Todd Lodwick's (Steamboat Springs, CO) story is almost an unbelievable one. An athlete for the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team, Lodwick's career spans over a decade in which he wins a World Cup and then retires. But, that's not the part that's hard to accept. What is unbelievable is that, with a wife, two children, and two years into his retirement, Lodwick decides he has unfinished business with the sport and is determined not only to return, but to win World Championship and Olympic medals in the process. Two World Championship medals later, Lodwick is a mere six months from the 2010 Games in Vancouver, and he's more focused than ever.
After you won your World Championship gold medals, you couldn't stop repeating how much you felt like Cinderella. Is it all still surreal?
Those things are hard not to forget and it's hard not to forget the road that it took to get there. I see the medals every day and they're accomplishments I knew I was always capable of doing, it was just a matter of the right place and the right time. Everything came together and that was my week.
What is it that draws a grown man two years into his retirement back into the competition ring?
The medals. The hardware. Those were the biggest things that were missing in my career. I had accomplished everything else that comes with the sport. I just have one more goal to achieve - an Olympic medal - and once that happens I will have a lot of stuff to write about.
You spent some time watching the Tour de France in person this summer. What was that like?
It was awesome to see the enthusiasm. It's the greatest bike race on earth. You see it on TV but you really have no idea how fast they are really going.
You also trained in France. How did the tour affect your training?
It was so cool to be able to be in that atmosphere and training at the same time. It motivated me. I would have loved to have stayed a little longer but that was something that was unforeseen.
While in France, you were involved in a bike and car collision. The car had to be towed, the bike was destroyed, but you walked away. Are you Superman?
I appreciate the small cars in France. It could have been a bus, a truck, or a number of other larger vehicles. To say that I was the only thing to walk away from that accident, well I can't put a finger on why I walked away without significant injuries but I am very thankful for how it turned out.
Now that you have gone head-to-head with a car and emerged victorious, is there any other inanimate object in the world you would like to defeat?
If the Olympics were a figure of mass in this world, I would love to go up against that and come out victorious.
Nice, well, considering that the Olympics are six months away, would you like to close out this interview with your thoughts on the upcoming games?
We're coming up on a very important time within my career along with my teammates and everyone associated with the Games. This is a big lead up to what we strive for and hopefully we can have the performance that has us come out and conquer.