Bryan Fletcher, the new face
You have to go way back in history of the nordic combined World Cup to find an American in the Top 10 for a result list whose name is not Demong, Lodwick or Spillane. Now this happened again, and his name is Bryan Fletcher.
Already at the season opening in Kuusamo he achieved the best result of his career so far as 18th. In Ramsau on Sunday he improved again and finished eighth. And he did that in a way that also made himself happy. "Damn, I on the second place right now", the 24-year-old said to himself during the race, when he was right behind Mario Stecher leading in a group. At the end he came in eighth, about 20 seconds behind the winner and only nine seconds behind the third.
He has never been that close - and Bryan Fletcher will continue his way to the top. He was born in Steamboat Springs, CO and at age 3 leukemia was diagnozed. Years later, when he still had to undergo chemotherapy he started his career as ski jumper and nordic combined athlete. 2002 he was a forejumper at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. 2007 and 2009 he was a member of the US team at World Championships, 2008 he achieved his first podium result in the COC.
The weekend in Ramsau is giving an additional boost. "Now I know what's possible for me", said the athelte, who is helping various charity organizations in the fight against cancer, "because I don't think that Sunday in Ramsau was an extraordinary day. My jump was perfect and my race reflects my current level of performance."
The future is coming one day at a time, says Bryan Fletcher. How true. With him, also nordic combined in the USA has a future after Demong, Lodwick and Spillane.