Spector and Studebaker are different from each other in a lot of ways, and that's what makes them typical Dartmouth athletes.
"We have a thinking-outside-the-box mentality of wanting to be the best, encouraging people to shoot a little higher than the average person," Thompson says, adding that the school gets all kinds of skiers interested in different events. "Many of the schools that we compete against are trying to win an NCAA championship, so they're going to give scholarships and bring in athletes who are going to win that championship for them, but they're not necessarily thinking about how that athlete is developing and what they may do outside of winning that championship for them. Our attitude is that this is a step along the way for our skiers."
Thompson's right. It's a mere four-year (or longer) stop on that Dartmouth conveyor belt that manufactures Winter Olympians. And don't expect it to slow down. With the inclusion in 1998 of women's ice hockey in the Winter Games, Dartmouth has another avenue to raise its Olympic numbers. One thing is clear: If the battle is over which Ivy League school is sending the most affiliates to the Winter Olympics, Dartmouth is winning. Handily.
Corrected on 03/02/10: An earlier version of this article misstated the academic status of Dartmouth student and Olympic skier Andrew Weibrecht and, in turn, the number of Dartmouth undergraduates and alumni at the Olympics.