Maine Winter Sports Center athlete named to US Paralympic ski team

Posted Jan. 31, 2014, at 5:22 p.m.

CARIBOU, Maine — Maine Winter Sports Center athlete Omar Bermejo was nominated Friday to represent the United States as a member of the cross country and biathlon teams at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Bermejo, who is from Grand Rapids, Mich., served with the U.S. Marines through five tours in Iraq before losing his right arm in a motorcycle accident.

Sochi will mark his Olympic debut for the Games, set for March 8-16.

“Omar is a standout not only on the tracks, but also in the community,” said Will Sweetser, Bermejo’s coach and competitive programs director at MWSC. “His infectious enthusiasm helps everyone he comes in contact with see just how fantastic sport and sharing time outside can be.”

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Bermejo moved to Caribou in June and has spent this year training alongside fellow Olympians Kris Freeman, Russell Currier and Annalies Cook. He has offered his insights into sport and life at several area school classrooms.

“Omar’s progress in the sport is amazing,” said Sweetser. “He only came to skiing two seasons ago. That he has already scored IPC World Cup points and been named to represent the U.S. is really a testament to his work ethic and commitment to excellence.”

Bermejo joins Currier, Freeman, Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey, Cook and Lanny Barnes as athletes on the U.S. Olympic team who have trained at MWSC.

 

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