The initial US Olympic Cross Country team was announced this morning. The final team will be announced, according to USSA, on January 29. This will be done after the final reallocation of start spots awarded to each nation by FIS. You can read more about this at fasterskier.com.
I’ve been more concerned about getting myself in top form and making every workout count, than about Olympic selection. However, given the announcement this morning, I felt it worthwhile to share my thoughts.
First of all, congratulations to Kris, Andy, Torin, James, Kikkan, Liz, Morgan, and especially Caitlin Compton, my Minneapolis teammate! These guys are awesome and have proven one-hundred percent that they deserve this team selection.
Last spring when I sat down and wrote my goals for the 2010 season, one of my goals was to be the “O.C.” for “obvious choice.” That means not being on the bubble. At the time, I was ranked 11th in the country after having fallen back a bit last year. I refocused on what worked best in my training over the past few years, especially with my coach Bryan Fish and the CXC Team. Classic skiing was a major priority, given the classic sprint at the Games and I’ve been very happy with my improvement.
So far during the season, I moved myself from 11th up to 5th on the National Ranking List. In any past Olympic year, this would’ve likely been more than enough to be an OC. This fall, however, FIS announced a new quota system, which made it more difficult for the US to earn Olympic start spots.
While I still don’t entirely understand the new system; it is what it is. For now, we’ve got 8 spots for the initial team named today. There is still a chance that we will earn several more spots over the next two weeks when the final team is named. Until then, I remain in purgatory. Right now, I’m heading to the gym for my third workout today in what has been a very productive altitude camp so far in Park City. Get ‘er done & save the best for last.