|Competitor for the United States|
|2002 Salt Lake City||Men|
|1997 Lake Placid||Men|
|World Cup Championships|
James Edmound Shea, Jr. (born June 10, 1968) is a retired American skeleton racer who won the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Shea also was chosen by fellow athletes to recite the Athlete's Oath during the Opening Ceremonies. Along with his father, Jim Shea Sr., he passed the Olympic Torch to Cammie Granato and Picabo Street who then passed it to the 1980 U.S. Men's Hockey Team, who then ignited the Olympic Cauldron. Shortly before the Olympics he was a guest of Laura Bush in the First Lady's Box at the 2002 State of the Union Address.
Shea was the third generation of his family to take part in Winter Games. His father competed in nordic combined and cross-country skiing events in the 1964 Winter Olympics, and his grandfather, Jack Shea, won two gold medals in the 1932 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid in speed skating. His grandfather also recited the athlete's oath at the 1932 opening ceremony. He was born and raised in West Hartford, Connecticut, and moved to Lake Placid, New York, in his late teens. He became the first American to win a World Cup race and a World Championship in the sport, and has won more World Cup victories than any other American. He retired in October 2005.
At the FIBT World Championships, Shea earned a complete set of medals in the men's skeleton event with a gold in 1999, a silver in 1997, and a bronze in 2000 (tied for bronze with Austria's Alexander Müller). His best overall seasonal finish in the men's Skeleton World Cup was third twice (1998-9, 2000-1). Shea's efforts and World Championship status assisted in the reintroduction of skeleton as a medal sport.
Shea has since founded The Shea Family foundation which raises money to help kids in sports. He resides in Park City, Utah, where he is a Board Member of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters and a board member of "Mountain Trails", the largest mountain biking trail system in the country. He currently serves on the Utah Board of Economic Development. Jimmy is married to an emergency medicine doctor, Dr. Kellee Reed Shea of Orlando, Florida. They have two daughters.
- CBS Sports profile
- FIBT profile
- IOC 2002 Winter Olympics
- List of men's skeleton World Cup champions since 1987.
- Men's skeleton Olympic medalists since 1928
- Men's skeleton world championship medalists since 1989
- Olympian Shea talk raises eyebrows
- Shea's official 2002 Olympic website
- U.S. Olympic Committee profile