Bill Marolt: Best-in-the-world athlete

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The past decade has seen the U.S. Nordic Ski Team’s greatest success. That is in no small part due to Johnny Spillane’s leadership and commitment to excellence. He is the first American to win Nordic combined gold at the World Championships and the first American to win an Olympic medal in Nordic combined. He not only achieved the highest level of success in his sport, but also inspired others to do the same. 

Johnny’s teammates have spoken at length about his leadership both on and off the snow. Whether it was the World Championships, World Cups or summer training, he was always prepared — the first to arrive at training and usually the last to leave. He led by example, and that hard work and commitment can be seen in the results he achieved. Even today, his leadership has shaped the next generation of Nordic combined athletes. Up-and-coming athletes have his work ethic and commitment to look up to and work toward.

Success at the highest level is not possible without the support at home. The Steamboat Springs community and the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club played a pivotal role, providing a platform for athletes like Johnny. There are few communities in the world that support their athletes as enthusiastically as Steamboat. 

Johnny has shown the world what it truly means to be a best-in-the-world athlete. His contributions to the sport of Nordic combined have been immense and will continue to shape the team’s success in the future.

Thank you, Johnny, for your dedication and congratulations on an inspirational career. We look forward to seeing you many times in the future.

Bill Marolt

President and CEO, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association

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