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Ti man enjoys Olympic experience

TICONDEROGA - "Just one more story..."

Fred Raymon has lots of stories, including some from his most recent adventure - the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"My lasting memory is all the people were rooting for Canada (to win medals), but everyone was so friendly and welcoming," the Ticonderoga man said of his Olympic experience. "Canada was a great host."

Raymon attended nine hockey games at the Olympics, including both United States vs. Canada contests. The U.S. won in preliminary round play and the Canadians won the gold medal game, 3-2, in overtime.

"I was sitting six or seven rows behind the goal," Raymon said of the historic gold medal game. "I saw (Sydney) Crosby's goal win it and the celebration.

"It was great hockey, really exciting and well-played" he continued. "I was rooting for the Americans, but the best team won; there's no question about that."

Raymon had tickets to figure skating, snow boarding and freestyle skiing, but he traded those to get all the hockey tickets he could muster.

"I'm a hockey guy," he said. "I always have been."

Some compared the performance of the underdog American hockey team to the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. team that beat the Soviet Union and won gold in Lake Placid. Not Raymon.

"It was totally different in 1980," Raymon said. "The American team was a bunch a kids. This (2010) team was NHL (National Hockey League) players. In 1980 the Soviets were unbeatable. It was the Cold War; emotions ran really high."

Raymon would know. He was at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid - and a lot more.

A retired Ticonderoga Central School teacher, Raymon has been to 11 Olympic Games, everyone since 1976 except the 1980 Moscow Games that were boycotted by the U.S. after the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.

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