Golden moment finally arrives for Todd Lodwick |

Golden moment finally arrives for Todd Lodwick

Steamboat Springs native Todd Lodwick, left, celebrates his double gold medal showing at the 2009 Nordic World Championships, which were held in Liberec, Czech Republic, with U.S. Nordic combined teammate Bill Demong on Friday at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. Demong is a New York native but spent several years training in Steamboat Springs. He also won gold and bronze at the World Championships. Both skiers were honored for their performance at a community celebration.
John F. Russell

Todd Lodwick has been waiting for this party, this moment, for as long as he can remember. Truth is, there were times he doubted it would happen.

“This is amazing,” an emotional Lodwick said shortly after leaving the stage at a community celebration in Gondola Square Friday afternoon. “The cool thing about Steamboat Springs is that any time a local athlete accomplishes a goal like this our town is ready for a party. They love to celebrate things like this.”

Lodwick and teammate Bill Demong, who lived here for six years after coming to train with former U.S. Ski Team coach Tom Steitz, stood in the middle of the stage Friday afternoon in front of a large crowd filled with family, friends and longtime supporters.

“I wish I could break off a little piece of these medals and share it with all the people who have supported us over the years,” Lodwick said. “I really want to share this success with the entire community.”

Demong also was thrilled to be a part of Steamboat’s celebration. It’s a place he still considers home in many ways.

“I love coming back to Steamboat Springs, but it’s always hard to leave,” Demong said. “I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but I don’t think there is any place in the country that supports its athletes like Steamboat Springs.”

Friday’s crowd included former Olympians such as Gary Crawford, Todd Wilson and Billy Kidd. There also were coaches and young members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club who came out to see their hometown heroes.

“It’s about time,” Lorraine MacDonald said about Demong’s gold medal. “We knew it would happen for Billy. He’s so driven.”

Demong lived with MacDonald for three years while he was in Steamboat Springs. On Friday, she came out to share in the celebration.

“He’s a fabulous person, a great kid and the perfect role model,” MacDonald said. “We are just so happy for him.”

Andy Wirth, chief marketing officer for Intrawest, hosted the community celebration. Kidd, a two-time world champion in Alpine skiing, also spoke at the ceremony.

“This means everything,” Wirth said while visiting with the crowd after the presentation. “We’ve supported the Nordic combined World Cup since I started at the ski area, so this is a very special moment for us and the community of Steamboat Springs.”

Wirth was in Vancouver, B.C., last month when he got the news from Rick DeVos, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s executive director, that Lodwick had won a gold medal.

“I could hear Steamboat Springs cheering in Vancouver,” Wirth said. “This is a great accomplishment for the team and for Todd.”

Lodwick’s parents, Dennis and Jeanne, also were on hand Friday enjoying the long-overdue celebration.

“You don’t wait for it,” Jeanne said. “You hope that it will happen, and you work for it. You celebrate every achievement.”

– To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

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