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Demong Takes Top USSA Athlete Honor

VERMONTVILLE U.S. Ski Team World Championship medalist Bill Demong of Vermontville, two-time Olympian and former U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Chairman Chuck Ferries were among the top honorees in the USSA's annual awards recognition dinner May 17 at Deer Valley Resort in Park City during USSA Congress 2007. Demong, only the second U.S. nordic combined skier to earn an Olympic or World Championships medal, was presented the Beck International Award, USSA's highest athletic award. Ferries, a two-time Olympic ski racer who became a success in the ski industry and has served in a variety of organization roles with USSA, received the Julius Blegen Award, USSA's most prestigious honor for service to the organization. It was really an unexpected honor to receive the Beck International Award, said Demong. With such a strong showing across the disciplines this season, I felt extremely privileged to have been given this distinction. What a great feeling to accept this award as a wrap-up to my best season ever, and it's huge motivation to train hard toward next season and my future goals in skiing. I really feel that this is representative of all the success that our team had this year. Our development athletes had huge improvements, and ended their season with results beyond any expectations. I believe the continuing improvement of the United States Nordic and Nordic Combined teams is ushering in an era of truly competitive and sustainable programs. Demong, 27, a three-time Olympian, captured the silver medal in the combined individual event at the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, Japan, in March and followed that with a World Cup win a week later in Lahti, Finland, He finished his season by sweeping all three U.S. ski jumping and nordic combined U.S. titles. "I'm really proud of athletes on our Team like Bill Demong and Nate Roberts (who won the organization's Buddy Werner Award for sportsmanship)," said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. "They are a great example of why America wants to support our Team - they're hard working, dedicated, humble and want to give back to younger athletes so that they, too, can achieve their dreams.

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