Olympic Heavy Medal Tour to visit U.S. military bases in Southwest Asia
Washington, D.C. – The 2010 U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Team takes the helm of the Armed Forces Entertainment (www.armedforcesentertainment.com) “Olympic Heavy Medal Tour,” bringing for the very first time, four Olympic medalists and their Olympic hardware on a special tour to visit troops stationed at U.S. military installations around the globe.
“As these Olympians will tell you, there is an enormous sense of pride in representing your country at the Olympic Games,” said USAF Colonel Ed Shock, Chief of Armed Forces Entertainment. “That same sense of pride is what drives the troops of the United States daily, and to bring these two teams together will be a real treat.”
U.S. Team ended an 86-year U.S. Olympic medal drought in the sport of Nordic combined (a sport combining ski jumping and cross-country skiing) at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games when they captured medals in each of the Nordic combined events contested at the games. As the first reigning Olympic medalists to visit troops this season, the team will end another drought when Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY), Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO), Brett Camerota (Park City, UT) and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) place their combined seven Olympic gold and silver medals around the necks of U.S. soldiers during this special tour.
“We’re blessed to have the opportunity to compete on the world’s largest sporting stage and return home from the 2010 Winter Olympics with a heavy medal load,” said Johnny Spillane, four-time Olympian, World Champion and three-time Olympic silver medalist. “Now it’s time to show the world who the true HEROES are!”
Following the F.I.S. Nordic Combined World Cup Finals in Oslo, Norway, March 12-14, the U.S. Nordic Combined Team will return to their hometowns briefly, before re-deploying as members of Armed Forces Entertainment’s inaugural “Olympic Heavy Medal Tour.”
“We’re bringing more than 35 pounds of gold and silver in the form of Olympic medals on this tour,” commented four-time Olympian, World Champion and Olympic gold and silver medalist, Bill Demong. “We’re not coming home until we’ve met thousands of soldiers and crowned them the true gold medalists.”
One of the biggest stories at the 2010 Olympics was the performance by the U.S. Nordic Combined athletes. Spillane started the two weeks of historic results off with the U.S.’s first-ever Olympic Nordic Combined medal, winning silver in the Normal Hill Combined event. Spillane was then joined by teammates Demong, Camerota and veteran Lodwick for the team competition where they came away with a silver medal. Demong and Spillane then capped off the historic Olympic fortnight with a gold-silver finish in the Large Hill Combined competition.
“Our goal is to see how many soldiers we can crown champions by placing our medals around their necks,” says five-time Olympian, two-time World Champion and Olympic silver medalist, Todd Lodwick.
“While the guys are away, rest assured all of us at the U.S. Ski Team are going to be wearing yellow ribbons till they come home and beyond,” said U.S. Ski Team Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett about his athletes’ commitment to the troops and the U.S. Ski Team’s support of their efforts.
The team is scheduled for an early-April departure on a worldwide tour of U.S. armed forces bases led by trip leader Rob Powers, founder of The Warrior Tours (www.thewarriortours.com) and a 2nd Lt. U.S. Army (Ret). Powers, a veteran of the Armed Forces Sports Program, is a former national and Olympic team ski coach. Joining Powers on the group will be a videographer and photographer documenting the trip.
Troops can expect personal interaction with the athletes, the ability to inspect the Olympic medals and opportunities to ask questions of their favorite Nordic Combined heroes. In addition, Under Armour will provide performance apparel as part of the Armed Forces Entertainment “Olympic Heavy Medal Tour.”