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The Championships in Liberec have come to a close; the whole world speaks highly of them

The last event, the 50 km Men´s race, was on the schedule of the 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009 today. The last world champion...

The Headmaster won the last race

The winner of the last event of the 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships LIBEREC 2009 is known already. Rightly it is the phenomenal Petter Northug...

Scott and Todd

23. 02 2009 18:00:00

(Liberec, own) In the evening of 22 February, the Medal Plaza was by coincidence decorated in three colours – red, blue and white - which make up both the Norwegian as well as the American flags. It´s a pity none of our Czech athletes gained any medal that day, as we take pride in a tricolour of the very same colours. 
Almost all of the audience´s applause belonged to competitors of these two countries. The fans celebrated the first gold medal for Peter Northug of the Norwegian team twice as much as any other medals so far. They could sing the national flag while watching the flag being raised and they awarded their athlete with applause every time the moderator mentioned Norway again.
Despite the fact that the American flag couldn´t be seen as much as the omnipresent Norwegian one, the Sunday evening was a turning point for American skiing. This was thanks to Todd Lodwick, now a double world champion from Liberec and Bill Demong who was third. They clearly showed that Americans could make a breakthrough in Nordic combined.

Scott Guptil

After such a big success for the United States I interviewed Scott Guptil, an American volunteer from a far-away Portland in Oregon on the west coast of the United States. He helps to assemble athletes before winners ceremonies.
* Scott, are you satisfied with the results of the American Nordic combined contestants_
Yes, I am very satisfied. I hope that this will spark off greater interest in skiing in the United States.
* Skiing isn´t sport no. 1 in the U.S., is it_
No, people are interested in football, ice-hockey, and baseball. It is this very success that should help skiers to find sponsors more easily. It could also lead to a greater interest from mass-media. There is no American journalist here that´s why the team has its own PR. After Lodwick´s success the American journalists woke up and contacted him by phone at least.
* Do you believe there are any chances for Americans in relay too_
Sure. Lodwick´s and Demong´ s places certainly suggest it but I don´t know how the other Nordic combined contestants are doing at the moment. 

Todd Lodwick

Together with Scott I got a chance to ask Todd Lodwick a couple of questions too. He was very nice and open to make the interview which took place in a nice setting of the City Hall. Todd with trophies hanging around his neck spoke quietly as if he couldn´t still believe what he had achieved.
* How do you feel after getting two gold medals_
This is a historic success for the United States. It is not that usual for a competitor from outside of Scandinavia to win. Besides, no Nordic combined contestant has ever managed to win two events within 42 hours. I am in the best form I have ever been.
* Do you think your success will help to improve awareness about Nordic skiing in the U.S._
I am not sure, but I hope it will.
* Do you think your will keep your form until the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010_
It´s too far, I don´t focus on that at the moment.  
We were interrupted from our interview by Bill Demong who had been looking for the world champion so as to be able to start, at last, to celebrate the triumph of the American team. Where else if not in a nearby McDonald restaurant.
(Romana, Scott)









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