At the opening ceremony of the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, a proud 37-year-old man will be carrying the American flag. Todd Lodwick, the skier who competes in the Nordic Combined category, has been chosen to lead our nation onto the field during the Olympics.
Here is what you need to know about this old pro:
1. He Was Voted ‘Flag Bearer’ By the Entirety of Team USA
In a vote by all the team captains, Lodwick, a native of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was voted to lead all 230 members of Team USA into the Olympics. He will be holding the American flag at the opening ceremony in Sochi on February 7. The team voted him because of his seniority and as a capstone to his incredible career.
Of the honor, Lodwick said:
Being nominated to carry the flag at the Opening Ceremony is one of the greatest honors that has ever been bestowed upon me. I couldn’t be more humbled and excited to be selected among all of the great athletes who were vying for this representation. Going into my sixth Olympic Games, it feels like I have already won a medal, and to cap off my career by representing the United States of America and Team USA is truly a privilege.
2. He’s the First American to Be in 6 Winter Olympics
Lodwick will become the first American to participate in 6 winter Olympics. He also participated in 10 world championships. At each of these international competitions, he competes in the Nordic Combined competition which includes cross-country skiing and ski jumping.
3. He is a Two-time Wold Champion and an Olympic Medalist
After 4 Olympics, Lodwick finally won his first medal at number 5, the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics. In addition to his olympic silver medal in the Nordic Combined, he also won two gold medals at world championships in 2009.
4. He ‘Retired in 2008’
In 2006, the then 31-year-old Lodwick announced his retirement. He came out of retirement in 2008 in order to qualify for the 2010 Olympics. He won his world championships on his way to qualifying in 2009.
5. He’s the First Skier to be Flag Bearer Since 1992
Starting in 1906, the US Teams have picked an official flag bearer to lead the team at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The last skier chosen for this honor was Bill Koch, a cross-country skier at the 1992 Olympics, and before that it was Cynthia Nelson in 1976.