The Winter Olympics have begun in Sochi this week with many athletes from around the world, including athletes from Wisconsin and the local area.
Joe Pavelski, from Plover, will compete in his second Winter Olympics as a member of the United States men’s hockey team.
Pavelski was a member of the team in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He played in six games, tallying three assists, and received a silver medal as the team lost to Canada in the finals.
Pavelski has seen success at every level of hockey. In 2002, he won the only state hockey championship for the Stevens Point Area Senior High hockey team. He was a national champion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006. Pavelski currently plays for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League.
This past week on Feb. 7, the Stevens Point area celebrated Joe Pavelski Day to honor the accomplishments of a hometown hero.
Pavelski will not be the only player on the team from Wisconsin. Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who is from Madison, and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild, also from Madison, will join him in Sochi.
Both Suter and Kessel were silver medalists along with Pavelski in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Phil Kessel is not the only Kessel from Madison in Sochi either. His sister, Amanda Kessel, will be there as a member of the women’s ice hockey team. Amanda also has teammates on women’s hockey team from Wisconsin.
Goalie Jesse Vitter is from Cottage Grove, and forward Brianna Decker is from Dousman. Decker is competing in her first Olympics, and Vitter is in her second after being a silver medalist in 2010.
U.S. Curling also has a pair of siblings in the Olympics from Wisconsin. Craig and Erika Brown are another pair of siblings from Madison in the Olympics.
Erika is the skip on the women’s team, and Craig is an alternate on the men’s team.
Wisconsin also has athletes competing in speedskating events. Alyson Dudek from Hales Corners is competing in her second Winter Olympics.
Dudek received a bronze medal in 2010 while competing in the women’s 3000-meter relay. Maria Lamb from River Falls joins Dudek on the women’s speedskating team.
Lamb is competing for her third time in the Olympics and competes in the 5000-meter event.
Another Wisconsin native on the women’s speedskating team is Sugar Todd. Todd is from Milwaukee and will compete in the 500 and 1000-meter events in her first Olympics.
On the men’s team, Janesvile native Tucker Fredricks will compete in the 500-meter in his third Olympics. His teammate Mitch Whitmore is from Milwaukee and joins Fredricks in the 500-meter and also in the 100-meter.
Finally, Prairie Du Chien native Matt Antoine is a member of the U.S. Skeleton team. Antoine is competing in his first Olympics.