Haugen Leads Norway to Bronze in Alpine Team Event

Feb. 24, 2018

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - Former University of Denver men's skier Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen concluded his Olympic Games in Pyeongchang with a spot on the podium, winning all four of his match-ups to lead Team Norway to a Bronze Medal in the debut of the Alpine Skiing Team Event on Saturday at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre.

The team event featured 16 teams of four athletes (two men and two women) arranged in a bracket-style, single-elimination format. A skier from each of the two competing nations raced down the course in a series of head-to-head slalom races. If the countries split the two head-to-head match-ups, total time was used as the tiebreaker.



In the Round of 16 of the team event, Haugen defeated his opponent by 0.91 seconds, turning in a 19.55 down the hill to cap off a 4-0 sweep over the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Norway shook-up its lineup in the quarterfinals, placing Haugen in the second run slot, a match-up he won by 0.62 seconds with a 19.91, leading his team to a tie-breaking 2-2 win over Great Brittan.

Haugen won his third-match-up as well with a 19.62, but it was the only point picked-up for Norway, who fell to silver-medalists Austria in the semifinals, 3-1. The former Pioneer once again led his team in the medal round, clocking in at 19.69 in the anchor leg to beat his opponent by 0.31 seconds to take Norway past France in a tiebreaker by a combined time of 0.12 seconds for the Bronze Medal.

Earlier in this Olympics, Haugen finished eighth with a time of 2:20.23 in the men's Giant Slalom and 13th with a combined time of 1:40.31 in the men's slalom.

Haugen made his third Olympic appearance this month in South Korea. While a member of the Pioneers, Haugen was named to the Norwegian Olympic ski team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Haugen placed 28th in GS at the Vancouver Olympics and 16th in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. At the time, the former Pioneers' finish was the second-highest GS finish for a Pioneer in their Olympic history (Fred S. Chaffee (15th). Haugen also finished 12th in slalom at the 2014 Olympics. As a Pioneer, Haugen earned the NCAA individual title for GS in 2010, helping DU win its third straight NCAA Championship. Additionally, Haugen placed second in GS and third in slalom at the NCAA Championships as a member of the 2009 championship winning team.

"I'm planning on doing it (skiing) after I finish my degree as well, and we'll see how far I can reach. Hopefully I can be a medalist and get on the podium one day." Haugen said in an interview with DU's Daniels College of Business in 2011. Saturday, Haugen achieved that dream. 

Other former Pioneers, Erik Read and Trevor Philp, competed for Canada in this winter's Olympic Games. In the men's Giant Slalom, Read finished in 11th with a 2:20.74 and Philp took 18th with a 2:21.51. Read also took 29th in the men's slalom.

Before returning to the opening day of the 2018 RMISA Championships on Friday, current Pioneer Andrea Komsic made her second Olympic appearance with a 32nd place finish in Giant Slalom (2:28.50) and a 31st place finish in the women's slalom (1:46.26).

Student-Athlete Alumni Giving Challenge:
In 2017-18, the University of Denver is holding an alumni giving challenge in an effort to increase student-athlete alumni participation in the Denver Athletics Annual Fund. The sport program with the highest percentage of alumni participation will receive an additional $10,000 of support through the generosity of an anonymous donor. Former student-athletes can make a gift online, by calling 303-871-2388 during normal business hours or by sending a check to:

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Attn: Kaley Rickert
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