Deng shares his plans for life after USA Nordic


Billy Demong, a Vermontville native and Olympic medalist in Nordic combined, addresses a crowd at the Olympic Speed ​​Skating Oval on Thursday. Photo: Adirondack Daily Enterprise/Lauren Yates

Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LAKE PLACID – Billy Demong may be leaving USA Nordic Sport, but he’s not done with the Olympic world.
Demong, a Vermontville native, announced his resignation as executive director of USA Nordic earlier this week after a six-year run with the national governing body for ski jumping and Nordic combined.

Demong, a 2010 Olympic gold and silver medalist in Nordic combined, joined USANS in May 2016. He competed at two Olympics and three world championships during his time with the organization. Now he is ready for a break.

“I feel like I’m going to get a diminishing return in my ability to continue in the role that I’m in right now, because it’s been six years at a very high pace,” Demong said Thursday after the parade and welcome. athletes from Lake Placid. Celebration of the Olympians at home, where he was a guest speaker.

When Demong started with USANS, it was a “pretty small organization”. Now all men’s and women’s ski jumping and Nordic combined teams are under one roof.

Demong said he could stay on as executive director, but would “definitely” commit to another four years with the organization. He said after seven winter games in ski jumping and nordic combined between his time as an athlete and as executive director of the USANS, he needs to breathe, step back and take a step back. .

One thing Demong is looking forward to is having more time to think about how to improve the US Olympic Movement. Resources are increasingly scarce, he said, from youth to high-level Olympic sports. He saw this first hand with USANS.

Demong drove about 150,000 miles for work last year, and about a third of those were with Team USANS. The rest of the time he was fundraising, sponsoring, hosting events and generally wearing a lot of hats. He said these are important and difficult tasks, but it is normal in the Olympic movement to have a small team that has to multitask.

“You have a few people doing everything,” he said.

Demong also wants to improve Olympic resources to invite more people into the movement. He has said in the past that he wants to make Olympic sports as accessible to as many people as possible.

“My biggest thing is really, how can we make this more sustainable, more fun, for more kids, more clubs, more athletes in this country,” he said Thursday. “Right now, I think we’re 20 years behind a reset in terms of the kind of resources available.”

But, he said, there is a lot of potential for change on the horizon. The Olympic, Paralympic and Amateur Athlete Empowerment Act, which protects amateur athletes from abuse, was passed in 2020, and Demong said the International Olympic Committee had just secured more funding. Demong also applauded the state government and the state’s Olympic Regional Development Authority during his speech Thursday for their investment in the Lake Placid Olympics facility.

There’s a lot of shuffling in the Olympic movement, and Demong said that’s part of the reason he left the USANS — because he’d be too busy to participate in those changes. As for what those changes are, Demong says, “Stay tuned. I want to breathe first, then I’ll dive back in, I’m sure, 100 other different ways.

Demong said he wanted to spend more time with his children, aged 6 and 11, and take some time to relax. His version of relaxation? What he does after every career change: Flip a house.

Demong rebuilt a house after winning a medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and retiring from skiing. He doesn’t own the houses all at once, he said, he just fixes and flips. Demong said he occasionally funds his skiing career by operating a concrete countertop business and working as a general contractor. Now he’s ready to turn off his phone, put on the tool belt, and get back to work.


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