Several Massachusetts natives are gearing up to compete over the next two weeks in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. 13 athletes – across five different sports – will be competing at a chance to win gold.
Defenders and forwards make up most of the Massachusetts roster as eight of the 13 athletes will be competing in ice hockey events. Kacey Bellamy, Meghan Duggan, and Kali Flanagan will represent Team USA in the women’s ice hockey opening tournament on Saturday, Feb. 10. On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Bobby Butler, Chris Bourque, John McCarthy, Noah Welch, and Ryan Donato will also take to the ice as the men’s ice hockey preliminaries begin.
Despite the National Women’s Hockey League allowing athletes to participate in Olympic activities, the National Hockey League’s previous announcement of continuing regular season scheduling has stopped many professional players from joining Team USA. Due to this ruling, many new faces have been given the chance to represent the US this year including these Massachusetts residents.
32 year old Saugus native Jonathan Cheever will be representing the United States in men’s snowboarding after failing to qualify for Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. With a third place finish in September at the first Olympic qualifier in Argentina, the part-time plumber was able to secure his spot after being the only American to podium in any of the seven events. Cheever will compete in snowboard cross on Thursday, Feb. 15.
Another snowboarder, Mike Trapp will also make his Olympic debut when he competes in the parallel giant slalom event on Saturday, Feb. 24.
In freestyle skiing, Annalisa Drew, an Andover native who was the first woman to ever attempt and land a 1260 in the halfpipe event, will be competing on Sunday, Feb. 19. She will be making her second Olympic appearance in the pro halfpipe event.
Bronze-medalist Steve Langton will return to the bobsleigh in events near the end of this year’s games on Saturday, Feb. 24. This is Langton’s third Olympic Games; he previously finished in tenth place in the two-man bobsled in Vancouver 2010 and earned two bronze medals in the 2014 Sochi games.
A last minute addition to Team USA, Alice Merryweather of Hingham will be replacing an injured team member. Merryweather’s Olympic schedule is still unconfirmed however the skier will most likely be participating in alpine skiing.