Late last month, Billy Demong spoke on behalf of his sport at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation trustees’ annual meeting. What came out of it was 15 Gold Passes, valued at $10,000 apiece, which U.S. Nordic Combined is currently trying to sell to help pay for its 2014/2015 season.
Back in April, July 31 seemed like dark cloud looming in the distance. But it wasn’t that far off, and fortunately for U.S. Nordic Combined, it wasn’t all that dreary. “Things are moving forward for sure, and it’s a little bit more hopeful than in April,” head coach Dave Jarrett says, explaining that he kept his job and hopes to have two other coaches and two wax techs help him this season.
U.S. Nordic Combined’s Bryan Fletcher was recently one of three new athlete representatives selected to the USSA Board of Directors. “For me the biggest thing that came out of congress was just knowledge of the positive development in our sport,” he explains, adding that his sport’s organizational structure is progressing forward each day.
U.S. Biathlon CEO Max Cobb says that it took four or five years for his organization to get on its feet after splitting from modern pentathlon in 1980 — but that whatever route U.S. Nordic Combined takes, the good news for them is that they have proven success and that direct fundraising tools have entered a whole new realm in the past few years.
In three Olympic competitions in Sochi, U.S. Nordic Combined didn’t end up with the fairy tale some had come to expect after the 2010 Vancouver Games. But with icons in Billy Demong and Todd Lodwick likely in their last Olympics, the story was more about the team closing one book and opening another.
From seven years of chemotherapy and a treatment-induced stroke, to being nominated to his first Olympic Team, Bryan Fletcher has overcome the odds to be one of the best athletes in the world. He will be joined by his brother, Taylor, in Sochi to partake in the quest to reach Olympic greatness and achieve their ultimate goal: an Olympic medal.
One last video from the final day of the Seefeld Triple on Sunday, with thoughts from U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett, Bryan Fletcher, who notched a season-best fifth overall, and Billy Demong, who skied the third-fastest time to end up 11th in the first cumulative event of its kind in nordic combined.
A broken pole couldn’t keep Billy Demong from skiing to his best result of the season in eighth on the first day of the Nordic Combined World Cup Triple, and he talks all about it on camera after Friday’s individual jump and 5-kilometer prologue. Teammate Bryan Fletcher led the U.S. Nordic Combined team in sixth, also a season best.
Todd Lodwick crashed Friday during the provisional round at a World Cup event in Chaux Neuve, France, and injured his shoulder. Lodwick, who recently qualified to compete in his sixth Olympic Winter Games next month in Sochi, Russia, now heads back to Park City, Utah where he will get further evaluation and begin rehab on his shoulder with the goal of being ready to compete next month.