Bukovel Gold + World # 2

Posted: February 26, 2013 by davomorris in Bukovel, World Cup

Long story short – I won my first World Cup and in doing so bumped myself up to 2nd overall in the World to finish of the season.


Bukovel – Ukraine, was never on the cards for our team as it was planned that we’d train for World Championships in Ruka

Finland leading up to the event. Yet after some discussion with my coach we decided that after Sochi, if I had a chance at holding a top 5 position I would go to the Ukraine. It was an amazing jump site and beautiful place to be much to everyone’s surprise, I went only with my top coach Eli, and would be coached by the Swiss coach Mich Roth for the week.

Despite my skis not arriving until a day later I stuck to the same schedule as I would any other week, two days training and keeping the jumps to a minimum to conserve my energy. It played out normally being a bit average on the first day as I get used to the site, figuring it out on day two, and on comp day zoning in on everything and getting it done. I woke up that morning, and convinced myself I was going to win. The qualification round was by far the most nervous I’d ever been in a competition.
I’d put so much pressure on myself to do well because I knew that a win could put me into 2nd overall, but I had to beat a few certain people, who annoyingly for me all made the finals. My first jump was good but tentative, enough to make it through safely. I did another quad twisting triple flip to get into the top 4 and it needed to be something special and it was.

Went up high and came down softly putting me into 1st coming into the final round. I competed my hardest skill on the last jump, one I haven’t practiced for a few weeks, landed it and couldn’t believe my ears when I heard I’d won. Everything had fallen into place, at the last moment and it was truly a dream finish to the season. Maybe it was a long time coming and not a surprise to a few people, but I think the majority never saw this coming, but I knew I had it in me, and there’s still more to come. Thank you everyone for following me. Bring on World Championships!

No such thing as luck

Posted: February 20, 2013 by davomorris in Deer Valley, Park City, Sochi, World Cup

The last three weeks or so have had a good share of ups and downs, most ups which is always nice but also a reminder that I have plenty to work on.

Coming down from a huge high in Lake Placid after a podium had me buzzing for the Deer Valley World Cup, which is by far my favourite event to compete in for the whole year
with lots of friends there, large crowds and a great atmosphere. Training was pretty ordinary for me, I was struggling to land and felt a little more pressure than normal performing in front of people that I know. I lost my training momentum for a day and was having stomach issues which didn’t help either. I needed a little pep-talk from my coach who reminded me it wasn’t “luck” that I’d done so well and landed every qualifying jump this year. And with that I went into the competition ready to take everyone out and win it. Not be to unfortunately, despite landing a very big jump, the judges didn’t like it and I wasn’t the only one who was surprised when I didn’t make the finals. But it was a good reminder to me that I still have much to work on and not to get too carried away with good results because the judging is out of my control.
A week off relaxing in Park City and then a long flight to Sochi for the Olympic test event. There’s a lot of work to be done in Sochi to be ready for the games but the progress is showing and it will be amazing I believe.

The site was great, the weather was not, constantly changing every day, sunny and hot, a bit colder and raining, snow and then more rain. Everyone possible was done to maintain it and despite a severe lack of training and average jumping on my behalf, on the night the site was ready, and again I managed to pull off one of my best jumps in qualifications to put me through in 2nd position.
My finals jump was less successful despite being excellent in the air, the soft snow on landing had me tumbling down the hill when I thought I’d landed it with no issues. I finished in 8th, a good result none the less, but I was disappointed not to be able to go further given my parents had come to watch.
With one World Cup to go in the Ukraine, I’m currently ranked 4th in the world and plan on nudging it a little higher.

Sochi training and competition.

Amazing weekend

Posted: January 21, 2013 by davomorris in Lake Placid

The double event in Lake Placid this week turned out to be the most successful few days of my career to date. Training was pretty rough for me and not overly amazing, not really boosting my confidence for the competitions but on day one I was pumped up and ready to go. Training was very short and I didn’t get to practice all the jumps I wanted to before competing. As a result I was a little shaky in the qualification round and my quadruple twisting triple flip wasn’t very good. I scored enough for 12th which is the last position into finals and had to wait for another 15 jumpers to go and hope I held my spot.  I brought all my things down from the hill convinced my day was over but somehow stayed in 12th, and was gifted with another chance to make the most of the day. I most certainly took that chance on the next jump, launching a huge one landing nearly perfectly and putting myself into 3rd and into my second super-final (top 4). With three Chinese competitors in the super-final I would have to do something special to avoid another 4th position and after a quick chat with my coach, we decided I would compete a different quadruple twisting triple flip, without practice and just do it as my final jump and see how we went. It was big and landed and I got myself on the World Cup podium for the first time and enjoyed every second of celebration like I’d won the gold. Redeeming myself from last into the finals, with two very high scoring jumps to upset a Chinese sweep of the podium.

After using all of my energy up the next day was competition number two, and I was definitely a lot quieter and reserved. Training was alright, and given how uncomfortable it was to ‘hope’ that I wouldn’t get knocked out of the top 12 the day before I was going to make sure I did something impressive for the first round. Skiing into the jump at 70kmph, much faster than we had anticipated I did probably the biggest jump of the whole competition stretching the entire 4 twists to the ground and somehow landed on my feet much to everyone’s surprise, and secured a 3rd place into the finals. I repeated this jump in the next round and despite some very impressive jumps from most of the competitors scored well enough to put myself into 2nd into my third consecutive super-final. The weather changed dramatically between the rounds and despite stepping up to come in faster due to heavy winds, it was not fast enough, I snuck my feet in to land my final jump but it wasn’t enough for another podium and I finished in 4th.  I was as pleased as I was disappointed but an amazing weekend and am now ranked #3 in the World.

Getting my groove back

Posted: January 13, 2013 by davomorris in China, Europa Cup, Ruka, Val St-Come

First update of the New Year and it’s a big one. My return to jumping on snow started in Ruka, Finland in November and got off to a shaky start as it has been 2 years since I jumped on snow. A few days in I got my groove back and started jumping normally with added improvements from the past summer.  In some very cold conditions I worked my way through my double flips and onto triples. They never do get easier, they’re just as scary each time, but that’s what makes it so much fun. With a Europa Cup double event a few days off I got a few triples in and on the competition day decided to do my triples twisting triple flips of the year, and competed it about 20 minutes later to place 2nd against the Swiss, Ukraine and Belarusian teams. I was pretty excited to start my season on a little high, and followed it up the next day with a 3rd place. The camp ended well despite a nasty crash that had me in the medical centre hoping not to get stitches on my face, but I was still a little behind where I needed to be to compete in the first World Cup in China 2 weeks later. A nice week at home for Christmas, and then jet setting across the seas once again. China as always was very cold but the jump site was amazing. Despite getting quite sick, in the few short days of training I got up to my hardest jumps and added my quadruple twisting triple flip to the mix and competed it the next day, sneaking my feet through to land and make the top 12 and into finals. I crashed my next jump and ended up 11th, but a fantastic start to the World Cup season with only a few jumps under my belt. A long flight to Canada and my first time jumping in Val St-Come, had me excited to be on a new site, despite flat light and foggy conditions, training went very well, and I woke up on competition day feeling like something big was going to happen. I landed my quad twist and qualified 4th into the semifinals, landed it again and qualified 2nd into the super finals (top 4), the first time I’ve done this. Sadly I crashed my last jump and ended up 4th just missing a podium spot but being my best performance to date, and possibly my best jumps ever, I’m thrilled.

Time off

Posted: November 11, 2012 by davomorris in AIS

Time off at home is never truly time off, the last few weeks have consisted of a weights training camp at the AIS in Canberra and Jindabyne, strength and cardio testing and further workouts back home right up until the day I shall leave for Europe on the 22nd November. I was a very intense fitness camp in Canberra and I enjoyed every moment, I like working hard in an environment that is made for athletes. My body hated me at the end of each day as there was never a day off but by the end I felt a lot stronger and fitter than I’ve been in a while. We also had a few hikes through the bush, up Black Mountain and down Perisher. There was a ropes course that proved nicely challenging for everyone and the coaches designed an amazing race around Jindabyne which was a great way to get fit without being too tedious. The only thing I didn’t like was the ice baths in the lake, so cold!!! I really should get used to that given I do a winter sport… Less than two weeks now before I head to Finland to start jumping on snow, as always, I’m very nervous for the start but I usually get into it pretty quickly once I’m in the air. It’s a shorter competition season than normal which suits me nicely. Seven World Cup competitions around the World and the World Championships in Norway. I’m very confident with my skills this year, so hopefully I’ll be updating everyone with news of podiums throughout the season. The first one is in China just after New Year, I’ve always done well there so I plan to start off with something big a stamp my mark on the competition field right from the word go. Each competition this year counts towards qualifying for the 2014 Olympics, I’m in a much better position than the previous ones but I plan to easily get in, rather than leaving it to the last moment like last time.

Camp 3 & 4

Posted: September 13, 2012 by davomorris in training

Camp 3 and 4 sort of moulded into one another. In preparation for the Swiss competition I worked quickly up to my hardest skills (quadruple twisting triple flips) and had them down pretty quickly. They’re my favourite tricks to do because they’re difficult and I really have to switch on to do them. And I also like when all the spectators cheer when they see something crazy, I won’t lie. So I jetted off to Switzerland courtesy of the Swiss team, along with a US jumper and two Canadians. They housed us in a hotel and gave us a van for the time we were there. I honestly had the best time I’ve ever had, the atmosphere over there is so relaxed and enjoyable and I had the best time jumping with some boys for once, the ones good enough to really push me to be better and compete against me on a daily basis. The competition was great, I competed all of my hardest tricks, unfortunately I didn’t do so well, the judges didn’t seem to like my landings very much, but oh well what can you do. Mich the Swiss coach managed to coach his team and very kindly – also us! Here’s the video i made from Switzerland. It was hard coming back to the States after having a blast over there. I had a few days off in Switzerland then returned immediately to jumping here in Park City, continued my skill development and neatening up of the jumps I can already do. I’ve had my dad and brother come and visit separately and made them both go off the jumps. A few days ago I did a new trick for the summer which was a quintuple twisting triple flip, and we have just started our final training block before heading home. The weather is starting to cool significantly and as always with only a few days left there’s always a lot to get done. Just about ready to take it all to snow once again for the 2012-13 World Cup season.

Summer Camp #2

Posted: July 19, 2012 by davomorris in training

A nice hot sunny day to complete camp #2 for the summer, and with it a competition simulation just to put a bit of pressure on us to see how we perform. I’ve been jumping pretty well lately, making some good improvements on skills that I’ve struggled with for many years and now I’m spending more time on the double working my twisting double flips. I worked my way up to triple twisting double flips to finish the camp and next camp will start progressing onto the triple kicker for the ‘big boy’ skills.

I received an invitation the other day from the Swiss team, inviting me to attend a water ramp competition over at their water ramps. I feel very privileged to be asked to go, and the fact that they are going to pay for me to fly over there and stay for a week just to compete, really puts the icing on the cake. It should be a great competition with a number of nations flying in. It means I need to get a move on with my skills if I’m to give them a run for their money. The last big water ramp comp I attended I ended up competing a quintuple twisting, triple flip. I suspect, with the amazing jumpers who will be attending from Canada, Belarus and of the course the Swiss, that there will be some impressive skills put down.

I got some great news yesterday from home, that I have been accepted to receive an Elite Athlete Travel Grant from the Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation. Which will be very helpful in my multiple round the world flights that I will venture on during the upcoming winter season. I’m very grateful for this and look forward as always to representing Victoria and Australia during the World Cup season, which this year leads into the World Championships in Norway.

For now though a break from camp for a few days, but some sweet things to look forward to in the next month.

Back to training

Posted: June 25, 2012 by davomorris in Park City, training

I have returned back to training this year after a long break from the sport. Seven straight years of hard training finally got the best of me and I needed to walk away to let my body and mind reset itself. I managed to finally graduate my university course and now have a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Physical Education (1st Class Honours) and have been doing some emergency teaching at my old school in the time I was home. I continued coaching gymnastics and also coached tumbling for a cheerleading team. I traveled around Victoria doing motivational speaking on behalf of the VCEHelp company. Now, back in Park City, Utah once again and I’ve never been happier to be here training. We have just completed our first training camp here, where, as per usual, it has been back to basics and fixing any potential problems on the single kicker before moving onto bigger and better jumps. My coach from the Olympics is temporarily back to help out and we’ve made some improvements which will hopefully transfer to my hardest skills and make me a more consistent jumper. My body is still adjusting to the intensity of full time training again but I have spent 2 months back home in the VIS getting as fit and strong as possible, and completed the Tough Mudder obstacle course at Phillip Island, so much fun. In the upcoming camp I will be on the double kicker, working on the more simple double flips before adding on as many twists as I can. I’ve come to the point in my career where I don’t have any new skills to learn, I just need to perfect the ones I already know and make them appealing to judges. Rested body, rested mind, and a whole new me to take on the World this year, and start qualifying for Sochi 2014.

Team summer training 2011

Posted: August 27, 2011 by davomorris in Uncategorized, Videos

I took some footage during training, to give a bit of a different view on aerials, enjoy!

Jumping Updates

Posted: December 1, 2010 by davomorris in Uncategorized

Update: 1st January, 2011

Starting the New Year on a high, I bring good news from the first World Cup competitions of the year in China.

After a long flight and delayed luggage, allowing only one day of training before the competitions, I managed to put my practice from Finland into action. Landing a very nice jump on the first day and making it into the finals, but unfortunately crashing my second jump and finishing 12th.

The next day, the second competition was cancelled due to very windy conditions which thankfully subsided the follow day. I landed my first jump and once again made it into the finals in 8th position. This time I made the most of this second opportunity and put down a huge jump in the finals, to put myself into 6th, a career best for me.

Despite missing out on a real chance to podium on both days I am very happy with the outcome, and also my own performance in less than ideal conditions.

I am currently having a break from jumping over Christmas and New Year, spending my time in Europe and will fly to Montreal on the 3rd of January for the next competitions at Mt. Gabriel.

I am very excited especially for this competition as I will start to practice my new skill that I have not performed on snow yet, giving myself two – quadruple twisting triple flips, which I believe will finally give me the edge to do some damage in the competitive field and challenge the world’s best.

As previously mentioned one of my goals this year is to place in the top 10 in the World Cup tour, and after my first competitions I am ranked #8.

Update: 1st December, 2010

And so another winter begins, bring on the 2010-2011 season.

After a good 2 months back in Australia resting from the summer training, it is time to put all of the practice into action. Although it wasn’t all rest, given we had a 3 week strength and conditioning camp at the AIS in Canberra. I really enjoyed this because I could work so hard that I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day, and not have to worry about launching myself off any jumps.

And now, thanks to a good 37 hours straight of travelling I have arrived in Ruka, Finland. The same place we trained last year, freezing cold, not much sun, but a sweet jump site and only a few people using it. I leave for China on the 11th for the first World Cup competitions, but I am in no hurry this year to rush into things, we started on the basics, (double flips with twists) and tomorrow will be moving on to triple flips.

This year I’m decked out in my new gear ready to show everyone whose boss, a big thanks to XTM for the thermal gear, especially my heater socks and Oakley for my sweet jumping glasses that everyone wants.

Training has gone very well so far and I’m landing pretty much all of my jumps, I take pride in my ability to land well and plan for this to continue through the World Cups and leading into the World Championships in Deer Valley, Utah, in February.

This year I have the tricks to be a highly competitive aerialist and as always will just to the best of my ability and hope that it’s enough when it counts.

My goals this season are to make the finals at the World Championships and place highly, as well as finish in the top 10 in the World Cup tour this year, I finished 15th last year, being my first World Cup season.

Right now is the calm before the storm, and within the next 2 weeks everything will get into gear and it will be a competition pretty much every week until the end of February, so wish me luck.

Update: 15th September, 2010

With only two weeks to go before the end of my summer training in Park City I am flying into the home stretch. Careful planning from my coach has put us exactly where we need to be going into the winter season with time to spare. I’ve spent the last month learning new skills, and can now boast three different ‘quadruple twisting triple flips’ under my belt. It is not my plan to have to compete some of the skills I can now do, but if the opportunity arises where I could podium at a major event then I will bring out the bag of tricks. I am extremely happy with where I am at the moment in my training and although it has been a long summer, it has proven highly productive.

Many athletes are taking a year off and toning down the training following the Olympics, and I plan to take advantage of that this year. I plan to come out fighting hard and show the World Cup circuit that I deserved to make the finals at the Olympics and that it wasn’t at all just luck that I was there. I predict that I will be turning a few heads this year as all of the basic skill work has dramatically improved my jumping to the point where people will have to perform very well to beat me.

Thanks to great fitness and strength training, as well as frequent physiotherapy provided for me I have managed to stay uninjured throughout the summer and as a result have been able to keep the intensity up right until the end. This includes around 2,395 flips so far, and 127,745 stairs that I’ve walked up to do my jumps.

Unfortunately I won’t get much time at home because we are attending a fitness camp a week after coming back to Australia and soon after heading to Finland to begin winter training for what I can only imagine to be an exciting World Cup season. Attached in the next email is a short video of the different jumps that I have done this summer. You will see why I am confident going into this winter season and I hope to perform to a better standard than the year before as I have always done.

Update: 2nd August, 2010

Coming to the end of our third jumping camp for the summer, with two more to go, my training has been very successful. My coach has decided to stick to a slow plan, progressing only once we have achieved what we wanted on the basics, and letting the skills transfer to the bigger tricks.

This is the first year I have had the time to work on perfecting my skills, as the Olympics are over and I have 4 years to build on what I have already, instead of starting as a beginner.

In the last two camps I have been working on double flips with up to four twists, and used the groundwork from this to move up to triple flips with three twists. Although these aren’t the hardest skills I have done, they are an improvement on what I have been able to do in the last few years, and with the World Championships coming up in January, I plan to be up there with the best in the world, as a medal contender.

The camp was topped off by an FIS water ramping competition that involved most of the Australian, US, and UK aerial teams, battling it out in a head to head knockout competition. I competed against 3 Olympians from the US team (two, ranked higher than I am), and through my good basics training from the last 3 camps, I was able to execute a new skill that I have never tried before, and when a big score was needed, I managed to put it to my feet to take the win.

1st Place 2010 Water Ramp contest

A good reminder of why proper training is so important, and a nice new pair of skis for first prize is pretty sweet as well!

I look forward to increasing my degree of difficulty in skills the next two camps and finishing off the summer training ready to do some damage in the World Cup tour this year.

Update: 26th June, 2010

After a three month break from Aerials after the Vancouver Olympics, and a semester of hard work back at university, I have travelled back overseas to the USA to begin the four year cycle towards the next Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Unfortunately I will have to defer the final part of this semester at university as I will just not be around to complete the practical teaching classes. I hope that next year I will get a long enough break to finally be able to complete my teaching degree.

Our first camp has just been completed. I have spent a month back on the basics, working on perfecting the skills leading up to the bigger and harder moves. I have been practicing straight back flips and a few twists – which seem simple, but it is important to overcome any bad habits that might have found their way into my technique. I have also been doing trampoline routines and, of course, I am back in the gym getting ever stronger to ensure a safe and injury free season.

Park City Summer 2010

Currently I am the only member of our World Cup team jumping this year and I hope to represent Australia strongly in all competitions in the upcoming (2010/11) winter season.

My aim for this (Northern hemisphere) summer is to perfect the tricks that I can already do – given that I rushed up to them to make the last Olympics! The short term goal is to be at my best for January 2011, when the World Championship will be held here in Utah. I would like to contend for a medal and put down a solid performance.

Moving in to our second camp I will move onto the double kicker to work on double flips with twists. I have a new coach this year and look forward to new ideas and a different approach in order to help me progress to becoming the best in the world.