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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

1 Billion People Used Facebook on Single Day

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised the accomplishment in a posting on the social media site 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs