Eight Big Green athletes compete in 2022 Winter Olympics
Since the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix, France, 155 athletes have represented Dartmouth in the Winter Games.
It’s been a big week for Dartmouth skiing near and far, as Dartmouth held the historic Dartmouth Carnival for the first time in three years and seven current and former Big Green skiers are representing the College in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Eight total Dartmouth athletes — including six alumni and two current student-athletes — are competing in the Olympic games this month: seven skiers and one hockey player. That brings the number of Dartmouth athletes who have competed in the Winter Games to 155.
“We’ve had a history of sending Dartmouth skiers to the Olympics for every modern Olympic games,” director of skiing and head Nordic coach Cami Thompson Graves said. “That’s something we’re pretty proud of in this program.”
The Dartmouth program has always been a powerhouse. Founded in 1909 at the same time as the Dartmouth Outing Club, the legacy of success for Dartmouth skiers has endured for over a century.
Tricia Mangan ’19 is in Beijing representing the U.S. in her second Olympics. She is set to compete Monday in the women’s downhill event.
“We are very proud to be from Dartmouth,” Mangan said. “I’m excited to have a [Dartmouth] community there at the games.”
Attracting and producing some of the best skiers in the country for over a century, Dartmouth’s skiing program is intertwined with the U.S. national program.
“[The] legacy of the Dartmouth ski team has always been so strong,” said Hannah Utter ’21, a current Dartmouth skier who is not competing in Beijing.
Utter noted that the D-Plan is attractive to ski recruits and credits it for much of her team’s success, as athletes can take terms off to compete on the national circuit.
Mangan, A.J. Hurt ’23 and Nina O’Brien ’20, each of whom is competing in Beijing, have been Utter’s teammates at some point in her Dartmouth career. Utter noted that the Dartmouth environment of skiing excellence and its ties to the Olympics create a very special team culture, and Thompson Graves agreed.
“One of the most important things to me is team culture,” Thompson Graves said. “[We encourage] being there for each other and raising everybody else up to a higher level. For me, it’s a priority.”
Clearly it’s working, as the Dartmouth-to-Olympics pipeline is alive and well.
At the games, it’s been a busy week for Susan Dunklee ’08, who is competing in her third Olympics. She raced in the 4x6K biathlon relay, taking 7th; the 15K individual biathlon, taking 63rd; the 7.5K sprint event, taking 27th; and the 10K biathlon, where she earned a 40th place finish.
Dunklee is retiring from professional biathlon after this Olympics. Currently, she is the director of running at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, just 90 minutes from Hanover.
Hurt skied in both the giant slalom and slalom events this week. She finished 34th in the slalom race but did not finish in the giant slalom. Tommy Ford ’12 made his third Olympics appearance in the men’s giant slalom event on Sunday, placing 12th. Julia Kern ’19 had her first Olympic appearance, competing on Saturday in the 7.5km + 7.5km skiathlon to finish 53rd. She also skied the sprint free, taking 18th. Rosie Brennan ’11 is in Beijing for her second Olympics and has competed in four events. She competed in the 7.5km + 7.5km skiathlon, the sprint free, the 10km classic and the 4x5km relay, taking 14th, 4th, 13th and 6th places, respectively.
O’Brien took a fall on the second run of the women’s giant slalom race, fracturing her tibia, and has since had surgery.
It’s not just Dartmouth skiers in Beijing. Laura Stacey ’16 is competing for the Canadian women’s hockey team. In her opening game against Switzerland last week, Stacey scored twice, and then tallied another two goals against Finland in Canada’s next game. Most recently, the team defeated Sweden 11-0 in the quarterfinal round. Next, team Canada will be playing Switzerland on Monday in the semifinals.
Utter said that the Dartmouth Carnival coinciding with the Olympic Games has made this week particularly memorable..
“It’s been a really special week,” she said. “We have a tradition of dying our hair pink for carnival week, so there’s been a lot of nights where we’re dying hair and watching girls we know compete at the Olympics.”
Will Ennis contributed reporting.