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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 »

Reactions To The Polar Bear Plunge


On Friday morning, dozens of members from the local community lined up on the ice of Occom Pond, prepared to participate in an infamous Dartmouth tradition: the polar bear plunge. Here are reactions from a few of those who were courageous enough to take the plunge. Courtesy of Fiona Ewing   “I feel numb but satisfied.” – Catherine Kannam ’17 “I feel surprisingly warm and satisfied that I’ve participated in a Dartmouth tradition.” – government professor Michelle Clarke “It’s chilly, it’s fresh and it’s fun.” – Madeline Brown ’16 “My reaction would be a curse word, so I don’t know if that’s okay. But yeah, it was worth it.” – Milan Huynh ’17 “When I was in the water, I was just focused on swimming to the other end and getting out because it was so cold. And so I didn’t immediately really realize what I had done. But it was cool knowing that I had done it, and then I look back at the beginning and saw people practically crying.” – Jared Boyce ’16 “My feet are slowly starting to feel frozen, but I can cross it off the bucket list.” – Christopher Given ’14 “I feel really good. It wasn’t that bad… Read more »

The Seven Kinds of People You Find at the Polar Bear Plunge

What kind of person would willingly give up sleeping in on a day when classes are cancelled to jump into freezing pond water? As it turns out, there are many students who do so every year. Here are a few of them: 1. Eager freshmen. Probably the largest group at the event. It’s their first Carnival, and they’re not yet completely over the idea of being outside during a Hanover winter. As they move forward in line, they laugh and make plans with their floormates to do this together every winter. Upon hitting the water, each of them will immediately forego these plans. 2. Bucket-listing seniors. Although most of them are probably wishing they had checked this one off while they were eager freshmen, they’ve got their eyes on the prize. Only a few yards of ridiculously, body-numbingly cold water separates them from eternal Dartmouth glory. Besides, after doing this in 10-degree weather, completing the Ledyard Challenge in the spring will be a piece of cake. 3. People still out from the night before. If you’re out late enough, you might as well do the Lou’s Challenge, and if you’re still awake after that, you might as well hurl yourself… 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 »

The Stages of Getting a Winter PE Credit

Winter’s here, and with below-zero temps and hidden ice patches everywhere, it feels a bit like it’s out to get you.

Your first instinct is to take shelter in your room and hibernate for the next few months…

And then you remember you still haven’t done your PE requirement.

Time to get to work.

You consider taking a beginner ski class, but rentals are at Leverone and it’s soooo far away.

You sign up for a Wakeup Workout class, then immediately drop out when you realize it’s at 6 a.m.

It’s going to take a group effort. You rally your friends together to take the intramural sports world by storm.

You start with hockey, expecting something like this:

But it ends up like this:

You’ve almost given up hope, but then…basketball!

By the end of the term you’ve mastered the sport and made some great teammates along the way.

And against all odds, you’ve finally gotten the PE credit!

…Only two more to go.

Tales of a Californian on the Slopes

Of the four seasons we experience at Dartmouth, winter term is undeniably the grimmest – temperatures drop to scary subzero figures, half the student body flees off campus to warmer locations, and it’s nearly impossible to brave the outdoors without putting on at least three extra layers. Last year, rather than taking complete refuge indoors, I decided to embrace the weather by signing up for a particularly exciting sounding winter PE class – “Downhill Ski – Beginner.” As a freshman from sunny southern California, I had never lived in freezing temperatures, let alone attempted to get onto an actual chairlift. My first day of class (which, due to my questionable judgment during course election was on a Saturday morning), I grabbed my skis, poles, boots and helmet, made the long trek from the River cluster to the Hop, and got on the first bus to the Skiway. I had signed up with one of my best friends (also from California) and the two of us had a combined two days total of ski experience. Nevertheless, we were both excited to hit the slopes, and felt confident that we’d be experts by the end of week two. (Spoiler alert: neither of us… Read more »