2022 Winter Olympics: Which upstate New York athletes are competing in Beijing?

As the 2022 Winter Olympics bring athletes from around the world to Beijing, Team USA will include a number of athletes from upstate New York.

York’s contingent includes first-time Olympians in bobsleigh, luge, hockey, freestyle skiing and moguls, as well as several veteran athletes.

All eyes will be on figure skater Karen Chen, who took time off from her undergraduate studies at Cornell University to prepare for her second Olympic Games.

Saranac Lake native Chris Mazdzer hopes to make it to the luge podium; four years ago, in PyeongChang, he won the first Olympic medal for a men’s singles slider in the history of the American team.

The Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony will air on NBC on Friday, February 4. The first competitions will begin on February 2, and prime-time coverage of figure skating and men’s and women’s moguls will begin on February 3.

More than 220 athletes will represent the United States. Below is a list of athletes with local ties; seek future coverage on individual competition schedules and results.

Hunter Church, Joshua Williamson, Kristopher Horn and Charles Volker of the United States tee off in the first round of the 4-man bobsleigh event at the IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Cup in Winterberg, western Germany , January 9, 2022. (Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)AFP via Getty Images

Sport: Bobsled

Date of Birth : 10/30/1996

Hometown: Cadyville, NY

On: Church grew up an hour north of the Lake Placid bobsleigh track, in a family dedicated to the sport (her father and uncle were both bobsledders in the 1980s). He learned to ride a bobsled when he was 12 and got serious about the sport after graduating from high school. Now 25, Church has competed on the World Tour for five seasons. In 2020, he became the first American bobsleigh pilot to win a World Cup medal since 2017. His Olympic qualifying run included a bronze medal at the four-man World Cup in Winterberg.

Fun fact: Church’s favorite song is “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty.

Source: TeamUSA.org

Luge World Cup Oberhof

16 January 2021, Thuringia, Oberhof: Luge, World Cup, Men’s Singles 1st round. Jonathan Gustafson of the United States sledges down the track. Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images)dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

Sport: Toboggan, single

Date of Birth : 03/05/1997

Hometown: Massena, NY

On: After competing in four world championships, 24-year-old Gustafson is making his Olympic debut in Beijing. The North Country native was 11 when he first tried the sport at SUNY Canton. His best results on the World Cup circuit came close to home, with a seventh-place finish in Lake Placid in 2019.

Fun fact: He is an avid esports player.

Source: TeamUSA.org

Portrait of the American team ahead of Beijing 2022

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Chris Mazdzer of Team USA poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic Filming on September 12, 2021 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA)Getty Images for Team USA

Sport: Toboggan, single

Height: 6′1″

Weight: 210 pounds.

Date of Birth : 06/26/1988

Hometown: Saranac Lake, New York

High school: National Athletic Academy (Lake Placid, NY)

University: DeVry University

On: Mazder will be competing in his fourth Olympic Winter Games, following his silver medal in PyeongChang, the first medal for a male skier in Team USA history. The 33-year-old had hoped to qualify for the doubles events with partner Jayson Terdiman but was derailed by an accident while competing in Latvia.

Fun fact: After the 2018 Olympics, he participated in Dancing With the Stars with his professional dance partner Witney Carson. In April, he and his wife Mara welcomed their son Nicolai, nicknamed “Nico”.

Source: TeamUSA.org

Sean Hollander

Zachary Di Gregorio and Sean Hollander of the United States after their second run at the Men’s Doubles Luge World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia, Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Roman Koksarov)PA

Sport: Sledge, double

Date of Birth : 02/11/2000

Hometown: Lake Placid

On: One of the youngest members of the luge team, Hollander qualified for the doubles competition with partner Zack Di Gregorio, with whom he has been paired for 18 months. They will compete using a sled previously used by silver medalist Mazdzer and partner Jayson Terdiman, who lost their spot in the doubles competition after a fall.

Fun fact: His Instagram account includes a video of him lifting a stacked barbell with 120kg of weight at the Olympic Training Center.

Intermountain Healthcare International Freestyle Skiing World Cup - Day 2

PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 12: Christopher Lillis of Team USA performs a practice run for the men’s aerials during the Healthcare Freestyle International Intermountain Ski World Cup at Deer Valley Resort on January 12, 2022 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)Getty Images

Sport: freestyle skiing

Height: 5′9″

Weight: 135 pounds.

Date of Birth : 10/04/1998

Place of birth: Rochester, NY

Hometown: Pittsford, NY

High school: American Ski and Snowboard Association Team Academy

University: Monroe Community College

Team/Club: Bristol Mountain Freestyle Team

On: A torn ACL kept Lillis out of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, but he qualified for the Beijing Games with a quintuple twist triple backflip that won him a silver medal at the world championships. freestyle skiing 2021 in Kazakhstan.

Fun fact: When not on the tracks, Lillis gives guitar and piano lessons.

Source: TeamUSA.org

FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup Tazawako - Day 1

SENBOKU, JAPAN – FEBRUARY 23: Dylan Walczyk of the United States competes during day one of the Tazawako FIS Freestyle Skiing Men’s World Cup on February 23, 2019 in Senboku, Akita, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)Getty Images

Sport: Skiing, Bumps

Height: 6′2″

Weight: 155 pounds.

Date of Birth : 06/25/1993

Hometown: Rochester, NY

By the way: Walczyk grew up in Fairport and trained with the Bristol Mountain Freestyle ski program before moving to Colorado to pursue a skiing career. It will be his first Olympics, which he pursued as an independent athlete, separate from the U.S. Ski Team. In 2013, he won a bronze medal at his first World Cup; he was the highest-ranked American mogul skier in the World Cup standings in 2020

FIS Snowboard World Championships - Men's and Women's Snowboard Cross

SOLITUDE, UTAH – FEBRUARY 01: Mick Dierdorff is swept away in celebration by Nick Baumgartner and Hagen Kearney after finishing first in the men’s snowboard cross final of the FIS Snowboard World Championships on February 1, 2019 at Solitude Mountain Resort in Solitude, Utah. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Getty Images

Sport: Men’s Snowboard Cross

Height: 6′2″

Weight: 175 pounds.

Date of Birth : 11/06/1991

Place of birth: Buffalo, NY

Hometown: Norwood, Colorado.

High school: Telluride Mountain School (Telluride, Colorado) ’10

On: Beijing will be the second Olympics for Kearney, who placed 13th in snowboard cross in PyeongChang. Her love for the snow began in 2000 when her family visited Telluride for a ski trip; he won his first World Cup in 2016, won a World Championship medal in 2017 and made his first Olympic team in 2018.

Fun fact: Kearney is in a metal band and plays drums and guitar.

Source: TeamUSA.org

Canada v United States

ALLENTOWN, PA – OCTOBER 22: Hayley Scamurra #16 of the USA watches against Canada at the PPL Center on October 22, 2021 in Allentown, PA. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Getty Images

Sport: Ice Hockey

Position: Cheeky

Height: 5′8″

Date of Birth : 12/14/1994

Place of birth: Williamsville, NY

Hometown: Getzville, NY

University: Northeastern University ’17

On: Scamurra’s earliest memory is of skating on his rink with his father, who was the first person from Buffalo to play in the NHL. She was one of Northeastern University’s top varsity players and later played with the Buffalo Beauts in the Women’s National Hockey League before joining Team USA.

Fun fact: His sporting role model is two-time Olympian and soccer icon Abby Wambach.

Source: TeamUSA.org

Portrait of the American team ahead of Beijing 2022

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Karen Chen of Team USA poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic Filming on September 12, 2021 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA)Getty Images for Team USA

Sport: Figure skating

Height: 5′0″

Weight: 105 pounds.

Date of Birth : 08/16/1999

Place of birth: Freemont, California.

University: Cornell University

On: Known for her speed and spins, Chen placed 11th at the 2018 Olympics after winning the US Figure Skating Championships in 2017. After completing her freshman year at Cornell remotely due to Covid-19 closures in spring of 2020, Chen took time off to focus on the upcoming Games in Beijing. She plans to return to campus as a sophomore in the fall of 2022 and is considering medical school.

Fun fact: She is a fan of Pokémon and Studio Ghibli characters.

Source: TeamUSA.org

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating - French Open

GRENOBLE, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 19: Karen Chen of the United States competes in the ladies’ short program during the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating – French Open at Polesud Ice Rink on November 19, 2021 in Grenoble, France. (Photo by Joosep Martinson – International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images)International Skating Union via

The Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony will air on NBC on Friday, February 4. The first competitions will begin on February 2, and prime-time coverage of men’s and women’s figure skating and moguls will begin on February 3.

For a full Olympics schedule, including live streams, visit NBCOlympics.com.

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