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Q&A with Nate Holland

Olympic snowboarder Nate Holland
Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Sports

Q&A with Nate Holland

Nate Holland on his desire for a "walk-off homer" in PyeongChang and how things have changed over the years

Since the Olympic debut of snowboard cross in 2006, Nate Holland has represented the United States at every Winter Games. Although he's considered one of the sport's greats, he's still gunning for an Olympic medal, something that has so far eluded him.

Earlier this year, we sent Holland a list of questions. Here's what he had to say.

What's your earliest memory of snowboarding?
I was 9 years old when I first saw snowboarding, started riding at 10, and started competing at 12 years old. I fell in love and never looked back. Now at age 38, I'm happy with my decision to follow my love of riding into my fourth Olympic Games.

What's your earliest memory of watching the Olympics, and did you imagine yourself being there one day?
I remember watching the [1988] Calgary Olympics as a child. Never thought about going to the Olympics until it was announced that SBX would be in the 2006 Olympics.

Was there a breakthrough moment in your career?
2004 U.S. Grand Prix National, my first professional win. I knew I could compete on the world stage at that moment.

Within boardercross, who has been your greatest influence?
Shaun Palmer has a great influence within my riding. He has a culture of winning.

Who was most influential in helping you reach your dreams?
I'd have to give credit to my dad for teaching me how to compete and my sportsmanship. Coach Peter Foley knows my style of riding and knows how to bring the best out of me while in competition.

Did anyone ever tell you that you wouldn't be able to succeed in boardercross?
Some say I'm too old, I say B.S.

Who are your biggest rivals?
Anyone who is ranked in the top 15 world ranking, they are all threats. I respect them as athletes and racers, and I believe they have the same respect for me.

Any misconceptions about boardercross that you'd like to clear up?
SBX is not roller derby. We don't try to create contact, contact is slow.

Any obstacles you've had to overcome along the way?
At this point, it's got to be age. Competing against kids half my age is a challenge.

Who do you socialize with most within the boardercross world?
As the years have gone on, I find myself hanging out with my coaches and wax techs more and more since they are more my age than the kids on our team. I do hang with kids as well.

How has becoming a parent affected you?
Having my daughter is the coolest thing I've done in my life, I love it. It's a lot harder to be on the road now, but we make up for it when I'm at home.

Do you have any hidden talents?
Talking smack, mentally beating competitors down before I race them.

Do you collect anything?
Gold medals.

If you weren't an athlete, what would you like to be doing?
Rock star. Wish I had the skills.



Olympic snowboarder Nate Holland

Nate Holland unleashes his inner rock star. Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Sports

How do you unwind after a competition?
I like to fish.

Do you like to travel?
I do like experiencing different cultures while traveling, however I do value being at home more and more.

What's your music of choice while training?
Rock and punk, it gets me fired up. Guns N' Roses, Alice in Chains, Metallica, NOFX, Pearl Jam.

Any personal care indulgences?
Love to spa before and after competition, it makes me feel 10 years younger.

What organizations do you support?
Protect Our Winters. I think the environment is the number one challenge that faces our society today, we need to protect it for future generations and our own.

What will success look like for you in PyeongChang? What are your goals?
To win, that's all I'm focused on. An Olympic gold is what my trophy case needs. Plan on a walk-off homer and thanking the sport that has given me so much.

Snowboarding

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