KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Steamboat's Todd Lodwick has achieved a lot in the sport of nordic combined — Olympic silver medalist, two-time world championship gold medalist — but the honor he received Wednesday is one he will treasure forever.
America's only six-time Winter Olympian was elected by his U.S. Olympic Team peers to lead them into the opening ceremony Friday as the American flag bearer.
"Being nominated to carry the flag at the opening ceremony is one of the greatest honors that has ever been bestowed upon me," said Lodwick, who dreamed of becoming an Olympian when he was a child in the venerable Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. "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."
Lodwick, 37, is the first skier to carry the U.S. flag at the opening ceremony since cross country skier Bill Koch in 1992.
"I'd like to congratulate Todd on this tremendous honor," said U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive Scott Blackmun. "Todd is such a deserving representative of our athletes and our nation. His commitment and dedication embody what it means to be an Olympian."
The first nordic combined event is scheduled for Wednesday. Lodwick is one of three Steamboat natives on the four-man U.S. nordic combined team, along with brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher.
Lodwick's nordic combined teammate Bill Demong carried the U.S. flag at the closing ceremony of the Vancouver Games four years ago.