U.S. athlete Todd Lodwick took another step in his comeback, winning a hill climb in front of a huge crowd on Saturday in Norway. Lodwick, who retired from the U.S. nordic combined team following the 2005-06 season, is training again in the hopes of making another U.S. Olympic team in 2010.
LILLEHAMMER, Norway — U.S. nordic combined athlete Todd Lodwick took another step in his comeback, winning a hill climb in front of a huge crowd on Saturday in Norway. Lodwick, who retired from the U.S. nordic combined team following the 2005-06 season, is training again in the hopes of making another Olympic team in 2010.
"It was a really exciting competition with the street in Lillehammer jammed with people watching the race," U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett said.
The hill climb, which is the most recent stop in a series of summer competitions that the U.S nordic combined team is participating in, consisted of 31 heats of two skiers each skiing up a 200-meter course. The heats were then cut to 16, 8, four and the final.
The semifinal round put Lodwick, who is traveling with the U.S. team, against the event's three-time defending champion Magnus Moan of Norway.
"Todd didn't have the best start but was able to beat Magnus and get a spot in the finals," Jarrett said.
The final had Lodwick pitted against Norwegian Haavard Klemetsten and, according to Jarrett, was intensely close until the end.
"It was a tight race until about 25 meters when Todd separated himself from Haavard. From that point Todd was clearly going to win and coasted into the finish for the victory," Jarrett said.
Team athletes Bill Demong and Alex Glueck also competed in the hill climb, but were eliminated in the round of 16 in head-to-head sprints.
The team competed in jumping on Sunday, the first jump of which will determine the nordic combined winner from Saturday's hill climb and the second will set up the combined results for a 10 kilometer roller-ski race.
The team is currently in Norway for a summer camp that includes athletes both from the national team and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club who qualified to attend.