SOCHI, Russia -- Now that he has been chosen as the U.S. team's flagbearer for the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, Todd Lodwick faces a potentially painful challenge.
Holding the flag.
Less than a month ago, the Nordic combined athlete fell hard in the ski jump portion of a competition in France. He fractured his left shoulder, tearing the labrum and ligaments.
"It was a devastating crash," he said.
Lodwick, who competed in his first Olympics in 1994, kept the arm immobilized for three weeks, taking it out of a sling only for physical therapy.
This regimen got him healthy enough for his sixth Winter Games. He estimated the shoulder is now at 90%.
"I'm ready," he said of the opening ceremony and the competition. "And I'm going to kick a lot of butt."