Another Medal in Sight, U.S. Sits Second for Nordic Combined Relay,

Nathaniel HerzFebruary 23, 201010
Todd Lodwick (USA) after a strong showing in the jumping round of today's nordic combined team competition

After being selected as the fourth member of the U.S. nordic combined team’s relay squad, the pressure was all on Brett Camerota’s shoulders this morning as he took to the top of the jump.

He didn’t disappoint, coming through with his best-ever leap on the big hill here in Whistler and setting up the Americans for another podium finish this afternoon, after Johnny Spillane’s silver last week. The team will start the 4×5 k relay in second place, just two seconds behind Finland, with rival Austria nearly 35 seconds behind. Japan, France, Germany and Norway are also all within striking distance.

“That was my furthest jump, and it was in competition…so I’m very happy,” Camerota said. “A lot of pressure, since I’m the fourth guy. We all want this medal so bad, and they’ve been trying so long to get it.”

Billy Demong (USA) takes a minor spill after his jump this morning

With three world-class skiers in Billy Demong, Johnny Spillane, and Todd Lodwick, the team will again be relying on Camerota to come up big. The 25-year-old has upped his skiing over the last year, and if he can hold on for his leg, the U.S. should have no problems contending for the podium–even a gold.

The order of the Americans in the relay could have a big impact on the outcome of the race, and the team has not yet determined who will ski each leg. Look for a start list or an update on the Olympics blog.

Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.

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  • skierout

    February 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Now THIS is thrilling.

  • deanerbeano

    February 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    clutch! dig deep and make history guys!

  • lsiebert

    February 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    That was the second time this week that an opponent on a pair of super fast skis have gone past Team USA coming down the final hill into the stadium and cost them a gold medal.

  • deanerbeano

    February 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Great race! Billy fought hard to to reel in the austrian and made a ballsy move on the last hill. The other guy hung tough, drafted and then did a slingshot into the final sprint, I wouldn’t say that was the skis. Both teams skied like they meant it. First nordic relay medal ever for the US!

  • lsiebert

    February 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    It was pretty clear throughout the last leg that he could glide away from Demong, at least it looked that way to me. Not necessarily bad skis, but it did seem like the Austrians had particularly good skis, just like Lamy Chappuis did in the Normal Hill comp.

  • dougo

    February 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    How Cool is That! However I feel a little guilty because I was so hoping for gold…Congrats to all what an amazing effort…USA!

  • GRR

    February 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Are you kidding me? Isiebert please get a life! When you see a rainbow, you must talk about the rain. When you hit the lottery you can’t get over the taxes. Everyone that has ever seen a finish line dreams of crossing it on a single day in the Olympics. The athletes, staff, techs, sponsors, moms, dads, groomers, administators, friends, and fans. I’ve got a little news flash for you, these four skiers did it. As did their support staff. They spent a lifetime getting ready for moments like this. Let’s celebrate the amazing feat that they did! They are Awesome! Let’s give them a pat on the back! Thanks boys for making me proud to have helped you a little on the journey!!! And thank you for giving my kids some heros to look up too!

  • lsiebert

    February 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I’m not hating on the four guys who put themselves all in and won an Olympic medal. I’m saying that they had better within their grasp, and for whatever reason they couldn’t get it.

  • nordic_dave

    February 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm


  • Jens2010

    February 27, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Isiebert is absolutely right. Billy, Johnny, and Todd were the strongest skiers at these games.They were unbelievable and should be incredibly proud of what they accomplished. ANY team should be proud of four Nordic Combined medals in one Olympics. But it doesn’t change the fact that their skis were slow in the first two races. It was painful to watch them hammer on the uphills and get passed on the downhills in the first two races. I have no doubt in my mind that the US could have swept the Golds in Nordic Combined with average skis on those first two days. Though it appeared that the techs had it right on the final day. Not an easy task, especially for an underpaid, under-maned staff. A hugely successful Olympics none-the-less. But our guys performed EVEN BETTER than what the results showed.

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