Meet the Olympians Who Are Binghamton’s Links to the Five Rings
Born in Endicott on February 18, 1967, Christopher Coleman was a track and field star who would go on to complete in two Winter Olympic Games in the sport of bobsledding.
After graduating from Vestal High School in 1985, Coleman attended Binghamton University where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy in 1989, and then he earned his Master of Business Administration in 1993.
While attending Binghamton University, Coleman was a track and field sprinter and he was excellent at his sport, earning five All-America honors in only three years. In 1988, Coleman participated in the 55-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships where he was a national runner-up. That same year, Coleman also earned All-American honors in the 100 meters.
Coleman’s accolades for his athletic abilities continued. He was named Binghamton’s MVP for all three years and as a senior, Coleman was given two national honors. In 1989, he placed third in the country at the indoor nationals and helped his 4 x 100 relay team place seventh at the 1989 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
After graduating from Binghamton University, Coleman switched gears and turned his focus to bobsledding. It was because of his amazing athleticism in the sport of track and field that Coleman was recruited to USA Bobsledding as a pusher and, he made the United States team as a brakeman.
After making the United States bobsledding team, Coleman competed in the Winter Olympics Games in 1992 in Albertville, France where the team placed 9th and in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway where the team placed 14th.
Following his time as a brakeman with the United States bobsled team, Coleman went on to become the account manager for Olympic Properties of the United States which is a branch of the US Olympic Committee. Today, Coleman works for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado. Coleman is also a photographer who has work on display with the Art of the Olympians.
Interestingly, Randy Will, another Southern Tier man who attended Maine-Endwell until his Junior year, also began his athletic career in Track and Field before turning his focus to bobsledding. Will competed in the Olympics three times, two of them with his fellow Southern Tiersman, Coleman (the Albertville Olympics in 1992, and Lillehammer Olympics in 1994.)
After Will retired from bobsledding in 1994, he coached the national bobsled team before returning home to coach cross country and track and field for Maine-Endwell from 1986 to 1996. In 2002, Will coached Olympian Jim Shea Jr. in the sport of skeleton which led Shea to win a gold medal.
Mayumi Pejo of Binghamton is another athlete who found themselves competing in the Olympic Games. At the age of 16-years-old, Pejo won a bronze medal in taekwondo during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.