Skip to content
Home » Meet the Four National Guardsmen Competing in the 2022 Olympic Games

Meet the Four National Guardsmen Competing in the 2022 Olympic Games

Photo credit: Sean Doherty, photographed by Steffen Prößdorf

Four servicemembers with the Vermont National Guard will compete in the biathlon at this year’s Olympic games in Beijing. The Biathlon the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooing. Can you think of any American better qualified to totally crush a skiing-and-shooting competition than a National Guardsman from Vermont?

Let’s meet the team:

Spc. Sean Doherty

Hometown: Center Conway, N.H.

At age 18, Sean Doherty was the youngest member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Biathlon team. In the previous year, he won a gold and two silver medals in the IBU Junior World Championships, the first U.S. Biathlon athlete to triple podium at any world championship event. Then he did it again in 2014. And then he did it again in 2016.

Spc. Deedra Irwin

Hometown: Pulaski, Wis.

Deedra started her skiing career in high school in Wisconsin, then in the following years, honed her skills at the sport in Michigan, Idaho, New York, and finally, Vermont. After joining the Vermont Army National Guard, Deedra worked her way through the X-team and B-team, qualifying for the A-team in the 20/21 season. In her first race at the 2022 games, she turned in the best Olympic finish in U.S. Biathlon history.

Spc. Leif Nordgren

Hometown: Hinesburg, Vt

Like the rest of the members of Team USA, Leif started competing as a teenager, getting into the sport as early as age 14. He placed top ten in all events in the 2008 Junior World Championships, obtaining a bronze medal in 10 km pursuit. Leif represented Team USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the 2018 games in Pyeongchang.

Spc. Vaclav Cervenka

Hometown: Grand Rapids , Minn.

A dual citizen of both the United States and the Czech Republic, Vaclav has been studying and pursuing biathlon since 2015. His mother represented the Czech National team at the 1992 Olympic games, so the sport runs in his blood. Cervenka will represent Team USA as an alternate at the 2022 games.