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Athletes to Watch in Salt Lake City
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:
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.
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.
Bill Demong represented the US in the Nordic combined,
a sport that includes ski jumping and cross-country racing.
Demong had been peaking recentlyand 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. Demongwho
is 21 years oldcrossed 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.
Ives was born in Ontario, but he lives and trains in
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.
Placid's singles luge racer Adam Heidt finished his
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.
Country Student Athletes
Sports Academy, Lake Placid
Welch is an eighteen-year-old student from Maine who
is competing for the US ski jumping team.
School, Lake Placid
Goalie Mike Richter is an alum who now plays for
the Rangers. He'll mind the net for the US hockey
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.
Lawrence University, Canton
Freshman Marta Vastagh will compete in the giant
slalom and slalom for Hungary. (Vastagh enjoys dual U.S.-Hungarian
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.
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.