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.
Salt Lake City 2002
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."
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