Catching Up with Sochi
As the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia reach the midway point, Dartmouth athletes have been consistently performing well, starting as early as the opening ceremony on Feb. 7.

Tucker Murphy ’04 - Cross-Country Skiing (Bermuda)  If the gala were a competition, Tucker Murphy ’04 would be a strong medal favorite. In temperatures below 40 degrees, Murphy, Bermuda’s sole representative, wore Bermuda’s iconic red shorts and a blazer while carrying the nation’s flag, temporarily trending on Twitter. So far Dartmouth athletes have experienced both success and heartbreak. Murphy competed in the 15-kilometer classic race and finished 84th, an improvement on his 88th place result in Vancouver. Hannah Kearney ’15 - Freestyle Skiing (USA) Hannah Kearney ’15 was the favorite to win gold in the freestyle moguls, and she seemed prepared to defend her gold from the 2010 Winter Olympics when she earned the highest score in the qualification round. Nabbing a gold in Sochi would have made Kearney the first back-to-back winner of an Olympic freestyle event. Yet Kearney lost her footing temporarily at the start of her run and came in third, behind sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe of Canada. The next day, she announced her retirement. She will continue to compete in World Cup events, but these will be the last Olympic Games in which she participates. Sophie Caldwell ’12 and Ida Sargent ’11 - Cross-Country Skiing (USA) Sophie Caldwell ’12 surprised with a sixth-place overall finish in the women’s cross-country sprint  despite falling during the final sprint when her ski tangled with another skier’s pole. Caldwell’s finish is the best ever for a U.S. female cross-country skier. “I know I ski the fastest when I’m happy and enjoying myself, so the best I could do to prepare was to soak up the experience,” Caldwell said in an email. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that result going into the day, but I felt great and was so excited about everything.” She finished second in her semifinal heat to claim the sixth spot in the six-person final, and she was the only American to advance past the quarterfinals. Ida Sargent ’11 also finished 19th in the event. Caldwell said she has enjoyed the support she has received from fans in the U.S. and the attention it has brought to her sport. The warm weather has been another bonus, she said. A few days after her first race, the pair competed in the 10-kilometer classic race in spring-like condiditons. Caldwell earned some temporary Internet fame for competing in short sleeves. Caldwell finished 32nd, and Sargent finished 34th. Gillian Apps ’06 - Ice Hockey (Canada)  Representing Dartmouth on the Canadian women’s hockey team, Gillian Apps ’06 looks to earn her third goal medal after taking the top spot in Torino and Vancouver. Apps, a three-time Olympian, said each of the Games have been unique. Canada is the favorite and has won gold the last three Winter Games. So far the Canadians have defeated Switzerland 5-0 and Finland 3-0 before clashing against a powerful American team that defeated Switzerland and Finland by a combined 12-1. Canada triumphed over America in a physical 3-2 win. The Americans outplayed the Canadians for most of the first two periods, but a dominant third period performance put Canada on top. “Our team is still working on improving little parts of our game as we go through the tournament,” Apps said. “We’re looking to be able to play a full 60 minutes as a group. If we can get to that point, that is where you will see us play our best hockey.” In the semifinal on Monday, team Canada will face Switzerland in a rematch. The American team will play Sweden. Apps has contributed seven shots on goal in her 32 minutes on the ice over the three wins. Susan Dunklee ’08, Sara Studebaker ’07 and Hannah Dreissigacker ’09 - Biathlon (USA)  Susan Dunklee ’08 finished 14th in the biathlon 7.5-kilometer sprint on Feb. 9 to post the top Olympic sprint finish by an American woman. “I have never been so nervous before a race as I was yesterday morning,” Dunklee said in an email. “However, once I started warming up and zeroing my rifle, everything felt very routine, which is exactly what you try to create on race day.” Dunklee finished 41.5 seconds behind first-place biathlete Anastasiya Kuzmina, and battled for the bronze medal until she missed her final shot, costing her 20 seconds as she completed a penalty lap. Though missing the shot was “heartbreaking” Dunklee said, she was able to laugh it off and keep skiing for one of her best performances of the season. Sara Studebaker ’07 and Hannah Dreissigacker ’09 finished 44th and 65th in the event. Studebaker competed at the Vancouver Olympics, but the sprint was Dreissigacker’s first Olympic competition. Dreissigacker said she was nervous but excited before the competition. She missed one shot prone and three standing. “I haven’t been competing in high-level biathlon races for that long, but I’ve been shooting well in practice, and I really expect better of myself than missing three in standing,” Dressigacker said. “I was really frustrated about that, and feeling a bit down, to be honest. But then I had to remind myself that I was at the Olympics, racing against the best biathletes in the world.” Dunklee and Studebaker’s finishes qualified them for the 10-kilometer race two days later, on Feb. 11. Dunklee continued to perform well, temporarily moving up to the top five before she missed three shots in the final standing shooting position, dropping her to 18th in the 10-kilometer. Studebaker missed five shots and finished 51st. Dreissigacker had the best result of U.S. women in the 15-kilometer race, finishing 23rd with two penalties. Dunklee finished 34th with five penalties, and Studebaker came in 55th with four penalties. Andrew Weibrecht ’09 - Alpine Skiing (USA)  Sunday morning, Andrew Weibrecht ’09 stunned the world with a silver-medal finish in the men’s super-G, coming just fractions of a second ahead of more-heralded teammate Bode Miller who tied for the bronze. Weibrecht’s top finish this season was 20th place at Beaver Creek, and he was never considered a medal favorite in Sochi. Weibrecht won a surprise bronze medal in Vancouver in the super-G but had been beset by injuries in the interim and was even dropped from U.S. Skiing’s “A” roster. After a fast start that had him ahead of the gold-medal pace by over three-tenths of a second, Weibrecht faded over the last split, slipping into second place with a time of 1:18.44. Weibrecht told NBC that he knew he had skied well but was surprised by his result. “I took a couple seconds and looked at the time,” he said in an interview with NBC. “I saw ‘2.’ I looked away. I looked again. I thought, ‘You have got to be kidding.’”
Advertisement: Content continues below...

Comments

Download the DailyUV app today!