Winter Games
Summer Games
 
                 === Hettich captures nordic combined gold ===
 
 Pragelato,  Italy (Sports Network) - Germany's Georg Hettich held off a strong
 push  from Austria's  Felix Gottwald to capture the nordic combined individual
 gold medal.
 
 Hettich,  who held  the  lead after  the  ski jumping  portion  of the  event,
 finished  the  15-kilometer cross-country race  in a  time of 39 minutes, 44.6
 seconds.
 
 Gottwald,  who started 1:52 behind Hettich after his 11th-place showing in the
 jumping,  made a  great run  but couldn't  catch the leader  and was just  9.8
 seconds behind to grab silver.
 
 Magnus-H. Moan of Norway was third and took the bronze, finishing 16.2 seconds
 behind.  He  crossed the  line just  1/10th of  a second  in front of teammate
 Petter L. Tande.
 
 American  Todd Lodwick was  13th after the jumping and wound up eighth. In his
 fourth  Olympics, Lodwick  was trying to give the United States its first-ever
 medal in nordic combined.
 
 "Fourth  or 20th  is the same place," a disappointed Lodwick said. "You're not
 on the podium. I'm tired because I overtrained."
 
 Hettich  won  the ski  jumping portion of  the event with  a two-jump total of
 262.5  and  held a  two-second head  start on the  field for the cross-country
 race.  His race time  was just 18th fastest, but it was good enough to win his
 first individual medal at an Olympic or even World Championship level.
 
 "I'm  very surprised,"  said Hettich. "After the last uphill, I realized I can
 win a medal. I am very happy."
 
 Gottwald, meanwhile, also had his best individual finish at the Olympic level.
 
 "Magnus  and I  tried to close the  gap and we closed it [too] late," Gottwald
 said.
 
 Jaakko  Tallus of  Finland was fifth and teammate Hannu Manninen was a distant
 ninth after entering the event as the favorite.
 
 Bill  Demong of the United States was 15th and fellow American Johnny Spillane
 was 30th.
 
 02/11 12:10:43 ET