When the 2018 Olympic Winter Games get underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9, fans of the Big Red will have plenty to cheer about with eight Cornell alumni – Jamie Greubel Poser ’06, Josh Kirkpatrick '10, Ben Scrivens ’10, Laura Fortino, Brianne Jenner ’15, Rebecca Johnston ’12, Lauriane Rougeau ’13 and Jillian Saulnier ’15 – representing two countries in three different sports.
The total of eight Olympians is the most ever for the Big Red at the Winter Games and the most in any Olympic games in more than a century – tied with the eight representatives at the 1912 Olympic Summer Games in Stockholm, Sweden.
And, among Cornell's Ivy League peers, only Dartmouth is sending more alumni athletes to the Games.
The majority of Cornell’s contingent will skate for Team Canada’s women’s hockey team, with Johnston, Fortino, Rougeau and Jenner looking to defend their gold medals, along with the addition of Olympic rookie Saulnier. In men’s hockey, Scrivens will also don the Maple Leaf and make his Olympic debut for the reigning gold medal winners.
Johnston, who already has two gold medals to her credit (2010, 2014), is the only Big Red alumnus to earn two medals in the Winter Olympics and will attempt to match Pablo Morales Jr., J.D., 1994, a swimmer who took three gold medals in 1984 and 1992, and Kevin Freeman ’63, an equestrian who took three silver medals in 1964, 1968 and 1972, as the most-decorated Olympians in Cornell history.
Nipping at Johnston’s heels are teammates Fortino, Rougeau and Jenner, as well as Greubel Poser, who won the bronze medal in bobsled for Team USA in Sochi, Russia. Greubel Poser is just the second Big Red graduate to earn a medal in bobsled, joining Dick Parke, Class of 1916, who won gold in the men’s four-man bobsled at the 1928 Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Looking to join Greubel Poser and Parke in that rare company will be Kirkpatrick, who makes his Olympic debut for Canada in the four-man bobsled.
With five total medals to its credit, the Big Red contingent that competed in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi – Johnston, Fortino, Rougeau, Jenner and Greubel Poser – was the most decorated in Cornell history, but the 2018 group has a great chance to surpass that total. Both Canadian hockey teams are expected to medal, and Greubel Poser is the defending World Champion bronze medalist, currently ranked third in the world.
The Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament runs from Feb. 10-22. Team Canada will start play on Sunday, Feb. 11 against Olympic athletes from Russia.
The men’s tournament begins Feb. 14 and concludes with the medal round on Feb. 25. Team Canada opens Group A play on Feb. 15 vs. Switzerland.
Bobsled will be contested from Feb. 18-25 at the Olympic Sliding Centre in the Pyeongchang Mountain Cluster.
To keep up with the Big Red in Pyeongchang, follow them on Twitter or visit Cornell Athletics’ Olympic Central, which will be updated throughout the games with viewing schedules, results and news items related to the Cornell alumni.