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Dartmouth Soundoff: Sochi Olympics

The Sochi Olympics have created quite a stir, from the unfinished city infrastructure and hotel accommodations to reports of the government-sanctioned extermination of stray dogs to public scrutiny of Russia’s extreme hostility toward the LGBTQ community (GQ magazine recently published English professor Jeff Sharlet’s excellent coverage of the issue. Not to mention that Sochi is the warmest city to ever hold the Winter Games; the highs this week are in the 50s, making it difficult to maintain passable course conditions for some events. While these issues do merit some attention, controversy seems to have detracted from what remains at the heart of the Olympics: competition and athletes. So let’s talk about some U.S. team members and throw in some of their favorite music. (Don’t worry, I screened it—you’d be surprised how many times “Imagine Dragons” appeared). Consider this my disclaimer: I’m talking more about the Olympics and less about music this week. Hopefully after this you’ll actually know a bit of what’s going on, since it’s unlikely that you’re following Sochi as closely as Vancouver. Kaitlyn Farrington, snowboarding: In the 24-year-old’s first Olympic Games, Farrington outscored silver medalist Torah Bright by just a quarter point in her last two runs… Read more »

7 Reasons Why the Winter Olympics Are Better Than the Summer Olympics

Once upon a time in ancient Greece, citizens competed in running, boxing and javelin-throwing events to demonstrate their devotion to Zeus. Some would say that we’ve come a long way since then, with our electronic stopwatches and 24/7 television coverage of the Olympic Games. I would argue, however, that the biggest win in the evolution of the Olympics is that we’ve come up with a completely better version of them — the Winter Olympics. Every four years we are blessed with the chance to watch the seemingly fearless athletes of the world fly through the air strapped to a piece of wood or shoot down an icy slide at terrifying speeds. Notwithstanding the fact that Sochi seems to be piping polluted water through their faucets (among a slew of other issues), the Winter Olympics is a badass combination of guts, glory and snow. Here’s why: Freestyle skiing The fact that this is even an event is unreal. I’d like to see any summer athlete speed through moguls only to pull an aerial trick and then continue banging through more moguls. Check it out. Which brings me to… The U.S. ski team Not only are they incredibly talented, they are pretty… Read more »

Winter Carnival Dos and Don’ts

While some people write off Winter Carnival as the grimmest big weekend of the year, the weekend is the perfect time to let off some steam from midterms, enjoy the snowy weather and cross a few items off your Dartmouth bucket list. Be sure to keep these important dos and don’ts in mind as you enjoy the (freezing cold) revelry. DO: Go to some of the scheduled daytime activities! Even if jumping into a freezing pond at the Polar Bear Swim isn’t your thing, there are lots of official Carnival events throughout the weekend: the Carnival Tea, ice sculpture competition and human dog sled race. You can check out the entire schedule online here. DON’T: Sleep through everything! The corollary to my previous point. By the time I woke up on Friday of last year’s Carnival, the Polar Bear Swim was long over. Figure out what events you want to go to in advance and set multiple alarms. DO: Go skiing! This Friday, February 7th is 99 Cent Ski Day at the Skiway. Even if the idea of a black diamond slope makes you cower in fear for your personal safety, there’s no better time to get yourself out there… Read more »

Winter PE classes help students get comfortable on Skiway slopes

Courtesy of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce

One of the perks of living in the Middle of Nowhere, N.H., is that we have easy access to a variety of outdoor activities to take advantage of in our downtime. In the winter, many students venture to one place in particular — the Dartmouth Skiway. Located 20 minutes north of campus, the Skiway has four lifts and 31 trails spread out over two mountains. Every winter, hundreds of students enroll in a variety of snow sports classes at the Skiway through Dartmouth for a fraction of what it would cost in the real world. According to the Registrar’s Office, there are currently 228 students enrolled in classes of all skill levels, including downhill skiing, snowboarding and Telemark skiing. Natalie Shell ’15 took beginner downhill skiing last year and is now enrolled in intermediate lessons. “I learned when I was little but had not skied since I was about eight, so there was a good 11 year gap where I forgot everything,” said Shell, who grew up in California. The lessons gave Shell “a lot of confidence on the slopes, and really taught [her] how to reposition [herself] on the skis.” Blake Osborn ’15, another warm-weather native who hails from Texas, usually goes “skiing once… Read more »

Chosing the right ski pass for this winter

Snow in Oc­to­ber?!? There are a lot of rea­sons to be dis­tressed about this mid-fall snow shower, but I can’t help but get ex­cited for ski sea­son after see­ing some real snow on the ground. Ski sea­son doesn’t begin until the end of De­cem­ber (ear­lier if you’re hard­core and are will­ing to scrape down lightly pow­dered back-coun­try trails), but now is the time to pur­chase sea­son passes. Though the win­ters in Hanover can be bru­tal, being here puts you in a prime lo­ca­tion to ac­cess amaz­ing ski­ing. Here’s a break­down of the passes for re­sorts in the area: The SOS Col­lege Pass gives you ac­cess to Mt. Sunapee, Okemo and Strat­ton. If you pur­chase it by Dec. 19 it’s $315, and if you’re look­ing for a va­ri­ety of slopes with pretty good snow-mak­ing equip­ment this is a solid choice. The Triple Major lets you ski Bolton Val­ley, Jay Peak and Mad River Glen. It’s $299 if you buy it by Nov. 7. Great for ski­iers in­ter­ested in more back-coun­try style slopes, but snow­board­ers should take note that they won’t be able to ride the trails at Mad River Glen. A Stowe sea­son past will cost you $399 if you buy… Read more »

Cold Toes: End of the Season

A friend re­cently asked me, “Doesn’t it make you sad when all of the snow melts and you can’t ski any­more?” Her ques­tion made me re­ally think about how I feel at the end of the ski sea­son. To be hon­est, it’s a mix­ture of all kinds of emo­tions in­stead of any one spe­cific feel­ing. I’m sad that all of the snow is melt­ing, that the sea­son is com­ing to a close and that we won’t be ski­ing again until next sea­son. But I’m also happy be­cause it means that we’ll have a much-needed break from the gru­el­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of being in-sea­son and man­ag­ing school­work all win­ter long. We are all ex­hausted and spring is the time that we fi­nally get to un­wind and give our bod­ies a rest. The weather gets nice and I can play golf, moun­tain bike, road bike and enjoy the out­doors. And my toes can re­cover from all the frost­bite I have got­ten over the course of the win­ter. It’s also the time of year when we lose our se­niors. On the women’s alpine team of eight, los­ing two se­niors is like a nest of chicks los­ing two of their chick sib­lings. Who will help… Read more »