Dan Cnossen, who is currently in the running for “Best Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year,” won an astounding six medals at last month’s Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea! We have had privilege of having Dan train with us at the Outdoor Center on and off for the past several years, both on the ski trails and on the shooting range.
Dan is a retired Navy SEAL officer, two time Paralympic competitor, and Harvard graduate school student. To dive deeper into his history, check out this conversation that Mary O’Connell had with him last winter. At the time of that publication, Dan was focusing primarily on cross-country skiing. Over the past year, Dan broadened the scope of this training and racing to include biathlon as well.
Dan is currently based out of Boston while studying at Harvard Divinity School and at the Kennedy School of Government. While in Boston, he frequently ski trains at the Weston Ski Track. In order to pursue biathlon, he needed a location with both shooting and skiing facilities, and Craftsbury fit the bill. Dan uses an air rifle to shoot, so a special air rifle range was constructed for him on the upper field here at the COC. An air rifle range is smaller than a .22 range and special, smaller, air rifle targets are used.
Dan is part of the US Paralympic team, whose coaching staff is based out of Bozeman, Montana. During his time at the Center, Craftsbury biathlon coaches Ethan Dreissigacker and Sam Dougherty worked with Dan, in close conjunction with the National Team coaches.
Thanks to Dan’s hard work over the past several years, he had a very successful Paralympics, medalling in each of the six events that he entered. Dan kicked off the Games with a win in the 7.5k biathlon race, missing only one target. The next day, in the 15k cross country race, he was 2nd place. After one day off, Dan was again 2nd in the 12.5k biathlon race, hitting each of the 20 targets. The following day was the 1.1k sprint race. Dan qualified in 5th and finished the day in the bronze medal position. Two days later, Dan raced in the final biathlon race of the week, the 15k. Here, he missed only one shot and finished 2nd. Dan’s last race of the Games was the 7.5k cross country race, where he finished with a silver medal. You can see full race results here.
Congratulations to Dan on an excellent Paralympic Games! It has been wonderful having him around the Center and we hope to see him again soon. Watch this video from WCAX to learn more about Dan’s time at the COC and how it helped with prepare to race in Pyeongchang.