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.
When Lodwick arrived in Nagano, Japan, he was considered perhaps the best Nordic Combined skier on the planet and a heavy favorite to take the gold. But that wasn't necessarily an advantage. As Lodwick is quick to point out, "The Olympic Games are usually, percentages-wise, not won by the leader of the World Cup." He failed to buck the trend.
"To go into those Olympic Games as the favorite and come out and place [poorly] was miserable and disgusting," he says. "I felt so bad because of it. I knew that all I had to do was be myself and I couldn't do that."
But Lodwick bounced back and credits his longevity as a professional competitor with that early setback. "It's a learning curve," he explains. "Everyone needs to go through a bunch of failures to become successful."
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