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Spillane wins first U.S. medal in Nordic combined

Whistler, BC (Sports Network) - American Johnny Spillane won the first-ever United States medal in Nordic combined Sunday, capturing silver in the men's individual event.

"It took a while," said Spillane, who was one of three Americans to finish in the top six.

Spillane finished four-tenths of a second behind Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, who completed the 10-kilometer cross country race in 25 minutes, 47.1 seconds to edge the American and win gold.

Chappuis caught Spillane at the end of the race.

"I just went for it," Chappuis said. "Johnny was pretty good, I just tried to catch him. It was good to have a view in front of me and a goal to catch him."

Worried that he wasn't going to finish the race, Spillane, a 29-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, said he was just happy there wasn't anyone to catch him after Chappuis.

"I was pretty tired," he said.

Italy's Alessandro Pittin won the bronze, eight-tenths of a second behind Chappuis.

American Todd Lodwick, in second place following the ski jump portion of the event, finished fourth -- just seven-tenths of a second out of medal contention. In fact, Pittin wasn't even sure he had beaten the American until the very end.

"Fourth is probably the worst number to be," Lodwick said.

Another American, Bill Demong, ended in sixth place and said the whole team could share in Spillane's success.

"This motivates us so much more to get our own," Demong said.

02/14 18:14:09 ET

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