Storied Career Includes a Historic King's Cup Victory
After an incredible 159 World Cup starts, U.S. Nordic-combined athlete Bryan Fletcher announced his retirement from competition following a seventh-place finish at Trondheim, Norway. “I’m very happy,” Fletcher said, following his final World Cup competition. “This was the perfect way to end the day and end the career. Today, I was able to fight for the podium. I didn’t quite have the legs I was hoping for at the end, but, all in all, I’m not disappointed whatsoever.”
Fletcher has been a member of the U.S. Nordic-combined team since 2006, and has long established himself as one of the best combined skiers in the world.
He took up the sport of ski jumping as a distraction from a childhood diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He leaves the sport following an impressive career that includes 27 Individual World Cup top-10’s, multiple Continental Cup podiums and a win at the historic King’s Cup at the Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway, the biggest World Cup event of the season.
Fletcher grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colo., aka Ski Town USA, home to the historic Howelsen Hill ski-jumping venue. He was skiing by the time he was three years old. His father took him up the mountain almost every day. He started jumping at four, cross-country at six, and his future as a combined skier was pretty much set, despite having to overcome childhood cancer.
“The doctors didn’t want me to jump, but I loved it,” he said. “My parents wanted me to be happy, so I started and I’ve stuck with it.”
In recent years, Fletcher co-founded a charity called ccthrive to help childhood cancer survivors thrive after treatment. He co-founded the organization with Gavin Shamis, a young cancer survivor who overcame his own battles and is now a member of the USA Luge Junior National development team and training for the 2022 Olympics.
Fletcher, a two-time U.S. National champion in 2015 and 2016, competed in two Olympic Winter Games, including this year in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he placed 17th in both Individual races. In Pyeongchang, Fletcher competed alongside his brother, Taylor, who is known as one of the country’s best cross-country skiers.
Fletcher said that he intends to focus on school and family and plans to finish school as soon as possible. He lives in Park City, Utah with his wife, Nikki, and daughter, Ellery.
Bryan Fletcher earned 27 Individual World Cup top-10's and a win at the historic King's Cup at the Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway in 2012.