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Bill Demong ( 1980 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]
 

Bill DemongUnited States Olympic medalist, Bill Demong, was practically born on skis. His father, an environmental biologist was a keen supporter of the outdoors and had young Demong on cross-country skis at the young age of three. By the time he was five he was racing, and began jumping at a mere ten years of age.

As a youth, Demong enrolled in Larry Stone's Lake Placid training program, where he remained for seven years. In 1997 he won his first world cup. He joined the 1998 United States Olympic Team at the youthful age of seventeen. Four years later, tragedy struck, when he suffered a fractured skull injury while diving, and he was kept out of the 2003 ski season. However, he is today philosophical about the injury, claiming the required time out from his sport helped him from experiencing early burnout.

Demong went on to become only the second United States Nordic combined skier to earn an Olympic or World Championships medal. In 2009 Demong was disqualified from the jumping portion at the World Championships, having misplaced his athlete's bib. Later he discovered it was in a leg of his jumping suit. His disqualification hurt the United States team, and he apologized to them. Two days later he rebounded to win the gold medal, stating that "I owed it to them. After it happened, I actually needed my team's support. I really felt that I let them down, so today is dedicated to them."

A personal highlight of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics included not only the medal win, but on the day he was named flag bearer for the United States Olympic Team and the day he won gold, he also proposed to his girlfriend. She accepted and the couple is planning a wedding. Demong referred to that eventful day as "a whirlwind of a day."

While Demong spends much of his time on or around skis, he has a variety of other interests. For example, during the summers he cycles competitively. He describes himself as a "cycling fanatic" who won the United States team time trial held on a classic Tour de France stage. He also enjoys carpentry and salmon fishing in Alaska. He enjoys classic rock, ice cream, and elk steak. He is a self-described "Nordic nerd," who has little interest in mainstream professional sports.

Demong is an active Twitter participant as well. On the lighter side of awards he has received, he noted on his Twitter account that he was pleased to be named an Olympic Stud of the Day by the website popwatch.com. He enjoys working with young skiers, recently helping to instruct more than fifty children in an NSF practice. He stated that it was an "awesome bright sunny day to watch the next generation..."


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