WHISTLER, BC – As the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver draw near, the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team has taken to the venue where it will reach for the gold just over a year from now, competing in two World Cup events this weekend.
“These Olympic test competitions are going to be a great chance for our nordic combined team to be tested on the ski jumps just 13 months before the first 2010 events kick off,” U.S. Nordic Program Director John Farra said. “We are excited to see our top three contenders go to battle at the venue”
The U.S. Nordic Combined “Dream Team,” which includes Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO), will be on hand to take advantage of the jump time.
“We’re really excited about having a competition here. Every jump and every opportunity to ski and jump here is like gold,” Farra said. “We’re happy to be here. It’s a great place and we’re psyched.”
Also compeying in Whistler will be Brett Camerota (Park City, UT) who scored World Cup points last weekend.
While he is eager to gain some more experience at the Olympic venue, Demong is just happy to be somewhat close to home.
“We’ve been here before so it isn’t new. But, there is a little bit of added excitement because it is the first major competition that any of us are doing at the Olympic venue,” Demong said. “More than anything I am excited to be back in North America, eat the food I am used to and jump some cool hills at a great venue.”
According to Demong, the weather and scenery make having a World Cup in Whistler great, but being able to walk away from the Olympic terrain with a World Cup win under his belt would better.
“Right now the sunshine is nice. It’s beautiful out and the mountains are gorgeous. It is also as close to home as we’ll be in a World Cup this year, not only in distance, but in culture,” Demong said. “It’s good preparation to be here and have some World Cups, but having good results would be even better.”
For now, though, Demong is focused on the overall experience of the weekend.
“I’m psyched. The hill felt great today, the weather looks good for the weekend and it’s going to be fun no matter what,” Demong said.
The nordic combined World Cup in Whistler starts Friday and runs through Saturday.