Freeman ’98 named to U.S. Olympic ski team
Former All-America Bates cross country skier Justin Freeman ’98 was named Tuesday to the 2006 U.S. Olympic ski team, joining younger brother Kris on the 10-person men’s squad set to compete at Turin, Italy, Feb. 10-26.
The full Nordic team comprises 10 men and seven women. Five of the men, including Kris Freeman, and three of the women competed at the 2002 Olympics.
Freeman becomes the second Bates alum to earn a place on a Winter Olympics team, the first being Nordic skier Nancy Ingersoll Fiddler ’78, who competed at the 1988 Calgary games. (In Summer Olympics, rower Mike Ferry ’97 competed in the double sculls at the 2000 Olympics, and runner Arnold Adams ’33 was a member of the U.S. team at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics but did not compete due to a foot injury.)
Freeman has competed in the upper echelons of U.S. skiing since leaving a doctoral physics program at the University of Colorado in 2000. As he noted in a class note in Bates Magazine that year, describing a new life of training, chasing snow and competing, ”I can’t say I would trade this life for any other.”
In 1998, Freeman’s combination of academic and athletic mettle was described in Bates Magazine by Marc Glass ’88. An excerpt:
|Justin Freeman ’98 competes at the 1998 NCAA Skiing Championships in Montana. Photo by Marc Glass ’88.|
“Calling Freeman ‘self-motivated’ seems too soft,” said Associate Professor of Mathematics John Rhodes, who, along with Professor of Physics Mark Semon, was Freeman’s honors thesis advisor in 1997-98. For example, Freeman wanted to take Rhodes’ upper-level Complex Analysis course, but couldn’t attend the afternoon class because it conflicted with ski practice. So Freeman asked, and received, permission to take the course as an independent study…. Though he rarely appeared in class and received no instruction from Rhodes during office hours, Freeman earned an A. He apparently taught himself the complex math solely by poring over his textbook. “Presumably that’s true,” Rhodes laughed, “although I think he borrowed the book from someone else.”
While Freeman, ranked 10th in the latest U.S. Ski Association point standings made the team, his Bates classmate David Chamberlain ’98, ranked 13th, did not make it off the bubble despite a strong performance at last week’s U.S. Cross Country Championships.
Chamberlain posted a fourth, fifth and two sixths in his races. He had passed up December races and potential points in order to peak at nationals in January and, he hoped, at the Olympics in February, according to a profile in the Portland Press Herald. His being left off the team was a topic on the skiing Web site TeamToday.org. As one poster noted: “David Chamberlain…you did it right. You did what you should have done, trained smart and went fast when it counted.”
The 2006 U.S. Olympic men’s cross country team, ages, hometowns, and previous Olympic experience:
Chris Cook, 25, Rhinelander, Wis.
Justin Freeman, 29, Andover, N.H.
Kris Freeman, 25, Andover, N.H. (2002)
Lars Flora, 28, Anchorage, Alaska (2002)
Andrew Johnson, 28, Greensboro, Vt. (2002)
Torin Koos, 25, Leavenworth, Wash. (2002)
Andy Newell, 22, Shaftsbury, Vt.
James Southam, 27, Anchorage, Alaska
Carl Swenson, 35, Park City, Utah (1994, 2002)
Leif Zimmermann, 22, Bozeman, Mont.