Name: Ben Berend
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Sport: Nordic Combined
Years in the sport: 16
How did you get started in your sport?
I grew up in a small town with ski jumps perched on the ski hill near my house. I skied all over that little hill and when I turned 5 years old I wanted to try to the ski jumps. I started a program called “little Vikings” which was Nordic combined for young children. From there, I never stopped.
Goals for this upcoming year/season?
Consistently finish in the top 30 on World Cup
Qualify for the Winter Olympics
Improve my technique and upper body strength for xc skiing
See USA Nordic start to push the top of the results pages again
Enjoy what I’m doing because if not… What is the point?
I have to say Johannes Rydzek because I really enjoy watching him consistently perform at the highest level of Nordic Combined. The level that he is on, every athlete strives to attain that.
If you were not an athlete, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t an athlete I would have just graduated college! I would probably be looking to find a job right now. But in reality my life wouldn’t be too different if I weren’t an athlete. I would still ski, ride my bikes, and experience the outdoors like I do now… It just wouldn’t be my job, which I have to say would be a bummer.
Books, mountain bikes, and telemark skiing! I love loitering around in coffee shops on my computer or with a good book. I also enjoy travelling within the United States although that is sometimes limited with my schedule. I enjoy going on road trips and seeing cool parts of this country.
The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines
What’s a typical day of training look like?
7:30: Wake up and enjoy my coffee
8:15: Drive to the ski jumps
9:00-11:00: Ski jumping
11:00-1:00: A combination of eating, napping, or just relaxing
1:00-4:00: A couple hours of endurance training whether that is on a bike, skis, rollerskis, running, etc.
Then the rest of the day is just more eating and probably some hanging out with friends. That is important.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Hmmmm, I think a lot of people would be surprised that I write. Also I have some world renowned dance moves not many people know about.
Any pre-competition rituals?
I always eat oatmeal before a race. Besides that I really don’t treat competition any different than practice. I try to keep things pretty light and joke around a bit with my coaches and teammates.
Favourite movie and tv series?
Favorite Movies: All the Lord of the Ring movies!
Favorite TV series: Californication, Friday Night Lights, How I Met Your Mother, The Office.
Training fuel (food/drink)?
OATMEAL, PEANUT BUTTER, BANANAS. That is the staple of my diet. I also consume a ton of eggs and veggies. I try to stay away from too much processed bars, gels and drink mixes. I’m a big believer in feeding my body real untouched food.
Result you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of jumping to second place at the World Cup in Chaux Neuve, France last season. That was a really big milestone for myself. Just to help me understand how talented I am on a good day.
Anyone you would like to thank?
All my sponsors. Honey Stinger, Sport 2000, Atomic, Julbo, Rudy Project, Steamboat Resort, One Way.
Definitely want to thank my parents for always pushing me to go as far as I can with my passions. Last but not least my coaches for keeping me on track and believing I can accomplish all my goals someday.