One step forward on new path for Team USA

10 July 2014 12:16
Bryan Fletcher at the Sochi Olympics
Bryan Fletcher at the Sochi Olympics -

The season of 2013/14 ended in an unwelcome surprise for Team USA when The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association USSA announced a drastic cut of fundings for the discipline of Nordic Combined. Now, three month later, the teams for the new season were announced, as Steamboat Today reports.

The A Team consists of Olympic gold medallist Bill Demong, who will also take a central role in the new cooperation with USASJ, the organisation grown around the U.S. male and female ski jumping teams, and World Cup veterans Bryan and Taylor Fletcher. Adam Loomis, Brett Denney, Michael Ward and Ben Berend were sorted into the B Team category while the C Team is made up of Ben Loomis, Erik Lynch, Aleck Gantick, Jasper Good and Nicholas Madden.

A central figure in the new setup of Nordic Combined in the USA is head coach Dave Jarrett whose salary has been guaranteed by USSA for one more year. Jarrett has been trying to raise funds to pay for assistant coach Greg Poirier and the technicians which any team needs on the World Cup tour. „We are working our damnedest to raise money to secure all of our staff, coaches and service guys“, Jarrett said towards Steamboat Today. „The next piece of the puzzle, once that’s done, we start raising money for camps and comps. We didn’t think it made sense to do that until there was an infrastructure to support that.“

A central part of the future of Nordic Combined will be the cooperation with USA Ski Jumping, a discipline that now shares the same funding setup as well as the Nordic roots of the sport with Nordic Combined. “We’re combining with those guys and hopefully in the future we’ll be 100 percent seamless with the same kind of marketing and sponsors,” Jarrett says.

“Nordic Combined and ski jumping are essentially all the same clubs, athletes and coaches at the base or development level of the sport in this country”, USASJ’s Rex Bell adds, “thus following many meetings and listening to the needs of the combined community we will be working towards a “bottom up” strategy, working with young athletes, coaches and clubs to maximize things like sharing of expenses and resources to mutually benefit the goals of each sport. We are thrilled an extraordinary athlete of Billy Demong’s caliber—with all his years of experience, is excited to work with us.”