As one of the most highly regarded mountain sports regions, Crested Butte unsurprisingly sent two of its residents to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games to compete in the slalom and half pipe skiing, which is in the Olympics for the first time this year. The Crested Butte News reported on these exciting events.
A Crested Butte local competed in the Olympics Slalom February 22 after battling for a spot on the U.S. Ski Team. David Chondunsky moved to Crested Butte at age 11 and raced with the Crested Butte Ski Club and won the Prater Cup, a qualifier for the Junior Championships, shortly after. Throughout high school, he raced with the Crested Butte Academy team, and he won the NCAA slalom title while in college.
“There are so many people excited for me and I’ve been getting emails and letters from all over the place, from people and friends I haven’t seen in ages and even childhood friends of my parents,” Chodounsky told the publication. “It’s so cool and I feel so honored to be here in Sochi with such support behind me.”
Aaron Blunck, a 17-year-old from Crested Butte, competed in the halfpipe ski event after being relatively new to the scene. The teen placed seventh in the Games, and while he didn’t medal, it was a banner year for him after a fantastic rookie season in 2013.
“He literally just started his career a year ago,” head coach at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, Elana Chase, said. “He’s just at the beginning and to back up his strong freshman year with a strong sophomore year is unique.”