Spillane wins first ever U.S. gold medal in Nordic skiing

Fischer is all smiles after Johnny Spillane, skiing on Fischer skis, became the first U.S. Nordic world champion, winning the Nordic combined sprint title at the 2003 FIS Nordic World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Fischer is all smiles after Johnny Spillane, skiing on Fischer skis, became the first U.S. Nordic world champion, winning the Nordic combined sprint title at the 2003 FIS Nordic World Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy. Spillane's win also gives him the honor of being the first U.S. winner of a gold medal in a Nordic event in Olympic or World Championships history.

SNEWS watched this Sunday morning as NBC covered Spillane's remarkable sprint over the final 250 meters to take the gold, with Ronny Ackermann of Germany second and Felix Gottwald of Austria third.

"Our wax team gave me great skis and I was riding Fischer Rockets," said Spillane who began the 7.5 km sprint in fourth after the jump, 28 seconds behind German racers Georg Hettich and Ronny Ackermann, and two seconds behind German racer Matthias Benz. Austrian skier, Felix Gottwald, began the day 35 seconds out, passing Spillane in a quick surge to the front pack -- no doubt he had little left to give when Spillane ignited the after-burners.

Spillane joined Gottwald, Ackerman and Hettich heading into the third and final lap. Spillane told reporters he was able to rest for about 30 seconds while holding onto fourth as the group slowed its pace for a while. "That gave me the break I needed," Spillane said. "I knew I had great skis and with that I was really set to go."

It is worth noting that only two other U.S. skiers have won medals in the history of World Championship and Olympic Nordic competition. Anders Haugen took a bronze in jumping at the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix, France. Bill Koch won two medals, a silver in the 30 km men's cross-country race at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and a bronze in the same event at the 1982 World Championships in Oslo, Norway.

SNEWS View: How fun! Great for the U.S. Nordic team. Great for Spillane and the Steamboat Springs, Colo., program. Great for the new coaching staff. And, great for Fischer! We had to giggle when Spillane, giddy from his win, kept holding up the Fischer skis, and kept going on and on about how fast his skis were and how great his waxing team was. You'd have thought the folks at Fischer had coached him, which we know they hadn't! We're still smiling right along with him.

Related

MIPS Wins Two Gold Medals this Weekend in Austria

February 13, 2013 (Schladming and Hochfügen, Austria) Aksel Lund Svindal won the men’s downhill title at the Alpine Skiing World Championships after completing a near perfect run in Schladming, Austria on Saturday wearing a Sweet Protection helmet equipped with the MIPS Brain ...read more

Jaybird Sports

Jaybird to Power USA Nordic Ski Teams with Music in their Quest for Gold

Salt Lake City, UT - January 17, 2018  Sports audio and technology pioneer, Jaybird announced today a partnership with USA Nordic, the national leadership organization of ski jumping and nordic combined in the United States. In addition to stewarding the Nordic jumping sports, ...read more

U.S. Ski Team Partners With Ski Star's Clothing Line

OSLO, Norway (Feb. 28) – Norway's Bjørn Dæhlie clothing brand, a global leader in nordic sports, has extended its partnership with the U.S. Ski Team through 2015. The announcement came in the heart of the 2011 Nordic Ski World Championships at Holmenkollen in Oslo. Connected ...read more

Aspen-DEEP-SNOW_020811.jpg

Hot Sheet: Stock reports, silver medals and chalet girls

Black Diamond, Inc., announced preliminary sales for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2010. While earnings will not be announced until the audit of the Company’s 2010 results is completed, BD expects to report fourth quarter consolidated sales of approximately ...read more

K2 buys Line Skis, plus Karhu Nordic and telemark ski brands

K2 Sports has acquired Line Skis and the Karhu North American Nordic and telemark brands from Trak Sports USA. Terms of the deal were not announced. The acquisition gives K2 Sports the exclusive distribution rights globally to Line and exclusive North American distribution ...read more

GU gel wins Quality Institute Gold Medal taste award

In a tasting of sports energy gels by the independent Quality Institute International, GU gel came out on top based on taste and texture as judged by a panel of chefs. According to the institute, where taste-tests are done by its American Tasting Institute division, seven ...read more

Nordic walking update: Euro market matures, U.S. gaining awareness

Two worlds they are, the Nordic walking world in its birthplace in central Europe and Scandinavia and the nascent one in North America. In the United States, awareness and interest is increasing oh-so-slowly, but is nevertheless on the rise. At the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter ...read more

Speedy_peterson_072711.jpg

U.S. Ski Team statement on suicide of Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson

Aerials silver medalist Jeret Peterson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the evening of July 25, 2011. The United States Ski and Snowboard Association released the following statement on July 26: Olympic medalist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (Boise, ID) was praised as a great ...read more

A new youth movement discovers Nordic cool in jibbing

Haven't heard of "Nordic jibbing" yet? Well that may change soon with the introduction of the new Fischer Jibskate skis on Dec. 1. This will be the first twin-tipped skating ski built for the abuse of landing aerial maneuvers. That's right, we're talking skateboard/snowboard ...read more