FILE UNDER -- Nordic

Lodwick leads U.S. nordic combined Olympic team

Lodwick leads U.S. nordic combined Olympic teamPARK CITY, Utah – Six-time nordic combined World Cup winner Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs, Colo. and former sprint world champion Johnny Spillane (also of Steamboat) were named Monday to the 2006 Olympic team for the Winter Games next month in Torino, Italy. Four of the six combiners and three of the five jumpers have been to previous Olympics.

Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, announced the teams, the first of six to be named for the Olympics Feb. 10-26 in Torino. All Olympic nominations submitted by the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding are subject to the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Lodwick, in his 13th season with the U.S. Ski Team, will be competing in his fourth Olympics, only the second nordic combined skier in U.S. history to accomplish that feat (Mike Devecka, 1968-80). Johnson, the son of former U.S. Jumping Program Director Alan Johnson, will be 16 years and 7 months old during the Olympics; the youngest mark was set by then-Andrea Mead, who was 15 years and 9 months during the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The U.S. Olympic nordic combined team (with previous Olympics):
Brett Camerota, 21, Park City, Utah
Eric Camerota, 21, Park City, Utah
Bill Demong, 25, Vermontville, N.Y. (1998, 2002)
Todd Lodwick, 29, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (1994, ’98, 2002)
Johnny Spillane, 25, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (2002)
Carl Van Loan, 25, Webster, N.H. (2002)

The U.S. Olympic ski jumping team:
Alan Alborn, 25, Anchorage, Alaska (1998, 2002)
Jim Denney, 22, Duluth, Minn.
Anders Johnson, 16, Park City, Utah
Clint Jones, 21, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (2002)
Tommy Schwall, 22, Steamboat Springs, Colo. (2002)

“This team includes top international skiers – Todd’s won a half-dozen World Cup events, Johnny’s a former world champion, Billy is a World Cup winner and Alan holds the U.S. distance mark in jumping,” said Luke Bodensteiner, U.S. nordic director. “And now we’ve added some young skiers into this team who are extremely driven to make their contribution in Torino. This is an exciting mix.”

The U.S. championships for both nordic combined and jumping will held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 20-21, in Steamboat Springs as part of USSA’s 10 Weeks to Torino series of major pre-Olympic competitions. After some down time to relax, the two Olympic squads will head to Europe for final pre-Olympic training camps. The nordic combined team will arrive in Torino Feb. 6 and ski jumpers will arrive Feb. 8.

– Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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