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Aspen jumper jumps back into competition

Michael Ward
U.S. Ski Team/Nordic Combined
Aspen's Michael Ward competes in the 2014 Olympic Team Trials for Nordic Combined at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah.
Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team |

The competition season is already under way ,and I am going to be staying very busy in the upcoming weeks.

I kicked off my season with the annual Winter Start competitions in Steamboat Springs.

I actually went over a week early to get in some training at a different venue.

Training that week went well, but unfortunately I could not seem to pull together a good competition jump. The first day I jumped to 11th.

I had a good cross country race and skied up to sixth place and had the third-fastest time.

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The following day I jumped to seventh and skied my way up to third place, right behind teammates Nick Hendrickson and Adam Loomis.

All in all, it was a good competition to shake off the dust.

The following week Park City hosted the first Continental Cup event of the season. Nine international teams, 48 athletes from around the world, were in attendance.

I had a rough week jumping on the HS100-meter hill and didn’t get the results I was hoping for. However, I was really happy with my cross country skiing. I skied consistently fast all three races and came away with 12 COC points.

After the COC event, I went home to Aspen to celebrate my birthday and Christmas with family and friends.

I was only home a short while before I had to return to Park City for the Nordic Combined Olympic Trials on Dec. 28-29.

I was really excited to be participating in my first Olympic Trials. I had some better jumps during the competition but it was not enough to match five-time Olympian Todd Lodwick, who won the jumping and overall.

I ended up jumping to ninth place and started the cross country race over two minutes behind Lodwick.

I skied a very good race and had the fifth-fastest time.

Unfortunately, because I was so far behind I ended up eighth overall.

I was not very happy with my performance and plan on working even harder on the ski jump during the next couple weeks.

Next, I will be traveling to Chaikovsky, Russia, for my first World Cup of the season. If all goes well, there is a possibility I will ski in the World Cup in Chaux Neuve, France.

I am looking forward to the upcoming competition schedule, as it will decide the Nordic combined Olympic team, chosen on Jan. 20.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Aspen.


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