Torino 2006
Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Lodwick entered the Torino Games in Italy assuming they would be his last Olympics (he retired after the closing ceremonies for two years), but he says he never let himself get emotional about leaving the sport behind during the competition.

"I never thought, "This is my last jump – none of that stuff ever crossed my mind. That's where people get in trouble," he says.

After he failed to place in the top three, the gravity of the moment finally sunk in and he had to face the fact that he'd been to four games and had never medaled.

"They were doing the awards ceremony for the top three, delivering medals to them," Lodwick remembers. "Knowing that I'd never get a chance to redeem myself at the Olympic Games and get a medal was heartbreaking. That feeling kind of resonated with me for a long time."