Todd Lodwick: 'Don't count me out'

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
12:08
AM ET

Part of longevity is luck, and Todd Lodwick has been a very fortunate athlete for most of his 20-year career as an elite Nordic combined competitor.

"I've kind of gained this reputation for being invincible," he said. "Some crazy things have happened to me that might have killed other people."

As luck would have it, his first serious in-season injury came just mere weeks before the Sochi Winter Games, a destination Lodwick had already confirmed by winning the U.S. Olympic trials in late December.

But Lodwick said Tuesday by phone from Park City, Utah that he is optimistic the dislocated left shoulder and strained ligaments he suffered in an off-kilter landing from a provisional jump during a World Cup event in Chaux-Neuve, France, last Friday won't keep him from his sixth Olympics.

"I have every intention of rehabbing this in time to be an integral part of the team," said the Steamboat Springs, Colo., native, who returned from a two-year competitive hiatus to help the U.S. men win a silver medal in Vancouver four years ago. "Don't count me out."

Lodwick lost his balance in mid-air and crashed at the 60-meter mark. He did "a 10-point check -- legs, toes, arms, fingers" -- and initially felt no pain but discovered he couldn't move his left arm. Medical staff reached him quickly. "My first reaction was, 'Put [the shoulder] back in and I'll be good to go,'" he said.

That wasn't advisable, of course, so Lodwick flew home for a medical evaluation. He has to keep the shoulder immobilized for two weeks, but has resumed training from the chest down and is doing intervals on roller skis and simulated hikes on a treadmill to maintain his cardio fitness.

Lodwick said he's had a lot of support from his team, family and friends to help him deal with the psychological blow of the ill-timed injury. "I fully believe this is overcome-able," he said.

The Nordic combined team will be publicly announced on Jan. 25, but the list isn't official until Jan. 27, when the U.S. Olympic Committee must submit a final list. The individual Olympic events are Feb. 12 and 14 and the team event is Feb. 20.


Bonnie D. Ford

Enterprise and Olympic Sports
Bonnie D. Ford is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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