John Jay, Skier?

Vincent Jay, of France, has won the gold medal in the Biathlon 10K sprint (beating the legendary Norwegian, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen) and the bronze in the 12.5km pursuit. Is he a relative of our Jay’s? Well, the Jay family has its origins in France. John Jay’s grandfather, Auguste (or Augustus) was born in La Rochelle in 1665, and immigrated first to England and then New York (in 1685 and 1692, respectively) as part of the Huguenot diaspora, so it is possible that a connection exits.

 There is a famous skier who is most definitely a member of the Jay family: John Jay’s great-great-great-grandson, John C. Jay (1915-2000). Beginning in 1939, Jay made 34 feature-length ski films and numerous shorts, popularizing the sport in America. Famed ski film maker Warren Miller said about Jay, “He pretty much invented the ski film business.” Aside from showcasing the thrills of skiing and the beauty of the mountain terrain, Jay was noted for his sense of humor. During WWII, Jay also served in the 1st Battalion, 87th Regiment Mountain division ski troops as a Second Lieutenant. His film Ski Patrol (1943) is credited with attracting many recruits.  

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