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Steamboat Magazine

Ben Berend

11/01/2013 12:02PM ● By Grant Johnson

Photo by Riley Steinmetz/USSA

Steamboat Springs, CO -

Q. Who is your biggest role model?
A. My parents are my biggest role models outside of sports. They are so supportive of my dreams and aspirations. My mom has taught me that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. She’s currently going back to school to become a counselor, which is something she has always dreamed of doing. I know she will be great because I tend to get counseled quite a bit at home! In the world of sports, my biggest role model would have to be Taylor Fletcher. He grew up in Steamboat and has become one of the best Nordic Combined skiers in the world. It’s amazing to see somebody that went through the same pipeline as me be so successful.

Q. What’s your favorite place to train (other than Steamboat)?
A. Last fall I went to Predazzo, Italy, to train and fell in love. It has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a small town tucked into some of the biggest mountains I’ve ever seen. The best part, however, is the food. Nothing beats Italian food after a long day of training.

Q. What’s on your warm-up playlist?
A. A lot of people like to get pumped up before competitions, but not me. I’m a pretty hyper person as it is, so I need to relax myself to perform well. Taylor Swift is my girl. I’m pretty sure I have every song she has ever made on my iPod. I also love Ben Howard, Mumford and Sons and The Tallest Man On Earth. 

Q. What book are you reading right now?
A. “The Drop” by Michael Connelly. 

Q. Who is listed as speed dial No. 1 on your phone?
A. My mom. I’m a momma’s boy. 

Q. What is your biggest fear or phobia?
A. Ironically, I used to be terrified of heights. Ski jumping has definitely helped me conquer that fear. A dog bit me a couple months ago and now I’m terrified of dogs.   

Q. Do you prefer small towns or big cities?
A. I have lived in Steamboat my entire life so I’m definitely a small town boy. I don’t think I could ever live in a big city. Too much traffic, noise and people for me.   

Q. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past year?
A. “The Hobbit.” The movie was only the first half of the book so I’m just waiting for the next one to come out because the ending totally leaves you hanging. 

Q. Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
A. Mr. Nilsson, because he brought so much fun to the classroom. He’s someone that is always just so happy and it’s contagious. You can really tell he loves what he’s doing.   

Q. Which holiday do you consider to be the best in Steamboat?
A. Ah, nothing beats a snowy Christmas day in Steamboat. I can’t imagine celebrating Christmas anywhere else. 

Q. If you were an animal, what would you be, and why?
A. I would definitely be an eagle. I’m always jealous when I watch an eagle fly. They can fly for hours whereas I only get like six seconds. 

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A. I see myself pursuing and achieving my goal of being the best Nordic Combined skier in the world. 

Q. What’s your favorite type of food?
A. Italian and Mexican. Also anything my mom cooks is to die for. My mom’s Caesar salad is out of this world.   

Q. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
A. I wish my Nanna was alive to see me ski; I wish my girlfriend Sofi didn’t live so far away; and I wish I could sing well.