By Meredith Morin
Sochi, Russia –Stratton Mountain School alumnus Alex Deibold (SMS ’04), Manchester, Vt., won bronze in the men’s snowboardcross (SBX) event at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb. 18.
The SBX was postponed from Feb. 17, due to extreme fog. Alex finished third in his 1/8 final heat to move onto quarterfinals, where he also finished third. (The top-three riders from these heats advance.) As the only American to advance to the Big Final (top six riders), he was in good position to score, and score he did, earning bronze in this event.
After winning his bronze, Alex took to social media, saying, “Wow. So that happened. Thank you to all the people who have supported me along the way, I wouldn’t be here without you.”
Alex is one of 12 SMS alumni competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics. “This is an exciting time to be a member of the SMS community and a resident of this area,” said SMS Headmaster Chris Kaltsas. “StrattonMountainSchool will have 12 athletes representing the school at the Olympics, and five of those are area Vermonters.”
Although this is the first time Alex will attend the Olympics as a competitor, it’s not his first trip to the Olympics “I went to the last Olympics as a wax tech for the US Snowboard Team, which was really hard work, but I was grateful for the experience of getting to go and help,” Alex said. “But now, making the team as an athlete is a dream-come-true. I’m so excited to experience all the things I got to watch my teammates get to do last time that I had to miss out on.”
On Dec. 21, 2013, Alex finished on the podium in third at the Lake Louise World Cup snowboardcross event. On Jan. 11, he finished 10th at the Vallnord Arcalis, Andorra World Cup. In 2013, Deibold placed second at the Sochi World Cup and made finals at four out of five World Cup starts in 2013. In 2011, he took seventh and fifth at World Cup races and earned a spot on the World Championship Team.