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Champion Q&A: Billy Demong

Tue, Oct  20, 2009 - By US Ski Team

World Championship gold medalist Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) has undoubtedly left his mark on the world of nordic combined skiing. But, on the brink of an Olympic season, he is looking to make an even bigger splash.

Any fun summer adventures?
My fun getaway is bike racing and I definitely did a few of those, not as many as I did last year but if I focus my training in other directions for periods I think mentally and physically it kind of helps me reset a little bit and it's definitely good training.

What does Billy Demong do when he isn't training or competing?
Not much. Put my feet up with friends.

What sort of role do your friends play in what you do?
I think my most important friends are the ones that could care less if I ski, don't ski, know me for who I am and help me keep it real. I can totally kind of escape a little bit from the ski world for a day or two, especially the friends I grew up with. One of my friends from childhood is currently living with me in Park City.

You also got a chance to spend some time with old friends in Lake Placid when you were there for U.S. Champs, right?
There were a few things going on back there, catching up with friends and family and also some things with the local ski clubs. It's always good to get home especially during the Flaming Leaves Festival, the most beautiful time to be on the east.

Unfortunately, you didn't get to participate due to a shoulder injury from training. How was it being in your hometown, yet unable to compete?
That was hard. Of course I wanted to be out there competing with my teammates, but it was still great to be back in Lake Placid and with my friends and family. Everyone was super supportive and not competing was the best decision for me so that I could return to training faster to get ready for the Games.

We saw you just joined Twitter! How are you liking it?
I like it, it seems to be a little more efficient way of checking in on the people you want to check in on and also you can post what you want. People can choose whether or not they find it interesting. I've actually been going back and forth with Steve [Fisher, of U.S. Snowboarding].

Reading on the road, do you do it?
I do like to read, I used to be better at it, I feel horrible about it now. Usually, I get into one thing and focus on it for a while, I'll read like a whole series of books by the same author and subject. I think Johnny [Spillane; Steamboat Springs, CO] and I have gone back and forth over the years with different book series and authors.

So you are sort of in a book club?
We have in the past. Johnny definitely takes the cake- he reads more than I do. We have exchanged books quite often. At one point we were on a Vonnegut kick for a while, we read about all there is to read from Slaughter House 5 to Edward Abbey.

Well, we should probably let you get back to training, training and training. Any last thoughts to leave us with?
This year is special. We are going to the Olympics! I'm definitely excited and I think the years of experience now will hopefully equate to a good build up period and getting ready for those games. I think especially being in Vancouver - it's sort of an opportunity for us to compete close to home and have a lot friends and family come up and watch so I'm definitely excited.