The history of USA Nordic and the US Cup follow similar paths, and both began in response to a need. USA Nordic was born out of the realization that either an organization would rise and take the lead or the sport would die in America. Similarly, the US Cup was created as a bridge from the junior ranks of American jumping to the international ranks of the best skiers in the world. Previously, without this bridge, too many athletes were falling through the cracks. And in the past 10 years, both have gone through multiple iterations and encountered many challenges. But the organization and the bridge are holding strong and more than that, expanding and improving.

The US Cup was the brainchild of Rex Bell, Alan Johnson, and Dan Mattoon. For much of its existence Dan has lead the charge. He brought it from a unknown combination of competitions with little coordination to the premiere domestic series, which athletes seek out in an effort to further their careers, and win a little cash while doing it. Dan has stepped back from his role over the last year, but his leadership in the first six years was invaluable and we all owe him for debt of gratitude for all his efforts.

Over the past 2-3 years, the US Cup has struggled a bit with athlete numbers. Ironically, much of this may be due to the success of our elite athletes. Our National team is now skiing almost exclusively on World Cup and Continental Cup because they are jumping at a level that makes these the most appropriate arena for their abilities. What this means however, is that there are less senior athletes left to ski in US Cups. It was with this in mind that the US Cup committee shifted focus this year, and made the US Cup class a U20 class, meaning open to athletes under the age of 20. The result has been an increase in numbers of elite juniors traveling to competitions, which has in turn grown the field sizes for both men and women. The series has also become a key component of qualifying our elite U20 athletes for the Junior National Team.

A second significant and positive change this year has been USA Nordic livestreaming nearly all of the events.   In the nine event series, six are being streamed live, and the viewership and social media presence has been astounding. Facebook visits spike each time one of the events is streamed on our page and we reached nearly 100,000 people on one livestream. That’s right, nearly 100,000 people! Ishpeming reached 96, 637 and Norge reached 88,284 people. We are also averaging over 5,000 views on our livestream.com page for each event. It is because of this that we have now been able to acquire a title sponsor for the series, and have been able to sell ad space. A huge thank you goes out to Dan Englund, Mike Johns, Alex Glueck, Tom Bickner, and Bill who have made this all possible.

We know that we can continue to improve the quality, and next steps include better sound and data for athlete names and scores, and we are working towards a unique, an in-house production that connects us with the world. We are also working towards increased participation and a higher level of competition overall. Ultimately we believe that the US Cup can and will be the bridge for our juniors and the stepping stone for seniors who have not quite made Continental or World Cup, but we need larger numbers for that to be a reality, and we believe those will come. Thank you organizers, thank you coaches, thank you parents, and of course thank you athletes for being part of this. We are excited for what is to come!

The next three events are as follows:

  • Salisbury, CT, February 10th.
  • Brattleboro, VT, February 17th, at 11 am (livestreamed)
  • Lake Placid, NY, February 20th, at 11 am (livestreamed)

Current Standings can be found here: https://www.usanordic.org/results/

 

(Photo Credit – Ben Pieper Photography: Point Productions, LLC)

As the National Leadership Organization for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined skiing, USA Nordic is proud to have qualified 12 athletes for the upcoming games. We are just as excited as all of our fans to watch each of our athletes represent themselves and their country, not to mention USA Nordic, on the largest of stages. This year, there will be more coverage than ever before, allowing us to cheer on:

Benjamin BerendKevin BicknerNita EnglundBryan FletcherTaylor FletcherSarah Hendrickson, Michael GlasderJasper GoodCasey LarsonBen LoomisAbby Ringquist, and Will Rhoads.

In order to help all of us keep up with our favorite athletes, we’ve put together a watch schedule with as many options as possible. For the first time ever, America’s Olympic Network, NBC, will be streaming every competition live at NBCOlympics.com as well as on the NBC Sports app. All times below will be in EST, though it is important to note that, due to the difference in time zones, the dates may appear differently here than on other schedules. We’ve included live times as well as replays, just in case you want to watch each exciting event more than once!

FEB. 9

Opening Ceremony – 6:00-9:00am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Opening Ceremony – 8:00-11:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 10

Men’s Normal Hill Final – 7:35-10:00am ET – NBCSN (live)
Men’s Normal Hill Final – 7:35-9:20am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Normal Hill Final – 3:00-6:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 12

Women’s Normal Hill Final – 7:50-9:20am ET –NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Women’s Normal Hill Final – 11:00am-3:00pm ET – NBCSN (same day delay)
Women’s Normal Hill Final – 3:00-5:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 14

Men’s Nordic Combined Normal Hill Jump – 1:00-1:55am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Nordic Combined 10k Cross Country Race – 2:30-3:30am ET – NBCSN (live)
Men’s Nordic Combined 10k Cross Country Race – 3:45-4:45am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming)
Men’s Nordic Combined 10k Cross Country Race – 3:00-5:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 16

Men’s Large Hill Qualifying – 7:30-8:40am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Large Hill Qualifying – 10:45am-2:00pm ET – NBCSN (same day delay)
Men’s Large Hill Qualifying – 3:00-5:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 17

Men’s Large Hill Final – 7:30-9:15am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Large Hill Final – 1:30-5:30pm ET – NBCSN (same day delay)
Men’s Large Hill Final – 8:00-11:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 19

Men’s Large Hill Team Final – 7:10-11:00am ET – NBCSN
Men’s Large Hill Team Final – 7:30-9:15am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Large Hill Team Final – 3:00-5:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 20

Men’s Nordic Combined Large Hill Jump – 5:00-5:50am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Nordic Combined 10k Cross Country Race – 7:45-8:35am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Men’s Nordic Combined Large Hill Jump – 9:30am-12:00pm ET – NBCSN (same day delay)
Men’s Nordic Combined 10k Cross Country Race – 12:00-5:00pm ET – NBCSN (same day delay)
Men’s Nordic Combined 10k Cross Country Race – 3:00-5:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 22

Men’s Nordic Combined Large Hill Team Jump – 2:00-3:10am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live), NBCSN (live)
Men’s Nordic Combined 4x5k Team Cross Country Race – 5:20-6:20am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live), NBCSN (live)
Men’s Nordic Combined 4x5k Team Event – 3:00-5:00pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

FEB. 25

Closing Ceremony – 6:00-8:30am ET – NBCOlympics.com (streaming live)
Closing Ceremony – 8:00-10:30pm ET – NBC (same day delay)

Good luck to all of our athletes, we’re proud to be a part of your journey.

GO USA NORDIC!

SKI JUMPING:
Feb. 2
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Willingen, GER – Men’s HS145 Qualification 11:55am ET – olympicchannel.com

Feb. 3
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Willingen, GER – Men’s HS145 Individual 10:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Willingen, GER – Men’s HS145 Individual 3:00pm ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Feb. 4
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Willingen, GER – Men’s HS145 Individual 4:20am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Willingen, GER – Men’s HS145 Individual 3:00pm ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

NORDIC COMBINED:
Feb. 2
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Hakuba, JPN – Men’s HS134 Individual 10:00pm ET – olympicchannel.com

Feb. 3
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Hakuba, JPN – Men’s 10K Individual 1:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Hakuba, JPN – Men’s HS134 Individual 10:00pm ET – olympicchannel.com

Jan. 28
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Hakuba, JPN – Men’s 10K Individual 1:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

Go USA Nordic!

SKI JUMPING:
Jan. 26
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zakopane, POL – Men’s HS140 Qualification 12:00pm ET – olympicchannel.com

Jan. 27
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Ljubno, SLO – Women’s HS94 Individual 8:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Ljubno, SLO – Women’s HS94 Individual 4:00pm ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zakopane, POL – Men’s HS140 Team 10:00am ET – olympicchannel.com
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zakopane, POL – Men’s HS140 Team 5:30pm ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Jan. 28
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Ljubno, SLO – Women’s HS94 Individual 8:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Ljubno, SLO – Women’s HS94 Individual 4:00pm ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zakopane, POL – Men’s HS140 Individual 10:00am ET – olympicchannel.com
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zakopane, POL – Men’s HS140 Individual 5:30pm ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

NORDIC COMBINED:
Jan. 26
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Seefeld, AUT – Men’s HS109 Individual 8:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Seefeld, AUT– Men’s 5K Individual 10:10am ET – olympicchannel.com

Jan. 27
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Seefeld, AUT – Men’s HS109 Individual 4:45am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Seefeld, AUT– Men’s 10K Individual 9:45am ET – olympicchannel.com

Jan. 28
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Seefeld, AUT – Men’s HS109 Individual 6:30am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Seefeld, AUT– Men’s 15K Individual 9:30am ET – olympicchannel.com

Go USA Nordic!

(Photo Credit – Ben Pieper : Point Productions, LLC)

For Immediate Release:

Park City, UT: Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, Utah) and Michael Glasder (Cary, Ill), who both qualified their spots at Olympic Trials in December, will be joined by two other women and three other men for the Ski Jumping Team in PyeongChang. On the Nordic Combined side, Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs,Co), the winner of Olympic Trials, will be joined by four other athletes. U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced its selections Thursday (Jan. 25) for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Teams that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 beginning February 9.

2018 U.S. OLYMPIC SKI JUMPING TEAM
Men
Kevin Bickner, Wauconda, Ill. Norge Ski Club
Michael Glasder, Cary, Ill. Norge Ski Club
Casey Larson, Barrington, Ill. Norge Ski Club
Will Rhoads, Park City, Ut.  Park City Ski and Snowboard

Women
Nita Englund, Florence, Wis. Kiwanis Ski Club
Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, Ut. Park City Ski and Snowboard
Abby Ringquist, Park City, Ut. Park City Ski and Snowboard

2018 U.S. OLYMPIC NORDIC COMBINED TEAM
Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, Co. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Co. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, Co. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
Jasper Good, Steamboat Springs, Co. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, Wi. Flying Eagles Ski Club

“It’s exciting to see an entire group of first time Olympians head to South Korea,” said Men’s Team Director Clint Jones. “It was great to see Mike Glasder secure his spot at the Olympic Trials. The other three athletes are young and making quick progress in the sport. Even though they are relatively inexperienced, we are hoping for big things.”

“Going into the second Olympic Winter Games in history for the ladies, I am excited to see two first-time Olympians join the team alongside veteran Sarah Hendrickson,” said Women’s Team Director Alan Alborn. “Nita Englund and Abby Ringquist are both competing for their first time in the Olympics and have been working hard to secure that opportunity for many seasons.”

Men’s Ski Jumping will kick off with the normal hill qualifying on February 8. The women will have one jumping event on the normal hill on Monday, February 12.

Head Nordic Combined Coach, Martin Bayer, said, “It’s a relatively young team with great chemistry between them who are all highly motivated athletes. Bryan Fletcher is the oldest member of the team with the most experience on international stage. It is the third time going to the Olympic Games for younger brother Taylor Fletcher, who we all know is one of the fastest cross-country skiers in the Nordic combined field.”

“Ben Loomis is the youngest athlete on the team,” added Bayer. “His strength comes from ski jumping side but I’m sure he will surprise us on cross-country skis as well. It’s also the first Olympics for Jasper Good and Ben Berend. Jasper has been one of our most consistent athletes and both Ben and Jasper have great attitudes that will serve them well.”

The Nordic Combined competitions will begin with an individual event on Wednesday, February 14.

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.

Quotes from athletes:

Kevin Bickner
“It’s been a childhood dream of mine ever since I started skiing and now that it’s finally happening it’s surreal. I’m really excited to finally be named to the team. My goal is to do everything right and have good jumps. I want to jump 100% to my potential. I know if I do this then a good result can come from it and I hope to surprise America.”

Will Rhoads
“I am excited and honored to be a part of Team USA for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics! I’m really looking forward to competing at the highest level and experiencing all that the games has to offer.”

Casey Larson
“For a long time making the Olympic Team was merely a goal. Before last winter, 2022 seemed like more the reality but all of a sudden a few things got figured out and I started jumping really well. I am extremely honored to be on the team and now the focus is on really enjoying the experience and getting some great results. For me, personally, I know what it took to get to this point. This winter has had its ups and downs already and now I feel like as a team we can start to focus on achieving some goals that we’ve had in our heads for awhile.”

Abby Ringquist
“I am overwhelmed with excitement and I really can’t believe my dream is finally coming true. I am an Olympian! Since watching the 1994 Olympics when I was five, I knew I wanted to be an Olympian when I grew up, not knowing which sport could take me there. I’ve heard a lot of ‘no’s’ throughout my 21 year long career, from not being allowed in 2006 and 2010, to missing out on 2014 Games. I almost hung my skis up four years ago, but I put my head down and worked harder than I ever have. It brings me to tears knowing all of the hard times and hard work are paying off. I can’t wait to represent my country and I hope that I can perform my best and make my nation, my community, my family and my friends proud.”

Ben Loomis
“I am extremely honoured to be heading to Pyeong Chang 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.”

Jasper Good

“Being named to the Olympic team means so much to me, it is a childhood dream. To work so hard at my passion, it feels incredible to be chosen to represent the US at the Olympics. It is an honor I don’t think I will truely understand until we are at the Olympics. My family has been the biggest support squad I could have asked for as well, without them I would not be where I am. My hometown of Steamboat has such a rich history of the Olympic spirit they do an incredible job of supporting athletes to pursue their dreams. I am so excited to share this experience and represent my family and community.”

Taylor Fletcher

“I am very excited to be representing my country in my third Olympics. It is always a great honor to be representing my country and team at the sports highest level. I am 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.”

This last weekend was packed with action: Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany, World Cup action in Zao, Japan, the first ever Women’s Nordic Combined Continental Cup in Norway, the US Cup at Silver Mine in Eau Claire, WI, and more. USA Nordic was busy.

Many of the Men’s Ski Jumping team were in Oberstdorf for the 2018 Ski Flying World Championships. Kevin Bickner had another good weekend, beginning with a qualification jump of 201 meters, which was enough to qualify him in 21st position. He was joined in the comp by teammate Michael Glasder, who was also able to qualify in 38th, while Will Rhoads just missed the cut in 42nd.

The format was different from a World Cup, with four jumps being totaled over two days for the overall results. Kevin was consistent on the first day, ending up in 22nd after the first two jumps in the two day format. Again, Mike found himself in 38th position. Kevin again skied well on day two, recording first round jump of 181 meters, but, unfortunately, the fourth and final round was cancelled due to weather. Kevin finished in 24th, tying his best result of the season, while Glasder finished the weekend in 38th. Next up for the Men’s World Cup are two individual competitions in Zakopane, Poland.

Our Women’s Ski Jumping team kicked off the weekend early on Thursday with qualification for  World Cup in Zao, Japan. Nita Englund, Sarah Hendrickson, Tara Geraghty-Moats, and Abby Ringquist all made the trip for the second stop on a whirlwind tour. Sarah had the top result on Friday, finishing 35th, her best international result of the season. On Saturday, the women competed in their second-ever World Cup team event, finishing in 7th. It was an improvement for the women over their first team event, earlier this year, where they finished 8th. On Sunday, the final day of competition, Sarah was again the top US skier ending the day in 36th. Nita finished just behind her in 37thh, Abby finished 44th, and Tara finish 46th. Now the women are back in Slovenia for training before entering the World Cup’s in Ljubno, Slovenia this weekend, a hill they should know very well.

On the Men’s Ski Jumping Continental Cup we saw some improvement from all of our athletes. Weather caused the weekend to be condensed into one day of competitions, with the first being held on Saturday morning and the second held on the same evening. Casey Larson was the top American in both competitions, finishing 20th in the morning competition and improving to 17th for the evening competition. AJ Brown had his best results of the season so far, finishing 33rd in the morning and 38th in the evening, as did Nick Mattoon who recorded a 36th place in the morning and a 43rd place finish in the evening.

The Nordic Combined World Cup team was in Chaux-Neuve, France over the weekend for an individual event as well as a team event. Ben Loomis continued his strong season, finishing 37th, right in the middle of a seven-way sprint. Stephen Schumann had a solid day, recording a 45th place finish in only the third World Cup of his career, with Ben Berend right behind him in 46th. On Sunday, Ben, Ben, and Stephen were joined by Jasper Good for a 4-man team event. The young US team placed 11th, just a few seconds behind Russia and a top ten finish.

Taylor Fletcher put up the best results of the season on the Men’s Nordic Combined Continental Cup tour in Rena, Norway. On Saturday, after jumping to 25th, Taylor was able to move all the way into 4th place, skiing the second fastest time and finishing just a second from the podium. Adam Loomis had a good race, finishing 33rd overall, while Grant Andrews and Jared Shumate both had solid days, finishing 41st and 43rd, respectively. On day two, everyone from the US team saw some improvement. Taylor led the way, finishing 3rd and recording his first trip to the podium since 2015. Adam found himself back in the top 30 after another good race, finishing 29th. And Grant and Jared both improved on their second day with Grant finishing 37th and Jared coming in close behind in 40th.

(Photo Credit – Romina Eggert)

And in perhaps our most exciting competitions of the weekend, Gabby Armstrong became the first US skier ever to ski in the first Women’s Nordic Combined Continental Cup. Gabby recorded a 12th place in the inaugural event on Saturday, which marks a huge and much needed step forward for the sport of Nordic Combined. On Sunday, Gabby was able to improve upon her historic result, finishing 11th and setting the standard for US Women in Nordic Combined. It was a great moment in sport and we are proud that Gabby was able to represent her club, her country, and, of course, USA Nordic. Way to go Gabby!

(Photo Credit – Romina Eggert)

As many of you know, this is a big week for USA Nordic. Olympic team announcements are scheduled to be made on Thursday, January 25th. We know that many of you are on the edge of your seats to see what the final teams will be and we are as excited to make the announcements as you are. With that being said, we are proud of all of our athletes, regardless of their status as Olympians, past, present, or future. The Olympics may be two weeks, every four years, but USA Nordic and our athletes are striving for our best every day, every week, and every year. Good luck to all!

Go USA Nordic!

By Jed Hinkley

Last week I took a trip to the Northeast. As with many of my trips, this one was a bit of a whirlwind with seven stops in seven days across New Hampshire and Maine. The purpose of each stop was as varied as the weather that followed me from place to place.  The first two days were spent preparing a hill for a high school jumping meet held at Gunstock in Gilford, NH. I want to give a big thank you to Lisa Kling and Kathleen Doyle who formed our work crew trio, and also to Chris Jones for letting us use Andover’s track setter. Nearly 50 high school jumpers showed up from all over the state to compete under the lights. As I marked, I had a pleasant conversation with two boys who were just joining the Gunstock Club to start jumping and an old friend and former teammate of mine who I had not seen since Junior Olympics in 1998. A good night by all standards.

That next day I traveled up to Berlin, NH to meet with the group that is moving things forward at Nansen. Ideas and questions flew back and forth across the table and underpinning it all was a palpable energy and yearning for Big Nansen to regain the status that it once had. Things are moving forward with Big Nansen and a fundraising campaign is underway to raise the funds necessary for an annual competition similar to Salisbury or Brattleboro. With plans underway, I left the Dairy Bar and jumped in my Nissan Versa rental and headed East. I crossed the border into Maine and shortly thereafter was greeted by a familiar face that I had not seen in many years: Mouse!  

Mouse and I talked late into the night about Rumford, Nansen, Ski Jumping, and, more importantly, life. At the end of the evening I came to the realization that our conversation was more than a conversation about Ski Jumping and what we should do to grow the sport (though we did solve ALL the sport’s problems). It was really about something that goes beyond sport and delves into what makes us who we are. We are Ski Jumpers, both of us, which means so much more than flying through the air on skis. The following morning Mouse and I met with the President of the Board at Black Mountain, which went well, and then we headed to Titcomb Mountain in Farmington to discuss starting up/reviving a junior jumping program that has been absent since 1981, the year I was born.  The meeting was very promising, and I left feeling good about the prospects of jumping in northern New England.  

The rain pelted down as I made my way South to inspect the hills that were supposed to host competitions the next two days. My optimism also turned South as I gazed upon grass showing through on the landing hill. Competitions were cancelled and postponed, but because of that I was able to sneak in a few more meetings. I met with Ben Wilson from the state of New Hampshire, Ryan Mckeon who showed me the new steel track on Lebanon’s 25 and 50 meter hills, and Mike Holland just to chat about junior jumping. I helped cut one more track with Tom Dodds and Heidi Nichols at Ford Sayre, and then finished the trip over dinner with Tim Norris where we reminisced about experiences from my youth and so many other things.

Right now you might be asking, what the heck is Jed rambling on about and is there a point to this? When I first sat down to write, I was having a hard time figuring that out, but then it came to me.

This trip made me realize why I do the job I do, and I wanted to remind folks to take the time to reflect every once in a while.  So I have two main points. 

1. Despite the unbelievable amount of work that everyone has to do, usually for no pay, and little recognition, Ski Jumping is awesome...but it is only awesome if we make it awesome. I was lucky enough to have people like Mouse, Tim Norris, Alexei Sotskov, Larry Stone, Chris Hastings and so many more to make it awesome for me. And I was lucky enough to have great hills like Andover, Storrs Hill, Oak Hill, and Gunstock to jump. Were they the best hills in the world and did they meet FIS standards? No. Were they safe and did the community come together to work their butts off to get them in shape? Yes. Sometimes I  think we get so caught up in how things are supposed to be that we forget why we do this. It is to have fun, and I think that safety and skill building, not perfection, should be the standard that guides us at the junior level. 

2. My entire time as a youth jumper I felt welcomed, and I knew that my coaches were doing everything they could to help kids and the sport.  Were there disagreements about how things should be done? Of course, but I hope that the disagreements that happened then and still happen today always have what is best for the kids at heart. What I saw on this trip was a lot of people trying to give kids and the community a great experience.  But in my job, I also see a lot of politics and you know who suffers? Kids, and ultimately our sport.

So I will finish with this.  So many positive things are happening, and this trip reaffirmed this and brought me back to what I love about our sport. But let’s not make it harder on ourselves than it has to be. We are all in this together. Remember that and stop and think about why we all do this every once in a while.

-Jed

It’s been a strong start to the new year here at USA Nordic, which was kicked off with an extremely successful event at Olympic Trials on December 30 and 31 in Park City, UT.  The Olympic Park hosted over 11,000 spectators over the course of two days of competition, culminating on a bluebird day for men’s and women’s ski jumping events. Titles were earned by Bryan Fletcher (NC), Michael Glasder (SJ), and Sarah Hendrickson (SJ). Congratulations to Bryan, Michael, and Sarah for being the first members of the 2018 Olympic team in each of their respective disciplines.

Following the Trials, the Men’s World Cup jumping team immediately left for Europe to return to competition. The Men’s Nordic Combined World Cup team had an unexpected weekend off  following a cancellation in Otepaa, Estonia, while the Nordic Combined COC skiers were busy with another “triple” weekend in Germany. And the Women’s World Cup jumping team headed in the opposite direction to Japan for five competitions spread over two weekends. There is still one weekend of competitions left for all of our USA Nordic athletes to try to clinch their spots to Korea, so good luck to all of our athletes. We’re proud of all that you have accomplished so far!

While our athletes are busy on the road, representing USA Nordic, we haven’t been resting on our laurels in the office.

USA Nordic has hit the road for the next month to follow the Five Hills tournaments in the Midwest, which are part of our US Cup series. These tournaments have such great history and tradition, so we’re excited to bring them all to you live. Dan England, Mike Johns, Tom Bickner, and Alex Glueck will be bringing you all the action on our Livestream channel and on Facebook, as we drive all over the Central Division. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the clubs and their volunteers who will be helping us with this endeavor. We are a family and we couldn’t do what we do without all the support that we get across the country. Here’s our schedule if you want to catch up with us on the road:

Jan 19-20, Eau Claire, WI

Jan 23, Ishpeming, MI

Jan 27-28, Fox River Grove, IL

Jan 30, Minneapolis, MN

Feb 2-3, Westby, WI

Feb 10-11, Iron Mountain, MI

Feb 17-18, Brattleboro, VT

Feb 20, Lake Placid, NY

Don’t forget to follow us on social media. We plan on posting as much as possible and if you’re at one of the events, look for Alex at the USA Nordic tents. He’ll be slinging swag, including awesome new additions from some of our newest sponsors, including Nike and Jaybird headphones!

Finally, we all know what’s coming up next month and we couldn’t be more excited to support our athletes as they represent all of us in the upcoming Games. But we also want to remind our fans and our athletes that, no matter what happens, this journey that we’re on is much bigger than two weeks in February. We’re proud to support all of our athletes, at all levels, and we will continue to work hard on our end to be the organization that you all deserve.

Go USA Nordic!

SKI JUMPING:
Jan. 19
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zao, JPN – Women’s HS102 Individual 3:00am ET – olympicchannel.com
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zao, JPN – Women’s HS102 Individual 10:00am ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Jan. 20
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zao, JPN – Women’s HS102 Team 3:00am ET – olympicchannel.com
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zao, JPN – Women’s HS102 Team 9:30am ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

Jan. 21
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zao, JPN – Women’s HS102 Individual 2:00am ET – olympicchannel.com
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup, Zao, JPN – Women’s HS102 Individual 9:30am ET – Olympic Channel TV (same day delay)

NORDIC COMBINED:
Jan. 20
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Chau- Neuve, FRA – Men’s HS118 Individual 4:30am ET – olympicchannel.com
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Chaux-Neuve, FRA – Men’s 10K Individual 6:30am ET – olympicchannel.com

Jan. 21
FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Chaux-Neuve, FRA – Men’s HS118 Team 6:45am ET – olympicchannel.com

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, Chaux-Neuve, FRA – Men’s 4X5K Team 9:00am ET – olympicchannel.com

*As of now, there is no watch schedule for Ski Flying World Championships in Oberstdorf, GER. We will update the schedule if we find a reliable streaming site.

Go USA Nordic!

Jaybird to Power USA Nordic Ski Teams with Music in their Quest for Gold

 

PARK CITY, Utah   Jan. 17, 2018 Sports audio and technology pioneer, Jaybird announced today a partnership with USA Nordic, the national leadership organization of ski jumping and Nordic combined in the United States. In addition to stewarding the Nordic jumping sports, USA Nordic oversees and provides resources to the USA elite squads pursuing their World Cup and Olympic dreams in the Nordic combined and ski jumping events. Through this agreement, Jaybird will support the national and junior national teams as they prepare for the World Cup and 2018 Winter Games and throughout the year by bringing music, innovation and motivation to the team.

Jaybird and USA Nordic are focused on their quest to be the best in the world while also growing the sports in the United States, developing training best practices and supporting athletes as they transition from competition to career. The team will also provide feedback to Jaybird that will be used to fuel future innovation to help athletes perform at their peak through music, with a focus on running and other aerobic training activities.

Tweet now: .@Jaybirdsport teams up with @usanordic ahead of 2018 Winter Games to power their passion: https://jaybird.co/USANordic

“Nordic ski jumping and Nordic combined are two of the most mentally and physically challenging sports of all the Winter Olympic disciplines,” said Jamie Parker, president and CEO at Jaybird. “Athletes train for years to earn a position to represent their country and music is a key component for their training and pre-competition mental preparation. Our goal is to help the team to be the best on the world stage through music and technology. As athletes ourselves, Jaybird is proud to support this Park City-based organization that trains right in our backyard.”

USA Nordic is the overarching Nordic ski jumping and Nordic combined organization focused on team training and overall development of the sport in the United States.

“All of our athletes use music to get in the zone before they have to compete,” said Billy Demong, executive director of USA Nordic Sport, 2009 World Champion and America’s first Olympic gold medalist in Nordic skiing. “The right tunes can help take the anxiety away and allow them to focus on their performance during big moments. Teaming up with Jaybird is a great way for us to support our team, as well as athletes of all types, as we help Jaybird test and research new products and innovations.”

“I spend hours on the trails around Park City, running and biking in the summer, and exploring  the mountains on skis in the winter to get ready for my second Olympic Games,” said Bryan Fletcher, USA Nordic combined skier and the first American ski and snowboard athlete to officially confirm Olympic berth for 2018, winning the US Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah on December 30th. “To keep myself motivated during these long stretches, I always turn to music. The Jaybird RUN truly wireless headphones fit my ears perfectly so I can stay in the zone longer and train harder.”

 

About Jaybird

Established in 2006 in the mountains of Utah, Jaybird is a pioneer of wireless sports headphones and technology for runners, outdoor athletes and fitness enthusiasts. We believe that music empowers people to push beyond their limits and elevate their performance to new levels. Our products are developed with insights from some of the world’s best endurance athletes like Rory Bosio and Timothy Olson. Jaybird’s focus on secure and comfort fit, adventure-proof design, and incredibly rich and customizable sound means that athletes everywhere can focus on their passion without wires, or anything else, getting in their way. We continue to evolve and define what it means to motivate people to get outdoors and push themselves with music. For more information, please visit www.jaybirdsport.com or #PowerYourPassion with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About USA Nordic

USA Nordic is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote and develop the Nordic disciplines of Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined in the United States; assist U.S. athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, World Championship and other international competitions in the disciplines; and to promote the highest standards of sportsmanship, equality, fair play, and good will between individuals of all nations through competition in our sports. For more information visit www.usanordic.org. Join their journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Editorial Contacts:

For USA Nordic:

Sarah Anderson

info@usanordic.org

(207)756-4899

For Jaybird:

Eric Wynn

eric@jaybirdsport.com

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