Snowboarder Mick Dierdorff On Giving Back To His Community

Mick Dierdorff competes during the men’s snowboard cross qualification at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 10, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.

Though with his career comes crashes – and physical therapy. “I’ve had to do physical therapy through UCHealth. Our sport is kind of crazy. You hit these jumps and are going so fast, it’s pretty rough on your knees and back, ”Dierdorff admitted. “My back has been an issue throughout my career.” His career di lui included a fifth-place finish at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and, most recently, a spot on the team that competed at the Beijing Games, where he came in15th.

Going into the 2022 Games, Dierdorff said he felt a podium spot was his for the taking. And from the beginning, it looked that way when he passed Austria’s Alessandro Haemmerle in the opening elimination round to finish first. But when he tried to do it again in the quarterfinals, he got squeezed into a corner and spun out. Haemmerle ultimately went on to win gold.

“That was a tough one,” Dierdorff remembered. “Going into the Olympics, I had found a spark and a fire where I was racing similar to previous years. The best I can compare it to is when I won the world championship in 2019. I felt like I could make something special happen that day. “

In 2019, Dierdorff became the first American man to win a snowboardcross world title in 14 years after Scott Wescott did in 2005. Though the last couple of years, he said, have been about learning how to deal with adversity and learning how to cope. It’s a skill everyone in the world is navigating. “Beijing was a lot more of a mental challenge, just knowing it was a different circumstance,” he said about the Games fraught with coronavirus measures. “But that’s been the world the past couple of years,” said Dierdorff.

Now that his season has ended, he was happy knowing he did his best. “Ultimately, I made it through the season healthy, and that’s a huge check off the list at the end of the year. My ultimate goal was making it to the Games, so it felt great to know I pulled that off. “

As for next season, he’s not sure what that will look like yet.

“I will probably do fewer races. I’d love to have a season where I can do more things at home and spend time with the kids in the Winter Sports Club – go to some of their training, ”Dierdorff said. “That’s one of my goals for next year is to be more present. And then at the races that I go to, just give it my best and have as much fun as possible. ” Until then, he continues to contribute to his community di lui as a skilled carpenter and helps build homes around Steamboat Springs.

“I’m a blue-collar guy. I grew up working construction jobs, doing carpentry, and building homes. That’s my passion. And what I plan to do outside of sport for the rest of my life, ”he said.

UCHealth is part of the USOPC’s National Medical Network and is the Official Hospital of the Colorado Springs US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center. They work to assist athletes with their health and wellness journey.

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