Athletes with ties to Finger Lakes, greater Rochester vie for Olympic gold

Learning to live with snow and ice is something we do in Western New York.

Learning to have fun with it is a different story. And for some, it’s an Olympic story. As the XXIII Winter Games get started in PyeongChang, South Korea, many of us will no doubt watch and enjoy.

Making the Olympic spectacle a bit more enjoyable, however, are the local ties we have. Two freestyle skiers, Jonathon Lillis and Megan Schild, are from Pittsford and did their training at Bristol Mountain. Lillis qualified with the U.S. men’s aerial team, and Schild will ski moguls for the U.S. women. Both are in the Olympics for the first time.

On the ice, Brittany Bowe is a speedskater for the U.S. women who didn’t grow up around here, but her father, Mike, is a 1979 graduate of Victor High. She’s got plenty of family support coming out of Ontario County, and that includes her uncle Bill Bowe, a physical education teacher at Canandaigua and former varsity baseball coach for the Braves.

And on the ice in the rink is Brian Gionta, a veteran hockey player from Greece who won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils. At these Olympics, Gionta is captain of the U.S. men’s hockey team.

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