We arrived in Planica, Slovenia on the 15th for our pre World Junior Championship training camp. Unfortunately, like most of Europe, we were greeted with poor snow conditions and a lot of rain. Despite the lack of snow we still managed to get some very good training in on a crowded jump hill and a short cross country loop. I had, by far, my best jumps of the season in Planica, which was a nice confidence booster preparing for World Juniors.
After our time in Planica we headed to Oberstdorf, Germany to compete in a team World Cup. Sadly, we were informed of a new rule put into effect this year stating that only competitors with Continental Cup or World Cup points are allowed to compete in any World Cup event. The only member of our team that fit that criteria was Ben Berend. Although I was a little discouraged I had to look on the bright side. It was pretty awesome to be able to spectate a World Cup and there was actually snow in Oberstdorf. So, those of us who could not compete in the World Cup were allowed to fore jump every jumping competition and get some great skiing at the cross country venue.
As soon as the World Cup was over we packed up and drove to the beautiful town of Predazzo, Italy, the site of the 2013 Nordic World Championships and this year's Junior World Championships. Needless to say, this is an amazing place to compete. 

I went into the first day of competition with confidence and high hopes, knowing that if I jumped well I had a real shot at a top 15 or 20 finish. Unfortunately I had a complete lapse in focus and had one of my worst jumps in over a month putting me in 41st place, well outside of striking distance. I was frustrated, distraught, angry, and all kinds of those emotions rolled into one. So, I decided I was going to take my anger out on the cross country course, and I did just that, for three out of four laps. I pushed the pace for a group of skiers but by the last lap I was completely out of gas. I ended up 36th out of 58 skiers with the 30th fastest time. Overall this was probably my worst competition I've had all year and it has been tough knowing it was on a big stage. But, great competitors don't give up after bad days, they pick their heads up and get ready to put the hammer down next time. Which is exactly what the plan is for tomorrow in the individual 5k event.
Time for a little redemption!

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