Our second Every Step of the Way influencer program Sports Techie community blog is about the Olympic sport of Nordic Combined and Team USA athlete Billy Demong’s work with Citi to help future generations. U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Demong has teamed up with Team for Tomorrow to help spread the Olympic value of respect, excellence and friendship through inspirational talks and volunteering at community organizations.
Why Choose Billy?
I was all set to do some blogging about the U.S. ski team and Ted Ligety’s program for urban kids when through the power of social media, the former U.S. flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games retweeted one of my Sochi 2014 Sports Techie tweets in support of EveryStep.
— Bob Roble (@SportsTechieNET) February 15, 2014
The Nordic Combined event involves both ski jumping and cross country skiing. To ski faster than any other human is a tense fact of this sport that enjoys huge popularity in northern Europe countries such as Norway and Finland. Our American Nordic Combined history is not very long and accomplished as with some of the other more established winter sports.
I choose Billy because I like how he was so inspired growing up in the Lake Placid, New York, area that he eventually earned a gold medal. With Citi EveryStep, youth across the United States have role models and grass roots program in the sport they like best making their dream of competing against athletes from other nations and perhaps even winning a special Olympic medal a reality.
Citi is helping fund U.S. Olympic, Paralympic and Community Programs like Team For Tomorrow – SportsTechie blog
Citi Every Step of the Way®
Team for Tomorrow athlete ambassador and Olympic champion in nordic combined, Billy Demong, is continuing his support of Team for Tomorrow through Citi’s Every Step of the Way® – an initiative that benefits U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls as well as athletes of all ages in communities across America. By visiting everystep.citi.com/#billy, Team USA fans can help allocate a portion of Citi’s $500,000 total donation specifically to Team for Tomorrow. The funds will allow Team for Tomorrow athlete ambassadors to continue promoting an active and healthy lifestyle to young people across the country and also fund donations of much-needed sport equipment to local communities.
Help future athletes reach their full potential.
Here is a video overview of the program:
Citi® Every Step of the Way® Welcome Video
At the conclusion of the Every Step of the Way program, the USOC will distribute the funds to their sports programs.
Consumers who are ThankYou® members can redeem their own ThankYou Points for a donation to the sports program of their choice. Any such program would be in addition to the funds provided by Citi through the Every Step of the Way program.
Fans can visit Citi® Every Step to see athlete’s inspiring stories and help award Citi’s donation to any program with just a click: http://citi.us/1ek5E7S
Team for Tomorrow
Team For Tomorrow, helps athletes reach out to the communities they grew up in. Team for Tomorrow is a humanitarian program that provides a vehicle through which U.S. athletes can offer their assistance and support to those in need around the world, as well as a means to continue spreading the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect. Through this initiative, U.S. athletes offer assistance and support in the form of donations, volunteerism, disaster recovery support, advocacy and other contributions to communities.
First launched in 2008, this impactful program is beginning its fourth cycle in 2013-14 with U.S. Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls embracing the opportunity to give back through a wide variety of social and civic causes.
As stewards of the program, these athletes will educate their U.S. teammates about the program while at the same time giving back through visits at local multi-sport organizations in their hometowns and training communities.
Athlete ambassadors will donate service hours to various YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs and other youth organizations in their hometown and training communities both before and after the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. During these visits, the athletes will share their personal journeys through sport, help with after-school activities, lead sport clinics and speak with children about the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle. They will also donate a sport equipment package on behalf of the Team for Tomorrow program.
Citi: Billy Demong for Citi’s Every Step of the Way Program
Billy is 33 years old and weighs all of 146 pounds. He grew up in the Lake Placid area and was born a month after the Lake Placid Games. Driving past the Whiteface Mountain ski jumps was an inspirational model for him as a kid.
Facts via Sochi2014.com –
- Billy began skiing at age six and was jumping by age 10. (US Ski Team Guide 2002)
- He became the first US athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in Nordic skiing when he claimed victory in the 10km Gundersen event in Vancouver in 2010
- When he was eight, the boys he skied with all wanted to try jumping, so he joined them. Soon after he had switched to Nordic combined. (SLOC, 13 Dec 2001)
“With enough speed and distance you feel like you can go forever,” said Demong, “Feels like you are flying away.”
In 1998, Billy had a new plan, he was going to gain experience on the World Cup circuit and attempt to make Team USA for the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games. This goal was met and he continued competing over the next three Olympics. All this goal setting led to his historical gold medal win at Vancouver 2010. He is the defending Olympic champion going into the Sochi games where Demong said he will, “Enjoy being with his teammates and pushing them.”
Citi: Billy Demong of Team Citi shares his advice for young athletes
I believe Billy is an original Sports Techie at heart. He is a motivational speaker and spoke at the 75th anniversary of Earth Day as an ambassador for the ‘Athletes for the Earth Campaign’. He is also on the Lake Placid Ski Club.
The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, opened in November of 1982 before finally settling on their present location in 1989. Those facilities include the Olympic Center, Olympic Speed Skating Oval, Olympic Jumping Complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg and Whiteface Mountain Ski Area. Demong’s destiny was helped set in motion because the OTC was near his hometown.
He grew up hearing stories told by locals about the Olympic Medal Ceremonies and the “Miracle On Ice” Team USA men’s hockey gold medal game upset win over Russia.
Because the United States Olympic Committee has partnered with elite athlete training centers to allow American athletes the best training venues and facilities for their sport development, Billy had a chance to train on world-class facilities in Lake Placid.
The mission of the U.S. Olympic Training Sites to access additional resources, services and facilities for athletes and National Governing Bodies (NGBs) while providing an elite athlete training environment that positively impacts performance positively impacted Demong from a young age until now as an adult.
The training centers that have received the U.S. Olympic Training Site designation, have invested millions in facility, operating, staffing, equipment and athlete training costs. Many of the U.S. Olympic Training Sites will host U.S. Olympic Trials, helping Team USA prepare for the Olympic Games.
The OTC at Lake Placid includes a state-of-the art USOC sport science division organized around five departments: sport biomechanics, sport physiology, sport psychology, computer science and engineering technology.
Billy has been part of this USOC initiative since he was a baby. Going into Sochi, he has 22 World Cup career podiums, including nine wins.
Demong gave it his best but came up short in Sochi, finishing in 31st place in the 10km competition round.
Citi donated $500,000 to the U.S. Olympic Committee to help these programs
Every Step of the Way®.
How to help
With just a click, you can help award Citi’s donation to any program – you will have already helped by visiting their web site here: http://citi.us/1ek5E7S
Follow #EveryStep and the handle @CitiEveryStep for daily updates.
This post was created in partnership with Citi®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sports Techie, By clicking on the Citi EveryStep web site and selecting one of the nine programs, you will be helping with allocating personal support and financial assistance to Olympians in need. The $500,000 is a generous amount that will help inspire future generations.
I have gone Nordic skiing with my Dad, known as “Coach” in Bend, Oregon, who goes cross-country skiing nearly every day because he can and because it is a low impact sport and exercise on his knees that need to be replaced now that he is over 70. Both of us have never ski jumped before but my eight-month old baby son might one day after watching Billy and his teammates perform in Sochi on NBC.
If you are an aspiring Nordic Combined athlete or are interested in learning more about the other winter sports and you happen to live in or near Lake Placid, more power to you because your goal of being our next U.S. Olympic team Nordic Combined gold medal winner is that much easier because of where you live. If you live here in Seattle, or somewhere in the Midwest or South like Cincinnati or Atlanta, the Team For Tomorrow program might eventually come to your city should they have the necessary assets to make it so.
Click for Billy because not only is he the toughest, he also understands how important it is to give back to your sport when your best days of competition are finally behind you. Having said that, bring on 2018 PyeongChang, South Korea, when Billy will try to make his fifth consecutive Olympic team, or else make way for someone who may be part of the EveryStep program set up by Citi bank and the U.S. Olympic organization.
I believe that if we work together, this Citi initiative that was created through sports programs that inspire us will be a long-term success.
Team For Tomorrow is at 46% of goal, let’s use our community Klout to help them achieve 100%.
I will see ya when I see ya, THE Sports Techie @THESportsTechie – http://twitter.com/THESportsTechie
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