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Regional Athletes to Watch in Salt Lake City

A long list of North Country athletes made the Olympic team and will compete in sports ranging from hockey to downhill ski racing. Here's a run-down of some of the personalities worth watching:
  • Speedskater Amy Peterson, from Ballston Spa, may be the north country's most veteran Olympic contender. Peterson has competed in five Winter games, winning one silver and two bronze medals. She was chosen by US athletes to carry the flag in the opening ceremonies.
  • Jim Shea Jr. is a Lake Placid native, son of Olympic veteran Jim Shea and grandson of Olympic icon Jack Shea. The Sheas are the first family in history to send three generations of athletes to the Winter Games. The Sheas helped to pass the Olympic torch through the arena in Salt Lake City.
       Seventy years after his grandfather won a pair of gold medals at the Lake Placid Winter Games, Jim Shea Jr. claimed his own Olympic gold medal on Wednesday, February 20 in Salt Lake City. The skeleton sled racer from Lake Placid edged Martin Rettl of Austria by a fraction of a second.
  • Vermontville's Bill Demong represented the US in the Nordic combined, a sport that includes ski jumping and cross-country racing. Demong had been peaking recently—and won his first world cup gold medal last month. He managed an eight place finish in the jumping portion of the competition, but faded in the skiing leg, dropping back to 19th place. Demong—who is 21 years old—crossed the finish line four minutes behind Finland's gold medal winner Sampa Lajunen.
        Demong also competed in the Nordic Combined team competition. Along with three of his teammates, he finished a strong fourth place. The US managed to top Norway, one of the sport's traditional leaders.
  • Clay Ives was born in Ontario, but he lives and trains in Lake Placid
    now and raced for the US luge team in the doubles competition. Along with partner Chris Thorpe, Ives grabbed a bronze medal for the US. The silver went to another US sled, with the gold going to Germany.
  • Lake Placid's singles luge racer Adam Heidt finished his Olympic
    competition in fourth place on Monday, February 11. It was the best American finish in Olympic history and represents a major step forward. Italian Armin Zoeggeler took the Gold in an upset victory over German Georg Hackl.

North Country Student Athletes

  • National Sports Academy, Lake Placid
    Brian Welch is an eighteen-year-old student from Maine who is competing for the US ski jumping team.
  • Northwood School, Lake Placid
    Goalie Mike Richter is an alum who now plays for the Rangers. He'll mind the net for the US hockey team.
    Andrea Killbourne, a native of Saranac Lake, is another Northwood School alum. Killbourne plays for the women's ice hockey team. The team swept past Germany and China, with Killbourne contributing a half-dozen shots and numerous assists. On Saturday, February 16, Killbourne scored her first Olympic goal in the third period of a 5-0 win over Finland. Thursday, February 21, Andrea will skate against Canada in the gold medal round, hoping to repeat the US team's victory in Nagoano four years ago.
  • St. Lawrence University, Canton
    Freshman Marta Vastagh will compete in the giant slalom and slalom for Hungary. (Vastagh enjoys dual U.S.-Hungarian citizenship.)
    Sophomore Isabelle Chartrand took the year off from SLU to compete for the Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team. Chartrand played for SLU's 2001 NCAA runner-up women's ice hockey team. Canada dominated Kazakhstan and Russia, with Chartrand contributing one goal. She scored a goal in the third period of Canada's 11-to-nothing victory over Sweden on Friday, February 15. Thursday, February 21, Isabelle will skate against the US team in the gold medal round, hoping to avenge Canada's defeat in Nagoano four years ago.

    St. Lawrence graduate Lawton Redman, '98, is competing for the US in the biathlon. He was born in Middlebury, Vermont, and lives now in Heber City, Utah. Redman is a member of the United States Army's World Class Athlete Program, which means he's considered an active-duty soldier. On Wednesday, February 13 Redmon finished 54th overall in the Men's 10k spring. He crossed the line 2 minutes and 52 seconds behind the gold medal winner.
    SLU graduate Thomas Vonn will race for the US alpine team in the giant slalom and Super G. Vonn worked and trained at Whiteface Mountain and graduated from Northwood School in Lake Placid. He raced the Super G on Saturday, February 16 and finished a strong 9th place. Giant slalom competition begins on Thursday, February 21.