● By Grant Johnson
Photo courtesy NBC Olympics/USOC
Steamboat Springs, CO -
Q. What is the worst boarding accident you’ve ever been in?
A. I have been very fortunate to not incur any major accidents. While I have broken my fair share of bones and had more than a few surgeries, they have all been fairly uneventful. I did spiral fracture my pinky finger in Austria and had to fly home with it twisted pretty much upside down. That wasn’t much fun. But the docs in Vail got me put back together with six Barbie doll deck screws.
Q. What are some of your favorite runs in Steamboat?
A. I love Mile Run at Howelsen. It is probably one of my favorites in the world, no joke. On Mount Werner, I love riding Shadows and Closets, as well as the Christmas Tree Chutes.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A. Stand on your own two feet. Happiness comes from within.
Q. How do you like to relax?
A. I am not very good at relaxing. I always need to be doing something. When I do have the chance and my mind is at ease, I love to watch a good movie or clean my garage.
Q. What’s your favorite place to train (other than Steamboat)?
A. I enjoy training in Crested Butte. The views are amazing and the hill is incredible. It has such a variety of challenging terrain.
Q. What’s on your warm-up playlist?
A. Johnny Cash, AFI, Misfits, DJ Tiesto and Jack Johnson are just a few. I listen to all sorts of jams.
Q. What goes through your mind when you’re speeding down the
A. Typically, my mind is blank. However, there are those moments when everything slows down and my eyes see something like a rut or an obstruction in the course and I have a full-blown conversation weighing the options. It is a conversation that if verbalized would take 10 minutes, but in my mind it takes one-tenth of a second.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional character?
A. Harold from “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”
Q. If you weren’t a professional athlete, what would you want
A. Over the course of my career I have been many things: a line cook, a golf pro, a coach, a salesman, a marketing manager and a muscle activation specialist. From all of those experiences, I have learned that I enjoy teaching, inspiring and creating. I would love to work for an inspirational company creating unique elements that are constantly changing.
Q. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past year?
Q. What do you think is the most scenic spot in Steamboat?
A. The top of Emerald has a special place in my heart. Howelsen Hill is the biggest little mountain in the world; it is made of dirt and dreams. It is the place where I proposed to my wife, I named my dog after it, and it is the place that offers an amazing view of the entire valley.
Q. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
A. It isn’t fit for print.
Q. What’s your favorite fashion trend?
A. I am not really into trends. Give me a pair of jeans and a comfy t-shirt or flannel and I’m good. Call it James Dean style from “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Q. Who is the most important person in your life?
A. My wife.