One of the many great story lines at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, is that of two alpine skiers from Cannon Mountain, Chris Devlin-Young and Tyler Walker, who were once coach and protege and now are teammates and competitors.
This year, the Olympic Winter Games come to Sochi, Russia from Feb. 6-23, 2014. Although the competition begins on Feb. 6, the Opening Ceremonies will take place on Feb. 7. See who's competing from the Granite State and learn something about these amazing athletes as they head to Russia to represent Team USA.
Nick Alexander - Lebanon, NH Birthdate: Aug. 24, 1988 Height: 5'11" Weight: 130 lbs. Sport: Ski Jumping Previous Olympics: 2010 About Nick: Nick grew up in Lebanon where he had a 25k and a 50k ski jump a mile from his home. He started his ski jumping career at age 10. Nick is a member of the Lebanon Outing Club at Storrs Hill. He attended the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, NY after his sophomore year. He has also trained in Austria with some of the most elite ski jumpers in the world. Nick earned his first World Cup title in 2009 and was the U.S. Champion in 2010. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 8: Nick qualified with a score of 100.7, putting him in 40th place.
Feb 9: Nick took 34th place with a score of 116.0 in Normal Hill competition.
Feb 14: Nick qualified for the final, finishing 30th with a score of 96.6.
Feb 15: Nick landed in 48th position; did not qualify for jump two.
David Chodounsky - Hanover, NH Birthdate: Jun. 25, 1984 Height: 5'11" Weight: 175 lbs. Sport: Alpine Skiing Previous Olympics: N/A About David: David is a graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover. A Minnesotan native, David fell short of making the U.S. Ski Team after high school, but he enrolled at Dartmouth and won the NCAA slalom title in his freshman year. Two years later he captained the school to the NCAA overall title then graduated with a double major in engineering and geology. Fully focused now on skiing, Chodounsky was named to the U.S. Ski Team after winning the U.S. slalom title in 2009. He began skiing at the age of two, when his parents mounted a pair of whittled wooden planks and pushed him down the hill in the family front yard. He picked up racing by age 7, joined the local race team at Buck Hill and trained, with Lindsey Vonn, under legendary coach Erich Sailer. His parents moved to Crested Butte, Colo. when he was 11 where he attended Crested Butte Academy. David also loves to fish. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Jan. 28: David was slammed in the face with a gate, leaving him with a bloodied face, but he still finished 14th in qualifying, dropping to 22nd after his 2nd run.
Sean Doherty - Conway, NH Age: Jun. 8, 1985 Height: 5'11" Sport: Biathlon Previous Olympics: None About Sean: Doherty made U.S. biathlon history when he became the first athlete to win three individual medals in a single world championships competition. He began the 2013 IBU Youth/Junior World Championships with a silver medal in the 7.5-kilometer sprint. The following day, Doherty captured a gold medal in the youth 10-kilometer pursuit with a commanding lead of 28.2 seconds. On the final day of competition, Doherty earned a silver medal in the youth 12.5-kilometer individual race. Doherty secured an Olympic nomination in his first year on the US Biathlon National Team. Hobbies include woodworking, biking and fishing. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb 16: Sean competed in the men's 15km biathlon.
Feb 22: Sean skied in the third leg of the men's 4x7.5km. The team finished with a time of 1:17:39.1 putting the team in 16th place.
Nicholas Fairall - Andover, NH Birthdate: Jul. 6, 1989 Height: 6'0" Sport: Ski Jumping Previous Olympics: None About Nicholas: Nick has been one of the nation's top talents for some years now and he's been ski jumping for 15 years. Nick won the winner-take-all U.S. Olympic Trials in Park City,Utah on December 29, 2013. He began ski jumping at the Andover Ski Club under the legendary Tim Norris, who has produced countless U.S. Olympians when he was only 6. Nick is a big New England sports fan. He's also a fan of Military Arnis, a mixture of Filipino stick fighting, jujitsu and karate. His favorite food is buffalo chicken tenders. Website:www.nickfairall.com UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 8: Nicholas failed to advance into competition. With a score of 77.3, putting him in 50th place.
Feb 14: Qualified in Large Hill, in 31st position with a score of 95.7 points
Feb 15: First round Nicholas landed in 35 place. Did not qualify for jump two.
Nicholas Fairall Takes the Podium:
Julia Ford - Holderness, NH Birthdate: Mar. 30, 1990 Height: 5'9" Weight: 165 lbs. Sport: Alpine Skiing Discipline: Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, Super Combined Previous Olympics: N/A About Julia: Julia comes from a family of skiers. She grew up skiing on Vermont's Okemo Resort, starting at age 3. She attends WestminsterCollege. She competed in the World Cup in 2010, ranking 34th in the super G, entered the 2012 World Cup and ranked 22nd in the downhill at Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria and 39th in the Super Combined at St. Moritz, Switzerland. She became the U.S. downhill champion in 2011 and 2012. Her hobbies include fishing and mountain biking. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 21: Julia finished in the 24th spot for the women's slalom event.
Kris Freeman - Thornton, NH Birthdate: Oct. 14, 1980 Height: 5'11" Sport: Cross Country Skiing Previous Olympics: 2002, 2006, 2010 About Kris: Kris was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes before the 2002 Winter Olympics. He is sponsored by and a spokesman for Eli Lily and Company, the manufacturer of the rapid-acting insulin Humalog. He has won many championships since 2000. Kris trained at Waterville Valley. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb 9: Kris competed in the Skiathlon 30k and landed in 54th place with a time of 1:14:34.6.
Feb 14: Kris finished 52nd in men's cross-country skiing, 15km, with a time of 42:54.8
Chas Guldemond - Laconia, NH Birthdate: Apr. 22, 1987 Height: 6'0" Weight: 170 lbs. Sport: Snowboarding Discipline: Slopestyle Previous Olympics: N/A About Chas: Chas began snowboarding at age 9. He's a graduate of Waterville's Ski/Board Academy. Guldemond, who is known as the 'Bucking Bronco,' is also known for his strong work ethic. He paid his own way for ski passes and equipment by working side jobs until his practice started to pay off in the form of prize money. He has had seven healthy seasons and won almost every major event in snowboarding. Guldemond's goals through snowboarding are "to put a positive impact on the youth, showing them if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish your dreams." Chas joined the U.S. Olympic Team in snowboard slopestyle at the final selection event in Mammoth Mountain, Calif. on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ChuckG.tv Twitter:https://twitter.com/ChasGuldemond UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 6: Chas scored 86.0 to leave him in 10th place for the semi-finals on Saturday, Feb. 8.
Feb 8: Chas scored a 79.75 in his second run putting him in 7th place. He will not advance to the finals in slopestyle.
Chas Guldemond: My Sochi Story
Hannah Kearney - Hanover, NH Birthdate: Feb. 26, 1986 Height: 5'7" Weight: 150 lbs. Sport: Freestyle Skiing Discipline: Moguls Previous Olympics: 2006, 2010 About Hannah: Although Hannah technically resides in Norwich, Vt., she was born in Hanover, NH and went to Hanover High School. She is currently working on her studies at Dartmouth College in Hanover and is expected to graduate in 2015. Hannah was a gold medal favorite entering her first Olympics in 2006 but she never made it past qualifying. She came back in 2010 to take home the Olympic Gold from Vancouver. Hannah is also a 40-time World Cup moguls medalist and most recently, in 2013, she became the World Cup overall moguls champion and is also a current World Championships moguls gold medalist. Hannah is a Red Sox fan and enjoys hiking, biking, riding horses and knitting. Twitter: https://twitter.com/HK_Ski Facebook:www.facebook.com/hannahkearneyolympian UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 6: Hannah had a 23.05 score putting her in first place with a nearly flawless run in the moguls competition.
Feb 8: Hannah made one mistake in the moguls competition and finished with a score of 21.49 earning her a bronze medal in the event.
Hannah Kearney: Making Team USA
Hilary Knight - Hanover, NH Birthdate: July 12, 1989 Height: 5'10" Sport: USA Hockey Position: Forward Previous Olympics: 2010 About Hilary: Hilary was instrumental in the silver medal win for USA Hockey in 2010's Winter Games inVancouver. She has also won four gold medals and two silver medals in the IIHF Women's Championships plus two gold medals and three silver medals in the Women's Four Nations Cup. Hilary also graduated from the Univ. of Wisconsin with 262 career points and is the Badgers all-time leader in goals (143), game-winning goals (30), power-play goals (37), and short-handed goals (8). Her interests include tennis, mountain biking and skiing. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 8: Team U.S.A. beat Finland, 3-1.
Feb. 10:Team U.S.A. beat Switzerland 9-0.
Feb 12: Team U.S.A. beat Canada, 3-2.
Feb 17: Team U.S.A. beat Sweden in the semi-finals, 6-1.
Feb 20: Team U.S.A. lost against Canada in the finals, 3-2, winning the silver medal. During the game Knight was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking, even though she claimed there was no contact. Bad call or not, this led to a loss for Team U.S.A.
Julia Krass - Hanover, NH Age: 16 Sport: Freeskiing Discipline: Slopestyle Previous Olympics: None About Julia: She began skiing at age two at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield. She joined the Whaleback Mountain youth skiing program at age nine. The 16 yr. old skier finished first at the Grand Prix competition in Park City, Utah in January 2014 and a coach's discretionary selection put her on the team. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 10: During her first qualifying run, Julia came in 5th with a score of 78.40.
Feb 10: In Run number two, Julia had a score of 39.20. Her final ranking was 8th place.
Feb 10: In the finals, Julia scored 42.40 in her first run, putting her in 9th place. In her 2nd run she only scored 38.60 which put her in 6th place.
Feb 10: Julia's final ranking was 11th place.
Julia Krass 5th Slopestyle Finals U S Olympic Qualification #4:
Bode Miller - Franconia, NH Birthdate: Oct. 12, 1977 Height: 6'2" Weight: 203 lbs. Sport: Alpine Skiing Discipline: Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, Super Combined Previous Olympics: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 About Bode: Bode Miller is the most decorated alpine skier ever. He is the first American in 22 years to become the overall World Cup Champion. Bode was thrust into the spotlight in 1998, when he finished in the top three in the World Cup giant slalom, taking the Silver Medal in the Men's Combined Downhill and Slalom and the Men's Giant Slalom. He was the first American in sixteen years to finish in the top three. Although he was no stranger to controversy, he won two silver medals in the 2002 Olympics atSalt Lake City. Then, Bode competed in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and took home a bronze medal in the men's downhill, a silver medal in the in the Super G, and a Gold in the Men's Super Combined. Although he was expected to retire, Bode has been training for the Olympics at Sochi, Russia. This will be his fifth Olympic appearance. A native of Easton, in the White Mountains, he grew up in ski country with a love of the outdoors. His foundation, the Turtle Ridge Foundation, supports adaptive and youth sports programs. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 8: Miller had a near-perfect qualifying run on Saturday with a final time of 2 min. 6.09 seconds. This put him in first place, .66 seconds faster than Askel Lund Svindal.
Feb. 10: Miller finished in 8th place with a time of 2:06.75, only 52 seconds slower than the Gold Medalist, Austrian Matthias Mayer.
Feb 11: Miller will compete next in the Super Combined event on Fri., Feb. 14.
Feb 14: Bode competed in the Super Combined but did not do well, landing in 12th place with a time of 1:54.67.
Feb 16: Bode competed in the Super-G, taking home a bronze medal. This makes him the oldest Alpine medalist and
Feb 19: Bode competed in the Giant Slalom and finished in 13th place with a time of 1:24.18. He injured his knee and will not compete in the men's slalom on Feb 22.
Jonathan Quick - Manchester, NH Birthdate: Jan. 21, 1986 Height: 6'1" Weight: 201 lbs. Sport: Men's Hockey Previous Olympics: 2010 About Ida: Jonathan was formerly a Manchester Monarch, which makes his connection to New Hampshire one rooted in hockey. He is currently a goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL. Quick was a silver medalist with the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He won his first Stanley Cup championship with the Kings on June 11, 2012, and he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 15: Team U.S.A. beat Russia 3-2.
Feb. 16: Team U.S.A. beat Slovenia 5-1.
Feb 19: Jonathan took the net for the game against the Czech Republic. Team U.S.A. won 5-2.
Feb 21: Team U.S.A. lost against Canada in the Seminfinals, 1-0 putting them in bronze medal position.
Ida Sargent - Hanover, NH Birthdate: May 28, 1987 Height: 5'4" Sport: Cross Country Skiing Previous Olympics: None About Ida: Sargent grew up in Vermont and was the youngest in a family of nordic skiers. In 2013, Ida had five top-ten World Cup finishes. She wants to be a physical therapist and is currently attending Dartmouth College. She also enjoys running, biking, hiking, rollerskiing and canoeing. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 16: Women's cross-country skiing ladie's relay, 4x5 km. Ida did not finish.
Mikaela Shiffrin - Hanover, NH Birthdate: March 13, 1995 Height: 5'7" Weight: 145 lbs. Sport: Alpine Skiing Discipline: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Combined Previous Olympics: None About Mikaela: Mikaela had three World Cup wins before the age of 18. She is the youngest American to win a World Cup title in any discipline and the first slalom champion since Tamara McKinney in 1983-84. She is now an eight-time World Cup slalom medalist, with four gold and four bronze medals. Mikaela lived in Hanover from 2003-2008. When she was 10 she asked her father how soon she could race on the World Cup Tour. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 21: Shiffrin took the gold medal in women's slalom with a winning time of 1 minute 44.54 seconds. She was only 53-hundredths of a second behind the silver medalist, Austria's Marlies Schild. Mikaela is the youngest Olympic slalom champion in history and the first to win slalom in 42 years.
Leanne Smith - North Conway, NH Birthdate: May 28, 1987 Height: 5'5" Sport: Alpine Skiing Discipline: Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G, Super Combined Previous Olympics: 2010 About Leanne: Leanne grew up in North Conway and spent time skiing at Cranmore Mountain, beginning at the age of 5. She then trained with the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team. When she was 10-12 years old she trained with (former Olympian) Tyler Palmer, who became a huge influence on her. Leanne attended the University of New Hampshire where she raced for the Wildcats in 2006. In the 2010 Olympic Games, Leanne landed 19th in the women's Super G, 21st in the women's combined. She would be a professional mountain biker if she was not a skier and she is a fan of banana bread and Guitar Hero. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 10: After finishing the morning downhill in 20th place with a time of 1:45.06, Leanne was unable to finish the Slalom portion of the Super Combined.
Feb. 11: Leanne will not be skiing the downhill on Wed., Feb. 12 after the U.S. Team selected 4th place teammate Jackie Wiles to make the run.
Feb. 16: Leanne came in 18th place in the Women's Downhill Super G with a time of 1:28.38
Warren "Trace" Cummings Smith - Hanover, NH Age: Jun. 12, 1992 Height: 6'2" Weight: 201 lbs. Sport: Alpine Skiing Previous Olympics: None About Trace: Trace, a junior at Dartmouth College, will be representing Estonia in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014. A dual citizen of both the United States and Estonia, the alpine skier is a native of Dedham, Mass. Trace took his first ski lessons at Nashoba Valley when he was only 4 and began ski racing at the age of 9. He has been a dual citizen since a young age.
James Van Riemsdyk - Durham, NH Birthdate: May 4, 1989 Height: 6'3" Weight: 200 lbs. Sport: Men's Hockey Previous Olympics: None About James: James is currently an ice hockey left winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played hockey at UNH for two years before he was playing professionally. He was drafted second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2007 and is now one of hockey's top left wingers — named, along with linemate Phil Kessel, to the U.S. Olympic team. He currently resides in Middletown, NJ. UPDATE FROM SOCHI:
Feb. 15: Team U.S.A. beat Russia 3-2.
Feb. 16: Team U.S.A. beat Slovenia 5-1.
Feb 19: Team U.S.A. beat the Czech Republic, 5-2. James scored an early goal in the game.
Feb 21: Team U.S.A. lost against Canada in the Seminfinals, 1-0 putting them in bronze medal position.
Taylor Chace - Hampton Falls, NH Birthdate: May 9, 1986 Height: 6'1" Weight: 205 lbs. Sport: Para Sled Hockey Position: Defenseman Previous Olympics: 2006, 2010 About Taylor: Taylor began playing ice hockey at age 5, and by age 16 was playing for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs. He broke his back and suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury during a Junior Hockey game in October 2002, at the age of 16. He was a member of the Northeast Passage Wildcats sled hockey team from 2004-11 and he participated with the Boston Bruin's sled hockey team at the 2011 USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL. Taylor was MVP of the 2007 World Sledge Hockey Challenge. He graduated from the University of NH in 2011 and is now employed by Northeast Passage, where he works with competitive athletes with disabilities in strength training and conditioning coaching. Taylor earned a Bronze Medal in the 2006 Torino, Italy Paralympics, and a Gold Medal and Top Defenseman in the 2010 Vancouver, British Columbia Paralympics. He was named Paralympic Sportsman of the Year for 2010 and Athlete of the Month in December 2012 by the USOC. Website:www.TaylorChace.com