Turning medals into money process is challenging for Spillane, Demong | SteamboatToday.com

Turning medals into money process is challenging for Spillane, Demong

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■ To set up an event with three-time Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane, call Corby Fisher, of Caliber Sports Enterprises, at 435-640-3131, or visit http://www.calibersportsenterprises.com. To go on a guided fishing trip with Johnny, call Steamboat Flyfisher at 970-879-6552 or visit http://www.steamboatflyfisher.com.

■ For events with Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong, call Michael Spencer or Jennifer Holden at EGO Sports Management at 435-649-6996, or visit http://www.egosports.net.

— Looking at Olympic-athletes-turned-international-celebrities such as Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White, it's easy to think winning a medal on the world's biggest stage can translate into a lifetime wage.

But that's not always the case. And it hasn't been, at least so far, for Nordic combined stars Johnny Spillane and Billy Demong, who along with Todd Lodwick and Brett Camerota made history in Vancouver, British Columbia, this winter. The flying foursome won a combined seven medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics, including America's first in the sport. Spillane brought three hunks of silver back home to Steamboat Springs. Demong struck gold in the large hill individual event. But the medals have not yet turned into money.

"I have not made one dollar since the Olympics, aside from stuff I had set up prior to the Olympics," Spillane said last week. "Literally. No joke. Not a dollar."

"For me, so far, it's been more geared toward non-paying opportunities," Demong said about his post-Olympic calendar.

But neither man is complaining. Not in the slightest. Lodwick and Camerota could not be reached last week, but Spillane and Demong spoke glowingly about their wealth of opportunities in recent weeks. They've visited troops in the Middle East, met President Barack Obama at the White House, shared their experiences with young students at numerous schools and more.

"We've been really busy, just not getting paid to do any of it," Spillane said.