Profile: Dan Raymond
Event: Halfpipe (alternate)
Age at 2006 Olympics: 30
Years with National Team: 3
Whats your biggest trick?
Its a switch backside 900, but it doesnt come out unless everything is perfect. Im pressuring myself to put it in my Olympic run.
How do you get ready for a competition?
I do everything as early as possible so Im waiting as opposed to being stressed for being late. If I have to be on the hill for 8 a.m., Im up at 5 a.m. so I can show up an hour and a half before training. I drink my Espresso every day.
Mentally, I purposely try to get out of the zone. I used to sit and rehearse my run in my head but I do that all the time anyway, and it just creates last minute stress. Besides, Ive been doing my run for three years now, so I know it too well. Basically I want to have nothing in my head until they say "the judges are ready for your run." Thats when I get really fired up, that jolt gets me going.
Do you listen to music when riding, and what are you listening to?
Recently Ive been listening to more electronic music, it relaxes me when theres a regular beat.
Do you remember your first snowboard?
It was a K2 JuJu, and I was 20 years old. It wasnt all that long ago for me.
What is your worst injury?
Definitely the torn ACL from two years ago. Ive had a few bumps on my head, which are never very nice to wake up to. I dislocated my jaw freeriding, which sucked because you cant eat solid foods for a long time.
What do you like about halfpipe?
I really like the sibling rivalry, if you will, of watching somebody do something amazing it inspires to go even bigger and step up to the competition. If it wasnt for competitions, Id still be turning left and right. My roots are definitely in local events like the Sprite Series, because there was always a ringer in there some of the other riders would be annoyed, but I was always inspired by it.
Any advice for kids starting out?
Keep it fun and keep learning new tricks. It doesnt have to be a job, because nobody is ever good enough. Learn everything you can it doesnt matter if you have a sweet 1260, if you cant spin backside youre never going to win.
Who were your role models growing up, and who do you look up to now?
Brett Carpentier in the Olympics in 1998 was huge Id never ridden a halfpipe up to that point and he made it look fun.
Riding with Michalchuk last year was really awesome, just to see the way his mind works. I learned to really put my fears aside and go for it more. And Mercedes Nicoll (who was listening in the background), her laughter, and Brad Martin (also listening) because of his nightly exploits.
What motivates you these days?
Im more competitive than ever, which makes events more fun. Im still learning new tricks, so when I pull off something new its immensely satisfying. Im going to Torino as an alternate so I might not get in, but there are World Cups, theres the nationals. I feel amazing, like Ive got a lot of momentum. Im going to keep going to 2010 if I can, as long as the bank doesnt start repossessing my CDs. Im the only guy on the team who doesnt own a house or live with his parents.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Im definitely going to be coaching somewhere, for some 2014 national team. Thats a for sure. Who its going to be is still up in the air Id like to coach somewhere exotic like Japan or China, but Id also love to coach the American team or even the Canadian team as long as Brad (still in hearing range) is not still on it. I even miss coaching a little bit right now, summer camp work is fun in more ways than one. I enjoy that job tremendously.
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