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Lowell Bailey churns hard in Sochi, but falls short of medal podium.   Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Lowell Bailey churns hard in Sochi, but falls short of medal podium. Photo: © Nancie Battaglia

Hard times for North Country's Olympic veterans

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Three of the North Country's strongest medal hopefuls struggled again yesterday in Sochi.

Nordic combined skier Bill Demong, who won gold and silver medals four years ago, was hobbled by a poor showing on the ski jump. That forced him to start with a heavy penalty in the cross-country ski portion of the race. Demong, who finished 31st, told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that the race was "kind of devastating." The 33-year-old from Vermontville says he expects these to be his last Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile on the biathlon course yesterday, veteran Olympians Tim Burke from Paul Smiths and Lowell Bailey from Lake Placid finished well out of medal range in part because of shooting penalties.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Bailey spoke after the race.

"Not my best day, for sure," Burke said.  "I don't know what happened honestly.  The first prone [shooting challenge] I missed two.  That's not the way you want to start out."

Tim Burke says an individual medal was the goal in Sochi, but he has "no regrets." Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Tim Burke says an individual medal was the goal in Sochi, but he has "no regrets." Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Yesterday's races marked the last chance for Burke and Bailey to capture an individual medal.  Burke was asked about the biathlon team's frustrating results in Sochi, which came after a strong showing on the world cup circuit.

"We didn't get a medal so I think that's pretty disappointing for us.  That's the way it goes, it's not easy.  No regrets on my part."

All three racers - Demong, Burke and Bailey - will race again in team relay events, with the final Nordic combined race tomorrow and biathlon skiers back on the course latest today in a new men-and-women relay event.

Follow the progress of all the North Country's Olympians on NCPR's The North Country at Sochi page, and find even more on Twitter at #NCPROlympics.

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