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Lodwick earns 6th Olympic spot in nordic combined

Saturday - 12/28/2013, 6:42pm  ET

Todd Lodwick competes in the ski jumping portion of the U.S. Olympic nordic combined trials in Park City, Utah, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)

Associated Press

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- Todd Lodwick earned a spot in his sixth Winter Olympics, winning the nordic combined competition Saturday in the U.S. trials.

The 37-year-old Lodwick, who appeared in his first Olympics in 1994 at 17, won both the ski jumping portion of the event and the 10-kilometer cross country race. He earned 125.0 points in the ski jump and finished the race in 25 minutes, 27.6 seconds.

"Being able to say I am going to my sixth Olympic games is a daunting and humbling statement," Lodwick said. "It's definitely a monkey off the back.

"But I don't think there was any doubt in my mind -- even before this competition -- that I was going to make my sixth team as long as I stuck to the plan, trained hard and competed well."

Bryan Fletcher was second overall, and Bill DeMong third.

"We're definitely going to have a target (on us), but our team is strong," Fletcher said. "We have three guys performing at a high level. The best thing about that is we're pushing each other really hard."

Lodwick cleared the farthest distance of any ski jumper -- going 95.5 meters on his final jump -- to earn a favorable starting position for the race.

DeMong matched Lodwick's speed of 55.4 mph, but jumped about 4 meters shorter.

In the race, Lodwick battled a stiff leg to push himself over the final hill.

"I knew all I had to do was get to the top of that and I could rest a little bit and power to the finish line," Lodwick said. "Once I got over the top, it took the sails out of the other guys -- especially Bryan -- to catch up."

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