Tuesday Feb 23 wasn’t the best day for the American alpine skiers, but the Nordic Combined Team produced an amazing performance and came away with an Olympic silver medal. U.S. Ski Team athletes Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick, Brett Camerota and Billy Demong all stepped onto the podium last night at the awards ceremony to collect their hardware.
Lodwick held something else while up on the stage, too–the late Paul Robbins’ trademark Scottish beret. In fact, just after the U.S. Team notched their silver at the Whistler Olympic Park, Lodwick told Robbins’ son DC that he felt Robbins there with him.
The lauded ski journalist was a fixture at Nordic events especially, and would surely have been there in person if he could. Paul Robbins had been the most noted Nordic sports writer for the past 30 years. He died two years ago from a heart attack.
To honor him, several friends including Tom Kelly, VP of Communications at USSA and Luke Bodensteiner, former cross country skier and current VP of USSA Athletics gathered after the Nordic Team event and found a quiet , tree-lined spot overlooking the toughest part of the cross country track where they buried Robbins’ ashes. Son DC and long-time friend, NBC correspondant Peter Graves said some words about Paul before everyone took turns covering the ashes with snow.
“Gravy (Peter Graves) said back in ’97 that they (he and Paul) made a promise that one or the other would bring the ashes back to the Olympics if they couldn’t be there,” DC said. “Gravy said he was making good on the promise.”