Up close and personal: Bryan Fletcher (USA)
In the third edition of „Up close and personal“, Ben Berend and Tim Hug give some insight on U.S. team leader Bryan Fletcher… Nordic Combined’s very own rugged version of Brad Pitt (or so he thinks!)
How do you make yourself feel at home while traveling?
I make myself feel at home while traveling with two things. Number 1 is my cell phone. Having an open line of communication with my friends and family back home really helps. Something as simple as a text message convo between my wife and I can make the distance feel shorter. 2. Hot sauce, during our travels we have some amazing food and also some not so amazing food. Regardless adding a little kick to the food gives it a taste of home.
When was the last time you experienced a perfect day (and what happened?)?
This spring I have had some pretty amazing days in the back country with nothing but warm temps and sunshine followed by cycling in the afternoon. And a good dinner with my wife and friends. I would say thats pretty much about a perfect day. What more can you ask for.
If your life was made into a movie, who should play you?
If my life was made into a movie, they would probably have to use Taylor for stunts since he looks so similar, however for a famous actor I would have to say Brad Pitt. I mean I do look like a more rugged, emancipated, nerdy and slightly less cool version of Brad Pitt. Am I right? (laughs)
What would be the hardest thing for you to give up?
Nordic Combined. I have been trying to give it up for 20+ years. (laughs) Just kidding, I would have to say my wife, dog, and cheese.
To which song do you dance when nobody is watching?
I will dance to any song when nobody is watching. The question should be which song will you dance to when everybody is watching. The answer to that question is none. There is not a song I will dance to sober when everyone is watching. Unless of course it's someones wedding, then I will dance my face off like no body is watching. Take that!
Best buddies: Ben Berend (USA) & Tim Hug (SUI)
How did you meet (what’s your first memory of him?)?
Tim: The first time I really got to know him better was at our first shared training camp in Courchevel in 2011. Before that we actually did not have much to do with each other.
Ben: Bryan grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado so he was always an athlete that I idolized growing up. It's hard to pinpoint an exact first memory but I have known him for quite some time.
What do you like about him?
Ben: I feel very lucky to have someone like Bryan to look up to. He is nine years older than me so we are in completely different stages of our lives. Bryan has a wife, a daughter on the way, he is about to buy a house, and is running a non-profit organization to help kids excel after overcoming cancer. On top of all that, he manages to train and succeed at a very tough sport. Bryan has meetings, phone calls, and a wife to go home to after training. I have Netflix. He is an awesome role model because someday I will have all those responsibilities and learning from him will make me more prepared for it. At the same time though, Bryan is hilarious and can occasionally dumb down to my twenty year old sense of humor. This usually ends with our whole team laughing to tears.
Tim: He is always friendly and ready to help you out if you need it.
What makes him into a champion?
Tim: He is training in a very constant manner, mentally very strong and also able to relax and leave things behind.
Ben: Bryan is a champion because he is so persistent. This is probably the number one thing I have learned from Bryan. Taylor Fletcher was scoring World Cup points when he was nineteen years old. It took Bryan a little longer but he kept with it and worked his tail off. I compare myself to Bryan a lot because I’m not one of those kids who is scoring World Cup points as a teenager. I know it’s going to take me a little longer but seeing the track that Bryan has taken really gives me a lot of confidence and motivation. Bryan’s favorite quote is, “big trees grow slow”. This sport takes time and Bryan has put in the necessary time and work to become elite. His commitment to excellence day in and day out makes him a champion in every facet of life.
Funniest memory with him?
Ben: Oh man, we have had a lot of funny moments. One of my favorite things to do is scroll to the bottom of his facebook pictures. Bryan had the worst hair when he was young. I can’t even imagine him with this hair now. Maybe FIS Nordic Combined should start a petition to get Bryan to grow his hair back. If it gets 1,000 signatures he has to do it. His wife would kill him. I also enjoy hanging out with Bryan and Nikki (his wife) so much that I joke about getting married just so we can go on double dates.
Tim: Sometimes, he’s singing really loudly in the hotel restaurant… he got the glasses ringing! (laughs)
If you could ask him any question, what would it be?
Tim: Oh, I’ll do that in about a month: how does it feel to be 30? (laughs)
Ben: Well I’ve already asked him this but he wasn’t very helpful. What is he going to name his daughter? I have a lot of good names if he would just listen to me.