LAKE PLACID, NY (Oct. 8) - Having 19 U.S. Championship titles is a lot of success to have amassed as a competitor. But for World Champion Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO), an even 20 sounds a lot nicer. Thankfully, Lodwick will have his shot at his 20th as the 2010 U.S. Jumping and Nordic Combined Championships hits Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, NY, this Saturday.
"Yeah of course it would nice to even it out and make it 20," Lodwick said. "But, I'll be happy to compete well and do well. The Games are the biggest priority, but it's always nice to compete in a U.S. Championships especially in Lake Placid."
The event takes place as a part of the annual Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid and will feature athletes competing for jumping and nordic combined titles against the backdrop of the area's famous Fall Foliage.
"It's nice to be in Lake Placid will all the colors," Lodwick said.
According to the World Champion, having all the nordic athletes in Lake Placid will be sure to add a little electricity to what organizers in Lake Placid plan to bill as an Olympic send off event for nordic combined, jumping and cross country athletes as they are all Vancouver Bound.
"It's good to get the jumpers and all the nordic skiers together in one place and have a competition and try to get the blood going," Lodwick said. "I think it's a good thing to do because if it gets that blood flowing it let's everybody know there are 130 days until the Games. It kind of kicks off the season a little bit, but I think it's just a reminder that Olympics are the number one priority and it kind of kicks people into over drive if they are not already going, it gets them going again."
But, more than the burning colors and competition, Lodwick is looking forward to competing in a community that has fostered nordic sports throughout their history.
"Ski jumping and nordic combined have always had a place in Lake Placid so it's nice to showcase a competition like this there," Lodwick said. "It's good everybody to get there to show that Lake Placid is still a top notch facility to train and compete at.
The first round of ski jumping on Saturday, Oct. 10 begins at 11 a.m. ET, with the second round starting at noon. The 10K rollerski race starts at 2:15 p.m.
Then, starting at 6:30 p.m. in mid-town park, the nordic, jumping and cross country athletes will be joined by athletes in the sliding sports to award the Championship winners and celebrate the start of the Olympic season.
To follow the news as Lodwick hunts for his 20th title, stay tuned to usskiteam.com, facebook.com/usskiteam and twitter.com/usskiteam
"I'm looking forward to it, can't wait to get out there."