Heavy Medal: Quintet of Former Little Leaguers Collect Olympic Gold, Three Silvers and a Bronze
The 21st Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, came to a close on Sunday with five Little League graduates earning one gold medal, three silver medals and a bronze.
During the two weeks of Olympic competition, United States bobsledder Justin Olsen, Team USA hockey players Meghan Duggan, Jesse Vetter and Chris Drury and U.S. Freestyle Skier Bryon Wilson each took their turn on the medal stand.
Mr. Olsen, who played in the Greater Helots Little League in San Antonio, was a member of Team USA's Gold Medal-winning "Night Train" bobsled team. The win by the United States in the four-man bobsled competition was the country's first in 62 years.
The Gold Medal game in men's ice hockey was the showcase event on the final day of the games, as Team Canada defeated Team USA, 3-2, in overtime.
Team USA entered the game unbeaten in the 2010 Winter Games, including its first Olympic win over Team Canada in 50 years. Mr. Drury and his teammates downed Finland for a berth in the Gold Medal game.
The U.S. women's ice hockey team also lost to Canada in the Gold Medal game, falling 2-0. Winners of the last two world championships, Team USA went undefeated in the preliminary round and beat Sweden to reach the Gold Medal game.
Bryon Wilson of Butte, Mont., took third place and won the bronze medal in freestyle skiing's men's moguls competition. He is a graduate of Longfellow Little League in Butte, and was one of 10 men who competed on the U.S. Olympic freestyle ski team.
A three-time Olympian, Mr. Drury is captain of the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers and was enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Hall of Excellence last year (2009). As a child, he pitched Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League to the Little League Baseball World Series championship in 1989.
Ms. Duggan played baseball in Danvers (Mass.) Little League, seeing time at catcher, second base, and in the outfield.
A graduate of Kennedy Little League in Madison, Wis., and Team USA's starting goaltender, Ms. Vetter played in the same Little League as the son of her current head coach at the University of Wisconsin, Mark Johnson. Coach Johnson, who played on the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” USA men’s ice hockey team and coached the U.S. women in these Olympics, was introduced to Ms. Vetter when volunteering with his son’s Little League team.
The United States sent 216 Americans to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and won more medals than other country (37). Team USA was represented by 123 men and 93 women.
More information on these former Little Leaguers is available at the following links:
Chris Drury - http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=2386/bio/index.html
Meghan Duggan - http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=2408/bio/index.html
Jesse Vetter - http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=2204/bio/index.html
Bryon Wilson - http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=2553/bio/index.html
To provide information on other former Little Leaguers who competed in the 2010 Winter Games, e-mail Chris Downs, Little League International's Director of Publicity, at: cdowns@LittleLeague.org.