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Nordic Combined team gets Olympic tuneup in Utah

Mon, Feb  8, 2010 - By US Ski Team

SOLDIER HOLLOW, Utah (Feb. 5) – One the eve of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team is in camp at the site of one of its best Olympic finishes. The five-member Olympic Team has been skiing all week at the 2002 Olympic venues including the Utah Olympic Park jumps and the cross country trails at Soldier Hollow. The Team arrives in Vancouver Monday to prepare for its opening event Feb. 14.

"This is our final tune-up before the Games," said Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett. "We will do some very specific training on the treadmill at the Center of Excellence, as well as on-snow training at Soldier Hollow. But a big aspect will be our jump training at the Utah Olympic Park. It's great to have the crews at both Soldier Hollow and the Utah Olympic Park so anxious to help with this camp."

Fans have been out at both venues to watch the Team train. Thursday, nearly a hundred local school children were at Soldier Hollow as the Olympians helped break ground for new buildings at the Olympic venue, both for competition and for use by the Soldier Hollow Charter School.

 Eight years ago,  Spillane, Lodwick and Demong were on the U.S. nordic combined relay that narrowly missed an Olympic medal, finishing fourth. Today, each has won a World Championship and lead the strongest U.S. nordic combined team in history going to the Olympics.

"It has been great to train in Park City all week," said Spillane, who earned his fourth Olympic Team spot by winning the Olympic Trials in Steamboat Springs in December. "The hill has been in excellent condition, and pairing that with the equipment at the coe, we had everything we needed."

Friday the team took a break from training to fly to Steamboat Springs for the evening to participate in the community's  traditional Olympic Sendoff Celebration.

The team leaves Monday for Vancouver and will begin training later Tuesday at the Whistler Olympic Park. The first of two individual events is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 14. The three World Champions are expected to start, with Brett Camerota (Park City, UT) and first-time Olympian Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) battling for the fourth and final spot.