XXII Winter Olympics
I have been dreaming about going to the Olympics for as long as I can remember. Every two years I would be glued to the TV watching athletes, that might as well have been gods, compete in every sport imaginable. It wasn't until 1998 that snowboarding was accepted into the Winter Games and I started believing. In 2002 when Ross Powers, Danny Kass, and JJ Thomas swept the men's half pipe I knew that I would do whatever it took to one day become an Olympian. 12 years later, I walked into opening ceremonies.
There was a lot of hype running up to the Olympics, as there always is, about safety, construction, and weather. My teammates and I arrived the day before Opening ceremonies to blue bird skies and plenty of fresh snow. And because of all those security concerns, the mountain was closed to the public. It was situation you can only dream of....
Nate Holland enjoying the goods
One of the things I was looking forward too most was getting to check out other events. It's a fine line between letting all of the Olympic hype crush you, or having the wonder of it all lift you up and help you perform beyond what you thought possible. Watching friends and teammates like Sage Kostenburg or Kelly Clark win medals definitely stoked the fire inside me.
Sage, getting Spoicy and bringing home the first Gold of the Games
Men's DH..... Sending
Jamie Anderson, the Queen of snowboarding slopestyle
Having athlete credentials had many perks. Getting stoked at the top of the pipe before ladies pipe finals
As our first day of training approached, we wrapped up our equipment testing and started to rest up. The SBX course in Sochi was big, technical, looked like a whole lot of fun, and I was f'ing amped to get going. I made sure to stay focused on my own game and the things I could control. Winning a medal was something I always wanted but wasn't in the forefront of my mind, because I would never get one if I couldn't take care of the small stuff
On course training with my teammates
Little pep talk before my event from a woman who I admire and respect. Oh yeah, and she had just won her 3rd Olympic medal.
After years of training and months of prep work, when my Olympic race day finally arrived Momma Nature decided to throw a serious stick in the spokes. When we got to the hill in the morning the fog was so thick you couldn't see 15 feet. After waiting for 4 hours with no change, they officially postponed the race until the following day, weather permitting. My family scrambled to change plane tickets and hotel rooms and fortunately were able to stay to watch me race. In the big scheme it was just another bump in the #RoadtoSochi
Kevin Hill - CAN - yellow bib
📷 : Sarah Brunson
When we finally got in the gate on race day it was snowing at the start and raining at the finish line. A lot of people asked if this affected the racing or my mindset. It did not. Snowboarding is an outdoor sport and you just have to deal with what you're given. The day was filled with crashes and carnage galore. I stayed focused on my own snowboarding and stayed on my feet and kept finding myself advancing to the next round. In semi-finals I edged out teammate Trevor Jacob by less than a foot for the last transfer spot to finals. And then...
I managed to fight my way to the finish line, and finished 3rd.
The greatest day of my life up to this point. All the years of hard work and sacrifice were worth every ounce of medal they hung around my neck.
Words can not describe how proud I was to represent my country and bring home one of 28 medals for Team USA. There are so many people that have supported me along the way and without them I wouldn't be where I am today. I have been working towards that moment for as long as I can remember, and the adventure was just getting going....