Fletcher named FIS athlete of the week | SteamboatToday.com

Fletcher named FIS athlete of the week

— Saturday was a breakout day for U.S. Nordic combined athlete Taylor Fletcher as he placed third in a World Cup event in Japan.

His accomplishment was noticed by FIS, too, as he was named the Nordic combined athlete of the week.

He jumped to 28th place in what was his best race of the season, then zoomed all the way to the front of the pack before settling for third. It was his second career individual podium.

"It was huge for me," he said in a post-race press conference, according to a FIS news release. "I have known for a while that I am very capable of reaching the podium. Last year was very rough for me psychologically, coming out of a breakout year and then having a season where I barely made it into the competitions jumping-wise, that's hard. But I kept the head right, kept going. This year kind of started in a similar fashion. But the jumping is getting better and better and the cross-country skiing is getting faster and faster. That's the goal."

Brother Bryan Fletcher was eighth in that same race.

The U.S. team now has three days of competition in Val di Fiemme, Italy, starting Friday before a two week break ahead of the World Championships in Flaun, Sweden.

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"I went in and skied a hard race like I know I'm capable of," Taylor Fletcher said. "It's fantastic to be back, and I know I can continue in this fashion."