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As we celebrate the current Olympic Games, we look at the Olympians of previous years. James Shea earned a complete set of medals in the men's skeleton event with a gold in 1999, a silver in 1997, and a bronze in 2000.
At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Shea was chosen to say the Athlete’s Oath during the Opening Ceremonies. He passed the Olympic Torch to Cammie Granato and Picabo Street, until it finally arrived at the Olympic Cauldron.
According to the Sochi 2014 website, Shea is from a long line of athletes. He was the third generation of his family to make it to the Olympic Games. His father took part in Nordic and combined cross-country skiing. His grandfather won two gold medals in speed skating at the 1932 Winter Olympics.
When the youngest Shea won at Salt Lake City’s Utah Olympic Park in 2002, he took out a photograph of his late grandfather and showed it to the roaring crowd, according to Olympic.org.
More recently, Shea has founded The Shea Family Foundation, which raises money to help kids in sports.