Meet New England’s Winter Olympians
February 3, 2022
NBC Boston | By Mike Pescaro
When the best athletes in the world take the stage in Beijing for the Olympics, New England will be represented.
Dozens of people with ties to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island will be competing for Team USA in this year’s Winter Games. Get to know them here:
Alpine skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle, a Vermont native born in Burlington and raised in Starksboro, comes from a noteworthy family in the sport. His mother, Barbara Ann Cochran, won gold in the slalom in the 1972 Olympics. Cochran-Siegle trained at her Vermont ski school and made his own first Olympic appearance in 2018. This year, he will hope to medal in Beijing.
Minnesota native Paula Moltzan, who skied for the University of Vermont, will be representing Team USA in alpine skiing. Her school said she reached the podium in 11 of 12 EISA races in her sophomore year in 2018. Beijing will be her first Olympics.
Cross-country skier Julia Kern, who grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts, will be making her Olympic debut in Beijing. She began skiing while visiting her grandparents in Germany, and when an injury kept her off the basketball court during her freshman year in high school, she began to ski competitively.
Jessie Diggins, a Minnesota native cross-country skier who lives in Stratton, Vermont, is no stranger to the Winter Olympics, competing in Sochi in 2014 and in PyeongChang in 2018. In the women’s team sprint, she and Kikkan Randall won the U.S. its first gold medals in cross-country skiing. She is gearing up for her third Games in Beijing.
Mac Forehand, born and raised in Southport, Connecticut, will represent Team USA in the men’s slopestyle freestyle skiing event. He honed his skills at the Stratton Mountain School in Vermont.
Colby Stevenson is a freestyle skier and native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. When he was just 18, Stevenson suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash that nearly killed him. Six years later, he will make his Olympic debut, competing in the men’s slopestyle.
Freestyle skier Megan Nick will make her first Olympic appearance in Beijing, competing for Team USA in the women’s aerials. She was born and raised in Shelburne, Vermont.
Freestyle skier Olivia Giaccio will be competing in the women’s moguls in her first Olympics in Beijing. A Connecticut native who was born in Hartford and grew up in Madison, Giaccio became the first woman to complete a cork 1080 in the month before the Games.
Hannah Soar, a freestyle skier from Somers, Connecticut, will make her Olympic debut this year. She attended Killington Mountain School in Vermont and will compete in the women’s moguls in Beijing.
Clare Egan has roots all over New England. She grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, before attending Wellesley College in Massachusetts and the University of New Hampshire. She competed in the biathlon in her first Olympics in PyeongChang and will do so again in Beijing.
Biathlete Sean Doherty represented Team USA in Sochi and PyeongChang, and he will compete in his third Olympics this year in Beijing. He was born and raised in Conway, New Hampshire. He’s a member of the Vermont National Guard.
Vermont National Guard member Leif Nordgren, who lives in Hinesburg, is competing in the biathlon in his third Olympics in Beijing.
Deedra Irwin is from Wisconsin, but is a member of the Vermont Army National Guard and lives in Jericho. She will be making her first Olympic appearance in Beijing.
Susan Dunklee competed in the biathlon in the 2014 and 2018 Olympics. A Vermont native — she’s from Newport and lives in Craftsbury — she will be looking for a medal in Beijing.
Minnesota native biathlete Jake Brown lives in Craftsbury, Vermont. He has competed in World Championships since 2019, but will make his Olympic debut in Beijing.
Bobsledder Frank Del Duca, who attended the University of Maine after growing up in Bethel, will make his Olympic debut this year in Beijing. He’s a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
Before attending the University of Maine, bobsledder Jimmy Reed was born in Indiana and grew up in Germany. An alternate in 2018, he’s been named to Team USA in 2022.
A native of Pembroke and graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Kris Horn will compete in the bobsled during the 2022 Games. It’s his first Olympics, but he earned bronze in the mixed team event at the IBSF 2019 World Championships.
Figure skater Zach Donohue, a Connecticut native who was born in Hartford and grew up in Madison, will be taking part in his second Olympics. He and Madison Hubbell just missed the podium in PyeongChang, placing fourth in ice dancing. They won silver in that discipline in the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships and will try to medal in Beijing.
Goaltender Strauss Mann, a native of Greenwich, Connecticut, who plays in the Swedish Hockey League, will represent Team USA in his first Olympic appearance this year. He played at the University of Michigan, where he majored in business administration.
The Seattle Kraken made Matty Beniers their first-ever draft pick, the second overall in last year’s draft. The 19-year-old Hingham native will make his Olympic debut before his NHL debut. A center, Beniers is a sophomore at the University of Michigan, where he is an alternate captain.
Boston Bruins fans won’t always root for Sean Farrell, a Hopkinton native and sophomore at Harvard University who was drafted in 2020 by the Montreal Canadiens. But the forward will be representing Team USA in Beijing, his first Olympic appearance.
Billerica native Mark McLaughlin is currently the captain of the Boston College Eagles men’s ice hockey team. The forward will be playing for Team USA in his first
Olympics in Beijing.
Defenseman David Warsofsky, born in Marshfield, played 10 games for the Boston Bruins between 2013 and 2014. Currently playing in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga, he will make his Olympic debut for Team USA this year.
Drew Commesso, a goaltender from Norwell and a sophomore at Boston University, was drafted in 2020 by the Chicago Blackhawks. He has not played in the NHL yet, but he’ll be on the world stage in Beijing.
North Reading native and Boston College forward Alex Carpenter was a part of the U.S. women’s hockey team that won silver at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. She will make her second Olympic appearance in Beijing.
Caroline Harvey, a 19-year-old defenseman from Pelham, New Hampshire, will make her Olympic debut this year in Beijing. Just months earlier, she was the youngest player for the U.S. in the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Calgary.
Minnesota native Drew Helleson is a defenseman for the Boston College Eagles, a 2019 Colorado Avalanche draft pick, and a member of Team USA competing in the Beijing Olympics.
Aaron Ness, a Minnesota native defenseman first drafted by the New York Islanders in 2018, has played for three NHL teams and is currently a member of the Providence Bruins. He’ll make his Olympic debut in February.
Illinois native Jesse Compher, a forward for the Boston University Terriers, will compete in her first Olympics this year for Team USA.
Cayla Barnes earned a gold medal as a member of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team when they won the championship in 2018 in PyeongChang. The California native plays defense for the Boston College Eagles and will try for another in Beijing.
Defenseman Megan Keller was a member of the gold medalist U.S. women’s ice hockey team in the PyeongChang Olympics. She was a captain in her senior year playing for the Boston College Eagles.
Kendall Coyne Schofield is about to play in her third Olympics after helping the U.S. women’s ice hockey team win silver at Sochi 2014 and gold at PyeongChang 2018. A forward from California, she played for the Northeastern University Huskies as a student in Boston.
Harvard University junior Nick Abruzzese will make his Olympic debut in Beijing. The New York native forward was drafted in 2019 by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Forward Hayley Scamurra will compete in her first Olympics this year. The 2017 graduate played for the Northeastern University Huskies. Her father, Peter Scamurra, was a defenseman for the Washington Capitals in the 1970s.
Medway’s Zack DiGregorio will compete in the men’s double luge in his first Olympics in Beijing. He will be racing alongside Sean Hollander.
Tucker West, a Connecticut native luger born in Danbury and raised in Ridgefield, will be making his third Olympic appearance in Beijing. Taking part in the men’s single competition, he will be looking for his first medal after finishing 22nd in Sochi and 26th in PyeongChang.
Luger Chris Mazdzer, born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is competing in his fourth Olympics in Beijing. Mazdzer won the silver medal in the men’s singles in PyeongChang, a first for Team USA.
Emily Sweeney, born in Portland, Maine, and raised in Suffield, Connecticut, will compete in the women’s single luge in the 2022 Olympics. She was injured in a crash during her Olympic debut in PyeongChang, fracturing her back and neck. She called the experience “by far the most challenging thing I have ever done, mentally and physically.” Less than a year after the crash, Sweeney won a bronze medal at the World Championships.
Kristen Santos, a speedskater from Fairfield, Connecticut, is making her Olympic debut in Beijing. The U.S. record holder in the 500 and the 1000, Santos is seen as a favorite to help the U.S. women’s team win its first Olympic short track medal since 2010.
Medfield native Julie Letai will be competing in short track speedskating in her first Olympics in Beijing. According to the Boston Globe, the 2018 graduate was president of her class at Medfield High School, where she ran outdoor track and cross-country.
Lindsey Jacobellis is an accomplished snowboarder. A Connecticut native who attended Vermont’s Stratton Mountain School, she has competed in every Winter Olympics since 2006, when she won silver in snowboard cross in Torino. She will look to medal again during her fifth Olympic appearance in Beijing.