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Good on Ya...Nordic America!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Johnny Spillane from the 'Boat just won the gold in Nordic Combined at the World Championships! Fourth in the jump and won the sprint! First Gold in US history and first medal since Bill Koch! For a small struggling underdog component of the USST, underfunded and over-euroed.....What a great day for the US ski team!!
post #2 of 9
Well done indeed! That little nordic combined community in Steamboat has procuded world class skiers for quite a while now. The Norwegians are proud to have "furnished" their current coach and I am sure they are happy to see this great US reward at the same time they see their own program really take a downturn. The nordic combined atheletes are very good at what they do as it is a technical challenge to be a good consistent jumper at the same time being a fast cross country skier. The nordic combined format also make this a very fun spectator sport.
post #3 of 9
Just got the latest Epicski newsletter, gushing about US medal winners and not a single mention of Spillane's medal in the Nordic Combined - an event which Americans have never medalled in and a couple of Olympics ago they were so slow the Americans were still out racing when the medals press conference was on.

Now they're right up there with the Finns. To me, it's the big ski news of the Games. Why no mention in the Epic Ski newsletter? I guess this forum is actually pretty much only interested in alpine events. Sad and disappointing.
post #4 of 9

I read this yesterday, watched the Olympics last night and they said Spillane got silver, not gold.  They didn't show the individual combined, just the team one. I was confused until I noticed the date on the first two posts above - 2003!  You have a point, Toml, I don't recall hearing Johnny Spillane's name before or that any USican won any Nordic gold.  All the more a great job yesterday - two silvers!  And those guys are not young!  Apparently experience and stamina are key in Nordic Combined - probably this was the first time the US has had such an experienced team?


I'm amazed that they jumped on the Big Hill - 130-140 meters.  Didn't they used to use only the 70-meter jump for the combined in former Olympics?

post #5 of 9
Yeah, Spillane got silver, but to me that's the biggest ski news of the Olympics for the US Team.

The US has built a really strong and consistent alpine program, but the nordic program is behind that. Getting a medal of any sort in nordic is huge.

Name some US alpine medalists. Quick! Easy - Cochran, Kidd, Mead-Lawrence, Mahre, Miller, Johnson etc.

Name some US nordic medalists. Quick! Koch and..... and..... When Billy Koch got the silver, it was HUGE and XC really took off in the US. Now the US Nordic Combined team is one of the strongest in the world and has a good chance at a team medal gold (or is that passed?).

>>Big Hill

There is a Long Hill and a Normal Hill medal for Nordic Combined AFAIK. Not sure how long it's been that way.
post #6 of 9
Oh, I see - they got a silver, just two seconds behind the Finns (and a whopping 36 seconds ahead of the Austrians).

Nordic Combined is a tough sport - jumping is a fast-twitch/technique support, while cross-country is a slow-twitch/stamina sport, so training for one is somewhat at odds with the other.

It's sort of too bad there's no skimeister event anymore, but there probably are hardly any people out there these days who can run a decent slalom and jump the 70m hill.
post #7 of 9
Wow, excellent on ya, Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane - gold and silver in the individual combined - big jump event, I missed its correct name.  Anyway they killed the jump, 130 meters or so (possibly with a little more help from an updraft than the later jumpers got).  Then stayed well ahead of the field in the 10-km.  Bill really took off with one km to go and Johnny almost kept up. Looks like they're good friends, but no way was Johnny willing to concede the gold medal!  Gold and silver for USicans - change we can believe in!

I must say NBC was fairly generous with the prime time coverage, more than any previous alpine event has got.
post #8 of 9
That was cool to see. Congrats to the Nordic Men's combined team setting these milestones!!

I'd characterize NBC's Nordic primetime coverage as token. It would have been nice to show the start and some earlier stages of the race where the 3 broke away.

The afternoon nordic coverages have been pretty complete, except this race. NBC kept it for their watered down primetime 'semi-coverage'. One less skater moment and we could have had a lot better coverage of this very noteworthy race and unique American result.
post #9 of 9
I think now that the olympics are over, you can get full coverage on the web.

I watched the summer olympics this way and it was WAAAYYYY better. You can watch events from start to finish... and go have dinner if you don't actually want to watch every second of the marthon.
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