In the world cup in the nordic combined there are two brother’s pairs. Akito and Yoshito Watabe and the Flechters – Brian and Taylor. Nordicjumpworld questioned both – about their personal reflection of the season – to their relation to each other – in the competition and in private. As a special titbit Penny Fletcher, the mother both has quite a „special question“
Hello Bryan and Taylor,
The season is over now. Are you contented with the results in the world cup and with the world championships?
Bryan: I am mixed about my performances this winter, overall it was my best season so far however I felt like I missed a few opportunities at the podium which I was really hoping to land. However I was always in the fight and had multiple top 10 finishes this season which is good. The 5th at world championships was a strong result and I was happy to be in the fight but not coming away with a medal was very frustrating. I cannot complain as 5th is a personal best finish and I know I am capable of better results too. So I am happy that I am making progress but I am still hungry for more.
Taylor: When I look back at the world championships, I can be happy with a number of things and that includes my ski jumping. That was some of my best jumping all year and in a couple years for sure. But at the same time, I certainly didn’t race like I am capable of and that was tough to deal with. In the world cup, I was pleased with the progress that I made in the second part of the season after the new year. I didn’t miss a single competition due to the cut on the jumping side. I was certainly inconsistent through the year and that was something I was hoping wasn’t going to happen. I have set forth a clear set of goals to fix that and look forward to a strong summer of training
What was your personal season highlight?
Bryan: My season highlight was for sure the 5th place in Falun. I wanted to fight for a medal and I was happy I did that.
Taylor: MY highlight of the year was my 3rd place in the Sapporo Japan World Cup. I had a fantastic jump and a perfect race. I felt like I was in control but just didn’t have the power at the end to contest for the win! I look forward to many more days like this one!
In private you get on very well. How is your emotion to start in the competition against own brother?
Bryan: Taylor and I are good competitors together, we push each other to the next level and out on the race course or jump hill we are always chasing one another. It makes for a perfect training partnership.
Taylor: Bryan and I are perfect teammates, we train together almost every day and push each other to be better. In competition, I always want to beat him and he is the same, but if we are racing together we will often work together to make it harder for others and try to beat everyone.
Back in America once again it is time to relax, isnt it? What are your plans for the upcoming weeks without a competition?
Bryan: The next couple weeks at home will be some much needed recovery time. I plan to spend some time both in Park City and Steamboat doing some alpine skiing and enjoying time with friends. Today I also got the opportunity to go on my first mountain bike of the season and that was pretty awesome, so I will definitely be doing more of that.
Taylor: Now that it is the OFFSEASON for 2 weeks, I will be doing very little training and lots of sleeping. Besides that the alpine skis will come out and so will the bikes. Any time I can go out with some friends makes the off season fun and enjoyable. But after a while, you start getting restless and want to get back into training. I will be going home to visit family and do a charity event called Starz mountain challenge to help the adaptive sports program of Steamboat Springs.
In this season nordic combined started in Japan after several years. Do you hope that the world champions of nordic combined will come back soon to the United Staates?
Bryan: I really love Japan and to go back and compete there was amazing and I truly hope that we get to go back every year. My competitions there also were very good this year so I always have fond memories of Sapporo and other places I have been. I do hope that in the future we will also see competitions in the United States. However I think that is a lot farther out then I hope.
Taylor: It was my first time going to Japan and I was very please with the venue and organization in Sapporo. It is certainly a place I want to go more often. It would be a dream for the world cup to come back to North America in the future. The events have always gone off with large crowds and much success and it would be a honor to compete in my home country/state and battle best for the win!
The Germans and the Norwegians dominate curently the world cup. Do you see a chance to close this small gap? Where exactly you have to improve in the training?
Bryan: There is always the chance to close the gap on other nations and strong competitors. It takes hard work and dedication but it can always be done. For the USA our work lies in the jumping. We will continue to work on building that up to a stronger level.
Taylor: Both team Norway and Germany are very strong every years. But they are not doing anything more special then what we are doing. I do see a chance to close the gap. If I wasn’t on the podium this year and in 2013 then It would be much more hard. That being said I do have a lot of work to be done. I need to be more consistent on the jumping and still need to race as fast as I can to be good. If I can jump 5 meters further in each competition then I have a great chance at winning more often.
And what is a personal aim for your career?
Bryan: Personally I have a goal to be the best I can at the sport. I would really like to see myself land a few more world cup podiums and of course my ultimate dream is to win the Olympics. None these are easy goals but I will set my sights high and go for them.
Taylor: My goal for my career is to be the best! That means winning world championships but also the olympics. It would leave a great legacy for the United States and all the young skiers in the future. I also want to be on the top of the overall one year in the world cup. I feel that it is possible and I can be done!
At the end of this interview there is still a special question. This comes from your mother Penny:
to Bryan: What animal gave you the ride of your life and did you stay on for 8 seconds?
To answer my mothers question, I have ridden a wild camel and the problem was not getting on the animal it was getting off of it after the ride.
to Taylor: What makes all of your teammates jealous of you when travelling?
It is pretty clear of how jealous some of the teammates get when we travel. I have a very special gift of sleeping anywhere any time. I can sleep the whole flights overseas without a problem and it seems like I dont experience the problems of jet lag either. I consider it a very special gift and hope it lasts for my whole life!
Thank you very much for this very interesting interview by (c) Nordicjumpworld – Johannes Markus Stettner