Demong, U.S. team make history

Anchored by four-time Olympian Billy Demong, the United States Nordic Combined Ski Team notched a historic first Saturday in Schonach, Germany.

The U.S. won its first-ever World Cup team relay medal, placing third with a foursome that included Demong, Todd Lodwick and brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.

The Americans earned the bronze in 53 minutes, 3.1 seconds, which was a little more than minutes behind the winning team from Norway. Germany placed second in the race. Skiers on each team raced 5 kilometers in the event.

“Today was a one of those days where you don’t have too many expectations, but as a team we knew we could break up the podium if we focused on the process and all did what we could,” Demong said. “It was super exciting and tactical as we moved through the field. It was never clear that we would podium until it was over but each guy picked up time and places and did the job necessary. It is a historic first relay podium for the U.S. in a World Cup and a great way to get a first podium for the year.”

After taking bronze with his team on Saturday, Demong failed to qualify for Sunday’s 10k race, which was won by France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis in 26 minutes.

Bryan Fletcher was the top American finisher, placing 22nd with Taylor Fletcher taking 26th and Lodwick crossing the line in 32nd place.

The World Cup Nordic Combined tour now heads to Chaux-Neuve, France for two events this weekend.