On February 20, 2002, Jim (Jimmy) Shea, Jr. became the first American to win the gold medal in Men's Skeleton; and the Sheas became the first family ever with three generations of Winter Olympians, all in different sports.
Jimmy Shea, Jr. was bolstered by the spirit of the country and cheered on by thousands of spectators including his father, Jim Shea, Sr., a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic team in Nordic Combined. But, Jimmy garnered strength and determination from one person in particular, his grandfather Jack Shea, who was killed in an automobile accident just 17 days prior to the Salt Lake Games.
In his helmet he carried a picture of Jack, a double gold medalist in Speedskating at the 1932 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.
"I felt his presence. I was pumped! I wanted to win for him, for my family and for the entire country," said Shea immediately following his gold medal winning performance.
As a child, Jimmy Shea, Jr. excelled in extreme sports as a result of his natural ability in high speed contact competitions. He discovered Bobsledding...
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