Saranac Lake’s Chris Mazdzer is heading to his second Winter Olympics in Sochi after placing 13th in the men’s luge at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada. He has won the United States Luge Championships twice in 2010 and 2012, tying with Tucker West in 2012. He also was a three-time U.S. junior champion in 2006-2008. In 2013, Mazdzer was the American-Pacific champion, finished sixth at the World Championships and had a fifth place finish at the Lake Placid World Cup event. He also finished second in the team relay event in Lake Placid, teaming with Julia Clukey, Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall.
One of the most decorated Olympians in North Country history, Bill Demong will be competing in his fifth Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He is the reigning Olympic Champion in the men’s large hill 10km individual event after winning gold in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010. He also combined with his teammates for the Unites States’ first medal in the team competition, bringing home a silver, while finishing sixth in the men’s normal hill 10km. At the 2006 games in Torino, Italy, Demong finished seventh in the team event, 15th individually and 25th in the sprint. He finished 14th in the sprint and 19th in the individual in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, along with a fourth place finish in the team event. Demong was 34th in the individual race at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. He has racked up nine World Cup wins and 22 podium finishes in the international competition series and is the five-time U.S. Nordic Combined Champion. He was the 2009 individual gunderson gold medalist at the World Championships and two-time overall World Cup bronze medalist (2008, 2009).
Saranac Lake High graduate Tim Burke, right, will be competing in his third Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. At the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy, Burke finished 35th in the sprint and ninth as a member of the relay team that included Lake Placid’s Lowell Bailey. He returned to the Olympics four years later in Vancouver, Canada, to finish 18th in the mass start and helped the U.S. relay team, again along with Bailey, to a 13th place finish. He has finished second three times in World Cup Competition, earning a silver medal at the 2013 World Championships in the individual race. He has also finished third twice. Other personal bests at the World Championships include a ninth place finish in the sprint (2008), 10th place in the pursuit (2008), 24th in the mass start (2007) and a sixth place finish in relay (2011). Burke held the top world ranking during part of the 2009-10 World Cup season.
UVM and Lake Placid graduate Lowell Bailey, left, will compete in his third Winter Olympic Games when he heads to Sochi. At the Torino, Italy Games in 2006, Bailey finished 27th in the individual event and ninth in the relay event along with teammate Tim Burke of Saranac Lake. Bailey and Burke joined again at the 2010 Vancouver, Canada Games for a 13th place finish in the relay along with a 36th place finish in both the sprint and pursuit events. His best World Cup results have come over the past two seasons, with a pair of fifth place finishes in the 2011-12 season in the sprint and a seventh place finish in the sprint in 2012-13. Bailey twice finished as the runner-up in the NCAA championships as a Catamount. When he is not skiing, Bailey is on the stage as a mandolin player for Big Slyde.
Dartmouth College grad Andrew Weibrecht heads to Sochi, Russia, after earning a bronze medal in the men’s Super G at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Canada. In those games, he also finished 11th in the men’s combined and 21st in the downhill. Weibrecht finished 22nd in the downhill at the 2013 World Championships and has qualified twice for the World Cup Finals in 2010 and 2012.
Saranac Lake High graduate Peter Frenette will make his second trip to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. In 2010, he finished 41st on the normal hill in Vancouver, Canada. Also in that year, Frenette finished second on the k120 hill and won the k90 competition at the North American Junior Championships. In 2012, Frenette tied with Plattsburgh native Anders Johnson in the U.S. National Championships on the large hill in Park City.
Plattsburgh Native Anders Johnson will be making his third trip to the Winter Olympic Games as a member of Team USA in Sochi, Russia. He finished 49th in the normal hill event at the 2010 Vancouver, Canada games, while finishing 16th on the large hill at the 2006 Games in Torino, Italy. Johnson finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials Dec. 29. In 2012, Johnson and Saranac Lake native Peter Frenette tied for the U.S. Championship on the large hill while taking home the normal hill title himself on the large hill. He was the 2009 overall national champion and 2008 large hill champion in 2008, finishing third on the normal hill.
Saranac Lake native and University of Utah graduate Annelies Cook will be competing in her first Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. She has been a member of the U.S. Women’s relay team which has finished 11th in the past two World Championships. She was also a member of the fifth place Junior World Championship relay tea, in 2002. Cook has finished 14th (individual) and 18th (sprint) in World Cup events held over the past year in Sochi. Nine of her 10 top finishes in World Cup competition have come over the past season.