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The envelope please ...

January 24, 2014 - Chris Knight
It’s noon Wednesday. We knew this was coming, but it still was awesome to hear it.

Vermontville native Billy Demong has been nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team in nordic combined, joining Todd Lodwick and the Fletcher brothers. It’s Demong’s fifth and final Olympics. Incredible. I’m so excited to see him compete.

Lou Reuter, the namesake of this blog and my colleague in Sochi, was in on the conference call when the announcement was made. Later that night, he read me his lede.

“No surprise, but it’s official.”

“My journalism professor always taught me if you can write a lede in five words, you’re in good shape,” Lou says.

I would tell you what my journalism professor told me about ledes, but I can’t remember it. I took one journalism class in college at SUNY Geneseo. I got a C-plus. So much for that career path, eh?

Just before 3 p.m., I dial into another conference call where the U.S. Olympic ski jumping team will be announced. A few minutes later, we’ve got confirmation of another local athlete heading to Sochi, Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake. This will be his second Olympics, and he’s not even 22 years old! His birthday is Feb. 24, the day after the games end.

Lucky for me, Peter had just got back in town for a brief pre-Olympic rest. In between getting Ethan ready for hockey practice and picking up my two youngest at daycare, I stop into work and give Peter a call. We chat for a bit about the excitement of him going to Sochi, and set up a time to meet at his house for a longer interview on Friday.

Unfortunately, Lake Placid’s Nina Lussi didn’t make the team. The 19-year-old was among a group of three solid jumpers vying for a fourth slot behind Lindsey Van, Jessica Jerome and Sarah Hendrickson for the chance to compete in the first-ever women’s Olympic ski jumping competition in Sochi. However, that fourth slot didn’t materialize and only the three top jumpers made it.

While Lussi won’t be heading to Sochi, she will be representing the U.S. at the FIS World Junior Championships next week in Val di Fiemme, Italy. The women’s jumping competition is set for Jan. 28. Thanks to Tony Goodwin who emailed me this information.

Now, the only local athlete we don’t know for sure about is alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid. The “War Horse” came out of nowhere to take bronze in the Olympic super-G in Vancouver four years ago, but he’s struggled with injuries lately. We’ll know whether he’s Sochi-bound on Sunday when the U.S. alpine ski team nominations are announced.


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