Krasnaya Polyana, Russia Five weeks to the day after some skeptics thought Todd Lodwick’s Olympic career was done, the six-time Olympian weaved his way through media row Wednesday about 5 feet at a time.
Television, radio, print — America, Norway, Canada — it seemed everyone wanted a piece of him.
2014 Winter Olympics
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For good reason.
Just five weeks ago, Lodwick's presence at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, seemed unrealistic.
Sure, at the time of his injury, Lodwick said the right things, that he’d be back.
But five weeks removed from a separated shoulder and multiple fractures?
“Unbelievable,” Lodwick said. ”I got here to the Olympic Games, and I can’t thank the doctors enough that got me to this point.”
Lodwick pointed to the particular work of U.S. Ski Team Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen and U.S. Ski Team physical therapist Adam Perrault.
WIthout them, Lodwick said, he'd likely be watching the Olympics from home.
Instead, Lodwick’s name made the start sheet in Nordic combined’s opening event, the individual normal hill Gundersen competition.
He jumped 92.5 meters Wednesday morning and would have started 1 minute, 34 seconds back, though he intends to skip the cross-country portion of the event.
Lodwick, though, still is focused on the Feb. 20 team event.
“It’s still eight days until then,” he said. “I mean, every three days, we get to a new feat that we never thought we could.”
Lodwick took part in the practice jumps the past couple of days and did the cross-country course Tuesday — the place where the stress on his shoulder is the greatest.
Lodwick said he’s not in pain, but doctors don’t want him to create any unwanted movement that could pull on the fractures.
“If that happens, I’m out,” he said. “Then I can’t do anything.”
Lodwick has been working on different techniques with the injured arm and figuring out how to pole plant to get the most power with the least amount of pain.
With the focus on the team event, Lodwick said he slowly would build up his cross-country skills throughout the next several days, specifically focusing on the 5-kilometer distance he’ll ski in the team event.
“I’m going to ski real fast 5Ks and get ready to go,” he said.
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