LAKE PLACID - George Bailey watched his son Lowell on a big-screen TV at Lake Placid Middle/High School, where he teaches sixth-grade English and science.
"We had a watch party in the library," George said. "It was fabulous. Everyone was cheering, and there were decorations. The kids are caught up in the spirit."
On Thursday Lowell Bailey surpassed all previous U.S. biathlon achievements in the Olympics, finishing eighth in the 20-kilometer individual race.
George Bailey, Lowell Bailey’s father
(Enterprise file photo — Lou Reuter)
George said his classroom is decked out with signs from students congratulating his son's achievement.
"He did the best that any American biathlete has done in the Olympics," he said. "I'm proud."
George said Lowell, who is competing in his third Olympics, knew he had it in him to place in the top 10 at this year's OIympics; it was only a matter of endurance and chance.
"His hours of grueling training have paid off," George said. "He's got a serious level of commitment. It's the culmination of hours of grinding it out."
George said his son trains 11 months out of the year, six days a week, three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. Even when the two spent some quality time together on a sailboat, Lowell had to train.
Lowell graduated from Lake Placid High School in 1999. George said he started there when Lowell was in seventh grade, missing teaching his son by just a year. Being in the school during his son's achievement Thursday meant a lot to George.
"I'm really glad I had a chance to be home and see this happen in the community," he said.