In July of 2014, after lots of lingering shoulder pain, I got an MRI, which indicated that I had a tear in my labrum. I sat down with my coaches and our teams athletic trainer to discuss how to move forward – surgery or rehab. I remember my coach, Todd, saying that it might make sense to have surgery in February and skip out on the last three World Cups if I was not in the running for the overall World Cup title. I kind of laughed at him.
I laughed at him because I thought winning the overall title was beyond an unrealistic goal for the season. How was I going to beat the Chinese all winter long? I can honestly admit that I’ve never been so happy to be wrong. Winning the overall World Cup title was, without a doubt, the highlight of my season. I have dreamed of being the best in the world since 2008, when I first got into this sport.
My own successes were extremely fulfilling; I routinely beat personal bests and continued to achieve lifelong goals. I reached the podium at every World Cup event, including two wins, two seconds and one third. Though, there are so many other notable moments from this past winter; it was the best season of my life for more reasons than you’d think.
Moments like this are really what made this winter the best season imaginable. My teammates and I had more fun than we could have possibly imagined….I think that is pretty evident from the photo! No matter where we went, how well we did, or how sick one of us got, all eight of us still managed to have more fun than anyone else.
I think the team environment we’ve established is a true testament to our successes. I mean, after all, we are the best team in the world. As a team, we collected 4 out of 5 pieces of crystal at World Cup Finals in Belarus – two overall titles, the men’s rookie of the year, and most importantly, the Nations cup.
Claiming the Nations cup was the icing on the cake. The time and energy our coaches put into our careers is something that often times gets no reward. Of course, they take tremendous pride in our individual results, but there is no trophy for them. The Nations cup is 100% theirs. They have created the best aerial team in the world, and I’m extremely proud to be a part of it.