Nordgren among 3 with Minn. ties to make U.S. biathlon roster for Beijing Olympics

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  • Tokyo Games
    Tokyo Games
  • Sean Doherty
    American biathlete

Minnesota native Leif Nordgren was named to the U.S. Olympic biathlon team Sunday, the third athlete with state ties to make the four-person men's roster for next month's Beijing Olympics.

Nordgren of Marine on St. Croix earned his third consecutive Olympic berth as U.S. Biathlon announced the final additions to the roster. He joins Jake Brown of St. Paul, former St. Scholastica athlete Paul Schommer and New Hampshire native Sean Doherty on the team for Beijing. Brown and Schommer are first-time Olympians, while Doherty also made the team for the third time.

A graduate of Forest Lake High School, Nordgren, 32, competed in three individual events in both the 2014 Sochi Olympics and the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. His best Olympic finish came in Sochi, when he was 44th in the sprint. He also has competed in nine world championships, placing a career-best eighth in the 20-kilometer individual event in 2020.

Nordgren now lives and trains in Vermont, where he and Doherty are members of the Vermont National Guard's biathlon training program. Brown, 29, a graduate of Minnehaha Academy who competed in multiple sports at St. Olaf College, also is based in Vermont.

Another Minnesotan, Vasek Cervenka of Grand Rapids, was selected as first alternate for the men's Olympic team. Cervenka, 22, another member of the Vermont National Guard program, has extensive international experience at the junior and youth levels.

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