Bryan Fletcher

Sto­ried Ca­reer In­cludes a His­toric King's Cup Vic­tory

SkiTrax - - Contents - by Ron John­son

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.

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