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Hometown Hero

"I can think of no other person more deserving than Billy," Willman added. "Speaking for everyone in Vermontville, we are all proud and we all feel somehow connected to his accomplishments."

In addition to gold, Demong anchored a silver medal-winning performance by U.S. Nordic Combined in the 4-by-5 km team relay Feb. 23. The foursome included Demong, Brett Camerota, Todd Lodwick, and Spillane, who added another silver medal in the normal hill cross country event Feb. 14, the first ever by an American in Nordic Combined.

Demong's accomplishments exemplified a banner year for the United States, which set a record for most medals ever won by a single country at any Winter Olympics with 37. Thus, it was only natural that he be chosen to bear his country's flag at the closing ceremony Feb. 28 in Vancouver.

"Being chosen as flag bearer is a phenomenal honor," Demong said. "It could have been any one of my teammates, and it is meaningful that our peers are taking notice of what we've achieved."

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