Lodwick: 'I have every intention of competing in the team event in Sochi'

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— Todd Lodwick wasn’t downplaying the shoulder injury he suffered Friday at a World Cup competition in Chaux Neuve, France, but he still is planning on making the trip to Sochi, Russia, next month as part of the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team.

“I did dislocate my shoulder,” Lodwick said Tuesday afternoon from Park City, Utah. “I will be in a sling for about 2 to 2 1/2 weeks. But I’m back on the treadmill, I’m doing intervals and I have every intention of competing in the team event in Sochi.”

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U.S. Ski Team

Todd Lodwick

The team event will be the final Nordic combined competition and is scheduled for Feb. 20 at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center in the mountains surrounding Sochi. The men’s individual normal hill event will take place Feb. 12, and the men’s individual large hill event will take place Feb. 18.

“It was a traumatic shoulder injury,” Lodwick said. “I’m listening to the doctors and taking it one day at a time. I know it’s going to be an uphill battle, but I’m up for it. … With the support of the U.S. team coaches, my teammates and family, I have every intent of getting to Sochi.”

Lodwick said he was not sure about the road map to recovery. He said he plans to maintain the best physical condition while working to keep his shoulder immobilized. Once doctors clear him, he plans to get back on cross-country skis and eventually get back on the jump hill.

“There are a lot of historical ramifications,” Lodwick said. “It will be the first time an athlete has competed in six Olympics. It means a lot to me, it means a lot to the U.S. Ski Team and I’m going to do everything possible to make sure I don’t let the team down.”

The Olympic silver medalist became the first American to be nominated for six Olympic teams when he won the 2014 Olympic Trials on Dec. 28 in Park City.

Lodwick was seriously injured and transported to the hospital Jan. 10 after crashing during a provisional jump at a World Cup event in France.

He was immediately flown back to the United States, where he underwent an MRI test Saturday in Park City and was examined by doctors Monday. Lodwick said he was optimistic after talking to doctors and is confident that he can make it back in time for the team event at the 2014 Olympics. He would not say whether individual events still were in the picture, stating that he is taking things one day at a time.

“I’m in high spirits after talking to the doctors,” Lodwick said. “This is the first time I’ve crashed in competition in 20 years. It was just a freak accident.”

Olympic silver medalist and Lodwick’s former teammate Johnny Spillane knows all too well what it is like to have to recover from an injury. During his career, he dislocated his shoulder, recovered from a broken collarbone and broke his coracoid, which is part of the shoulder blade. He battled through shoulder pain during the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.

“The most important thing about recovering from an injury is believing that you can,” Spillane said.

Spillane thinks that Lodwick is confident that he can make it back in time for the Olympic Games in Sochi, and if everything progresses as planned, he expects to see, if only on television, his former teammate competing with the world’s best athletes this February.

“I would be surprised if he’s not there,” Spillane said.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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