I have to give it up one more time for the athletes repping in the US Nordic Combined events. Before this Olympics, the United States had never medaled in a Nordic Combined event. At the end of this Olympics, we walk away with 4 medals in the sport. Job well done to Brett Camerota, Todd Lodwick, Johnny Spillane and Billy Demong (seen standing left to right in the picture above). I really enjoyed watching them race these past two weeks. They were really exicting finishes!
Their success started with Spillane taking silver in the Men's Indiviudal Normal Hill 10 K XC event last weekend. Then all four skiers took home silver in the Team Combined Event earlier this week. Lastly, Demong and Spillane gave the United States the gold and silver medals in the men’s Individual Long-Hill, 10K event a few days later. Their success getting to the podium in a sport where we have no previous Olympic medals, helped this be the most-winning Winter Olympics ever for the United States.
Even though the last race is not necessarily a team event, The United States secured its victory by having its two skiers work together strategically. They made sure to share the lead and not let any of the trailing skiers make it back up to the front group. The members of the team have been fighting the good fight and training unbelievably hard for more than a decade in an attempt to get to the podium. These particular athletes have been to the Games many times before and came away empty-handed. Their success is one of my favorite stories of this Olympics. Spillane managed a silver medal in all three events. An amazing accomplishment!
Extra congrats to Bill Demong, who on top of being the first American to win a gold medal in Nordic combined, and being chosen as the flag bearer for the US Team during the closing ceremony. also got engaged to his long-time girlfriend and former Olympian Katie Koczynski. What a great Olympics that dude is having! Here's to those two having a bunch of kids who wind up being future winter Olympians. The genetics couldn't be better suited for it. Go Team USA: The Next Generation!