At the closing ceremony of the Olympic yesterday, Vermontville, New York’s Billy Demong was the U.S. flag bearer. But he also carried the banner as the first U.S. Olympic champion in Nordic sports.
Before these games, the only Olympic medals won by the Americans in Nordic sports – which include biathlon, ski jumping, Nordic combined and cross-country skiing – were a silver and a bronze. Demong won gold in the Nordic combined large hill event.
In action over the weekend, two locals took part in the men’s downhill slalom. Nolan Kasper of Warren has the best finish for an American, and that was 24th place. Jimmy Cochran of Keene, New Hampshire was in 44th place after his first run, but did not finish on his second.
And there was more bad news for the U.S. men’s biathlon team. The team, including New Yorkers Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey finished in 13th place in the 4 by 7.5 k relay. Burke was aiming for the first U.S. gold medal in biathlon after becoming the first American to don the coveted yellow bib as the overall World Cup leader a couple of months ago. But his games featured the worst performances of his otherwise spectacular season. Burke told the Associated Press the Vancouver races were "pretty awful" and much below his normal level, but that’s the way racing goes. And there’s always Sochi, Russia in 2014.