Steamboat Springs With eight months to go before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. Nordic team has added Marc Nolke as its jumping coach.
Nolke, a former Olympian, has helped coach the German and Austrian Nordic teams. In his latest tenure with the Austrian team from 2006 to 2010, Nolke helped the team to a slew of Nations Cup titles as well as a team gold at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Our jumping has held us back the last couple years. (Nolke) brings to the table a huge level of experience and a background that is hard to beat,” said Taylor Fletcher, a U.S. Ski Team member and Steamboat native.
One aspect of the lackluster jumping last year was the team’s change to new jumping suits in order to comply with regulations. The transition was a tough hurdle for some members of the team, but the squad is confident Nolke can help make the proper adjustments.
“He has a lot of equipment knowledge. … Marc will bring some more knowledge and creativity to that suit-building process,” said Bryan Fletcher, Taylor’s brother and fellow U.S. Ski Team member.
Nolke joined the team for the first time earlier this month in Park City, Utah.
“We did a lot of new things we hadn’t experienced before. We did a lot of learning and psychological drills,” Bryan Fletcher said.
“The boundaries are limitless. … We have proved we can ski with the best of them. Improving on the jumping just means less people we have to pass and less time we have make up,” Taylor Fletcher added.
Jake Miller, a 2012 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, is working as a summer intern for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He recently completed his freshman year at Nebraska Wesleyan University.