World Cup Generation

by Jennie

There are a couple posts I wrote for NNF in the past few months, and I’d like to share them here if you missed them. This was my favorite from March, hope you enjoy it.

See here or below – https://nationalnordicfoundation.org/jennie-bender-on-the-world-cup-generation/

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JENNIE BENDER ON THE WORLD CUP GENERATION

Posted: March 2, 2016

Jennie submitted this piece before yesterday’s historic World Cup double podium from Simi Hamilton and Jessie Diggins, which made her observations all the more significant. 

This year I finally found my fitness and health to jump onto the fast traveling World Cup train. The road has been rocky, but I have been racing the SuperTour circuit for six years now. Throughout the years, some athletes have moved up the ladder, some have moved back, and some have stepped off. After the Sochi Olympics in 2014, many of my senior role models moved on to other life adventures and out of racing spandex. Suddenly, I find myself falling into their role, and I greatly miss their presence.  This made me realize, that I immensely value anyone who has been racing on this path for at least 10-15 years. It shows an amazing amount of drive and passion, and leads by example for the rest of the developing skiers.

Why am I writing about this for the first day of the Canadian World Cup Tour?

Because most of the top 24 men and women in the U.S are here racing, and yesterday I had an epiphany. The National circuit is fun, don’t get me wrong, but those who I raced against in JNs, World Juniors, U23s, have thinned out. The parents now at US events are those of younger athletes, still experiencing their first few years of ‘big time racing’.

But here, on the North American World Cup scene, these are the rest of my people. The parents I know are back, and they are so excited to watch their kids, all of my USA teammates, kick some butt as some of the top Nordic skiers in the world. The excitement is back again in their eyes, and all is anew. We are all little kids again in an exciting scene, where we are experienced, but big things are happening.

This post goes out to those who take awhile to pursue excellence, and to those who stand behind them all the way.  From the athletes perspective to the supporter; you have no idea how much impact your words of comfort, encouragement, and stability mean to us. Many times, you may not know it, but you are the one thing that may pick us up after a bad day, or talk us off the proverbial cliff.

Those coaches, parents, and friends, who have followed their athletes since they learned to first ski; you mean so much to us. In times when this path of athletics is full of the unknown, you are our rock. So thank you, I can safely say, from all your little kids on skis, who are here on the World Cup.

 

 

– Stay tuned for Aprils insight (:

 

3 Comments

  1. Lori Steinbach
    23 April 16, 7:09pm

    Great inside perspective on the changing of the generations of the sport – you are in the transition zone. Hang in there!

    What FUN to return from Lahti and in my mail have a Dala postcard – from YOU!!! Great area in Finland – too bad to have missed each other.

    No WYellow for Yuriy/CXC this Nov – instead going to Alaska for glacier camp Nov 9 – 15. You been there??

    ENJOY the summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Bob McEwing
    25 April 16, 7:48pm

    Great words of wisdom. Keep up the good work and advice. I’m sure the “younger” generation appreciate your insight and guidance.

  3. 04 June 16, 8:28am

    this is a very useful website!

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