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Archive for January, 2018

Five Named to U.S. Nordic Combined Olympic Team

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Bryan Fletcher will lead a team of five U.S. nordic combined skiers at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. (Photo: U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

(Press release)

Olympic Trials winner Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) will lead a team of five nordic combined skiers in PyeongChang. U.S. Ski & Snowboard today (Jan. 25) announced its selections for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Team that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 beginning February 9. The selections will be confirmed by the United States Olympic Committee when it formally names Team USA this Friday (January 26).

Fletcher, a childhood cancer survivor who won his sport’s prestigious King’s Cup in 2011, earned his second Olympic Team spot as winner of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Dec. 30. The remainder of the team qualified through World Cup and Continental Cup results.

“We are very happy we will have a full team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said Nordic Combined Coach Martin Bayer. “It’s a relatively young team with great chemistry between them and a group of highly motivated athletes.”

The opening is set for February 13 with two individual events and a team event on the Games program.

NBCUniversal will present more than 2,400 hours of coverage across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app – the most ever for a Winter Olympics.

TEAM FACTS

Olympic Trials winner Bryan Fletcher is a childhood cancer survivor. As a young boy, ski jumping on Steamboat Springs’ Howelsen Hill was a vital distraction as he underwent treatment. 2018 is his second Olympics.

Brother Taylor Fletcher, who is known as one of his sport’s best cross country skiers, will be making his third Games appearance.

Four of the team members came out of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, with Ben Loomis from the Flying Eagles Ski Club in Eau Claire, Wis.

Ben Loomis was a silver medalist in the Youth Olympic Games in 2016 at Lillehammer, Norway.

2018 U.S. OLYMPIC NORDIC COMBINED TEAM

  • Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (6/29/1995)
  • Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (6/27/1986) *
  • Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (5/11/1990) *
  • Jasper Good, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (5/10/1996)
  • Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, Wis. (6/09/1998)

* Competed in past Olympics

Staff

Martin Bayer, Head nordic combined coach

 

QUOTES

Martin Bayer:

We are very happy we will have a full team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. It’s a relatively young team with great chemistry between them and a group of highly motivated athletes. Bryan Fletcher is the oldest and brings the most experience on the international stage. It’s Taylor Fletcher’s third Olympics and he’s known as one of the fastest cross country skiers in nordic combined. Ben Loomis is the youngest with strength coming from the ski jumping side but I’m sure he’ll sure he’ll surprise us in cross country. It’s also the first Olympics for Jasper Good who has been one of our most consistent athletes and has a great attitude that will serve him well.

 

Taylor Fletcher:

It is always a great honor to be representing my country and team at the sports highest level and I am very excited to be representing my country in my third Olympics. It wasn’t an easy road to get to the Olympics this year as I have had some struggles with jumping and have had some bad luck that made it challenging until the last weekend of qualifying. I would like to think I got that out of the way and I can focus now on performing at my highest level during the Games. The Olympics bring out the best from each athlete and no one will have it easy. That being said, with a good jump I feel like it is possible to have a chance at the medals. I am also really excited to be sharing this moment with my brother who will be competing in his second games. It is very unique that we get to share this moment together and fight for the medals together. Our entire team is looking forward to Korea and I am proud of each one of my teammates for their hard work and dedication to the sport!

 

Ben Loomis:

I am extremely honored to be heading to PyeongChang and representing our country. The Olympics are something I have always dreamed of and to go at such a young age is extremely exciting. For me, the Olympics will be all about the experience. I am hoping to take it all in and use this experience in future. I look forward to sharing my first Olympic experience with Jasper Good as well as veterans Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.

15 Nordic Combined & Jumping Athletes to Represent U.S. at World Junior Championships

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

US Nordic Combined’s Ben Loomis (front) on his way to fifth place after jumping the furthest on Day 3 of the Continental Cup series in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Loomis will represent the United States at World Junior Championships later this month. (Photo: USA Nordic/Facebook)

(Press release from USA Nordic)

PARK CITY, UT – USA Nordic is excited to announce that 15 athletes have been nominated to take part in the 2018 Junior World Championships for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in Kandersteg, Switzerland, January 27 through February 4.

A total of nine men and five women have been selected to compete in the annual competition. Qualification standards were based on both international and domestic results, as set forth by US Ski and Snowboard, in conjunction with USA Nordic.

The Women’s Ski Jumping team will be comprised of five athletes:
Logan Sankey (19, Steamboat Springs, CO)
Annika Belshaw (15, Steamboat Springs, CO)
Cara Larson (17, Barrington, IL)
Samantha Macuga (16, Park City, UT)
Anna Hoffmann (17, Madison, WI)

The Men’s Ski Jumping Team will also have five athletes:
Casey Larson (19, Barrington, IL)
Andrew Urlaub (16, Eau Claire, WI)
Hunter Gibson (16, Fox River Grove, IL)
Decker Dean (17, Steamboat Springs, CO)
Patrick Gasienica (19, Richmond, IL)

The Nordic Combined team will be made up of four athletes:
Ben Loomis (19, Eau Claire, WI)
Stephen Schumann (17, Park City, UT)
Jared Shumate (18, Park City, UT)
Tucker Hoefler (19, Park City, UT)

Women’s Nordic Combined:
Tess Arnone (15, Steamboat Springs, CO)

All of the athletes that have been named to the team are members of either the USA Nordic National Team or the USA Nordic Junior National Team for their discipline.

This year, four of the athletes on the Women’s Ski Jumping team qualified by scoring Continental Cup points earlier this season in Notodden, Norway, while Cara qualified with podium finishes in all three domestic qualifying events. There are four return athletes to the team this year, with one newcomer, 15-year-old Annika Belshaw.

“We have seen a lot of progress from all of the women on the team this year and we feel the team is getting stronger as a whole,” said USA Nordic Coach Blake Hughes. “We are excited to get over to Europe and continue their growth as international competitors.”

As an added bonus, the women’s team will all be getting their first World Cup experience the weekend before in Ljubno, Slovenia, in preparation for the Championships.

The Men’s Ski Jumping team will be led this year by veteran and USA Nordic National Team member Casey Larson. Larson will be accompanied by two teammates from last year’s team, Decker Dean and Patrick Gasienica. The team will be rounded out by two newcomers, Andrew Urlaub and Hunter Gibson.

“It’s great to see that Andy and Hunter could step up their game this year and qualify for the team,” said coach Hughes. “They are all excited to get over to Europe and compete with their international peers.”

Andrew, Hunter, Decker, and Patrick will stay stateside and compete in the US Cup events in Eau Claire, Ishpeming and Norge. Casey will stay on the Continental Cup (COC) circuit and will meet up with the team in Kandersteg.

The Nordic Combined team is full of experience, led by veteran and silver medalist at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, Ben Loomis. Loomis is coming off of three top five finishes on the Nordic Combined COC circuit in December. Schumann has had a handful of top 20 finishes on the COC tour as well, and Shumate had the first top 30 COC finish of his career in December. Tucker Hoefler has had a good start to his season as well, including winning a domestic qualifier in Park City, UT.

Tess Arnone will be the lone women’s athlete in the women’s Nordic Combined test event. She will be joined by her dad, professional gelande jumper Pat Arnone.

“We’ve had a very successful start to the season,” said USA Nordic Nordic Combined COC coach Tomas Matura. “Several junior athletes have taken their game to the next level.”

The Nordic Combined team will meet in Oberstdorf, Germany, for a five day pre-camp before joining the other American teams in Kandersteg on January 27.

Schedule of Events:

Tuesday, January 30
Women’s Nordic Combined individual test event (HS72/5k)
Men’s Nordic Combined individual (HS106/10k)

Thursday, February 1
Women’s Ski Jumping individual (HS106)
Men’s Ski Jumping individual (HS106)
Men’s Nordic Combined team (HS106/4x5k)

Friday, February 2
Women’s Ski Jumping team (HS106)
Men’s Ski Jumping team (HS106)

Saturday, February 3
Men’s and Women’s Ski Jumping mixed team (HS106)
Men’s Nordic Combined sprint (HS106/5k)