Jeremy Bloom trying to put World Cup champion back together
SQUAW VALLEY ” Two-time Olympian and former NFL player Jeremy Bloom was introduced as “the guy every man wants to be, and the man every woman wants” prior to his two runs Friday at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships.
But Bloom has hardly been a superstar in 2009. It has been a transition season for the former World Cup champion from Loveland, Colo., as he tries to resurrect a once-spectacular skiing career. After ending a three-year attempt to forge an NFL career last fall, Bloom has rejoined the U.S. Ski Team. His first year back has, however, been more like his teen years as he was limited in his World Cup starts and didn’t compete in the World Championships.
“I’ve enjoyed this year, and I’m so focused on getting through this progression, guiding myself back after three years of playing football,” the 26-year-old Bloom said. “I’m really happy where I’m at.”
Bloom showed flashes of his past skill set by leading qualifying in the men’s single moguls Friday.
“There were a lot of mistakes in it,” said Bloom, critiquing his first run. “I started my 720 ” my top jump ” a little early, then my D-spin I just drifted a little bit to the right. My speed, I’ve been happy with. That’s one part of my skiing that’s ready.”
Bloom’s near-fall while trying to land a D-spin in the finals showed why his comeback still needs some time. He wound up 12th.
While Bloom searches for the pieces that once made him the world’s best, there is something he won’t be able to replace.
“I miss (Travis) Cabral every day,” Bloom said of his former teammate who now works for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department. “He was my boy. He is one of my best friends in the world, and it’s a whole lot different without him here.”
Bloom has stopped short of trying to talk Cabral out of retirement.
“He is enjoying being a sheriff and giving back to the Tahoe community. I’m just going to hire him as my personal cheerleader,” Bloom said.
Bloom hasn’t decided if he’ll pursue a third Olympics next year. “There are some things out of my control that are going to help dictate my decision,” Bloom said. “After the season, I’ll sit back and see what my position looks like and where my heart is and make a long-term decision.”