5th Place! Finally!

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A quick picture before the flower ceremony
A quick picture before the flower ceremony

After three years of working towards a top-five result in the relay, we finally reached that goal on Thursday night, here in Ruhpolding, Germany.  It was an awesome feeling to be a part of the best relay finish in recent history for the U.S.  Like I said, the relay has been a main focus since we placed 9th at the Olympics in Torino in 2006.  At that point, people finally started to realize that we had a legitimate chance of medalling at the next Olympics… provided we made the right improvements.  I big part of that journey involves taking the right steps along the way.

17,000 fans!
17,000 fans!

We took the right steps but, for the past couple of years, we couldn’t quite get everything to click in the relay events.  Individually, we all made big steps and broke into the top of the pack on several occasions.  But it wasn’t until this Thursday that we proved – to ourselves and everyone else – that we were a legitimate medal contender.  Jeremy, our fourth leg, finished within 24 seconds of the bronze.  In a race that takes around one hour to complete, that is a tiny sliver of time.

As much as this took a lot of hard training and preparation, I have to say that we have a lot of people to thank for helping us make this step.  Per Nilsson (head coach), Bernd Eisenbichler (Team Manager), and Andi Elmslander (Head Was Technician)  have been at the center of this process for the last three years and their guidance has been a huge factor in the U.S. team’s recent success.  Everyone on the staff deserves a write-up but I’m afraid that would take all night.  Suffice it to say that we have one of the hardest working teams on the world cup and their enthusiasm is a huge motivation for all of us (athletes).

Best,

Lowell

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4 thoughts on “5th Place! Finally!

    Elizabeth said:
    January 24, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Nice write up and pic

    Hilary said:
    January 27, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Hi

    Congratulations! i have been watching world cup biathlong via the internet and I saw that race and couldn’t believe how well you did. Everyone seemed to have a great race, and I definatly thought you had a awsome race! I am hoping that your team can win a medal in the 2010 olympics! That would be amazing! Show those Europeans that we’re just as good! Ski fast USA!

    Julie Robards said:
    February 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Dear Lowell,
    So good to hear from you and keep up with your progress and travels via internet. Love the pictures you post. So proud of you – and hoping that things totally go your way so you can come home psyched to play music! We miss playing with you – I miss singing with you! Jan. 23rd we performed with half a deck at JEMS as John & Donnie couldn’t make it….but we did well – with Max, a 15 yr. old mandolin player from E’town with us….even managed to garner respect from the home town crowd of over 100 folks. Larry & I played Station Street last Fri. and I have a newfound respect for anyone who has ever “performed” there!!! WE got requests for Hootie & The Blowfish, Twisted Sister and John Denver – ugh. I’m trying to drum up some gigs for the summer but it’s tough….economy isn’t good. They even consider canning Otis Mt. but I’m going to see what I can do to convince them a one day festival with local bands is a good idea! Take care, be safe and GOOD LUCK!! Julie

    Alexwebmaster said:
    March 3, 2009 at 11:13 am

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