Todd Lodwick still expects to be the first American to compete in six Winter Olympics, four days after dislocating his left shoulder in a ski jumping crash.
“Bruised and beat up a little bit, but my spirits are pretty high at the moment,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I have all intention of recovering from this and being as strong as I can.”
Lodwick, who earned his spot on the Olympic Team by winning the Olympic Trials on Dec. 28, said he crashed for the first time in a competition setting in his 20-year career in France on Friday.
He’s training at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence in Park City, Utah, doing treadmill work. Lodwick, a noted strong ski jumper, is currently unable to use his left arm for cross-country skiing and is keeping it as immobile as possible.
He’s focused on coming back for the 4x5km relay in Sochi, which is the last event on the Nordic combined program on Feb. 20. Lodwick and the U.S. won silver in the event in 2010 and are among the medal contenders again this year.
Lodwick said further evaluations will be necessary to determine his availability for competing in individual events on Feb. 12 and Feb. 18.
He was fourth in the normal hill event in Vancouver, where teammate Johnny Spillane won the first U.S. Olympic medal in Nordic combined, a silver.
Lodwick called Friday’s crash a “freak accident.”
“Things go up, things come down,” he said. “When you travel at a high rate of speed and one minor thing goes wrong, it can be catastrophic.”
He felt relatively fine, though, until his shoulder was popped back into place.
“Then the pain set in,” Lodwick said.