Bryan Fletcher, who finished fifth at the, 2015 Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden, is among 11 athletes named to the U.S. Team for the 2017 Championships in Finland later this month. (Getty Images-Mike Hewitt)
PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 18, 2017) - The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named 11 athletes to the ski jumping and nordic combined teams that will compete in the International Ski Federation's 2017 Nordic World Ski Championships this month in Lahti, Finland. The biennial World Championships brings together the best athletes in the sport for the Feb. 22-March 5 event which will be live streamed in its entirely on NBCsports.com.
The nordic combined team will include five athletes, with jumping being represented by six.
Nordic combined skier Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) will be competing in his fifth World Championships. He was a part of the nordic combined team four-man relay that won bronze at Val di Fiemme, Italy in 2013. In Falun, Sweden two years ago, he led the USA with two top-10 finishes including a fifth in the large hill event where he was contending for a medal.It will be the first World Championships for brothers Adam and Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) and Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, CO). Ben Loomis was the silver medalist in nordic combined at last year’s Youth Olympic Games and recently finished top10 in the Junior Nordic World Championships in Utah.
The men's ski jumping team has been having a strong building year on the FIS World Cup tour with consistent and improving results. Will Rhoads (Park City, UT), who was on the World Championships team two years ago, is the only veteran on the squad. The remaining three all come out of the very strong Norge Ski Club outside Chicago including Kevin Bickner (Wauconda, IL), Michael Glasder (Cary, IL) and junior Casey Larson (Cary, IL).
Bickner, who was 11th at Junior Worlds a year ago, has recorded three top-30 World Cup finishes this season. Larson, still a junior, finished eighth in last week’s USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Championships.
Sarah Hendrickson (Park City, UT), returned to action this season after sitting out all of 2016 with a knee injury. Both she and Nita Englund (Florence, WI) have been American’s top two women on the World Cup tour this season.
Nordic combined will have four competitions - one more than in the Olympic Winter Games. They include two individual events - one each on the HS100m and HS130m ski jumping hill, plus a four-man team event and two-man team sprint.
Mens ski jumping will have two individual events plus a four-man team event. Women will jump on the HS100m hill and compete with the men in a mixed gender team event.
All of the events at the 2017 World Championships in Lahti will be streamed live in America on NBCsports.com.
2017 USA NORDIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NORDIC COMBINED TEAM (Name, hometown, USSA club, birthdate, age at start of championships) Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 6/29/1995 (21) Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 6/27/1986 (30) * ** Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) 5/11/1990 (26) * ** Adam Loomis, Eau Claire, WI (Flying Eagles Ski Club) 3/19/1992 (24) Ben Loomis, Eau Claire, WI (Flying Eagles Ski Club) 6/9/1998 (18) * Past World Championship team member ** Olympian
2017 USA NORDIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SKI JUMPING TEAM (Name, hometown, USSA club, birthdate, age at start of championships) Men Kevin Bickner, Wauconda, IL (Norge Ski Club) 9/23/1996 (20) Michael Glasder, Cary, IL (Norge Ski Club) 3/27/1989 (27) Casey Larson, Barrington, IL (Norge Ski Club) 12/16/1998 (18) Will Rhoads, Park City, UT (UOP Sports Clubs) 6/8/1995 (21) *
Women Nita Englund, Florence, WI (Kiwanis Ski Club) 6/10/1992 (24) * Sarah Hendrickson, Park City, UT (Women's Ski Jumping U.S.A.) 8/1/1994 (22) * ** * Past World Championship team member ** Olympian
MOST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAMS (3 or more teams) Bryan Fletcher - 5 (2007, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017) Taylor Fletcher - 4 (2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
2017 FIS NORDIC WORLD SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS Lahti, Finland Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined (Finnish times; seven hours ahead of EST)
Thursday, Mar. 2 6:30 p.m. - Men’s ski jumping HS130m
Friday, Mar. 3 4:00 p.m. - Nordic combined team sprint HS130m 6:15 p.m. - Nordic combined team relay 2x7.5k
Saturday, Mar. 4 5:15 p.m. - Men’s ski jumping team HS130m
Sunday, Mar. 5 5:35 p.m. - Closing Ceremony
PAST USA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALISTS 1 - Johnny Spillane, nordic combined sprint - 2003, Val di Fiemme 1 - Lindsey Van, ski jumping normal hill - 2009, Liberec 1 - Todd Lodwick, nordic combined mass start - 2009, Liberec 1 - Todd Lodwick, nordic combined gundersen/normal hill - 2009, Liberec 1 - Bill Demong, nordic combined gundersen/large hill - 2009, Liberec 1 - Sarah Hendrickson, ski jumping normal hill - 2013 Val di Fiemme 2 - Bill Demong, nordic combined gundersen - 2007, Sapporo 3 - Bill Demong, nordic combined gundersen - 2009, Liberec 3 - Anders Haugen, ski jumping - 1924, Chamonix