The last time Canada hosted the Winter Olympics, in Calgary in 1988, the U.S. was the weakling of Nordic combined, lagging so far behind the rest of the world in the sport—a mix of ski jumping and cross-country racing—that the Americans were still on the course as the winners held their press conference. But in Vancouver the U.S. team was a force. In the individual normal hill competition at Whistler Olympic Park on Day 3, Todd Lodwick (above) finished second in the morning's jump, two spots ahead of teammate Johnny Spillane. That afternoon in the 10K, Lodwick (2, left) and Spillane (4, left) battled with Montana-born Frenchman Jason Lamy Chappuis (5, left) and Italy's Alessandro Pittin over 25 stirring minutes. Lodwick led for much of the race before being overtaken by Spillane. In the final 100 meters, though, Chappuis passed Spillane to take gold; Spillane held on for silver and Pittin edged Lodwick for bronze. Bill Demong, meanwhile, charged from 24th to sixth. It was the best Olympic result ever for a U.S. Nordic team, and afterward the Americans hardly seemed to care which one of them had crossed the line first. "I'm thrilled for all of us, everyone in the U.S. system," said Demong, at 33 the oldest member of the team. "Today it feels like we all won."