David Chodounsky, Nolan Kasper Qualify For Slalom At 2018 Olympics, Continue Dartmouth’s Strong Olympic Pipeline

By Gary R. Blockus | Jan. 21, 2018, 9:35 a.m. (ET)

 

Dartmouth College’s Olympic skiing reputation continues to grow.

Olympic slalom specialists and Dartmouth graduates David Chodounsky and Nolan Kasper qualified Sunday for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in men’s slalom.

Chodounsky, 33, a 2014 Olympian, and Kasper, who competed at the past two Games, earned their trips to PyeongChang in slalom based on world cup points following Sunday’s world cup in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

Chodounsky finished 15th on Sunday and qualified as the top American in the slalom standings – 29th – with 34 points. He has also finished 21st and 23rd this season.

While Kasper did not finish the first run of Sunday’s race, he is the second-highest American on the slalom world cup leaderboard with the 11 points he heard with his 20th-place finish at last week’s Wengen, Austria world cup.

Wengen was Kasper’s first world cup in three years after he was sidelined with knee and hip injuries. The 28-year-old had an impressive run, emerging from the 52nd start position to finish 20th.

Dartmouth grad Andrew Weibrecht, who has medaled at the last two Olympic Games, qualified for PyeongChang earlier this week in super-G. Fellow Big Green graduate Tommy Ford qualified in giant slalom earlier this season.

The Hanover, New Hampshire-based Ivy League college has been contributing both alpine and Nordic skiers to the Olympic Winter Games since the 1950s.

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Chodounsky, who grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota but currently resides in Crested Butte, Colorado, graduated in 2008 with a double major in engineering and geology. He crashed out in slalom at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, but has earned a shot at redemption.

He began skiing as a 2-year-old when his Czech-born parents pushed him down the hill on wooden planks in their front yard. As a youngster, Chodounsky trained alongside Lindsey Vonn when they were both coached by Erich Sailer. His career highlights include a fourth-place finish at Val d’Isere, France in December 2015 and a fifth place at a city event in Moscow in January 2013.

Kasper, a 2014 Dartmouth graduate, placed 13th in slalom in Sochi, the top American finisher. He has battled a number of injuries with hip surgery in 2011, and a 2013 spent recovering from ACL and MCL injuries. The Warren, Vermont native opened his Olympic career with a 24th-place slalom finish in 2010. He finished second at a world cup in March 2011.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.