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Springer Tourney

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Springer Tourney is an annual summer competition in Park City, Utah which boasts competitions on all 6 jumpinh hills from the k-10 all the way up to the k-120.  The week consists of physical testing for all athletes from as young as 7 up to 18 year olds and helps track development and talent identification.  National team athletes from Nordic Combined and Men’s and Women’s Ski Jumping administer the tests to 120+ junior skiers as well as coach them on the Jump Hill.  Today was the k-90 competition and this afternoon there will be a nordic combined race up the Utah Olympic Park road based on this mornings jumping.  Bryan Fletcher led the first round of jumping against a very strong field but Canada’s Mackenzie Clowes took the over-all title after 2 jumps.  Filling out the top 15 men was an impressively diverse group of North America’s top ski-jumpers, Nordic Combined skiers and older Juniors.  Here are some pics from the hill today:

 

View from the top

 

Michael Ward heading over the knoll

 

Happy Bryan! Nice Jumping!






























"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

If you are going to be a Nordic skier you have to live by these words.  Snow is fleeting in most of the world, even the mighty Wasatch.  As we watch it dissipate we realign our training accordingly to find fun and challenging ways to do our workouts.  Surely roller skiing is the closest thing but 6 days a week 6 months straight would be hard to find motivating so we cross train.

            This past Monday I attempted to ski Cascade, a large peak near Provo, with teammate Brett Denney and though we eventually did some time on skis we also hiked and ran a fair amount.  http://app.strava.com/activities/54075722

 

It was certainly fun but a sure sign that summer is on the way!

On Tuesday we rode bikes for nearly 6 hours

http://app.strava.com/activities/54272529

 and finally on Wednesday we did some rollerskiing… 

http://app.strava.com/activities/54347167

We also lifted very heavy Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week and the pinnacle of my favorite Roosevelt quote came on Saturday when our team did a fun local fundraiser to support local education called Running with Ed.  We split 38 miles into 10 segments and did 2 each.  Now having not really run at all yet made it incredibly painful but to try and make it a longer workout we also rode our bikes between each leg.  While I don’t have an accurate Strava I can sum up my own day as such:

9 miles of running about 1/3 trail and 2/3 road with 1200’ of elevation gain while doing about 20 miles of cycling in between.

Adam Loomis tagging me

2nd place out of 170 teams. 38 miles of tough running in 3:49

with Bryan Fletcher, Adam Loomis, Nick Hendrickson and Tyler Smith!












































Outdoor Sport

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

It’s easy to feel lucky or unlucky in life and as such to place blame on extraneous factors.  After winning a bronze medal in the team event at the World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, I felt the momentum building and wanted to carry it into our final events.  The morning of the final individual event I felt great – mentally aware and acute, physically strong, and as pain-free as a child.  It was going to be a great day…

I was the 29th skier to ski jump in the round and I executed my best jump of my year.  I turned to look and I was in third place!  With only 25 skiers left to go, I felt that I was going to put myself into contention in the cross-country race for my first individual podium of the season.   I think the smile showed as I walked past media, friends and family and they asked questions thinking the same good thoughts as I.  Then five skiers later, the wind changed.  Massively….

http://www.teamusa.org/Team-USA-Winter-Bloggers/Billy-Demong/Outdoor-Sport.aspx

 

Follow up!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I planned on recapping after the championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, were over but after an amazing day for our team on Sunday I need to share.

In my last post I spoke about predominantly two things: the ability to peak at the right time and the importance of performing at the biggest events.  This past Sunday both of these things came to the test and my teammates showed their mettle.  We have had a solid year as a team with our youngest members, Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, earning….  (read the rest at TeamUSA.org)

http://www.teamusa.org/Team-USA-Winter-Bloggers/Billy-Demong/The-Magic-Of-Stache-Tats.aspx

Inline

One Year to GO!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Here we are less than a calendar year to go until the Opening Ceremony in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  The anniversary was celebrated on the Today show and across media the world over and yet our one-year out party has just started in Val di Fiemme, Italy.  The year out show is more about the feeling – the awareness and challenge that comes with the biggest events of the season. 

Annually, we compete in over 20 World Cup competitions and the rigors of so many events spreads the urgency over month, and form comes and goes, but, like the Olympic Games, the World Championships focuses the athletes attention….

Read the rest at TeamUSA

http://www.teamusa.org/Team-USA-Winter-Bloggers/Billy-Demong/One-Year-To-Go.aspx

Latest round of World Cups

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Season 2013 has started a bit lackluster for me but on a whole we have, as a team, produced some good results by some new guys.  The Fletcher Brothers have proven to be a force and Bryan leads our team in ski jumping while younger brother Taylor is the fastest Nordic Combined skier on the circuit!  Together they are our two top ranked skiers and continue to impress.

After suffering from whooping cough (yes whooping cough! Like cough til you gag, whooping cough.) for over a month I’ve started finding form on the cross country tracks again and the jumping portion continues to be my achilles.  Recently I’ve taken some pretty good jumps but the day to day reality is that I need to bring up my level.  I’m home now to try and do that.

After ringing in the New Year on a plane from SLC to Paris our team headed to Schonach, Germany for the historic Schwarzwald Pokal.  While Schonach has historically been a good place for me I failed to qualify in the individual event ski jumping provisional round.  On Sunday we had a Team relay and I was back on the start list.  Jumping for the team is a different feeling, instead of trying to qualify for my own I felt the pressure of making it happen for my boys.  That day I produced my best jump of the season and helped land the team with Bryan, Taylor and Todd in 6th place a mere 30 seconds behind the podium. 

Heading into the race we knew we had a chance and as the cross country track was reduced to boot deep slush we started licking our chops as those tough conditions have always favored us.  We sent Bryan out first followed by Taylor, a tactic designed to allow Taylor to try and bridge as much of the gap as possible.  Taylor delivered tagging Todd in 5th together with 4th place France.  Todd skied a smart race and left France’s maxime Laheurte behind giving us a crucial gap over France and behind Austria in 3rd by only a few seconds.  As I was tagged any plan to start a bit easy went out the window and I put my head down catching Bernard Gruber quickly as we left the stadium and pouring on the gas to make Jason Lamy Chappuis pay as he tried to close from behind.  After several kms of hard skiing I felt Jason fade behind and Gruber breathing hard and I knew it was time to attack.  If left it to a sprint both of them could best me and my insurance was to go hard enough, early enough to make it clear.  I started with over a km to go and went into a pain so deep I thought I might fall over but the sound of Gruber falling behind was motivation to keep going.  Finally crossing the finish line I fell over harder than I ever have before and was greeted by my team exhuberant over the first Team USA Relay podium in a World Cup and the first since the games in Vancouver!  It was a huge day because although we did well we also knew we could have done even better.  A confidence boost for the whole squad as we start preperations for the World Champonships in Italy. 

Last weekend in Chaux Neuve, France Taylor again showed his strength by skiing the fastest time and moving through the field from 35th to 10th in the cross country portion.  On sunday we a Team Sprint event and the Fletchers Teamed up against myself and Johnny Spillane.  We skied most of the race together and in the end Taylor skied an amazing final km to land Team Fletcher in 7th out of 20 teams.  Not the best results we’ve ever had but solid stuff and something to build on.  My feeling is that we are closer than we even know.

 

A picture from the Team Sprint in Chaux Neuve courtesy of Jessica Walker

NNF Drive for 25 is ON!!!!!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Tomorrow is the final day of the National Nordic Foundations “Drive for 25!”  We have raised almost $50,000 to directly benefit the athletes of today and tomorrow and by tomorrow night could really use your donation!  Please donate $25 or more and enlist some friends to do the same.  This is an awareness campaign as much as anything and we will utilize the emails we get to keep you informed of our results and experiences.  I have personally donated over $500 this year and will match another $500 on a 10-1 basis so lets do this! My goal for tomorrow is to raise $10,000 to make sure that our top skiers can go as far as their hard work and dedication can take them. 

Tour de France Camp O’12

Monday, July 16th, 2012

NC at it again dominating the hardest HC climbs of the Alpe’s while jumping in the morning and watching the big boys mix it up in the afternoon.  In this years edition of the Nordic Combined TDF we managed to knock down:

Col du Madeleine, Col du Glandon, l’Alpe d’Huez, Montee de Courchevel (some on rollerskis), Cormet de Roselend, Col du Petit St Bernard, Col de la Croix de Fer, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier

for a grand total of 14,500 meters of climb over nearly 600km. 

This year we also had fellow Nordic Combined Olympians Jed Hinkley and Carl Van Loan, the proprieters of “Olympian Tours” bring several guests who rode with us and made some helpful donations to the National Nordic Foundation. Also supporting this effory was Fast Big Dog racing who through in some sicky kits and water bottles as well as Park City Cole Sport and Honey Stinger. 

Now the B team is training in Oberstdorf, Germany for several days and the A team is headed to Sochi to try out the new jumps and compete in some comps this coming weekend!

Here is a little video that mr @skifletch made to commerate our epic week.







Video from Val Di Fiemme

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Highlight reel from the pre-world Championship event in Val di Fiemme, Italy from February.  My first podium since Vancouver and some sweet racing with Mikko Kokslien and Akito Watabe.

Looking for the US Noco boys to fire it up in Lahti, Finland tomorrow at 9am est in the 2 man team relay.  Team 1 is Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, USA 2 is Brett Denney and Nick Hendrickson.

Go boys, go USA!

Nationals at Norge

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Just finished up an action packed weekend here in Chicago for the 2012 US National Nordic Combined Championships.  Yep, Chicago.  Betcha ya did not know there was a jump here but there is and it is one of the oldest ski clubs in the country!  The Norge Ski Club of Fox River Grove, Il was founded in 1904 and has been hosting some very popular ski jumping events ever since.  But only once before has Norge hosted the national championships so it was pretty exciting to see it come back. 

Ever since we switched our nationals to fall it has become a more serious competition as it is the first test heading into winter for all the new found form instead of an april after-thought.  It has also opened the door for us to put the event in some places that could not typically host a spring tourney.  Norge proved to be a great host club and saturday was a really successful event.  We kicked off with the small hill jumping championships and with over 75 competitors it took some time to get through 3 rounds.  During which hundreds of people came to partake in the festival atmosphere around the base of the ski jump.  Though not the crowds of 5k+ they command in the winter it was pretty good for football season!  

Bryan Fletcher really showed his strength on the jumphill outdistancing Johnny Spillane and I by enough to get a 30 sec head start for the XC race.  And though I was sure we could catch him in the challenging 10km, which wound relentlessly up and over the back of the jumping hill, he managed to increase his lead by 10 sec over the first 5km.  So with half the race over and nearly a 40sec advantage I thought Bryan would take the title easily but Johnny and I were able to pick it up enough as Bryan faded to make contact with just a km remaining.  From there we all backed off a bit to try and recover for a move and in the end it was a 3 way dash for the last 200m.  I managed to edge out Johnny at the line!  Its a good motivation for the beggining of the last prep phase to know you are close to where you want to be.  What was really great about the weekend was seeing the strength of our up and coming junior squad.  Alec Gantic of Steamboat jumped to 2nd place in Nordic Combined and 17 year old Eric Lynch had a great jump and a fast race managing to outsprint Taylor Fletcher to take 5th place right behind Todd.  

In any case a former Nordic Combined Development athlete Dan Englund has put together a really neat video of the weekend.  His companyAerial Vantage Productions gets some really unique shots using a remote control helicopter to to follow jumpers through the air and skiers on the course.  Enjoy!