Nordic combined mixes the aerobic endurance of cross country with the explosiveness of ski jumping – one of the world's most exciting sports. Lake Placid native Bill Demong won the second World Championships medal for the U.S. in four years in February with a thrilling photo finish. That medal came on the heels of hundreds of hours of lead-up work thanks to the Team's sport science program.
Last fall the Team acquired a huge treadmill – big enough to use roller skis and reach speeds over 25 mph! During a World Cup break, Demong came home to train specifically for World Championships with an eye on a medal.
"I started going to work on this treadmill with our sport science physiologists and my coach," said Demong, who fractured his skull in a 2002 swimming pool accident. "We were able to monitor my improvement over time. I really credit the work on this treadmill to winning the medal. Having in-house sport science is incredibly valuable. In my opinion, USSA has become a model governing body, doing a great job in supporting us and giving us the tools we need."
A few weeks later Demong took silver in Japan and won a World Cup a week later. Today, he and 2003 world champion Johnny Spillane are leaders of a young and exciting U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team.