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12 Massachusetts Olympians to watch in the Beijing Games

Hunter Church, Joshua Williamson, Kris Horn, Charles Volker compete in the four-man bobsleigh on Jan. 9, 2022 in Winterberg, Germany (Patrick Goosen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
Hunter Church, Joshua Williamson, Kris Horn, Charles Volker compete in the four-man bobsleigh on Jan. 9, 2022 in Winterberg, Germany (Patrick Goosen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

You’ll have to wake up early this Friday to ring in the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

While these Games weren't delayed like the Tokyo Summer Games, it's not quite Olympics-as-usual. Athletes are under strict COVID-19 protocols. And diplomatic relationships between the U.S. and China are tense: The U.S. refused to send dignitaries, as is tradition, to the Olympic Games in protest over the Chinese government’s detention of over 1 million Uyghur Muslims in the country’s northwest region of Xinjiang.

But Team USA has landed in China and the Games appear to be moving forward as planned. NBC will broadcast the opening ceremony on Friday, Feb. 4, at 7 a.m. ET.

While we’ll be cheering on all 222 Team USA athletes, we have our eyes on these 12 Olympians with roots in Massachusetts. Look out for them in the full schedule here.

Bobsled

Kris Horn is from Pembroke. He went to UMass Amherst, where he shined as a track and field star — all before he became a bobsledder. He made appearances in the World Championships, finishing third in the mixed team event in 2019, and 21st in the four-man event in 2020.

Cross-country skiing

Julia Kern grew up in Waltham. She stuck around New England, attending high school at Stratton Mountain School in Vermont then Dartmouth College. She is a two-time World Championship medalist and World Cup podium finisher.

Freestyle skiing

Eric Loughran, of Team USA, takes a training run on Jan. 12, 2022 in Park City, Utah. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Eric Loughran, of Team USA, takes a training run on Jan. 12, 2022 in Park City, Utah. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Eric Loughran was born in Lowell and grew up in Pelham, New Hampshire. He'll compete in two events at the Winter Games: men's aerials and mixed team aerials. He made his Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang 2018.

Ice hockey

Matty Beniers is from Hingham. He attends University of Michigan. He holds a bronze medal from the 2021 World Championships. He will be the youngest Team USA Olympic hockey player since 1984.

Matty Beniers handles the pick during the Ice Hockey World Championship between United States and Latvia in Riga, Latvia, on May 27, 2021. (Sergei Grits/AP)
Matty Beniers handles the pick during the Ice Hockey World Championship between United States and Latvia in Riga, Latvia, on May 27, 2021. (Sergei Grits/AP)

Drew Commesso is from Norwell. He attended St. Sebastian's School in Needham and then Boston University, where he plays as the Terrier's goaltender. He won a bronze medal at the 2021 World Championships.

Sean Farrell is from Hopkinton. He attended St. Mark's High School in Southborough and is attending Harvard University. He played for the Chicago Steel when the team won the 2021 Clark Cup Championship.

Marc McLaughlin is from North Billerica. After going to high school in Iowa, he returned to attend Boston College. He won three awards in the Hockey East conference 2020-2021.

David Warsofsky is from Marshfield. He attended Cushing Academy in Ashburnham for high school and graduated from Boston University in 2010, the same year he won the gold medal in the World Junior Championship. He played for the Bruins from 2013-2015.

Alex Carpenter skates with the puck at Outpost Ice Arenas on Nov. 09, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
Alex Carpenter skates with the puck at Outpost Ice Arenas on Nov. 09, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

Alex Carpenter is from North Reading and attended Boston College. She is a two-time Olympian — winning silver in Sochi in 2014. She is the daughter of 18-year NHL star and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Carpenter.

Kendall Coyne Schofield attended high school at the Berkshire School in Sheffield then went on to graduate from Northeastern University. She is a three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist (gold and silver). She's the 2022 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team captain.

Luge

Zachary DiGregorio is from Medway. He appeared in the World Junior Championships singles race between 2018 and 2020 and came home with a silver medal in 2019. In Beijing, he will be competing in doubles with his partner Sean Hollander.

Short track speedskating

Julie Letai competes in the women's 500-meter quarterfinals during the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials Dec. 19, 2021, in Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
Julie Letai competes in the women's 500-meter quarterfinals during the U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials Dec. 19, 2021, in Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Julie Letai is from Medfield. She made her debut in the 2019 World Cup in Dresden then went on to win a bronze medal in the 3000-meter relay later that year in Shanghai.


Editor's Note: This post is primarily sourced from biographies provided by Team USA. The list is not exhaustive of all Massachusetts connections and we encourage you to reach out to us with athletes to look into. To do so, please fill out this form.

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