One on One with Fabian Stocek '17
This week I sat down with Fabian Stocek ’17. The skier won his first Carnival race in the 10K at the St. Michael’s Carnival at Sleepy Hollow and Smuggler’s Notch this weekend, helping the Big Green finish in second place after the first day of competition.
How did you first get into skiing?FS: I’m originally from the Czech Republic. My parents were big skiers there, as were most of the people. So I began when I was around five or six, and then I’ve just been skiing ever since. I did biathlons for a few years and then came to the U.S. five years ago — first to a public school, then to a private school and then ended up here at Dartmouth.
Did you play other sports growing up?FS: In the summer we ran and mountain biked a lot. I also did a few biathlons, but that’s a combination of running and shooting.
What has been your favorite part about the sport?FS: New England skiing has a good mentality about it. The people are disciplined and hard working, but also like to have fun. That has definitely been my favorite part about the skiing.
What made you choose Dartmouth?FS: The ski team was a large part of my decision, but also the neuroscience program. I was highly interested in that, and I am currently working in a lab right now doing some really high level research. But, I can also go out into the woods because there are some really great trails here.
Has there been anything that has most surprised you?FS: My first year I lived with a host family, so they introduced me to a lot of American traditions and habits. But, I was mainly just surprised that there were not many traditions themselves in the U.S.A. as opposed to living in Eastern Europe where there has been a more established culture that has been there for a while and there are traditions that come up every month.
As a sophomore, what has it been like transitioning into a more mature role on the team?FS: We have a lot of ’17s on the team, especially on the men’s side. There’s about seven of us that came in. We definitely feel that our leadership role has stepped up a bit since freshman year, especially in our relationship with our coach. I was fortunate to form a really good relationship with him over the past year and a half. But, we also have started to take on more responsibilities to cultivate better team dynamics.
Can you tell me a little about the St. Michael’s Carnival?FS: It’s at a really small place. The St. Michael’s [College] coach actually owns the whole property. She let us stay there, which was really nice because we were the only college that got to stay there. It’s just this classic, little New England place with nice tracks that we didn’t have to go wide for skating. It was my type of course. There were long, lengthy hills that weren’t that steep, so I could focus more on my form and technique.
How are you gearing up for next weekend?FS: We have a lot of traditions that come along with Dartmouth Carnival, so we are getting ready for that. Last year, a lot of people dyed their hair green, for instance. Last year, we also had an unfortunate accident and lost a teammate on one of the races. We will definitely be paying tribute to him and honoring his memory. I think we are really going to get closer together and focus on the traditions that we all really enjoy.
Aside from skiing, how do you like to spend your time on campus?FS: I like to diverge myself from skiing sometimes, especially in the spring after the season is over. I work at the sustainability office, and I also fix bikes around campus. I lead Dartmouth College students on the Counsel on Climate Change, and then I also do neuroscience research on campus..
This article has been edited and condensed.