World Championships in Romania.
For the fourth year in a row, Germany's Eric Frenzel was crowned the Nordic Combined World Cup overall champion after three days of competitions in Val di Fiemme, Italy. The long weekend started off with Americans Bryan and Taylor Fletcher racing to sixth in the team sprint for the best U.S. result in the event since 2013.
Last Friday through Sunday, three days of Nordic Combined World Cup competitions took place in Lahti, Finland, with Germany's Eric Frenzel retaining the overall World Cup lead. Norwegian wünderkind, Jarl Magnus Riiber, missed out on his second World Cup win, as he made a wrong turn at the finish.
During three days of competition at the Seefeld Triple, Germany's Eric Frenzel proved he's Mr. Consistency, winning all three days for his third-straight Triple crown. In seventh overall, Bryan Fletcher led the U.S. for the third year in a row landing in the top 10 in Seefeld.
U.S. Nordic Combined coach Dave Jarrett talks about the cause and effect of a string of World Cup cancellations this season. "Every race that we have had the ability to start five guys on the World Cup has been canceled so far, and we are not going to get those chances back," he explains.
Jump, ski, repeat. That was the mantra in Park City and Midway, Utah, last weekend as some of the world’s best nordic combined skiers converged for a series of three Continental Cup races. Taylor Fletcher placed third, second and finally first to secure a fifth quota spot for the U.S. team at the World Cup.
Reigning two-time U.S. national nordic-combined champion Bryan Fletcher shares a cycling workout (which can also be done skiing or running) that he recommends doing once a month. “It works on both your VO2 max zone and Threshold zone," he explains. "Or Level 3/4 zone depending on what system you use."
The youngest of the two Fletcher brothers is doubling up with his second FS Award of 2015, this time in the performance category for his World Cup podium in Sapporo, Japan.