Coming off their strong performance in Vancouver, Olympic medalists Billy Demong, Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick and Brett Camerota are set to lead the charge for the newly announced 2011 U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team.
“The return of our four Olympic medalists is impactful not only to our Team, but to our future,” said U.S. Nordic Program Director John Farra. “It is wonderful to have our three World Champions, Johnny, Billy and Todd make a continued commitment to the sport and set their sights on more World Championship and Olympic medals and to serve as role models for our young future stars.”
Three athletes were named to the A Team, and six to the B Team. In total, six of the athletes named to the team are Olympians.
“We are psyched to have everyone returning for this coming year. Our goals and sights are squarely set on the World Championships in Oslo,” U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett said.
It was at Vancouver this year where the team really showed its talent, as the 2003 World Champion Spillane broke the drought for his team when, out of the starting gate, he snatched the silver medal during the first Nordic combined event of the Olympics.
Picking up on the team’s momentum, and not wanting to leave any unfinished business in Vancouver, Demong charged the final individual Nordic combined event of the Games to take gold, a historic first for the U.S.
Returning to the sport after two years of retirement with the explicit goal of winning an Olympic medal, Lodwick was able to complete his journey in 2010 as both he and Camerota played pivotal roles in the team Nordic combined event, which earned the U.S. another silver medal. Lodwick will be back to defend his world title in Oslo this February.
The U.S. Nordic Combined Team’s training season is already underway as athletes flock to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s home, the Center of Excellence in Park City.
The DKB FIS Nordic Combined World Cup will open Nov. 26 in Kuusamo, Finland. But the primary focus of the season will be the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships at the fabled Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway Feb. 24-March 6 where both Lodwick and Demong will defend their 2009 world crowns.
2011 U.S. NORDIC COMBINED SKI TEAM
(including date of birth, hometown and club program; * indicates Olympian):
Billy Demong (3/29/80; Vermontville, NY; New York Ski Education Foundation)*
Todd Lodwick (11/21/76; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)*
Johnny Spillane (11/24/80; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)*
Brett Camerota (1/9/85; Park City, UT; National Sports Foundation)*
Eric Camerota (1/9/85; Park City, UT; National Sports Foundation)*
Brett Denney (2/26/90; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Bryan Fletcher (6/27/86; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
Taylor Fletcher (5/11/90; Steamboat Springs, CO; Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)*
Nick Hendrickson (6/20/91; Park City, UT; Park City Nordic Ski Club)