SOUTH THOMASTON — A local man — with not-so-local ties — will compete at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

James Reed is one of 12 athletes selected as members of the USA Olympic bobsled team and will represent Team USA at the Olympics, set to begin on Friday, Feb. 4 in Beijing, China.

“It’s so amazing,” said Reed’s mother, Dean, who resides in South Thomaston. “It’s been a wild ride.”

Reed is a 2014 graduate of the University of Maine in Orono and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science.

James Reed in the hurdles at the University of Maine. Photo courtesy of Peter Buehner

Reed will be a push athlete in the four-man races, which is one of the two middle positions on the bobsled.

Dean and her husband, Ben, originally are from Maine, as Dean graduated from York High School and Ben from Waterville High School in the 1970s. The pair attended the University of Maine, as did their daughter, Lauren.

“After we graduated in 1980 my husband joined the army,” she said. “We have been overseas for 30 of the last 40 years.”

The Reeds eventually settled in South Thomaston in 2018.

James Reed, middle, in the 55 meters at the University of Maine. Photo courtesy of Peter Buehner

Reed attended elementary and middle schools at an American army base in Germany and later graduated from Munich International School.

“He’s a classic army brat,” Dean said of her son. “He doesn’t have a home town. He’s American, he came back here every summer for summer camp, we have a lot of family in Maine but he doesn’t have that home-town connection. He’s been living in the Olympic training center for eight years now.”

Reed also was an alternate for Team USA at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, but did not compete at the event.

Reed also was a track-and-field athlete at UMaine and captured the America East Championship in the 60-meter hurdles before he earned runner-up showing in the event at the 2014 IC4A/ECAC competition.

He was a hurdler and sprinter during his time with the Black Bears and was encouraged by one of his coaches to give the bobsled a try.

He made the national team in 2014 and since, Dean said, “It’s been an eight-year journey.”

Reed received word he had made the team on Monday morning, Jan. 17.

Interestingly enough, Reed’s father, Ben, also was a track-and-field athlete at UMaine and set the school record for the 55-meter hurdles (7.64 seconds) in 1980. James broke that 30-year-mark in 2010 (7.41 seconds), which still stands.

The four-man Olympic bobsled heats will begin on Saturday, Feb. 19 in Beijing.

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