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Three former Panthers heading to Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

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Posted on February 8, 2018 |
By Addison Independent



Olmpians.jpg

MIDDLEBURY/PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Three Middlebury College alums will represent the United States at the Winter Olympics that kick off in South Korea on Friday.

For 2009 grad Simi Hamilton, Pyeongchang will be his third Olympic games. The former Panther Nordic racer skied on the U.S. team in 2010 in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Other U.S. team members with Middlebury roots are 2000 graduate Forest Carey, head technical of the U.S. men’s alpine team, and 2001 grad Matt Whitcomb, head coach of the U.S. women’s Nordic team.

Hamilton continues to lead the U.S. men’s Nordic team, scoring two sprint podiums in 2016 and another in 2017. He earned a fifth-place finish in Sochi in 2010 in the team sprint classic event. Hamilton finished the 2016 FIS World Cup Standings in 10th place in the sprint; he was ninth in 2017.

In 2014 Hamilton became the first American male to win a World Cup race since Bill Koch won the Sarajevo 30K in 1983.

While at Middlebury, he was a three-time All-American for the Panther Nordic team, achieving three top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships.

“Simi’s a great guy — always willing to spend time with the up-and-comers and give a few words of encouragement,” said Middlebury Nordic coach and two-time Olympian Andrew Johnson. “We couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for the Middlebury Ski Team and the sport as a whole in the U.S.”

Carey was a three-time All-American for the Panther alpine team. He was a member of the U.S. Ski team from 1993–97.

He returned to Middlebury in the fall of 2001 as an assistant coach with the alpine teams. After coaching a high school team, he returned to Middlebury to coach the alpine team in 2004, 2005 and 2006 before later joining the U.S. Ski Team coaching staff.

Whitcomb has spent more than a decade with the U.S. Ski Team.

He attended Stratton Mountain Academy prior to arriving at Middlebury, where he raced for former head coach Terry Aldrich. “I was at Middlebury for 31 years,” said Aldrich. “He was one of the best captains I ever had. He did all the special, little things that were a help to a coaching staff. It was almost like having (another) assistant coach on the team.”

After graduating from Middlebury with a degree in biology, Whitcomb coached a year with Glacier Nordic in Whitefish, Montana, before becoming the Nordic head coach at Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont for four years. He was hired by the U.S. Ski Team as a development-level coach in 2006. Six years ago, Whitcomb was elevated to head coach of the U.S. women’s team.

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