UVM OLYMPIANS SCORE
by Gordon Woodworth
John LeClair 91 and Aaron Miller 93 played central roles in
the United States mens hockey teams drive to an Olympic
silver medal. LeClair netted an Olympics-leading six goals and earned
all-tournament status, while Miller was a force throughout the Games,
credited by one commentator as turning in the best performance among the
USAs defensemen at Salt Lake City.
one-time Catamount hockey teammates were among a number of UVM-connected
athletes, the latest in a long tradition of Vermont Olympians, competing
at the 2002 Winter Games.
marked the second Olympics for LeClair, who makes his living as a power
forward for the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League. His
scoring included a hat trick (the U.S. teams first since the 1984
Games) in the opening game versus Finland.
a defenseman for the NHLs Los Angeles Kings, competed in his first
Olympics at Salt Lake. He and LeClair were reunited from their days at
UVM, where they shared the ice for two seasons, 1989-91, as a formidable
has been awesome but at the same time, its been really exhausting,
Miller said as the Games drew to a close. Im just going to
let it all sink in for a day before Im in Columbus playing in the
skates to skis, UVM also had a strong contingent competing in the Wasatch
Mountains at the Soldier Hollow Nordic site. Tessa Benoit 00 skied
in two of the cross country races. Kris Freeman, who skied at UVM for
one year before leaving school to train with the U.S. team, was part of
the U.S. mens 4 X 10-kilometer relay team that finished fifth, one
of the United States best performances ever in the sport. And Olympic
biathletes, Jay Hakkinen, Rachel Steer, and Dan Westover (an alternate),
have all studied or are currently enrolled at UVM through a cooperative
program with the U.S. Biathlon Team.
There were at least a couple of proud parents with UVM ties, as well. Freestyle skier Ann Battelle, who competed in her fourth Olympics, is the daughter of UVM Business Professor Peter Battelle. And Bode Miller, multiple medalist in alpine skiing, is the son of John Woody Miller 70, a varsity tennis player during his days at UVM.
Winter Olympians Past