THOMASTON SOUTH — A local man – with not-so-local ties – will compete in the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
James Reed is one of 12 athletes selected as members of the US Olympic bobsled team and will represent the US team at the Olympics, which begin Friday, Feb. 4, in Beijing, China.
“It’s so amazing,” said Reed’s mother, Dean, who resides in South Thomaston. “It’s been a wild ride.”
Reed graduated in 2014 from the University of Maine at Orono and earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science.
Reed will be a push athlete in the four-man races, which is one of the two middle positions on the bobsled.
Dean and her husband, Ben, are from Maine, as Dean graduated from York High School and Ben from Waterville High School in the 1970s. The couple attended the University of Maine, as did their daughter, Lauren.
“After we graduated in 1980, my husband joined the army,” she said. “We’ve been overseas for 30 of the last 40 years.”
The Reeds finally settled in South Thomaston in 2018.
Reed attended elementary and middle school at a U.S. Army base in Germany and later graduated from the International School in Munich.
“He’s a classic army kid,” Dean said of his son. “He has no hometown. He’s American, he used to come back here every summer for summer camp, we have a lot of family in Maine but he doesn’t have that connection to his hometown. He has lived at the Olympic training center for eight years now.
Reed was also an alternate for Team USA at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, but did not compete in the event.
Reed was also a track and field athlete at UMaine and won the America East Championship in the 60 meter hurdles before taking second place in the 2014 IC4A/ECAC competition.
He was a hurdler and sprinter during his time with the Black Bears and was encouraged by one of his coaches to try bobsledding.
He made the national team in 2014 and since then, Dean said, “It’s been an eight-year journey.”
Reed learned he had made the team on Monday morning, January 17.
Interestingly enough, Reed’s father, Ben, was also a track and field athlete at UMaine and set the school record for the 55-meter hurdles (7.64 seconds) in 1980. James broke that 30-year mark in 2010. (7.41 seconds). ), which still holds.
The Olympic four-man bobsleigh qualifiers will begin on Saturday February 19 in Beijing.
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