Monday, February 18, 2002
Steamboat Springs A solid jumping performance Monday and a few days to shake off the disappointment of missed expectations in the individual events have put a smile back on the face of ski jumper Alan Alborn.
It may not be enough to keep the U.S. Ski Team's top performer on the team after this year comes to an end, but the chances are better now than they were just a week ago.
"He might," Alborn answered when asked if teammate Clint Jones would have any success in keeping him on the team. "It just depends on how the rest of the season goes. There are a lot of factors, but nothing is for sure."
It was a big change in attitude for the 21-year-old ski jumper who said last Wednesday he felt as if he would be done after this season and that he would not return for the 2006 Olympic Games in Italy.
"I hope I can talk Alan into sticking around," Jones said after the team jumping event Monday. "It's going to be pretty tough if I'm the one left to lead the team. Alan is a great role model and his results this past season have been great. It gives us something to shoot for and hopefully he will stick around."
There seemed to be some cracks Monday in Alborn's decision to call it quits. When asked by fans if they would see him at the next Olympics, Alborn simply responded, "Maybe."
Alborn is the current leader of this team and his success on the hill is sure to inspire other young jumpers.
"It's just going to get better from here," Alborn said about the future of ski jumping in the United States. "Now that we have this facility, and had the games go as well as they did, it's just going to take off."
Alborn said he was disappointed after the completion of the individual K-120, and despite his comments after that event, he thinks his future is bright.
He said he hasn't made a final decision about what he will do in the future, saying that will depend on sponsors, coaches and his teammates.