With Friday’s opening ceremony of the 21st Olympiad in Vancouver, millions of people across the country and the globe have been tuning in daily for updated medal counts (the games even beat American Idol in TV ratings this week!) and coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Frequently sporting our own snowy conditions, the New England area has born and bred a great number of athletes competing in these games across a variety of physical disciplines. Many of these athletes do in fact credit their northeastern upbringing with having a heavy hand in their formation as a winter Olympian, as snow, ice, and cold are not hard to find in the winter months.
Snowboarders Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark are both from Vermont while cross-country skier Kris Freeman hails from New Hampshire. Easton, New Hampshire’s Bode Miller is no stranger to the Olympics, or the spotlight in general, and already received a bronze medal for his first downhill skiing race in Vancouver, putting the US on the podium in that event for the first time since 1994. Seth Wescott, from Maine, has already won a gold medal in men’s snowboarding cross at these games while fellow snowboarder Scott Lago’s hometown of Seabrook, NH just celebrated Lago’s bronze medal win. Though born in California, Angela Ruggiero’s New England roots are strong, attending Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT for high school, and Harvard University in Cambridge, MA for college. She will be competing in her fourth Olympic games, already claiming a gold, silver, and bronze medal to her credit in the Nagano, Salt Lak City, and Turin games, respectively, as well as starred on a celebrity season of “The Apprentice”.
Watch New Hampshire’s Bode Miller talk about his recent win in this video:
Bostonian Michelle Gorgone is in her 2nd Olympics parallel giant snowboarding, one of 6 snowboarding events being held in Vancouver. Laura Spector, biathlete, is also a student at Dartmouth, and hails from Lenox, MA. Northeastern University graduate Michael Morse grew up in Duxbury and became a master at moguls on Vermont’s Killington Mountain. Aerialist from Amesbury Dylan Ferguson is appearing in his first Olympics. While born in Sweden, Bengt Walden now calls Westborough home as an official member of the USA luge team. Erika Lawler, from Fitchburg, is one of four members of the U.S. women’s hockey team, including Westfield’s Kacey Bellamy, Danver’s Meghan Duggan, and Natick’s Molly Schaus, who is making her Olympic debut, while still retaining a year of eligibility at Boston College. Boston’s Tyler Jewell, a snowboarder who competes in parallel giant slalom, graduated from Boston College in 1999. Scituate’s Ryan Whitney, of the NHL’s Ducks, will join a number of Boston Bruins playing for their respective native lands, including Tim Thomas (U.S.), Patrice Bergeron (Canada), and Zdeno Chara (Slovakia). Pittsfield’s Chuck Berkeley will be competing in bobsledding, while Belmont’s Emily Cook will compete in aerials. Melrose’s Steve Langton graduated Northeastern University in 2005, and will be competing in bobsledding.
Watch these local stars and wish them luck!