The 2015 Falun World Championships have come to an end after two weeks of what I think was ski racing at it’s absolute best. Across the board the majority of athletes I talk to think these championship were some of the most fun to participate in because of the cool race courses, awesome stadium layout with tons of fans, and general smooth organization on behalf of Falun2015. It’s cool how Falun has a ‘small town’ feel but was also big enough to host a major championships and since the ski jumps and the xc venue were right next to one another it was a super convenient for spectators to access the racing action and pack the stands. I think almost every day sold out even standing room tickets!
The sprint race was first on the schedule, which I think is always kind of fun to start out the championships with your big event. Conditions all week were kind of soft because of high temperatures which forced the organizers to close the courses before each race… which meant no testing of skis or course inspection before you start. It’s always a little crazy skiing a sprint qualifier on a course you haven’t been able to check out since you have no idea how soft or fast the corners are going to be, but it worked out great. The closed course made the tracks a lot more firm for the heats and it turned out to be perfect sprinting conditions.
I felt great in qualification posting the 10th fastest time
The heats could have gone a bit better, I feel like I’m definitely skiing at a top 10 in the world level, but just couldn’t make it happen in the stadium. So it was a bummer not to make it into the semi’s but I’m happy I’m finally feeling strong and fast so I have to be happy with that.
World Champs have a unique feel because although you have been looking forward to a specific race the entire year and focusing on competing well there, it’s over before you know it. Since there is basically a major medal event each day things move so quickly and focus shifts from one race to the next instantly. I think in general the mens team didn’t ski to our potential on sprint day so we were fired up to have a better result during the sprint relay. As always the relay was a super exciting race and although it’s always a major leg burner it’s also one of the most fun events to compete in. Simi and I skied a clean race without any major mistakes in the semifinals and in the finals continued to stay out of the carnage and finished with a 7th on the day.
I think it’s safe to say that people will be talking about the women’s 10k skate race for a long time. To me it’s not worth talking about whether it was a fair race or not, but what is important to see is that it was a challenging day for everyone in the field and instead of being discouraged or distracted our girls team jumped on the opportunity and stayed focused. I think there were a lot of skiers who deserved medals that day because of their performances and the two medals that were won by Jessie and Caitlin that day are truly celebrated and shared by the entire group… it was a historic day for our team and US skiing.
JP… a tired wax tech from working so hard. All medals at the worlds are celebrated as a team and as a team wide achievement.
Although I’m typically a distance relay guy I haven’t done many distance races in the past month because of health, hives, and injuries so just competing in the sprint events was my plan for these championships. It was awesome this year because we were able to bring one of the biggest teams we’ve ever had at a championships with a number of capable distance skiers. For for two days during the women’s and mens relays I was on cheering duty… it as pretty cool to make it out on course especially up in the woods by the Morderbaken where the real fans hang out. My parents were also in Falun for the championships so it was a fun chance to hang out with them.
There were so many people lining the course up the big hills it was a crazy atmosphere…. like a wave of sound when the racers went by.
This can energize you like nothing else but also be overwhelming if you are not used to it. I though some of our world Champ newcomers to the team did and awesome job, but Kyle and Rosie stepped it up.
Rosie B skiing up the Morderbaken
It was awesome having my parents and as well as the Stephen’s and Caldwells in town for the champs. They all rented a house together outside of town and we were able to make it over there a few times for a happy break form hotel life.
Made it over to Mora for a ski with Mom and dad.
It was really cool to ski some new trails and check out the Vasa marathon track for a few k’s
Playing tourists for a day with my parents was a good break from the championships.. sometimes it’s good to see something other than ski trails.
It’s safe to say these championships will be something we never forget. The US ski team is truly starting to make it’s mark on the international stage. The media interest in our team grows each year and it was funny… I kept on having reporters come up to me and ask “do you guys really only have 3 wax techs” . this is obviously an exaggeration but we are in many ways an underdog going up against some of these larger skiing nations. Many teams have twice the amount of staff we do but we make it with grit and determination.. which is definitely catching the eye of the rest of the world. even without reaching my goals in my individual races it was a pleasure being in Falun and being part of the team… I’ll be back in medal contention soon and our team is surely going to grow and improve by the next word championships in Lahti 2017!
thanks to the many people who volunteer their time ( and a lot of it) to make it possible for us to have success.