Jack Shea of Lake Placid First Person to Win 2 Gold Medals

Jack Shea, a resident of the village, became the first person to win two gold medals when he doubled in speed skating at the 1932 Winter Olympics. He carried the Olympic torch through Lake Placid in 2002 shortly before his death.

Jack Shea, 1932Shea grew up on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid. In high school, he won the North American men’s championships in the 1929 and 1930.

At the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in his hometown of Lake Placid, Shea a 21-year-old sophomore at Dartmouth College, took the Olympic oath on behalf of all the athletes.

Later that day, in the first final of the Olympics, he won the 500-meter speedskating gold medal. The next day he won the 1, 500-meter gold. Shea has always called the 500-meter final the highlight of his career. He has said it was the one win he wanted the most.

When She returned to Dartmouth, more than 500 people greeted him with an outdoor celebration. While his classmates were proud of him and honored him with a huge welcome, the college administration seemed unimpressed. They held him responsible for all the work he missed while competing in the Olympics.

Shea refused to skate in the 1936 Winter Games in Garmisch-Parkenkirchen, Germany because of the direction Germany seemed to be taking in world politics. “I majored in political science, and I knew what was going on in Germany and I didn’t like it. And I didn’t compete again because in those days, 25 or 26 years of age was over the hill, and I had four kids then” he is quoted as saying.

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