Winter Olympics Send Off and Pro Interview with Mick Dierdorff

The 2014 Winter Olympics are nearly upon us, so it’s fair to say everyone here in Steamboat is getting pretty excited! Being the US town that sends the most contenders to the Games, we have much reason to celebrate this year. On Saturday, January 25th, the Send-Off Party for our hometown Olympians will be held in Gondola Square – come along and give our heroes the departure they deserve! Full details of the event can be found on the Steamboat website.
As if we really need another reason to celebrate, Todd Lodwick has qualified as a Nordic Combined Olympian for a record-breaking sixth time, making him the first American to achieve this incredible feat, and one of only a few people to achieve it ever. Read more about Todd Lodwick here.

Huge congratulations to the successful contenders of 2014, but let’s not forget those who were unlucky in qualifying. Before the Olympians were announced, we caught up with Mick Dierdorff, pro-snowboarder from Steamboat, and gained some valuable insight into the mind of a professional athlete.

Q1) Fill in the blank: If I wasn’t a World Class athlete I’d like to be a… ‘World Class Chef!”

Q2) You qualify for the Olympics but the US team pulls out for political reasons. Another country offers you a place. Defect or stick with the team?
Maybe I could kick off the Jamaica snowboard team and then an awesome sequel to Cool Runnings could be made. But if that option wasn’t available, I would stick with the team.

Mick Dierdorff 2Q3) If you had to swap an Olympic medal for one of these, which would you choose: An Oscar. A Grammy. A Nobel Prize.
I would chose a Nobel Prize, it would be pretty epic to come up with something to help mankind.

Q4) What’s the worst injury you’ve sustained?
When I was in high school, three of my friends and I decided it was a good idea to sled down the outrun of a very large Nordic ski jump. There was a large berm with a fence on top that we hit going about 50mph and went flying about seventy feet before we came to a crashing stop. When I stood up I knew something was wrong with my shoulder. I thought I had dislocated it and headed straight to the ER. The x-rays showed that I had cracked the head off of my scapula and split the scapula plate down the middle. I learned that I was very lucky to be alive as the force needed to break that bone is mostly only seen in bad car and motorcycle accidents. We all learn from our mistakes and now I have a six inch scar on my shoulder to remind me of that one.

Mick Dierdorff 3Q5) Describe the relationship between you and the other contenders for the Olympic places. Friendly rivalry and team spirit; or every man for himself?
Everyone is friends and it’s a very supportive, fun, energetic group of people to be a part of. We all cheer each other on at all the races. However, when it comes down to who crosses the finish line first, it is every man for himself.

Q6) Any superstitions or rituals you go through before every race/competition?
I don’t have any superstitions but I do have a specific preparation I go through every race day. It mostly consists of warming up and making sure my body gets the right fuel. I will also go through a lot of visualization about how I am going to ride the course and visualizing the outcome I am looking for. Once I step in the gates I’m ready to do what I do best.

Q7) Do you receive fanmail/what’s the weirdest thing you’ve received?
My rockstar status isn’t quite there yet as far as fanmail goes, maybe someday!

Photo credit Mick Dierdorff gofundme