POSTED: Sunday February 14th 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"The medal drought is over!"- NBC Analyst Chad Salmela On the USA's First Nordic Combined Olympic Medal In 86 Years

DAY 3 DAYTIME HIGHLIGHTS OF NBC AND USA NETWORK WINTER OLYMPICS COVERAGE

VANCOUVER - February 14, 2010 - Daytime coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games continued today on NBC and USA Network. Live competition coverage on NBC included the nordic combined individual (K95 jumping and 10km cross-country) gold medal final and men’s biathlon 10km sprint gold medal final, as well as men’s singles luge competition. USA Network coverage included live women’s hockey between USA and China.

For the first time in 86 years, an American won an Olympic medal in nordic combined. 2003 world champion Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) took home silver. Teammates Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Bill Demong (Vermontville, N.Y.) and also finished in the top six.

Dick Button stopped by the studio with Al Michaels to preview the figure skating pairs short program tonight live in primetime.

Coverage Highlights Include:

NBC:
AL MICHAELS ON THE U.S. MEDAL COUNT: “That medal for Spillane is the fifth U.S. medal in just a day and a half, and that is just one less than the United States won at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.”

DICK BUTTON FIGURE SKATING PAIRS SHORT PROGRAM PREVIEW:

BUTTON ON CHINA’S SHEN AND ZHAO: “The practices so far, they’ve been brilliant, they’ve been breathtaking. Pairs skating is one of the most difficult of all elements of skating because two people have to do the same thing together, in unison. All the difficulties of the lifts and the jumps have just been astounding. They’re just spectacular, the way they move together. They’ve come back at the ages of 31 and 36. Well, hats off to them. They’re really wonderful. I love watching them.”

BUTTON ON OTHER MEDAL CONTENDERS: “The other Chinese: Zhang and Zhang, and Pang and Tong and the German pairs are great, and so are the Russians. And then there are the Americans. I mean they’re wonderfully fresh and exciting and have done marvelously at pulling this together.”

BUTTON ON TEAM USA’S DENNEY AND BARRETT: They’re exciting to watch. She’s got tremendous power in that lift and the landing. They’re exciting, they’re forceful, and they have confidence. They’re an up-and-coming, and wonderfully exciting young pair. That is very good for pair skating in the United States.”

BUTTON ON THESE OLYMPICS FIGURE SKATING EVENTS: “When the skating is good, it really lifts your heart. We’re going to see some wonderful moments in all four events here.”

NORDIC COMBINED INDIVIDUAL K95 JUMPING AND 10KM CROSS COUNTRY GOLD MEDAL FINAL
Ski Jumping: Matt Vasgersian (Play-By-Play), Chad Salmela (Analyst)
Cross Country: Al Trautwig (Play-By-Play), Chad Salmela (Analyst)
Gold: Jason Lamy Chappius, France
Silver: Johnny Spillane, USA
Bronze: Alessandro Pittin, Italy

2009 WORLD CHAMPION BILL DEMONG ON THE USA NORDIC COMBINED TEAM:
“It’s been a long 86 years in Olympic history for the United States team in nordic combined. This would be a great time to break the seal. On our team, it’s a big camaraderie. It’s almost like a band of brothers. We train hard together, and we push each other. We want to, first and foremost, win a medal in the Olympics for the U.S. nordic combined team. If we get a couple under our belts, maybe we’ll start to worry about who it is. But right now, the focus is to help each other get there and to make history.”

TRAUTWIG ON JOHNNY SPILLANE: “First ever Olympic medal in nordic combined and it goes to Johnny Spillane.”

SALMELA ON THE U.S. NEVER WINNING A MEDAL IN NORDIC COMBINED: “The medal drought is over. Spillane takes the silver for the United States. Unbelievable.”

SALMELA ON THE U.S. SUPPORT: “I’ve been at the last three Olympic events, nordic events, and I have never seen more American flags in the stadium.”

SPILLANE ON BREAKING THE MEDAL DROUGHT: “It was great. Obviously we are very excited. To have three guys in the top six is amazing. This is such a strong team now and we’ve worked really, really hard for a lot of years and to have it finally be coming together for everybody at the right time is awesome.”

MEN’S BIATHLON 10KM SPRINT GOLD MEDAL FINAL
Al Trautwig (Play-By-Play), Chad Salmela (Analyst)
Gold: Vincent Jay, France
Silver: Emil Hegle Svendsen, Norway
Bronze: Jakov Fak, Croatia

USA’S TIM BURKE ON THE COMPETITION: “Probably the most unfair race I’ve ever been apart of. In the middle of the race there when I started it was pouring down rain into a big snowstorm and now its sun again so the people starting in the middle of the pack today had no chance. It wasn’t my day I didn’t feel great and had three penalties and started in the middle of the pack. So, next time.”

TRAUTWIG ON THE CONDITIONING OF BIATHLETES: “The key thing about this sport is that you get your heart rate so fired up in the skiing portion and then you have to somehow magically settle your body down to where that pounding heart just doesn’t allow you to hit the targets. That’s the magic of this sport. That means these are some of the most well conditioned athletes in the Winter Olympics.”

SALMELA: “They are probably the most well conditioned mentally as well because this is a sport that doesn’t allow chinks in the armor, emotionally or mentally.”

MEN’S LUGE SINGLES COMPETITION
Bob Papa (Play-By-Play), Duncan Kennedy (Analyst), Lewis Johnson (Reporter)

USA’S CHRIS MAZDZER ON HIS LUGE RUNS: “The last three runs have been great, the atmosphere is amazing. I’ve got a good fan club over there, they’re yelling, they’re cheering. It’s getting me all pumped up, I’m excited.”

PAPA ON MAZDZER: “This does not look like a kid in his first Olympics, I’ll tell you that right now. You could not ask anymore from this kid, he is just driving a fantastic race.”

KENNEDY ON THE SHORTENING THE LUGE COURSE: “It’s changed everything. Shortening the course really changed the game plan of a lot of these sliders. This was a technical challenge top to bottom for the men. Now it’s a gliding course at the start. It is still technical down below, but it has changed the timing of the drives, the strength of the drives and that’s affected a few of the athletes. They’ve only had two training runs from this lower start so I think that is affecting what we’re seeing right now.”

KENNEDY ON LATVIA AND SLIDING SPORTS: “My favorite sliding sports nation. They do more with less than anybody. One of the favorites to win medal’s in men’s skeleton. One of the favorites to win four-man bobsled.”

USA NETWORK:

WOMEN’S ICE HOCKEY: USA vs. CHINA
USA 12 vs. China 1
Bill Patrick (Host), Cammi Granato (Studio Analyst), Mike Emrick (Play-by-Play), AJ Mleczko (Analyst)

TEAM USA’S MEGHAN DUGGAN ON SHAKING HANDS WITH VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN:“That was awesome. We were just coming off and we see him standing there, cheering for us.  It just reminds us that we are playing for our country here.”

GRANATO ON TEAM USA’S ENTHUSIASM:
“You’re looking at a team that has 15 players that are playing their first Olympic game, so you can imagine how exciting these girls are to just step on the ice and get going.”

GRANATO ON STAR USA PLAYER HILARY KNIGHT:
“The player you need to watch is the youngest member of the team, Hilary Knight. She is a big goal scorer. She loves to be involved in the offense, has a great release and one of the best shots I’ve ever seen in women’s hockey.”

MLECZKO ON TEAM CHINA AS THE UNDERDOG:
“You have to give them a lot of credit for being here, for battling, and for competing against some of the best players in the world.”

MLECZKO ON TEAM USA’S PERFORMANCE VS. CHINA:
“Team USA is incredibly fit and skating circles around them.”

TEAM USA’S ANGELA RUGGIERO ON THE ATMOSPHERE IN VANCOUVER:“Just pure excitement. We have a lot of players in their first Olympics, this is my fourth, but we are all super excited to be here and to represent our country.”

Members of the media can get more information about NBC Universal and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at www.nbcumv.com.

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Keywords · Vancouver 2010 · Winter Olympics · Chad Salmela · Nordic Combined


Name: Lyndsay Iorio
Organization: NBC Sports
Email:
Phone: 212-664-2014
URL: www.NBCSports.com


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