Sochi will be the sixth Winter Games for American Nordic Combined skier Todd Lodwick, a record for U.S. Olympians. At 37 years old, Lodwick has been representing his country for the better part of his life, which means that, unlike most of his competitors, he doesn't see the games as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For him, the international competition is more like a regularly scheduled appointment. We asked him about what he learned in each of his Winter Games and why he's still excited two decades after his first Olympic appearance.
Lodwick competed in his first Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, at the age of 17. He acquitted himself nicely – 7th in Men's Team, 13th individual – but he was mostly just excited to be invited to the party.
"Lillehammer is always going to hold a special place for me, just because it was the first one," he says. "The goal for that year was to make the Olympic Games, and anything after that was extra credit. I was a kid in a candy store at the Games. I had a lot of fun. No jitters at all. I was just excited to be there. I was excited to be jumping. I was living in the moment."
Lodwick adds that he was fortunate to participate that year because the atmosphere surrounding the event was particularly positive, a fact he credits largely to the host country's passion for winter sports and the perfect weather.
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