Town of Webb rallies around local Olympic hopeful biathlete

Maddie Phaneuf grew up in Old Forge and excelled as a skier. Now, her hometown is rallying more than ever as she's on the verge of qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2018 11:38 PM
Updated: Feb. 9, 2018 8:43 AM

A local skier is one day closer to being on the biggest stage, the Winter Olympics.

We'll officially find out on Friday if 22 year old Maddie Phaneuf is headed to South Korea to compete in the Biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting.

NEWSChannel2 spent the afternoon in her home town.

Remember the name, Maddie Phaneuf, she's a biathlete who grew up in Old Forge and dominated the slopes as a Town of Webb Eskimo.

"She's always been one of my best friends, super supportive of everyone around her," said former high school teammate Jessica Hannah. "Amazing athlete since day one. Beat me in every sport no matter what it was even though she was younger. "

It all began on McCauley Mountain and now she could be headed to Pyeongchang in February for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"She was good," said Town of Webb principal John Swick. "I mean she won all the time when she was here in Section III without a doubt but it's still pretty impressive that she's made it all the way to possibly be on the Olympic stage."

The Town of Webb has been and continues to be Maddie's 'Phan club'

"We're super excited to support her and encourage her so we'll just be holding our breath and crossing our fingers that she makes it," said Swick.

"You know when she first started this journey a couple years ago the whole community supported her.," added Hannah. "Even back then when the Olympics seemed very far away, so I think it's always been there and it's growing."

"It's just been a fun ride no matter what happens to have her in the running and have a possible Olympian come from our house and our school," said Swick.

Maddie is currently overseas as she prepares for her final Olympic qualifying races on Thurday, then she will know if she will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

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