Being nominated to carry the flag at the opening ceremony is one of the greatest honors that has ever been bestowed upon me. I couldn't be more humbled and excited to be selected among all of the great athletes who were vying for this representation. —Todd Lodwick
Todd Lodwick felt fortunate just to earn his sixth trip to the Olympic Games this winter.
But Wednesday night it was announced that the 37-year-old Nordic combined athlete will lead the largest delegation of U.S. Olympians in Winter Games history as the opening ceremony 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. “I couldn't be more humbled and excited to be selected among all of the great athletes who were vying for this representation.”
The father of two earned his spot in his sixth games by winning the team selection event in Park City on Dec. 28. He said then that despite helping the U.S. to its first ever Nordic combined medal (a silver in the team event), he felt he had unfinished business at the games.
“I don’t have an individual medal, and to tell you the truth, being fourth in the first event by seven-tenths of a second, that one stung and still stings when I talk about it,” Lodwick said. “I still have the same mindset. I want to be on that podium.” Lodwick’s Olympic debut was in 1994. He and his teammates finished fourth in 2002, a heartbreak that led to his brief retirement. He came back to win two world championships in 2009, and then he helped the U.S. team win silver in Vancouver. His teammate, Billy Demong, won gold in Vancouver’s individual race, he carried the flag in the closing ceremony in Vancouver.
“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 said Wednesday.
He is the second Nordic combined skier to serve as flag bearer. Rolf Monsen led the U.S. team in the opening ceremony in 1936.
"I'd like to congratulate Todd on this tremendous honor," said USOC CEO 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, and I look forward to watching him represent the U.S. delegation, both at the opening ceremony and on the field of play.”