Norge member, Olympian enjoys return to home club
FOX RIVER GROVE – Michael Glasder’s “homecoming” at the 2019 Norge Ski Club International Winter Tournament lived up to its expectations.
“It was pretty exciting. It was an amazing crowd today,” said Glasder, 29, who grew up in Cary. “I haven’t been able to come out here and experience that for about five years. I had an amazing time, and the fans are so supportive. It’s the best thing in the world … besides the Olympics, of course.”
A year ago, Glasder and Norge Ski Club teammates Kevin Bickner and Casey Larson were in Europe competing and preparing to represent Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. International competitions, as his career progressed, had kept him from his home tournament since 2014.
On Sunday, Glasder finished second in the Five Hills U.S. Cup Division with 244.1 points to Team Slovenia’s Nik Fabijan (250.8). Team Norway’s Morgen Madsen (239.9) was third.
Glasder’s competitive year has been altered by a concussion in the summer, but he is back now and felt energized by the local crowd.
“My two competition jumps were probably the best jumps I’ve had this winter because I’ve had limited jumps due to some injuries,” Glasder said. “I feel like I’m back on the right path and super excited to get back competing internationally again.”
Glasder will compete in Wisconsin next weekend and in Iron Mountain, Michigan, the weekend after that at an international event hosted by Team USA. Bickner and Larson are in Europe competing in tournaments.
Glasder is not in top competition form because of the time off and will not go to Europe this year. He is aiming for another Olympics shot in 2022.
“That’s the plan right now,” he said. “I haven’t made up my mind one way or the other, but I’m still training hard and recovering, so I hope for the best for the future.”
Fabijan nudged Glasder on their two jumps, which are judged both for distance and form, then added together. Fabijan also won the longest-standing jump for the second consecutive year. That competition comes at the end of the day when jumpers can take off from any spot they choose on the tower.
Fabijan moved back one gate (one meter higher) for his takeoff and landed at 83 meters. Steamboat Springs’ Erik Belshaw was second at 821/2 meters. The longest-standing jump carries a cash prize from crowd donations.
“I did a perfect jump on the longest-standing,” Fabijan said. “I was in the air and felt like a bird. I had fun there. It’s more speed, so it’s easier. That’s a fun thing. It’s cool.”
Norge’s Ben Kaiser won the Senior Male division (230.7) and Norge’s Mollie Immens was second in U.S. Cup Female division (186.9).