Salt Lake City 2002
Credit: Clive Mason / Getty Images

Having learned from the disappointment in Nagano, Lodwick arrived in Salt Lake City more relaxed and comfortable. Lodwick performed well in three competitions, but his memories of those games are largely of the crowd, which turned out in force to support him and his teammates.

"I can't tell you how many people from my hometown [Steamboat Springs, Colorado] made that drive with Olympic flags flying," says Lodwick. "The atmosphere was just absolutely unbelievable. Everyone that I knew pretty much came to cheer us on. It felt like it was a hometown event we'd invited the world to."

And the team's success – Finland, Germany, and Austria took all the medals, but the U.S. led the rest of the pack – made a difference. Lodwick credits the American games with the "rebirth of the Nordic Combined Team."