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You better believe all these campuses are situated on or around some Nordic tundra.
10. Alaska Pacific University
It’s no wonder this small liberal arts school in Anchorage, Alaska, is renowned for its Nordic Ski Team–it’s in Alaska, where skiers have the ability to train longer than virtually anywhere else in America. Four members of the squad made the trip to Sochi as part of the cross-country ski team: Erik Bjornsen, Kikkan Randall, Sadie Bjornsen, and Holly Brooks.
9. Boston College
Recognized as a powerhouse for both men and women’s hockey, BC sent four athletes to Sochi: Alex Carpenter, Molly Schaus, Kelli Stack, and NHL veteran Brooks Orpik. The ladies have been pulling their weight thus far, so let’s hope Orpik and company can do the same.
8. University of North Dakota
Another commonplace contender in the NCAA Frozen Four, UND saw four of their hockey players pack their bags for the Olympics. Twin sisters Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux play for the women’s team, and St. Louis Blues center T.J. Oshie and Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise play for the men’s team. By my guess, Sochi is probably pretty much the same geographic layout as anywhere in North Dakota, so it shouldn’t be much of a change for them.
7. Harvard University
Arguably the most renowned institution in our country, the Harvard faithful are looking forward to seeing the Crimson’s historical hockey success in the Ivy League transpire to a gold medal for the US women’s hockey team. Four-time Olympian and Harvard alumna Julie Chu will team up in Sochi with three current members of the Crimson: Lyndsey Fry, Michelle Picard, and Josephine Pucci. So far, those high IQs have correlated to exorbitant goal scoring–the ladies are 2-0 after whitewashing the Swiss 9-0 on Monday.
6. University of Michigan
Taking the number six spot on the list, six Wolverines are all podium hopefuls representing the maize and blue. Five come from the figure skating team: Evan Bates, Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani, Meryl Davis and her partner Charlie White (who I’m convinced may be the offspring of Chazz Michael Michaels). For the US men’s hockey team, Montreal Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty will lace up his skates.
5. University of Minnesota
Often a fierce hockey rivalry with the aforementioned University of Michigan, the Golden Gophers slightly edge out the Wolverines with eight players representing the US this year. For the women’s hockey team, they have Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper, and Lee Stecklein. On the men’s, they have Phil Kessel, Paul Martin, and Blake Wheeler. Both Kessel and Wheeler play for the NHL north of the border, so let’s hope they can bring some insight to the game if we get the chance to dethrone Canada for a medal.
4. University of Utah
Nestled in the mountains right outside of Salt Lake City, it makes sense that this place would breed a few Olympians. Interestingly enough, six of the eight Utes making the trip to Sochi are competing in different events. The proud Americans and their sports are as follows: Steven Nyman, alpine skiing; Annelies Cook, biathlon; Steven Holcomb, bobsled; Torin Koos, cross-country skiing; Emily Cook, freestyle skiing; Lindsey Van, ski jumping; and Alyson Dudek and Patrick Meek, speedskating.
3. Dartmouth College
Another Ivy League institution making an impact here, and much like the U of U, the Dartmouth alumni are competing across a variety of sports. David Chodounsky, Nolan Kasper, and Andrew Weibrecht will tackle the slopes in alpine skiing; Hannah Dreissigacker, Susan Dunklee and Sara Studebaker will participate in the biathlon; Sophie Caldwell and Ida Sargent are among the best conditioned US athletes competing in cross-country skiing; and Hannah Kearney is the lone Big Green’er looking to place in freestyle skiing.
2. University of Wisconsin
The Badger faithful (and probably the DeVryGuy too, he’s a big fan) are very proud of the 10 athletes that will represent Wisconsin overseas. One of them, Erika Brown, is on the women’s curling team, and the rest of the lot (Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Ryan McDonagh, Joe Pavelski, Derek Stepan, Ryan Suter and Jessie Vetter) are all products of the university’s national championship hockey program. Six of those championships were won by the men, the other four by the women.
1. Westminster College
This small liberal arts college in Salt Lake City that you’ve probably NEVER heard of, unless you’re a Utah resident, is responsible for alumni and current students who comprise 10 percent of the entire United States Olympic team. This year, Westminster sent an astonishing 23 athletes to Sochi, which makes sense because it’s within a 30-minute drive to seven world-class ski resorts. Here’s the Westminster roster:
Alpine Skiing: Julia Ford, Travis Ganong, Jared Goldberg, Megan McJames, Leanne Smith, Marco Sullivan, Jacqueline Wiles
Cross-Country Skiing: Jessie Diggins, Torin Koos
Freeskiing: Maddie Bowman, Joss Christensen, Devin Logan, Brita Sigourney
Freestyle Skiing: Heather McPhie, Eliza Outtrim
Nordic Combined: Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher
Ski Jumping: Jessica Jerome
Snowboarding: Alexander Deibold, Faye Gulini, Jackie Hernandez, Lindsey Jacobellis, Jessika Jenson
Best of luck to everyone making the list, and here’s to everyone coming home with some kind of hardware–or at least a great drinking story.
Cue the U-S-A chants!
[via Business Insider]