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. He also got his first taste of summer Grand Prix racing in Europe, competing in Germany and Austria with the senior team.
1. Biggest change in your life in the last five or so months since the ski season ended?
I’m gearing up for graduation in a few weeks.
2. Biggest change in your training?
This summer I was named to the USA Nordic Combined Team and therefore have had many more opportunities to train with the best guys! It has been great experience to be pushed harder every session and learn from more experienced athletes.
3. Major areas of improvement you’ve seen so far?
My jumping has been on the highest level I have ever seen this summer. Much of this can be attributed to spending more time training in Europe.
4. Whom you’ve been working closest with this offseason (coaches or training partners)?
This summer has been a great mix of training with older athletes as well as many of my old team members. Stephen Schumann and myself are the only two national team athletes in school, so we have been doing a large amount of training together. We also have a new Austrian coach (Nik Huber) who has been a very positive influence on the team.
5. Best trip in the last five months (and why)?
This summer’s Europe trip. It started with a fun couple weeks with just juniors and then finished off with the Summer Grand Prix.
6. Favorite cross-training?
Mountain biking hands down. Park City has trails that never get old.
7. Favorite non-athletic activity or pastime this summer?
Not something I have been able to do much of this summer, but waterskiing has always been my favorite pastime.
8. Song that was your jam this summer?
9. All time favorite race moment?
Racing at the Youth Olympic games this winter. Last lap of the race I was in group with myself and two others coming into the last hill. Knowing I would land a podium spot was very special.
10. First thing you pack in your bag when you leave for Europe?
My neck pillow and headphones to make traveling more tolerable.
11. Venue/event you’re most excited to visit this season?
I’m looking forward to competing at home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It has been two years since I last jumped in Midwest and having a home crowd is always very special.
12. Who will win the World Cup title this year?
Akito Watabe. He has been on the podium the last five years and should be on top!
13. Biggest sacrifice you feel you’ve made choosing this career path?
Having a normal high school life was something I never really experienced. I attended public school for the first half of my freshman year, and after that I moved across the country to attend the Winter Sports School of Park City.
14. If you could change one thing about your sport, what would it be?
Ben Berend put it right, we need more girls!
15. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Roll with jam, egg, ham, cheese, and of course coffee.
16. In 5 years, I’ll be ____?
Hopefully still following my dreams.
17. In 50 years, I’ll be ____?