Tag Archive | "Johnny Spillane"

USA Men’s Nordic Combined Team 7th in Relay as Germany Scores Victory in Russia

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February 04, 2013 (Krasnaya Polyana, Russia) – The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup wrapped up Sunday as the final test of the RusSki Gorki jumping complex prior to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The USA was seventh in the 4x5k team event with Germany taking the win. Skiing second, Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) posted the fastest cross country time on his leg. The U.S. Ski Team will skip next weekend’s World Cup in Kazhakstan to prepare for the upcoming World Championships.

Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) had the fastest second leg of the 4x5k team event as the USA finished seventh behind Germany.

The U.S was eighth in the jump with Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) getting the long ride at 128.5. The USA started 55 seconds behind Germany in cross country.

Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) led off moving up a spot to seventh, with brother Taylor then bumping it up to fifth. Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) ran third with Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) anchoring the relay to seventh.

It was the final test for nordic combined on the RusSki Gorki complex where both the jumping and cross country shared the same venue. Athletes skied a serpentine course through the outrun of the jump and out onto a cross country trail network built into the hillside.

After days of clouds and heavy snow at times, the sun broke through for a clear sky day in Krasnaya Polyana, 45 minutes outside Sochi.

The U.S. Ski Team will take a break from the World Cup to prepare for the upcoming World Championships.

Billy Demong:
Team USA stepped up its game today. We were right in the hunt with about eight other teams that were very very close together throughout the whole race. We were close enough to know how close we really are. In our Worlds preparation, that’s really important and obviously also for next year’s Olympics. Today the weather broke. We were under bright sunny skies. The jumps are situated within a magnificent mountain backdrop. We are starting to see the venue and the valley take shape where next year I think Sochi will not only be ready for the Olympic Games but also will have put on the final window dressing on and made it to a point where the world will get a snapshot of Russia that will define what a lot of people think about Russia for the coming years.

What I took away from the weekend was that the most important things for me were not only getting comfortable with this place, but also with the competition venues and mostly where I am and where I need to be a year from now.

Results HERE.

U.S. Nordic Combined Team Names Stacked 2013 Squad

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October 19, 2012 (Predazzo, Italy) – With a strong summer of preparation behind, the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team has its sights set on the 2013 World Championships and the Olympics in Sochi just a year away. A talented squad of 10 athletes, including three newcomers, was officially named during a final pre-season tune-up camp on the World Championship jumps in Italy following a camp at the Center of Excellence in Utah. A-Teamers Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY), Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) together account for a dozen Olympic and World Championship medals, along with Bryan Fletcher’s (Steamboat Springs, CO) stunning season-ending victory in the King’s Cup at Holmenkollen in Norway.

– The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team named 10 athletes to its 2012-13 squad led by Olympic medalists Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY), Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) and King’s Cup winner Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO).
– Together, Demong, Lodwick and Spillane account for a dozen Olympic and World Championship medals.
– Bryan Fletcher established himself as a major contender last season, steadily building up to a breakthrough win in the final World Cup at Holmenkollen, taking the prestigious King’s Cup.
– Three newcomers were added to the B Team including Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI), Erik Lynch (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Michael Ward (Aspen, CO).
– The FIS World Cup season opens Nov. 24-25 on the Olympic venue in Lillehammer, Norway.
– The FIS Nordic Ski World Championships return to Val di Fiemme, Italy Feb. 20-Mar. 3, the site of Spillane’s breakthrough World Championship gold 10 years ago.
– Five Team athletes are enrolled in the U.S. Ski Team’s partnership program with Westminster College in Salt Lake City including Brett Denney, Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Nick Hendrickson and Adam Loomis.
– Following a successful camp at the USSA Center of Excellence, Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow in Utah, the Team was in Predazzo, Italy for a final tune-up on the World Championship jumps in Val di Fiemme.

Billy Demong, Olympic champion
This is a team with great depth – never in history have we had ten nordic combined guys who are so close. The first time trial of the year I was seventh but not even a minute back in a race 25 minutes long. We’ve had different guys take the lead over the course of the summer to push the team in training but especially Bryan (Fletcher) who has continued to be a yardstick on the jump hill, while his brother (Taylor Fletcher) is the toughest on the cross country side.

I am still following the roadmap I laid out after Vancouver. After a year almost off followed by a season of increased training and focus where I managed to get back on the podium, I am continuing to ramp it up mentally and physically.

I am certainly looking forward to World Championships this season. Val di Fiemme is a venue where I’ve had personal success and our team has made history with Johnny’s (Spillane) crown in 2003 and Todd and my one-two finish in 2010.

I feel that the team is much more competitive than in the past and looking forward to its continued growth and success. It’s exciting to see that our continued effort to work together is yielding amazing dividends and that making our world cup team is becoming an increasingly challenging endeavor.

Bryan Fletcher, Holmenkollen King’s Cup champion
Coming off last season with a win definitely kick started some momentum heading into training this summer. The most exciting thing is the momentum hasn’t worn off. Our team has picked up that momentum and is working hard to keep the ball rolling through the next season – hopefully helping all of us take that next step both individually and as a team.

This season is definitely important for many reasons, the most prominent reason being World Championships. Athletes particularly value this World Champs because it is the biggest event that precedes the Olympics. On the whole scale however this season is important because it’s a great chance to improve before the Olympics. There is a lot of experience that can be gained and a chance to put yourself in a great position results wise before the Olympic year.

Obviously a medal at World Championships would create some great momentum heading into next season. If nothing less this season signifies the countdown toward the Olympics, which I think every athlete gets a little giddy thinking about the next two years!

Dave Jarrett, Head Coach
Everyone has done a good job preparing for the season and we are psyched to start with strong A and B Teams. We have two important seasons coming up with World Championships and Olympics. We want to execute this year so that we have confidence going into the Olympic season.

The mix of youth and experience is good and the competition among teammates is making everyone better and keeping everyone honest.  Bryan (Fletcher), Taylor (Fletcher), Todd (Lodwick), and Johnny (Spillane) have had a solid summer of training among the A-Team. Billy (Demong) is still working on equipment issues but we expect him to running on all cylinders soon.  Nick Hendrickson, Adam Loomis and Michael Ward have taken a huge step this summer from the B-Team.

2013 U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team
Name, Hometown, Club (Skis (jumping/cross country), Boots (jumping/cross country), Bindings, Eyewear, Poles) Date of Birth
* Indicates Olympian
**Indicates Westminster College student

A Team
– Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY, New York Ski Education Foundation (Fluege/Atomic, Rass/Atomic, Atomic, Uvex, Swix) 3/29/80 *
– Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Elan/Madshus, Rass/Madshus, Rottefella, Uvex, Madshus) 6/27/86 **
– Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Fluege/Atomic, Rass/Atomic, Atomic, Uvex/Rudy Project, Swix) 5/11/90 * **
– Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Elan/Madshus, Rass/Madshus, Madshus, TBD, Swix) 11/21/76 *
– Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Fluege/Atomic, Rass/Atomic, Atomic, Uvex, One Way) 11/24/80 *

B Team
– Brett Denney, Steamboat Springs, CO, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Elan/Madshus, Rass/Alpina, Rotefella, Uvex/Rudy Project, Swix) 2/26/90 **
– Nick Hendrickson, Park City, UT, Park City Nordic Ski Club (Elan/Madshus, Rass/Alpina, Rottefella, Uvex/Rudy Project, Swix) 6/20/91 **
– Adam Loomis, Eau Claire, WI, Eau Claire Flying Eagles Ski Club (Fluege/Madshus, Rass/Madshus, Rottefella, Uvex/Rudy Project, Madshus) **
– Erik Lynch, Steamboat Springs, UT, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (Fischer/Madshus, Rass/Madshus, Rottefella, Uvex, Madshus)
– Michael Ward, Aspen, CO, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (Fischer/Madshus, Rass/Madshus, Rottefella, Uvex, Swix)

Coaching Staff
– Dave Jarrett, Head Coach
– Chris Gilbertson, World Cup Jumping Coach
– Greg Poirer, Continental Cup Coach/Development Coach

World Cup Service Team
– Andrej Jezeršek
– Matjaz Dobrovoljc

Official Nordic Combined Suppliers
– Uniforms
– Bjørn Dæhlie

– Alpina
– Atomic
– Bolle
– Briko
– Fischer
– Madshus
– Oakley
– OneWay
– Rossignol
– Rudy Project
– Salomon
– Swix

Wax, Tools and Training Devices
– Bosu
– Dominator
– Holmenkol
– Kenwood Radios
– Sun Valley Ski Tools
– Swix
– Toko
– Tools4boards
– Wintersteiger
– World Cup Supply

Team USA 5th in Team Event, Demong 14th at Obertsdorf Nordic Combined WCup

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January 10, 2012 (Oberstdorf, Germany) – Heavy snowfall and wind during the jumping event and strong snowfall during the cross-country race made for challenging conditions in Oberstdorf at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup, but the four-man US team comprised of Taylor Fletcher, Johnny Spillane, Bryan Fletcher (all Steamboat Springs, CO) and Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) moved up three spots after jumping to eighth to finish fifth overall in the team event in Oberstdorf.

Bryan Fletcher laid down another strong cross country performance skiing the second fastest leg in his round. Team Norway ultimately took the win after making up one spot after the jumps.

“Today was an OK day. It was hard on the jump with the changing wind – same old story. There was a massive snow storm during the race which made ski selection difficult. The service guys did a great job anyway. We’re looking forward to tomorrow,” said Dave Jarrett, USSA Nordic Combined Head Coach.

In the individual Gundersen on Day 2, the U.S. Ski Team’s Demong and Spillane punched into the top-15 with 14th and 15th respectively, while teammate Fletcher was 16th. Norway’s Mikko Kokslien took the win.

Spillane had the best jump for the U.S. with 20th and started the race one minute 23 seconds back, just in front of Demong and Fletcher. Fletcher skied the eighth fastest cross-country time, which was the fastest out of the Americans.

“It was a good day today. All three were close to getting the lead pack but just couldn’t close the gap all the way. Jumping was better for Billy and Johnny. Bryan had an awesome trial jump and wanted just a little more in the comp and got a little less. He is solid, though. Good skiing from everyone. Looking forward to Chaux Neuve,” said Jarrett.

Fellow US teammates Nick Hendrickson (Park City, UT) and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) did not start after finishing out of the top 50 in the provisional competition round jump.

The weekend competitions were originally scheduled in Schonach, but forced to move earlier this week due to adverse conditions. The World Cup now moves to Chaux-Neuve, France Jan. 14-15 for a pair of large hill individual Gundersen events.

Day 1 Results HERE.
Day 2 Results HERE.

USSA Names Nordic Combined World Championship Team

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January 25, 2011 (Park City, Utah) – Olympic medalists and World Champions Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO), Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) will lead the decorated U.S. Nordic Combined World Championship Team to Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway for the Jan. 26 – Mar. 4 Championships. The Team, whose members have achieved four World Championship titles plus one team and three individual Olympic medals, was announced Monday after athletes qualified through World Cup and Continental Cup competition.

Joining the three medalists on the Team are World Championship newcomers including Olympian Taylor Fletcher, (Steamboat Springs, CO), Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Nick Hendrickson (Park City, UT).

“The Team is going to be a mix of veterans and newcomers,” said Head Coach Dave Jarrett. “We are looking forward to Oslo with the nordic atmosphere, crowds and the chance to perform on a big stage. We will prepare the best we know how and do everything we can to win medals.”

The U.S. athletes have treated the World Cup season as a buildup towards the World Championships with each of the three medalists competing on reduced schedules. Lodwick has the best U.S. result with a fourth in Austria earlier this month. Spillane, who suffered a knee injury last summer, made his comeback just a week ago. Demong took a month off in anticipation of the birth of his baby boy. Both Demong and Spillane have had strong cross country performances in their returns and will be drawing a big focus on jump training heading into the Championships.

In 2009, Lodwick and Demong racked in the World Championship titles, with Demong clinching the large hill and Lodwick topping the Gundersen and mass start normal hill events. After an historic 2010 the USA crew is ready to sport the new Bjorn Daehlie black uniforms in Oslo as they head to the heart of nordic skiing. In Vancouver, 2003 World Champion Spillane earned three silver medals, Demong took home a gold and silver and Lodwick led the USA to silver in the team event.

Adding to the success and depth of the 2011 Team are the Fletcher brothers and Hendrickson. Both Fletchers are heading into World Champs strong posting top 30 results on the World Cup stage. Hendrickson is coming in with momentum as well after having successful races on the Continental Cup tour.

“Bryan Fletcher has had the best season of anyone on the Team this year,” said Jarrett. “We are looking forward to seeing his progression continue in Oslo and Taylor Fletcher is coming on strong.”

The powerhouse six-man team will begin its four World Championship events Saturday, Feb. 26 with the normal hill competition. The 2011 schedule was changed from 2009 when the mass start event (won by Lodwick) was added to the program. It has since been eliminated with a second team event being added, with one each on the normal and large hills.

The Team will be training on the Olympic venues in Utah over the next three weeks before heading to a pre-Worlds camp in the Olympic village of Lillehammer, Norway.

2011 World Nordic Combined Ski Championship Team
– Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY (Park City Nordic Ski Club)
– Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
– Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
– Nick Hendrickson, Park City, UT (Park City Nordic Ski Club)
– Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)
– Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, CO (Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club)

2011 World Nordic Combined Ski Championships Schedule – Oslo, Norway
– Sat., Feb. 26 – Normal hill
– Mon., Feb. 28 – Normal hill team event
– Wed., Mar. 2 – Large hill
– Fri., Mar. 4 – Large hill team event

Spillane Tears ACL – Will Miss Early Season World Cups

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July 30, 2010 (Salt Lake City, Utah) – Injuries are part of all sports. They can, and do happen to just about every athlete, often at the most inopportune times. Even something as benign as wrestling with your dog can result in an injury that takes weeks or months to heal. In Johnny Spillane’s case, it was simply taking an afternoon off to go cliff jumping that has him now firmly ensconced on his in-laws couch in Salt Lake City, recovering from knee surgery to repair a torn ACL.

Spillane, a Nordic Combined silver medal-winner and star of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, was cliff jumping near Lake Placid when he landed awkwardly. The impact with the water tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus, as well as damaging his hamstring. On Tuesday (July 27th) he underwent surgery to have his ACL reconstructed. The surgery went well given the extensive damage to his knee, but prior to going in the doctors were unsure just how badly he’d been hurt.

“Going into the surgery we didn’t really know the extent of the injuries, but essentially the worst thing happened. We thought there might be just a small tear, but the ACL was totally gone,” Spillane said by phone from Salt Lake City. Even with the bad news, he seems optimistic.

“They got everything taken care of that they wanted to, now it’s just going to be a matter of healin’ up.”

As well as being optimistic about his recovery, he’s also confident that this won’t affect his attendance at World Championships in Oslo, Norway in late February. At the moment he hasn’t had a chance to discuss recovery time lines with his doctors, which will come after his knee settles down from the surgery in a few weeks. Eve so, and even though he had been planning on racing a full World Cup calendar leading up to Norway, he says he’s adapted his plans to something that will work.

“I’m not too worried about getting into World Cups right away. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I don’t really need the experience.” The plan is to stay in North America and work on recovery and training well into the winter. It’s more important to get into good shape than it is to get into some competition.”

Spillane will spend a few more days in Salt Lake City before heading back home to Steamboat Springs on Sunday. Given the long road ahead of him, he seems remarkably at ease with everything, likely because he’s no stranger to injury and rehab. As he says, “I’ve been through this type of thing many times, so unfortunately, I know exactly what to do.”