Four athletes with ties to this region will take to the snow and ice of PyeongChang for the Winter Olympics
Learning to live with snow and ice is something we do in Western New York.
Learning to have fun with it is a different story. And for some, it’s an Olympic story. As the XXIII Winter Games get started in PyeongChang, South Korea, many of us will no doubt watch and enjoy.
Making the Olympic spectacle a bit more enjoyable, however, are the local ties we have. Two freestyle skiers, Jonathon Lillis and Megan Schild, are from Pittsford and did their training at Bristol Mountain. Lillis qualified with the U.S. men’s aerial team, and Schild will ski moguls for the U.S. women. Both are in the Olympics for the first time.
On the ice, Brittany Bowe is a speedskater for the U.S. women who didn’t grow up around here, but her father, Mike, is a 1979 graduate of Victor High. She’s got plenty of family support coming out of Ontario County, and that includes her uncle Bill Bowe, a physical education teacher at Canandaigua and former varsity baseball coach for the Braves.
And on the ice in the rink is Brian Gionta, a veteran hockey player from Greece who won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils. At these Olympics, Gionta is captain of the U.S. men’s hockey team.
Here’s a closer look at the Olympic athletes with local ties and when their events will most likely be televised:
Competition: Men’s aerial
Local bullet points: Learned to ski starting at age 8 at Bristol Mountain … Named to Elite Aerial Development Program at age 14 while attending Pittsford Mendon High and moved to Lake Placid to live in Olympic training center … Named to national team at age 16 … Started competing in World Cup circuit in 2014 … Will compete in first Olympics
How to watch: TV coverage includes qualifying rounds on Feb. 17 and competition rounds on Feb. 18 … Best bet to catch aerials on TV are at 9:30 a.m. (NBCSN) and 3 p.m. (NBC) on Feb. 17 … More coverage is expected on Feb. 18 at 10:15 a.m. (NBCSN), 3 p.m. (NBC) and 10:15 p.m. (NBCSN)
Competition: Women’s moguls
Local bullet points: Started skiing at age 5 … Was part of Bristol Mountain Freestyle Team … Graduate of Pittsford Sutherland … Also part of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail … Will compete in first Olympics … Was 2015 FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year after being the overall winner of the 2014 NorAm Tour … Had two third-place finishes in World Cup competitions earlier this year
How to watch: Best bet to catch women’s moguls on TV is qualifying rounds on Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. (NBC) … Gold medal finals are Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. (NBC)
Competition: Longtrack speedskating
Local bullet points: Qualified in the 500-meter race, the 1,000 and the 1,500 … Competing in second Olympics … At 2014 Games in Sochi, finished 8th in the 1,000, 13th in the 500, 14th in the 1,500 and sixth in the women’s team pursuit … Career is back on track after missing most of 2016-17 season with concussion symptoms
How to watch: Best bet for TV coverage is the 1,500 final on Feb. 12 at 1:30 and 8 p.m. (NBCSN), the 500 meter final on Feb. 14 at 12:05 a.m. (NBC) and the 1,000 final on Feb. 14 at 5 a.m. (NBCSN)
Competition: Men’s hockey
Local bullet points: Veteran right-winger played in the NHL from 2001 until last season … Played with New Jersey, Montreal and Buffalo after a collegiate career at Boston College and high school hockey at Aquinas … Played for Team USA in 2006 Games in Torino, Italy … Named captain for the U.S. team playing in South Korea
How to watch: TV schedule includes vs. Slovenia on Feb. 14 at 6:30 a.m. (NBC, live) … vs. Slovakia on Feb. 15 at 10 p.m. (CNBC, live) … vs. Olympia Athletes of Russia on Feb. 17 at 7:10 a.m. (NBCSN) … Gold medal game on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN, live)