February 25, 2010
The conditions are overcast and cloudy. The sun looks like it's trying to spit through. It will be interesting to see what happens for the cross-country portion of the race and if the Americans can get their wax set straight.
A look at the contenders: —World cup leader, small hill gold medalist and French skier Jason Lamy Chappuis could be the man to beat. He's strong in both disciplines as shown by his fifth place finish in jumping and cross-country skiing in the Individual Normal Hill Gundersen event.
— Magnus Moan and Felix Gottwald from Austria should both be in the medal hunt. They skied the two fastest times in the cross-country portion of the Normal Hill event, then helped Austria to gold in the team event. If both jump well — something they didn't do in the Normal Hill event — they'll be tough to beat.
— Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick and Bill Demong. Spillane's been consistent throughout, Lodwick's tough in both disciplines and if Demong jumps well he's been fast on his cross-country skis.
Tidbits of interest If Spillane is to win he'll join Finland's Samppa Lajunen, Germany's Georg Hettich and Gottwald as the only Nordic combined athlets to win three medals at the same games since a third event was added in 2002.
Also if Spillane is able to medal today, he'll have done it on two important days for a married man. The silver in the Individual Normal Hill Gundersen event took place on Valentine's day. A medal today would be a great way to celebrate his wife Hilary's birthday.
A look at today's US jump order: 7. Taylor Fletcher 34. Todd Lodwick 37. Billy Demong 39. Johnny Spillane