SARANAC LAKE - It's been three years since Paul Smiths native and two-time Olympic biathlete Tim Burke has spent Christmas in the Adirondacks, and during his week-long return home, he took some time to help the place where he raced on cross-country skis as a youngster.
On Wednesday, Burke visited the Adirondack Bean-To Coffee shop in Saranac Lake to promote a fundraising effort for a new ski lodge at the Dewey Mountain Recreation Center.
Adirondack Bean-To is selling a coffee honoring Burke, a veteran of the United States Biathlon Team who has competed in two Olympics and is back in town during the World Cup biathlon tour's holiday break. The limited-edition coffee is called BurkeBeaner - a reference to the famous Birkebeiner nordic ski race in Norway - and is a version of Bean-To's trademark Hammer roast. It's being sold in a bright blue bag with a photo of Burke skiing in the 2010 Olympics. Some proceeds from sales of the coffee during the ski season will go toward the construction of a new ski lodge at Dewey Mountain.
From left, Dewey Mountain manager Jason Smith, Olympic biathlete Tim Burke and cross-country ski coach Kris Cheney-Seymour display bags of BurkeBeaner coffee Wednesday at the Adirondack Bean-To coffee shop in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Burke raced at Dewey Mountain as a boy along with biathlon teammate Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid and 2010 Olympic nordic combined gold and silver medalist Bill Demong of Vermontville.
"I'm excited. I'm happy to help out," Burke said Wednesday. "I can remember skiing at Dewey after school and racing there at night. We spent a lot of time on those trails. It's a great place to ski, and I'm happy to see it's still going strong. All we need now is some snow."
Burke is the second Adirondack Olympian to team up with Adirondack Bean-To and Dewey Mountain in the fundraising effort. Last season, Demong's photo was on bags of the coffee, which was dubbed "Hammer Down."
BurkeBeaner is an organic, fair-trade coffee being offered at $16.50 per bag. Adirondack Bean-To Coffee is located at 12 Shepard Ave. in Saranac Lake.
Burke returned home Monday and will head back to Europe on Dec. 26 for the next stop on the World Cup tour, in Oberhoff, Germany.