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Olympian recruiting Utahns for 2014 Olympic bid

By Jed Boal | Posted - Nov. 1, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Olympic gold medalist Jim "Jimmy" Shea Jr. wants to relight the fire within.

The third-generation Olympian struck gold in the skeleton in the 2002 Winter Olympics, but aims to compete in the two-man and four-man bobsleds in 2014.

In 2002, a parking lot across from the KSL Broadcast House was home to the medals plaza where Shea received his gold medal. He is now hunting for three strong, fast men to get him back to the podium in Sochi, Russia.

When Shea crossed the skeleton finish line in February 2002, he became the first American to win the Skeleton in the Olympics.

If I get a good push crew, I'm going to be dangerous.

–Jim Shea Jr.

"I have all that experience going down the track," Shea said.

Shea's father competed in cross-country skiing in 1964, and his grandfather won double gold in Lake Placid as a speed skater.

Shea's victory was supposed to be a three generation celebration, but his grandfather was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver 17 days before the games. He captured the hearts of viewers by showing his grandfather's funeral card after he won the event.

At 43 years old, Shea is ready to suit up again as a bobsled driver.

"Age doesn't matter, all that matters is the clock," he said. "If I get a good push crew, I'm going to be dangerous."

He needs runners who can cover 30 meters in 3.57 seconds and 60 meters in 6.5 seconds.

It's a great opportunity for athletes with an Olympic dream, according to Shea, who says he has the sleds, a coach and a good start on sponsors.

He walked away from the sport 8 years ago, and has been a stay at home dad for his two young girls.

"I miss the friendships of the sport," he said.

I miss the friendships of the sport.

–Jim Shea Jr.

He said he takes his gold medal to the elementary schools he visits.

"I make sure every single kid touches it, because it's heavy," he said.

Shea said he is ready to return to the track and share what he knows.

"To help other athletes make it to the Olympics, I'm telling you man, it's an amazing experience," he said.

Shea said he wants to compete with Utah athletes and has spoken with the Blaze Arena football team. He is interested in talking to BYU athletes or others who can give him that gold-medal push down the track.

Interested in joining the team? Email [](<mailto: email address>).


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