Fletcher's Feeling Fine
● By Alesha Damerville
Bryan Fletcher wrapped up his final individual Olympic competition, finishing 17th Gundersen large hill/10k event. (Getty Images – Al Bello)
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Bryan Fletcher skied in his final individual Olympic event Tuesday, finishing 17th in the large hill nordic combined event.
“There were a bunch of strong skiers around me so I expected it to pack up pretty strong,” he said. “I think I led a bit too much in the first three laps to be able to close the race with a good sprint. But I went out and had fun and just enjoyed the moment being my last individual Olympic race - just trying to enjoy that hurt locker a bit.”
Fletcher ascended 120.5 meters to finish 23rd in the jump, starting two minutes, four seconds behind jump leader Akito Watabe, who ended up fifth.
“I put together a pretty decent jump,” said Fletcher. “It wasn’t the dream jump I had been hoping for but a solid performance. It put me into the chase group to give me a chance for a top 10 if I had a really good race.”
His finish landed him a good position for the 10k cross country.
“In the past Olympics, it was such a cool experience to compete alongside Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane, and my brother. I’m really happy with how we’ve turned around nordic combined the last few years and building a development pipeline. I’m happy to be leading that program and seeing it out over the next few years.”
Ben Berend was 39th and Jasper Good landed 43rd. “Those young guys are full of energy and passion for the sport,” said Fletcher. “I remember when I was that age in their shoes. It’s cool to be heading out of my career and watching theirs just taking off. Mentoring them a little bit the last few years has been really special. I hope they can go on to do great things.”
Competition wraps up with the team event on Thursday.