Steamboat Springs’ Todd Lodwick celebrates his gold medal in the 2009 Nordic Combined World Championships on Feb. 20 in Liberec, Czech Republic. Lodwick was named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2009 SportsMan of the Year on Friday, partly because of his stellar performances last year.

Michal Cizek/Newscom

Steamboat Springs’ Todd Lodwick celebrates his gold medal in the 2009 Nordic Combined World Championships on Feb. 20 in Liberec, Czech Republic. Lodwick was named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2009 SportsMan of the Year on Friday, partly because of his stellar performances last year.

Lodwick named Olympic Committee's SportsMan of the Year

Steamboat Springs Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick joins ranks of Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong

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World Championships

Lodwick reflects on the World Championships.

Lodwick reflects on the World Championships.

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Entire Lodwick interview

Sports editor John Russell's complete 44-minute interview with Todd Lodwick.

Sports editor John Russell's complete 44-minute interview with Todd Lodwick.

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Nordic skiing in Steamboat

Lodwick talks about how he thinks nordic combined found a home in Steamboat Springs.

Lodwick talks about how he thinks nordic combined found a home in Steamboat Springs.

— World Champion and Olym­pic medal hopeful Todd Lodwick was named the United States Olympic Committee’s 2009 SportsMan of the Year on Friday.

The award considers all sports, summer and winter.

“It’s humbling to be recognized amongst my Olympic peers,” Lodwick said in a U.S. Ski Team news release. “I’m especially proud to receive this honor on behalf of my sport. So many people have supported us for so many years that it’s heartwarming to know that our sport and my accomplishments, and those of my teammates, are meaningful.”

Lodwick, a Nordic combined skier who lives in Steamboat Springs, is one of three Amer­ican athletes to be named to five Winter Olympic teams. He shares that distinction with bobsledder Brian Shimer and luge athlete Mark Grimmette, who recently was named to this year’s team.

This season, Lodwick has finished in the top six in his seven Nordic combined World Cups, including two podium finishes.

But the real story came when Lodwick came out of retirement before the 2008-09 season. Lodwick worked his way back onto the U.S. Nordic Combined Team and then at the 2009 World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic, he won gold medals in the mass start and Gunderson events.

Lodwick joins elite company in being named SportsMan of the Year. Previous winners include Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, Rulon Gardner, Pete Sampras and Carl Lewis.

Lodwick becomes the first Nordic combined skier to win SportsMan of the Year and the first U.S. Ski Team athlete to win the award since Jonny Moseley in 1998.

“Todd’s return from retirement to win two World Champ­ionship gold medals is a story of personal dedication towards a goal,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt said in the same release. “But along with his individual accomplishments, he has worked together with his teammates to build a strong Nordic combined team for today and the future.”

Vail skier Lind­sey Vonn was named the USOC’s Sports­­Woman of the Year. Steph­ani Victor earned Pa­­ralympic Sports­Woman of the Year. Other honorees included Steven Holcomb’s four-man bobsled team, named Team of the Year. Sled hockey player Steve Cash was named Paralympic SportsMan of the Year, and the 2009 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team was awarded the inaugural USOC Paralympic Team of the Year honor.

Winners are selected from the individual female and male athlete of the year and team of the year nominations of the USOC and National Governing Bodies for the Olympic, Pan American, Affiliated and Disabled Sports Organizations within the U.S. Olympic Movement.

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