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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Part 2: Road to the World Championship

Arden Cogar Jr., a trial attorney from West Virginia, is a 5-time U.S. champion in the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series presented by Ram Trucks. In this second of a two-part series, Road to the World Championship, he shares his experience representing the U.S. in Lillehammer, Norway in 2012 (for a fourth time) at the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series World Championship.

This past year has been a whirlwind, and I could not have been more excited and humbled to represent the U.S. again this year in the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series World Championship in Lillehammer, Norway. Preparations for Lillehammer were intense and extremely regimented. I trained nonstop after the U.S. Championships, working on my weaker events – the springboard and single buck. Throughout the 12 weeks between the U.S. Championship and the World Championship, I set many personal records in the gym – a rarity given my age. My body was strong and my mind was in the right place.

 I knew there would be stiff competition at Olympic Park in Lillehammer with more than 100 lumberjacks from 24 countries competing. The competition in Europe is improving each year, and Jason Wynyard (New Zealand), the 2011 champion, is always on his game.

But I knew my biggest obstacle in competing at the World Championship would be myself. Normally, I have my wife with me to keep me grounded and focused. However, she was halfway around the world at the Royal Adelaide Show in Adelaide, Australia as a representative of the United States National Lumberjill Team. I’m so proud of her for being selected for the team, but I missed her in Lillehammer.

I did have a great support system though. I stayed with my fellow teammates (Matthew Cogar, Warrick Hallett, Dave Jewett and Branden Sirguy), along with Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for STIHL Inc., throughout the event.

The training paid off, as I ultimately achieved my best ever finish as fourth in the world; Jason Wynyard took the world championship title, again. And the U.S. team achieved a best-ever second place win. I was really proud of Team USA’s achievement.

I also enjoyed having our U.S. Collegiate Champion Tim Benedict with us, as well. I think his presence on the big stage at this international event as part of the international rookie team completely validates STIHL’s efforts to grow the sport and our future USA athletes through the collegiate series. I think Tim had a great time and learned a lot. You can catch a behind the scenes video interview with Tim on the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Facebook Page.

For me, there is no higher honor than representing your country at an international event. I am humbled by the opportunity and plan to be back again next year, continuously improving my performance with the goal of a podium finish.