Where are they now? – Buttle, Logan and Krumpschmid

by Randy Pascal | January 8, 2014

Jeff Buttle

Jeffrey Buttle won a bronze medal in figure skating at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. PHOTO SUPPLIED


Jeffrey Buttle

Jeffrey Buttle was a definite medal contender heading into the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. But he was in trouble after his short program, sitting sixth following what his long-time Sudbury skating coach, Wendy Philion, described as a “terrible” skate.

“He was devastated,” said Philion, who was staying with Buttle’s parents in Torino. “He’s a perfectionist and he’s very hard on himself.”

Thankfully, there was a two-day gap before the long program. Buttle enjoyed an outstanding practice on his off-day and seemed like a brand new skater as he took to the ice for his make-or-break long program.

“We all knew that he could still do it,” Philion said. Despite falling on his attempted quadruple, Buttle was near flawless through the remainder of his performance, vaulting his way up to a bronze medal.

The shared experience of the event has had a lasting effect on Philion.

“Torino will always be my Olympics,” Philion said. “We were seeing it all through Jeff. I still get emotional thinking of it.”

Catching up with Buttle, these days, is no easy feat. While he has no interest in coaching full-time, his expertise in the area of choreography has the young man, who was born in Smooth Rock Falls, working diligently with a number of skaters currently preparing for Sochi, in addition to his skating involvement with Stars on Ice.

Jim Logan

Jim Logan was part of Team Canada’s men’s hockey team at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. PHOTO BY RANDY PASCAL


Jim Logan

Though the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi may well stir memories of 1956, when Jim Logan was a member of the Canadian men’s hockey team, travelling to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, the flashbacks will be of a far different time.

Born in Toronto but living and working in Sudbury since 1957, Logan was a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen team that claimed the Allen Cup in 1954-55 — a feat that propelled much of the squad into the Olympics the following February.

“The team that won the Allen Cup was actually much stronger than the team that went to the Olympics, because we had three to four reinstated professionals who could not play there,” Logan recalled.

The Olympic berth was merely an after-thought to Logan and his mates. “We were so focused on just winning the Allen Cup that we never thought about the fact that we would be going (to the Olympics) if we won.”

The pre-Games preparation in Italy bore little resemblance to the spectacle that Olympians enjoy today. “There was no athletes’ village at that time. The hockey team was in this hotel, the ski team was maybe five buildings away in another hotel.”

In fact, Logan will humbly admit that it is tough even identifying with the current crop of NHLers who will represent the hopes of a nation in Russia. “They have so many more talented players now than when we went.”

Norm Krumpschmid

Norm Krumpschmid was part of the Austrian men’s hockey team at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. PHOTO SUPPLIED


Norm Krumpschmid

Growing up playing AAA hockey in Sudbury, Norm Krumpschmid would never have imagined reaching the Olympics.

Yet there he was, in Nagano, Japan in February of 1998, donning the colours of the Austrian men’s ice hockey team.

After graduating from the local midget ranks, Krumpschmid pursued a four-year NCAA career with the Ferris State Bulldogs in Michigan.

He amassed 30 goals and 61 assists during his time with the Bulldogs, suiting up in almost 150 Division I games with the university in Big Rapids.

Selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1990 NHL Supplemental draft, Krumpschmid opted to head overseas to continue his playing days, skating for seven more seasons in Europe before hanging up his skates after the 2003-04 campaign.

The highlight, however, was his participation in the Olympic Games, dressing with Austria as they faced Italy, Kazakhstan and Slovakia, posting a record of 0-1-2 and closing out play with a 4-3 shootout loss at the hands of the host Japanese team.

Now residing in Grand Rapids, Krumpschmid is the head coach of the Michigan Minor Midget AAA Nationals.

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