Bill Demong walked into American’s living rooms this past February when he made history on prime time television. He began his 4th Olympic Games by overcoming over a minute deficit in the 10km cross country leg of Nordic Combined to put himself back into contention for the medals. He then went on to anchor the first ever American Nordic relay medal team to a Silver Medal in the 4x5km Large Hill Team event. And finally became the first American in 86 Years to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Nordic skiing. However, many remember him as the authentic, young man whom on the same night of winning the Gold Medal not only proposed to his long time girlfriend, but was also chosen by his fellow peers to be flag bearer at the Olympic Closing ceremonies. Often, this appointment is recognized as one of the highest honors amongst Olympians. It not only illustrates an Olympians athletic achievement but their overall character embodying the Olympic spirit. Billy has an innate ability to connect and appreciate all around him, knowing what dedication means, he is the first to recognize it in others that work, train and support him, these include his teammates and sponsors, coaches and volunteers on the race course.
Billy grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York State. He started ski racing at five years old. At age 8 he discovered Ski Jumping at the nearby Olympic venue in Lake Placid. By nine he began Nordic Combined skiing.
Though he admits he struggled in the beginning, hard work and persistence have paid off during his career. In 1997 he muscled his way into a preseason trip before the '98 Olympic season and earned his way onto the World Cup tour. At age 17 he competed in his first Winter Games in Nagano. In 1999 at the age 18 he entered his first World Championships and finished a respectable 18th. His career in Nordic Combined Skiing and athletic results begin to show his success. Having competed on three Olympic Teams and five World Championship squads he finally made the podium in a Championship event with a Silver Medal in Sapporo, Japan in 2007. In 2009, he finally won his first World Championship Title on the Large Hill in Liberec, Czech.
4 Time US Olympian
2010 Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist
2009 World Championship Gold and Bronze Medalist
2007 World Championship Silver medalist
2000 World Junior Championship Silver Medalist
1999 World Junior Championship Gold Medalist
World Cup Results:
2008 & 2009 3rd World Cup Overall Standings
9 World Cup wins and 20 podiums
7 National Championships in Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping
What sets Billy apart from most has been his ability to endure and not only survive, but persevere through the challenges and adversity he has faced in his life. In 2002 Billy had a horrific accident when he fractured his skull.
Today, with the Olympics behind him, Billy looks forward to next year to defend his World Championship Title in Oslo, Norway and his Olympic Title at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. His training in the off-season includes a broad range of endurance activities from running and hiking to roller skiing and cycling. What few people know, is Billy started racing his road bike as an avenue to ski faster. At the same time he found a second sport to love that led to a full calendar of national level races including the Cascade Classic and the Tour of Utah. One of his accomplishments was a second place overall at the High Uinta Classic Stage Race from Kamas, Utah to Evanston, Wyoming.
In addition to his simplistic love to ski, drive for athletic challenges and desire to be in the outdoors; he is motivated to continue to compete through the next Olympics to provide leadership for the sport of Nordic Combined. He is passionate about continuing to allow and create opportunities for future generations. Billy has created camps to help support and identify younger athletes talent.
GOAL “Our goal is to continue the tradition of success in Nordic Combined skiing that the United States has built over the past few decades. We are taking into consideration the importance to cultivate improvements at your age. We feel that by bringing you into closer contact with other talents from across the country you will have the best opportunity to push each other to become better competitors as well as build a strong team for the future.”
Billy is also a motivational speaker and advocate of climate change. At the 75th Anniversary of Earth Day, Billy spoke as the Athlete Ambassador for the "Athletes for the Earth Campaign"