SCHONACH, Germany (AP) — Memories of Olympic silver in Vancouver were rekindled Saturday as the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team charged back onto the podium finishing third. It was an historic first World Cup team event podium for the U.S. Ski Team.
The USA started sixth in cross country, 57 seconds behind Norway, which ultimately went on to win. The USA slowly moved up through the pack with Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Todd Lodwick (all Steamboat Springs) and Billy Demong (Vermontville) pacing to pass Austria to take third place.
Taylor Fletcher (second leg) and Demong (anchor) each won their respective relay legs. The USA had a good launching pad for the effort thanks to a strong 94.5 meter jump from Demong, who led his group in jumping. Taylor Fletcher’s 12:39.4 was the fastest cross country leg of the day.
Lodwick and Demong are veterans of the silver medal winning relay team at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The best previous World Cup team event finish came in 2002 at Val di Fiemme when Lodwick, Demong and Matt Dayton (Breckenridge, CO) finished fourth.
“Today was a one of those days where you don’t have too many expectations but as a team we knew we could break up the podium if we focused on the process and all did what we could,” Demong said
“It was super exciting and tactical as we moved through the field. It was never clear that we would podium until it was over but each guy picked up time and places and did the job necessary.
“It is an historic first relay podium for the U.S. in a World Cup and a great way to get a first podium for the year.”
American teen wins
World Cup slalom
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin is having a breakthrough World Cup season on the slopes.