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Q&A with Olympic Gold Medal winner Billy Demong

Nordic Combined

Thu, Mar  18, 2010 - By US Ski Team

Billy Demong's (Vermontville, NY) name is one that will remain in the history books of his sport forever. After all, when you're the first person to ever win a gold medal for the U.S. in nordic combined, you're going to be remembered. But what might not go down in the history books are some of the more entertaining facts about Demong - his tattoo, his engagement and the coolest thing he thinks has ever happened to him. Read on to find out what lies beneath the historic gold.

Where is your gold medal right now? 
I had to take some pictures with Atomic and Swix in Oslo so it is actually wrapped up in my backpack. I have not gotten sick of taking that thing through airport security. It is so dense they always have to see what it is!

What does being the first American in your sport to ever win a gold medal at the Olympics mean to you? 
It's kind of hard to swallow - the first ever part - personally, but I acknowledge the importance of it in terms of future possibilities. It is something we've chased so hard, but doing something for the first time ever seems much more daunting than doing it again.

So you got engaged at the Olympics. Will your wedding be in any way "Olympic themed" now?
I'm thinking since a ton of people want to come to get it turned into a reality TV wedding. I think there is a Biggest Losers version where all we have to do is lose 30 pounds each! Then they can pay for everyone.

Which side of the fence are you on: Help my fiancé pick the flower arrangements OR I'll be over here watching Tour de France while you plan the wedding.
I think we'd both like to just show up. Of course I just got an email that she's shopping for dresses right now.

Speaking of Tour de France, when you see that the great one Lance Armstrong has Tweeted you, what are the series of thoughts that go through your head?
That's the coolest thing that has happened.

Will you cycle this summer?
Of course!  I'm just trying to figure out when my first ride will be.

What do you do on the road to entertain yourself?
Watch TV series. I never turn on the tube at home but given the opportunity to burn out an entire series of a new show back-to-back is always a great option!

We hear you have a tattoo. Tell us the story behind it and, would you ever get another one?
I, like a lot of people, never thought I'd get a tattoo…unless I came up with a great original idea that I could see enjoying forever. Last summer when I was with a bunch of friends they started joking that I should get a "no-diving" sign since I had a major accident diving into a pool in 2002.  It was life changing. I actually liked the idea enough to shop around all the different signs and got it done on my ribs below my right armpit. The tattoo was way more painful than the skull fracture, but I laugh every time I look in the mirror and there is a much deeper meaning to me since the injury caused me to really take stock of life and since then have enjoyed life more and been more focused.

What are you looking forward to most in the off season? 
Usually bike racing, but seeing as my calendar is pretty full for a while, I'm actually looking forward to taking a few weeks off from training for the first time in six years!