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History made in American Nordic Skiing

26. 02 2009 08:00:00

(Liberec - own) How sweet it is to see Nordic skiing history being made in Liberec.  The US has strong Nordic athletes but in the World Nordic Ski Championships, they were not considered real contenders until today.  "It is the best athlete for that day that wins and today that athlete was me," said an exuberant Todd Lodwick after having the Nordic Combined Gold medal placed around his neck at the Medal Ceremony Sunday evening.  "This is unbelievable for me and a great victory for our team."

As an American volunteer working in the medal plaza presentation area, it is an honor to line the medal winners up and to be standing face to face with the US gold and bronze medal winners is a great honor.  I was proud to congratulate each of the winners and know these men made history.  It was an honor to stand in the plaza and watch as 32-year old Todd Lodwick and 25-year old Bill Demong took their places on the medal platform and receive the Gold medal and Bronze medal respectfully. Once the medals and trophies were presented, our National Anthem played across the medal plaza and the fireworks went off overhead.  I was more than 6,500 miles from home and among winners in a sport not followed that well in America.  I kept thinking, I hope the news media back home learns of this great feat by a team of American boys at the World Nordic Ski Championships in Liberec.

I had similar thoughts when Lindsey Van made Nordic Ski history as the first woman to win the Ladies Ski Jumping ever at the World Nordic Ski Championships.  She set the standard for athletes to follow in the years to come.  Her fellow competitors congratulated her and also said that the time has come for the ladies to be participating in the World Nordic Ski Championships and it is hoped that it will be an official event in the 2014 Winter Olympics.  With two more World Championships taking place in Norway and Italy, the women will be ready for 2014.

With the national song of the US playing, snow flakes falling and American and Norwegian flags waving in the crowd, the three flags were raised as were the hopes of the Americans in the crowd that this is the beginning of more medal stand visits in the days to come.  
FOTO: Lindsey Van - getphoto.cz


Our World Champions

This year´s FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009 are the first in the history of the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, fighting for Championship medals already took place in the territory of the former Czechoslovakia last century. In 1925 Nordic World Ski Championships took place in Janske Lazne in the Krkonose Mountains; in 1970 cross-country races and ski jumping took place at Strbske Pleso in the High Tatra Mountains.

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