Here at the Lake Placid News, we're deep in preparations to send two reporters to cover the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February. There are a whole bunch of details to arrange, from hotel deposits to cellphone packages, but our main focus is the same as that of the people on the Olympic Center ice, on the slopes of Whiteface and beside the curves of Mount Van Hoevenberg - the athletes.
Naturally, the ones we're most interested in are our locals: those who were born here, raised here and/or live here as their primary residence. Five of those have clinched Olympic berths, and four others will find out sometime in the next month.
One of the reporters we're sending to Sochi, Adirondack Daily Enterprise Senior Staff Writer Chris Knight, will devote all his attention to these Adirondack Olympians.
We're also following a couple dozen more Olympic hopefuls from all over New York. That's because our senior sports writer, Lou Reuter, will cover all the state's Olympians for the newspapers of the New York Press Association. He'll cover our locals as well.
Who are those competitors? Well, here are the ones we know about so far:
Chris Mazdzer, Saranac Lake (clinched)
Tim Burke, Paul Smiths (now lives in Lake Placid) (clinched)
Lowell Bailey, Lake Placid (clinched)
Annelies Cook, Saranac Lake (clinched)
Bill Demong, Vermontville (now lives in Utah)
Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid
Peter Frenette, Saranac Lake
Nina Lussi, Lake Placid
Jamie Greubel, Lake Placid (originally from New Jersey)
Lake Placid is also home of the U.S. bobsled, skeleton and luge teams, so all those athletes live in Lake Placid for much of the year while training, as do some athletes in other sports. Plus, many coaches live here full-time. Most of USA Luge's leadership lives in Lake Placid, and U.S. skeleton head coach Tuffy Latour lives in Saranac Lake.
We'll also do our best to give you coverage of local people in Sochi for the games, such as athletes' families and people working or volunteering at the event. Several times at the 2010 games our reporters were able to watch a race with local Olympians' families in the audience and tell you the story from their exciting perspective. We'll try to do some of that again.
Went to school in Lake Placid
Summer Britcher, National Sports Academy graduate
Tucker West, NSA graduate
Nick Alexander, NSA graduate
Lindsay Van, went to NSA
SPEED SKATING, LONG TRACK
Shani Davis, went to Lake Placid Middle-High School
From New York
from outside the Adirondacks
Keep in mind that the hometowns listed here are official ones according to the U.S. Olympic Committee; it doesn't necessarily mean each athlete lives there now.
Erin Hamlin, Remsen (clinched)
Aidan Kelly, West Islip (clinched)
Matt Mortensen, Huntington Station (clinched)
John Daly, Smithtown (SUNY Plattsburgh graduate)
Tom Santagato, Astoria
Annie O'Shea, Port Jefferson Station
SPEED SKATING, LONG TRACK
Trevor Marsicano, Ballston Spa
FREESTYLE SKI MOGULS
Dylan Walczyk, Rochester
Brittany Loweree, Point Lookout
FREESTYLE SKI AERIALS
Jonathon Lillis, Rochester
Alex Bowen, Springville
Anders Johnson, born in Plattsburgh
Mackenzie Lank, Lewiston
Josephine Pucci, Pearl River
Jimmy Howard, Syracuse, Ogdensburg (plays for Detroit Red Wings)
Zach Bogosian, Massena (plays for Winnipeg Jets)
Kevin Shattenkirk, New Rochelle (plays for St. Louis Blues)
Dustin Brown, Ithaca
Ryan Callahan, Rochester
Patrick Kane, Buffalo
Kyle Palmieri, Smithtown
Ryan Miller, plays for Buffalo Sabres
Kyle Okposo, plays for New York Islanders
Derek Steppan, plays for New York Rangers
Ryan McDonagh, plays for New York Rangers