News / USA

US Nordic Skier Bill Demong Eyeing More Gold in Sochi

FILE - Bill Demong of the U.S. soars through the air during the LH team sprint ski jumping portion of the World Cup Nordic Combined event in the northern mountain resort of Predazzo, Feb. 4, 2012. FILE - Bill Demong of the U.S. soars through the air during the LH team sprint ski jumping portion of the World Cup Nordic Combined event in the northern mountain resort of Predazzo, Feb. 4, 2012.
x
FILE - Bill Demong of the U.S. soars through the air during the LH team sprint ski jumping portion of the World Cup Nordic Combined event in the northern mountain resort of Predazzo, Feb. 4, 2012.
FILE - Bill Demong of the U.S. soars through the air during the LH team sprint ski jumping portion of the World Cup Nordic Combined event in the northern mountain resort of Predazzo, Feb. 4, 2012.
Mike Richman
Bill Demong made history at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010.  He became the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in Nordic Combined, an event that combines ski jumping and cross country skiing.

Team USA is counting on him to again challenge for the gold in Sochi, which will mark his fifth Olympic games.  They also are likely to be his last.  His 33-year-old body has been through a lot during more than 15 years of competition on the World Cup circuit.  He's also married and has a child.

Demong says his focus has never wavered, however, in his preparation for the Sochi Olympics.

He's now ready to take on the best in the sport, such as France's Jason Lamy Chappuis, a gold medalist in Vancouver in the 10-kilometer individual normal hill event.

Demong won the gold in the 10-kilometer individual large hill event.

"This time around," he said, "I really tried to take some time off in the beginning so that I’d be more motivated now, and I think that really worked, and especially this year I really have a focus and a motivation each day as I see the end of my career coming, but know that I’m still a contender.  I really enjoy getting out of bed and going to train, especially now with a child you really have to compartmentalize your life, and I’ve gotten much better with time management." 

A Marriage Proposal

In Vancouver, Demong brought home a series of other amazing memories.  He anchored the American Nordic relay team to a silver medal.

He also proposed to his girlfriend in a post-race celebration.  She said yes, by the way.  To top it off, he was given the honor of carrying the U.S. flag at the closing ceremonies.

Demong, a 2009 world champion, feels good about the Nordic Combined team the U.S. has for Sochi.  It includes fellow returnees Todd Lodwick, another former world champion, and Taylor Fletcher.  Fletcher's brother, Bryan, the top-ranked American on the World Cup circuit, is new to the team.

"In the team relay, there’s really five big nations, and that’s the United States, Austria, Germany, Norway and France," Demong said.  "Also, on the individual side, I’m happy to say that in addition to myself and Todd Lodwick returning to the team, we also have two up-and-coming brothers, the Fletchers, both of which have won World Cups or have been on the World Cup podium.  And we have multiple darts to throw at the board for individual medals as well."

Demong competed in the Olympics for the first time at age 17 at the 1998 Nagano games.  However, he was much younger when the Olympic spirit was first instilled in him.

1980 Winter Olympics

He grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state in the town of Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Winter Olympics.

He said he is "steeped in the memories" his parents passed down of watching American Eric Heiden win a record five speed skating gold medals in Lake Placid.  His parents also told him stories about the U.S. hockey team's dramatic upset of the Soviet Union enroute to the gold medal.

At the same time, Demong felt an itch to challenge himself on the slopes.  He began ski racing at five years old and ski jumping a few years later.

"I also drove by the ski jumps every day, and the looming 26-story tower of the Lake Placid Olympic ski jump kind of beckoned me," Demong said.  "It was something that kind of made me deathly fearful at a young age, but it was also something that I was intrigued by and wanted to do.  I got involved first with cross country racing in the Olympic venue in Lake Placid, Mount VanHovenberg, and then later on started jumping at about age eight.  And it was natural for me to put the two together.

"And I get something out of each one," he added.  "I love the adrenaline push of the ski jump, as well as the pain and perseverance of the cross country race.  And I feel like I never wanted to do either one without the other."

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Timothy from: Niskayuna
February 11, 2014 8:47 PM
Go Bill !!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid