Todd Lodwick makes history at U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Trials

Todd Lodwick
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Todd Lodwick won the U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Trials on Saturday, becoming the first six-time U.S. Winter Olympian.

“Winning today was definitely a monkey off the back in being able to say that I am in fact going to my sixth Olympic Games,” Lodwick said. “It’s daunting and humbling statement, but I don’t think there was any doubt in my mind, even before this competition, that I was going to make my sixth team as long as I trained hard and competed well.”

Lodwick, 37, took a 36-second lead into the 10km cross-country race due to winning the morning ski jump in Park City, Utah. He held off Bryan Fletcher for the trials title by 17 seconds.

The rest of the up-to-five-man U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Team will be named by Jan. 22. It is expected to include Fletcher, brother Taylor and 2010 Olympic champion Bill Demong.

“I’m never surprised at what Todd can pull off,” said Demong, who finished third. “He has proven time and time again that he can pull through.”

The U.S. Olympic Trials continue with men’s and women’s ski jumping on Sunday (NBC, 1:30-3 p.m. ET).

Lodwick’s 36-second lead was not insurmountable given he led after the ski jumping portion of the National Championships in October and finished more than one minute behind winner Demong after the 10km roller skiing portion.

Lodwick first competed at the Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994 at age 17. He accumulated nine top-10s over the 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympics before winning his first Olympic medal in 2010, a team silver.

The U.S. Olympic Nordic Combined Team hopes to build on its first Olympic medals from the Vancouver Games. Demong won the large hill competition in 2010 and the now retired Johnny Spillane added two silver medals to the team silver.

“I have no doubt that the top guys will go to Sochi, and we will be an awesome team and have a strong showing,” Lodwick said. “For me today to put the emotional side away and compete at my best, especially in front of everybody, is very humbling.”

U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Trials preview, schedule

Oleksandr Abramenko, Ukraine’s top Winter Olympian, tears knee, career in question

Oleksandr Abramenko
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Aerials skier Oleksandr Abramenko, who won both of Ukraine’s medals over the last two Winter Olympics, is out for the season after a knee ligament tear and said he might not return to competition at all, according to Ukrainian media.

Abramenko, 34, won gold at the 2018 Olympics — Ukraine’s second-ever individual Winter Olympic title after figure skater Oksana Baiul in 1994 — and silver last year.

He competed once this season, placing 10th at a World Cup in Finland on Dec. 4, and then flew with the Ukrainian national team to stay in Utah ahead of World Cups in Canada in January and at the 2002 Olympic venue in Park City this weekend. The area also hosted many Ukraine winter sports athletes this past summer.

Abramenko missed the competition in Canada two weeks ago due to injury and then wasn’t on the start list for today’s aerials event in Park City. He is set to miss the world championships later this month in Georgia (the country, not the state).

Abramenko said he needs surgery, followed by a nine-month rehabilitation process, similar to an operation on his other knee six years ago, according to Ukraine’s public broadcaster. He said he will see how the recovery goes and determine whether to return to the sport at age 35, according to the report.

Abramenko is already the oldest Olympic men’s aerials medalist and come the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games will be older than all but one male aerialist in Olympic history, according to Olympedia.org.

At last year’s Olympics, Abramenko, Ukraine’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony, was hugged after the aerials final by Russian Ilya Burov, who finished one spot behind Abramenko for a bronze medal. A week later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

A week after that, Abramenko posed for a photo sitting on a mattress in a Kyiv parking garage with his wife and 2-year-old son published by The New York Times.

“We spend the night in the underground parking in the car, because the air attack siren is constantly on,” Abramenko texted, according to the newspaper. “It’s scary to sleep in the apartment, I myself saw from the window how the air defense systems worked on enemy missiles, and strong explosions were heard.”

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Freestyle skiers in World Cup action on NBC Sports, Peacock

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Olympic gold medalists David Wise and Alex Hall headline World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding stops in the U.S. this weekend, airing on NBC Sports and Peacock.

Wise, who last Sunday won his fifth X Games Aspen ski halfpipe title, led the qualifiers into the final at the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix in California.

He’s joined in the 10-man final by U.S. Olympic teammates Aaron Blunck and Birk Irving. The women’s ski halfpipe final includes the top three from last week’s X Games — Brit Zoe Atkin, Canadian Rachael Karker and American Svea Irving. Olympic champion Eileen Gu of China is out after suffering a knee injury in an X Games training crash.

The ski slopestyle finals include the reigning men’s and women’s Olympic gold medalists — Hall, plus Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland.

The marquee snowboarders in Mammoth finals are Olympic big air silver medalist Julia Marino (slopestyle) and X Games silver medalist Maddie Mastro (halfpipe). Two-time Olympic champion Chloe Kim is taking the season off, and another double Olympic champion, Jamie Anderson, is pregnant.

Aerials and moguls skiers are competing in their lone U.S. World Cup stop in Park City, Utah.

The moguls fields including Olympic gold medalists Walter Wallberg of Sweden, Mikael Kingsbury of the U.S., Perrine Laffont of France and Jakara Anthony of Australia. Olympic silver medalist Jaelin Kauf is the standout American.

The aerials include every member of the U.S. team that took gold at last year’s Olympics — Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld.

Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding World Cup Broadcast Schedule

Day Event Time (ET) Platform
Saturday Moguls 11 a.m. CNBC, Peacock
Ski Halfpipe 3 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Sunday Ski Slopestyle 12 p.m. CNBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Aerials, Dual Moguls 2 p.m. NBC, Peacock
Snowboard Halfpipe 2 p.m. CNBC, Peacock

All NBC and CNBC coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

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