● By Grant Johnson
Photo courtsey NBC Olympics/USOC
Steamboat Springs, CO - Nordic combined skier and younger brother to Bryan Fletcher, Taylor competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and is one of the fastest skiers on the American Nordic combined team.
Q. Who is your biggest role model?
A. By far my brother. Bryan has been through so much in his life, by battling cancer and successfully defeating leukemia. Now he is a teammate and fierce competitor of mine and we enjoy training and competing together all year.
Q. Where is the coldest place you’ve ever skied?
A. Kuusamo, Finland, has the possibility to be considered unlivable by my standards. When you go that far into the Arctic Circle, you do not see any sun or light in November. Even semi-cold days seem like freezing cold ones.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A. Have fun. If you are not going to have fun, then there is no reason to continue. I have figured out that when I am having fun, my results get better, and everything seems easier.
Q. How do you like to relax?
A. A lot of my teammates consider me a professional sleeper. I fall asleep very easily and stay asleep very well. But when I am not sleeping, we spend most of our time on the road watching movies (comedy guy here), TV shows and occasionally reading.
Q. Is there anywhere you consider to be your second home?
A. Park City is my second home, as that is where I am currently living. But our team spends a lot of time in beautiful places such as Ramsau, Austria; Lillehammer/Oslo, Norway; and Seefeld, Austria. I have great connections with all these places and I truly feel at home when I am there.
Q. What’s on your warm-up playlist?
A. I have all sorts of music, from Lil’ Wayne to Sam Bush. But when I am warming up I tend to listen to Mumford and Sons, as it is the prefect tempo to not get you over-pumped, but not put you to sleep.
Q. What does a typical day of training look like for you?
A. Wake up, make some eggs, gallons of coffee. First session on the books would be an endurance session (cycling, running, rollerskiing or skiing in the winter). After lunch, I would head out for either weights in the gym or a second endurance session. In between is rest, but often it is taken up with sponsor meetings or team meetings.
Q. What’s it like to compete alongside your sibling?
A. Competing alongside Bryan is a dream in itself. He was my hero growing up and still is today. He has been through so much in his life that I can’t compare too. We work very well together on the World Cup circuit. Bryan is the better jumper and I am the cross-country skier, so we both have trades that work for each other. I try to beat him every weekend so I can joke with him, since I am younger. Our dream was partly accomplished last year when we both received medals at the World Championships in the team event, and we are working very hard to do the same at the Olympics.
Q. Describe your perfect day.
A. It would include everything that I love in life, with enough time so nothing is packed. This includes, not limited too, backcountry skiing, sleeping, eating, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, traveling, relaxing, friends, family and ice cream. On the competition side, it would start out with perfect soft-boiled eggs in the morning with bacon on top. Perfect competition venue with a very nice jump and a very hard XC course. Perfect conditions, and a victory of some sort.
Q. What’s your
favorite concert venue?
A. My headphones. They are with me every day during the winter and I can listen to my music all over the world. Physically, I would say Red Rocks has to be the coolest.
Q. What’s your
favorite summertime activity in Steamboat?
A. Ski jumping, then tubing the Yampa, followed by some ice cream or Double Z.
Q. Whose autograph do you want to get in Sochi?
A. The U.S.A. hockey team, when they beat the Russian team on home soil.
Q. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
A. My first wish would be that everyone in the world received food and water. My second is that economically everyone could afford life. My last, I wish I could teleport everywhere and not have to drive or fly to events.