Bronze plaques for silver medalists

Olympian welcome-home parade includes Walk of Fame inductions for Mazdzer, Kilbourne-Hill

SARANAC LAKE — This village will add two silver medalists — Chris Mazdzer and Andrea Kilbourne-Hill — to its Walk of Fame at Wednesday’s parade to welcome home athletes from last month’s Winter Olympics, according to Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

Also, the number of participating 2018 Olympians has doubled, from four to eight, according to Jon Lundin, one of the parade organizers.

The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Hotel Saranac and proceed down Main Street to the Harrietstown Town Hall, where there will be ceremonies and a chance for people to meet the Olympians and get their autographs.

Parade participants

Lundin, who is also communications director for the state Olympic Regional Development Authority, said that in the last two weeks he has confirmed the following additional 2018 Winter Olympians in the parade:

¯ Tommy Biesemeyer, alpine skiing, born and raised in Keene, first-time Olympian, did not race because he ruptured his Achilles tendon in training after his Olympic downhill and Super-G (super-giant slalom) racers were postponed

¯ Nick Cunningham, bobsled pilot, Monterey, California, lives in Lake Placid to train, three-time Olympian

¯ Clare Egan, biathlon, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, lives in Lake Placid to train, first-time Olympian

¯ Jamie Gruebel Poser, bobsled pilot, Newtown, Pennsylvania, lives in Lake Placid to train, two-time Olympian, 2014 Olympic bronze medalist.

They will join four previously announced members of the U.S. Olympic team this February in Pyeongchang, South Korea:

¯ Lowell Bailey, biathlon, grew up in Lake Placid since elementary school, lives in Lake Placid, four-time Olympian

¯ Tim Burke, biathlon, born and raised in Paul Smiths, lives in Lake Placid, four-time Olympian

¯ Chris Mazdzer, luge, grew up in Saranac Lake since elementary school, three-time Olympian, silver medal at these Olympics — first Olympic medal ever for an American in men’s singles luge

¯ Andrew Weibrecht, alpine skiing, born and raised in Lake Placid, three-time Olympian, silver medal in 2014 Olympic Super-G, bronze medal in 2010 Olympic Super-G.

Bailey and Burke just competed in the last race of their long biathlon careers Sunday in Norway. They grew up ski racing together in the Tri-Lakes area, switched to biathlon together and were roommates on the World Cup circuit.

Lundin said he has also confirmed that at least 12 Olympians from past years will join the parade, most of whom live in the Tri-Lakes area:

¯ Mark Grimette, luge, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010

¯ Andrea Kilboune-Hill, hockey, 2002

¯ Joe Lamb, ski jumping, 1972

¯ Tim Nardiello, luge, 1984, 1988

¯ Jay Rand, ski jumping, 1968

¯ Matt Roy, bobsled, 1988

¯ Jim Shea Sr., cross-country skiing, nordic combined, 1964

¯ Gordy Sheer, luge, 1992, 1994, 1998 silver medalist

¯ Bill Tavares, 1992

¯ Jim Tyler, bobsled 1984

¯ Ashley Walden, luge, 2002

¯ Bengt Walden, luge, 1994, 1998, 2002 for Sweden, 2010 for USA.

Some support staff from this year’s Olympics will also march in the parade, including U.S. skeleton coach Tuffy Latour of Saranac Lake, U.S. bobsled media-marketing assistant Kristen Gowdy of Lake Placid and United Kingdom skeleton coach Caleb Smith of Lake Placid.

Also in the parade will be the Saranac Lake and Lake Placid fire departments, Saranac Lake High School marching band, Saranac Lake Boy Scout troop as flag bearers, NYSEF (New York Ski Education Foundation), Lake Placid Ski Club, Saranac Lake Pee Wee Hockey Association, Dewey Mountain Youth Ski League, Friends of Mount Pisgah with 1948 women’s slalom ski state champion Natalie Leduc, St. Bernard’s School and several local politicians.

Lake Placid hosted separate welcome-home parades after the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, but so far one has not been organized there. North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi credited Saranac Lakers’ initiative in organizing this parade and said he does not think a separate Lake Placid one is necessary.

Walk of Fame

The Saranac Lake Walk of Fame was initiated in 2010. Since then, bronze Walk of Fame plaques have been dedicated to 2010 Winter Olympic champion skier Bill Demong, village founder Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, cartoonist Garry Trudeau, World War II spy and doctor Rene Joyeuse, physicist Albert Einstein, novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, baseball players Christy Mathewson and Larry Doyle, guide Herb Clark, composer Bela Bartok and the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles.

Kilbourne-Hill, 37, was born and raised in Saranac Lake, the daughter of Dr. Barry and Stephanie Kilbourne who still live here. She attended St. Bernard’s School, Saranac Lake Middle School, Northwood School in Lake Placid and Princeton University, where she was a leading scorer with a total of 76 goals and 94 assists. She also scored a goal and an assist in the 2002 Olympics, where her U.S. team progressed to the gold-medal game, losing to Canada. She has taught at St. Agnes School and coached at Lake Placid High School and Northwood School, and currently is a teacher at St. Bernard’s while setting up a women’s hockey program at Paul Smith’s College. She lives in Saranac Lake with her husband Dan Hill and their two children.

Mazdzer, 29, was born in Massachusetts, but Saranac Lake has been his home since shortly after he tried luge for the first time at age 8 in Lake Placid. His parents Dr. Ed Mazdzer and Marty Lawthers live in Saranac Lake. Chris attended Saranac Lake schools until partway through high school, when he switched to National Sports Academy in Lake Placid. He has been a serious luge competitor since age 13 and has raced in the last three Winter Olympics. His peers in the luge world elected him to some of their highest honors for the 2014-18 Olympiad: He serves as the athletes’ representative on the Executive Board of the International Luge Federation (FIL), as well as FIL’s Sport Commission, and is chairman of the FIL Athletes Commission.

Staff Writer Glynis Hart contributed to this report.

COMMENTS