Local Athletes Vy for Spots on the U.S. Olympic Ski Team

The 2014 Winter Olympics are taking place in Sochi, Russia, from February 7-23, 2014, and two local athletes are vying for spots on the U.S. Olympic Ski Team. According to The Crested Butte News, David Chodounsky and Aaron Blunck have been practicing like crazy in the hopes of joining other top American athletes. 

After growing up in Minnesota, Chodounsky’s family moved to Crested Butte so he could join the Crested Butte Ski Club and attend high school at the Crested Butte Academy. Clearly their dedication to the sport paid off. Chodounsky remembers watching the Olympics as a young child, telling the news source: “I remember clearly watching the Olympics in ‘92. I was in awe.” Chodounsky went on to be a collegiate ski racer at Dartmouth College and earned a national slalom title. 

Soon, he might be even more in awe, making a strong argument that he should be able to represent the U.S. on the sport’s highest stage. For the past three years, he has just missed making the A team, but last May, he was called up to race on the World Cup circuit. He took 10th place in Adelboden, 15th in Val d’Isere and 18th in Zagreb, and finished the season ranked 21st in the world.

According to the news source, Blunck, who was raised in Crested Butte, had an exceptional season last year as well as a halfpipe skier. He transferred to the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy to sharpen his skills and continue his education simultaneously. Since then, he has climbed the ranks of first-class athletes in this sport, placing second at the VISA U.S. Grand Prix ski halfpipe at Copper Mountain back in January. He was then invited to the Winter X Games in Aspen, where he had a solid showing. 

Blunck went on to tell the news source: “My season last year was insane. It was the best year I’ve ever had on skis. My results came out really well with two huge podiums but also the way I felt while skiing. I had a confidence level I’ve never had before.”

Both Chodounsky and Blunck will need to continue practicing hard, as the U.S. Ski Team is scheduled to make their final decision the second week in January.

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