Bryan Fletcher will probably remember 2014 as the
year of the big transitions: sports-wise with the
US Nordic Combined Team’s change from USSA funding
over to joining the organisation of USA Ski Jumping
and also personally with his imminent wedding this
fall. In TUESDAY TALK, the 28-year-old explains
how his team will be set up in the future, why he
is still eager to be a member of the board for USSA
and what he has been up to training-wise.
After the season, you and your teammates received
the difficult piece of news that there was a budget
cut to come for the Nordic Combined athletes. How
is the situation now, a couple of months later?
Bryan Fletcher: The news was a bit shocking. I think
we all expected budgets cuts especially after the
Olympic year but to cut our entire program was a
bit of a shock. However, it only took us a moment
to gather our thoughts and become motivated to rebuild
and we have done that. Today we are partnered with
USA Ski Jumping, our new name will be USA Ski Jumping
and Nordic Combined. There are some really cool
projects that we will be collaborating on and we
hope to bring to the table some extra help and collaboration
in building an already impressive new organisation.
So to briefly answer the question we are looking
much better then just a few short months ago.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the new
structure that Nordic Combined in the USA will have?
Fletcher: The most exciting thing about this new
organisation is that it opens us up to new sponsorship
possibilities. The Nordic Combined team was rather
handcuffed when it came to sponsors because of non
compete clauses with the US Ski Team. Now with this
new organisation in place we can go after new partnerships
that are exciting, and most of all relevant to our
sport and demographic that we couldn’t partner with
As an organization this allows us to build from
the ground up instead of the top down. Meaning that
there is going to be a future in both ski jumping
and Nordic Combined in America with hopefully a
At the same time, you have been elected as a member
of the board of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
What do you hope to achieve in this role in the
Fletcher: Yeah, this a huge opportunity for me to
learn about how a non-profit works and also to be
a voice of the athletes. It’s a big role that will
take a little bit of time to get going on, but I
am motivated to have a voice on the board and really
take an active role in the issues at hand. We had
some productive spring meetings and my hope is to
continue the dialogue during the summer and winter
to actually make some improvements, especially in
the opportunities for athletes to set up their career
outside of skiing so that when they are done skiing
they have something to fall back on.
Focusing on the sports part of things: what have
you been up to training-wise in the last few weeks?
Fletcher: I have been training a lot, road biking
a ton and that has been great this summer. Most
of the guys on the team raced quite a few races
this spring and now I am transitioning into more
jumping and roller-skiing. Training has been fun,
we recently had some awesome competitions in Steamboat
over the 4th of July. It felt much like Europe,
there were 2000 spectators rolling through and staying
to drink beer, and cheer on the jumping. In addition
there was even an Austrian band playing traditional
Alpenhorn songs. It was great!
With what kinds of goals do you go into this season
full of new beginnings?
Fletcher: My goal this season is to have no excuses.
Despite our cutbacks I think I and our team can
continue to make progress in the sport. And I would
like to add a few more podiums to my results page
This summer will also mark an important step for
you personally: you are set to marry your fiance'
Nicole. When is the big day?
Fletcher: Nikki and I are very excited! The big
day is September 27th! All the planning is pretty
much done and now we are just excited for the big