Nordic combined skiing champion Billy Demong is gearing up for his fifth and final Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The first competitions of the Sochi Winter Games on NBC starts February 6th, and runs through February 23rd.
The Olympic athlete, 33, opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about balancing his skiing career and fatherhood. He goes on to talk about his 3-year-old son Liam who will be cheering him on in Sochi, and teaching his preschooler to ski by trying “to be patient and make a game out of it.”
CBS: Tell us about your rigorous training schedule that has prepared you for the upcoming Olympic Games.
BD: “I train twice daily. Earlier in the year, the focus is on a strong foundation through heavy strength and long endurance workouts: running, cycling or skiing for 3-5 hours. In these final months, the volume decreases and the quality becomes very important.
I’ll often train only once a day but with harder efforts, or instead of heavy weights, I’ll do some explosive plyometrics. Everything from here on out is about reaching the highest peak from solid foundation that I’ve built through the last summer and fall.”
CBS: How do you manage your Nordic Combined Skiing career and fatherhood?
BD: “Fatherhood has made me much better with time management. I have to schedule my days together with my wife, and so I often tweak my workouts to fit into our families’ schedule. I’ll often get out the door much earlier in order to get it done before I need to pick him up from pre-school, and I’ll often plan a fun activity with him in the afternoon instead of doing as much recovery. But a good hour at the playground is just as good as a short jog anyway!
It’s really about striking a balance and prioritizing. I have far less time to do everything, so it focuses me on what is important and helped enjoy my training time even more.”
CBS: Tell us about your son. How old is he and what is he into?
BD: “Liam is going to be three on January 12, and he’s starting to get really into skiing and sledding and being outside in the winter. He is also a huge Thomas fan and spends a lot of time playing with his train table.”
CBS: How do you bond with your son? It sounds like he enjoys skiing with daddy.
BD: “I don’t want to rush him into anything and he is the type of kid who is cautious until he is comfortable with something. These last couple times we’ve gone skiing, it’s been about riding the magic carpet, getting comfortable, and having fun even if that means he decides to take his skiis off or fall over on purpose 20 times.
I try to be patient and make a game out of it. Just this morning we skied down a pretty long green run without and falls and I cut him off while he still wanted more.”
CBS: Will your son be cheering you on in Sochi this winter? If so, what does it mean for you to have him there?
BD: “My wife and son are planning on going to Sochi and it will certainly be amazing to have them there. I hope that it is an experience he can potentially have as one of his earliest memories.”
CBS: What are some of the values/lessons you’ve learned from your Olympic training experience that you hope to teach your child?
BD: “That talent and training meet down the road. What that means is that those that work hard will eventually surpass those who are naturally gifted with no work ethic. Also that it is important to enjoy what you do, win or lose.
Some of my most powerful experiences have been failures and the lessons within. You have to work hard and love yourself and what you do. No medal can replace the feeling of having accomplished your own goal.”
CBS: Are you planning to train and compete in the following winter Olympics as well?
BD: “Nope! Sochi will be my 5th Olympic Games, and I am looking forward to life after skiing, as well spending more time with my family.”View Slideshow »»