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."

 

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