Six Cornellians earn medals at Pyeongchang Olympics

From left, Laura Fortino, Jillian Saulnier ’15, Lauriane Rougeau ’13, Ben Scrivens ’10, Rebecca Johnston ’12 and Brianne Jenner ’15 at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. All are Cornell Big Red ice hockey alumni. The women, as part of Team Canada’s women’s hockey team, went on to win silver medals; Scrivens earned a bronze medal for Team Canada’s men’s hockey.

A record number of Cornell alumni won medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, thanks in large part to five women’s ice hockey alumnae – Laura Fortino, Brianne Jenner ’15, Rebecca Johnston ’12, Lauriane Rougeau ’13 and Jillian Saulnier ’15 – who earned silver medals with Team Canada. The final Big Red medal was secured by former men’s ice hockey player Ben Scrivens ’10, who earned a bronze medal with the Canadians.

Altogether, Cornell alumni earned two-thirds of the total medals taken home by Ivy League student-athletes (nine), ahead of Dartmouth (two) and Brown (one). The six medals are also the most ever won by Cornellians at the Winter Games, and ties the university’s record set at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

On an individual level, Johnston became the first Cornellian to compete in three Olympic Winter games, and is the sixth to compete in three or more Olympics. She has earned a medal at each – gold in 2010 and 2014; silver in 2018 – giving her the most medals in school history, tied with Kevin Freeman (equestrian – silver in 1964, 1968 and 1972).

Fortino, who earned a place on the media all-star team, as well as Jenner and Rougeau, picked up their second Olympic medals, as all three were teammates with Johnston on the 2014 gold medal squad, while Saulnier and Scrivens earned the first medals of their careers.

Jenner, who served as an assistant captain for Team Canada, described losing to Team USA in a shootout in the gold medal game as “a tough one,” but says she is grateful for the support her team received not just from Canada, but from Cornellians.

“We have a lot of Cornellians who cheer for us,” she says. “It always surprises me a little, but it’s great! It just feels like Cornell hockey goes deeper. And we certainly feel that support. There was actually a Cornell jersey in the stands at one of our games in Pyeongchang. I’m very proud to have gone to Cornell and to have been a part of that Cornell hockey community. And the fans are what make it so special.”

In addition to the medal winners, former Cornell track and field standouts Jamie Greubel Poser ’06 and Josh Kirkpatrick ’10 competed in the bobsled competition.

Greubel Poser, who won the bronze in women’s bobsled for the U.S. at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, finished in Pyeongchang in fifth place, only hundredths of a second off the podium.

In his Olympic debut with Canada, Kirkpatrick finished 12th in the four-man bobsled.

For detailed recaps of the Big Red in the Pyeongchang Winter Games, visit Cornell Athletics’ Olympic Central page.

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Lindsey Knewstub