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Michael Ward was bred to be a competitor. The son of an Olympian, Ward grew up in the Rocky Mountains and spent four years with the Steamboat Springs Sports Club. It should come as no surprise that Ward burst onto the scene in 2012 and earned an invite to the U.S. Nordic Combined Team.

He scored points in five Continental Cups and finished ninth at Junior World Championships in 2012. Ward followed up his inaugural season with his first-ever podium at a Continental Cup, finishing second at the Park City/Soldier Hollow event in late 2012.

Ward is part of a rising contingent of nordic combined athletes looking to duplicate the success of the historic team that stormed Vancouver in 2010. Along with Adam Loomis and Erik Lynch, Ward represents the future of nordic combined in the U.S.—a future that wants to start making waves in 2014 in Sochi.

The winter started out with a bang: my first-ever podium finish—second in the Continental Cup competition in Park City. I was hoping to build on that great, early-season result. However, I ended up struggling the rest of the season and not skiing to my full potential. And, in the sport of nordic combined, when you don’t have a good jump, it is hard to have a strong finish no matter how fast you ski a 10k race. Despite my poor results, I still had a lot of fun and learned a great deal in my first season as a member of the U.S. Ski Team.

For me, the season was not what I expected or wanted. I have already put the year behind me and am looking forward to training even harder for next year. I have to say that even with the struggles, I am still so proud to be representing Aspen as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. I am thankful for the support of my coaches, the National Nordic Foundation, and friends and family back home. Next year the Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia, and one of my goals is to make that Olympic team. With that in mind, I plan to train harder and smarter than ever for the next nine months.

Like most resort kids, Ward’s parents (his father Craig was an Olympian with the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team in the ‘80s) had him on cross country skis at age two and in the local AVSC program by six. At nine years old he started nordic combined, jumping in Aspen through his freshman year in high school. Without a big enough ski jump in Aspen, he moved to Steamboat Springs for nordic-combined-specific coaching and jump training. A few years later his career took off.

Much like his teammates, Ward is a big fan of outdoor recreation – hiking, climbing, rafting, camping and more. “It’s a necessary part of my life to take time to do something besides training. It helps keep my mind off of all the training and I guess you could say keeps me sane.”



2nd, Gunderson NH, Park City/Soldier Hollow, UT, first podium, 2013
Five point-scoring events in Continental Cup in 2012

Three-time Junior World Team member (2010, 2011, 2012)
9th, Junior World Championships, Erzurum, TUR, top U.S. finisher and best U.S. finish in 10 years, 2012