Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong of Vermontville will be among the athletes competing for automatic nominations to February's Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia this weekend in the 2014 Olympic Trials.
Nordic combined athletes and men's and women's ski jumpers will take part in a winner-take-all competition on Saturday and Sunday in Park City, Utah, the site of the 2002 Olympic Games.
"I'm really looking forward to having a domestic event that will showcase our sport going into the Sochi Olympics, especially having it at the home of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games," Demong said in a press release. "Above all, I think it's going to be really exciting to have an event here in the Olympic season with a lot of guys fired up to try to make the team as well as showcase the sport on NBC."
Billy Demong of Vermontville soars through the air during the nordic combined World Cup competition Sunday, Dec. 15 in Ramsau, Austria. Demong finished ninth in Austria and is currently 30th in the overall World Cup standings through six of the 17 events.
(AP Photo — Kerstin Joensson)
The event will be broadcast Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on NBC, with a 90-minute special featuring live coverage from ski jumping and a next-day recap of nordic combined.
Women's ski jumping will make its Olympic Trials debut with the winner becoming the first female ski jumper to qualify for the inaugural 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. Lindsey Van, a world champion ski jumper is favored to win the event, while another world champion, Sarah Hendrickson, will miss the event as she recovers from a knee injury.
The remainder of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team in ski jumping and Nordic combined will be selected from existing World Cup and Continental Cup events. The announcement of the full 2014 Olympic Team nominations will be Jan. 22.
Demong, 33, is looking to compete in his fifth Winter Olympic Games. He became the first-ever American to win an Olympic gold medal in a Nordic event in 2010 in Vancouver when he captured the 10-kilometer individual large hill title. Demong also skied the final lap for the U.S. relay team that won silver in the 4x5k large hill event.
Demong learned to jump through the New York Ski Educational Foundation before attending high school at National Sports Academy in Lake Placid. He has competed in the Nagano, Salt Lake City, Torino and Vancouver Olympic Games.