Ross Powers: BoardercrosserJan 27 2007 / Aspen, CO
2002 Olympic Halfpipe Gold Medalist Ross Powers talks about his new life plan
If you recognize the name Ross Powers, then you probably think of halfpipe. He has two Olympic medals in it after all, and was the first American to win an Olympic halfpipe medal, back in 1998. It was a bronze, but he went back 4 years later and took the gold as part of the US podium sweep.
Ross has won every title there is to win the halfpipe: US Open (multiple times), Grand Prix, X Games, you name it. But even though he is one of the biggest names in the discipline, he didn’t get invited to Winter X this year. Well, technically, he got invited, but not for halfpipe. He is actually here to compete in the Snowboarder X competition. Today, Ross made it through time trials, and also got some good news: he’ll probably get to ride the pipe too. Lat34 talked to the Boss himself about what it all means.
Lat34: So, you didn’t get a pipe slot this year?
Ross: Unfortunately last year when I was here I got really sick, so I’m just glad I’m not running to the bathroom every few minutes. I didn’t get my pipe spot back. I did a pipe contest earlier this year and got 6th, so I was hoping I’d get it back then, but not quite. But they gave me a boardercross spot which is cool and I’ve had a great time riding out there with (Seth) Wescott and the guys, and they’re helping me out. I’m just hanging out. I actually think I got a pipe spot now because unfortunately (Andy) Finch dislocated his wrist, we’ll see. I’m gonna focus on boardercross first and then go check out the pipe and if it works, I’ll give it a go.
Lat34: Have you competed in boardercross before at Winter X?
Ross: Yeah, way back in the day.
(Keir Dillon walks up)
Keir: Did you qualify?
Ross: Just barely, I had to take the second run, but I did it.
Keir: Not bad for day two!
Lat34: Hey, we’re trying to do an interview here! So Ross, after you won an Olympic gold medal, did that change your life at all?
Ross: The whole Olympic gold medal thing makes your life crazy for about three four months. You’re pretty much non stop, going everywhere, somewhere different every few days. All kinds of different stuff that you’re not used to, going to TV shows and all that. Then once summer comes around and people aren’t focusing on skiing and snowboarding and it kind of fades away. Whenever you go to events everyone’s always announcing and hyping it up and putting some pressure on you to ride well. And it makes you want to ride well.
Lat34: You’re a family man now. How old is your daughter?
Ross: My daughter is almost 4. She’ll be four in April.
Lat34: Has that changed your life at all?
Ross: Yeah, some. I try to spend some more time at home and when I’m not traveling I’m with those guys. They come with me quite a bit, unfortunately they didn’t make it out here because I didn’t book my plane tickets until late and flying into Aspen’s not too cheap. They’ll come to one of the next events I’m sure.
Lat34: So you started a shop in Manchester, VT called Podium. How is that going?
Ross: Podium’s going good. We don’t have too much snow back east this winter but we’re doing well. We’re psyched on how things are going and it’s not too bad for a first season. Hopefully we’ll get some snow!
Lat34: When you look towards the future what do you see for yourself? It seems like things are kind of slowing down for you. What’s your plan?
Ross: Things aren’t really slowing down, not yet. But after this year I don’t know if things will slow down. I’m still doing a full schedule. I’m kind of doing pipe and boardercross, feeling it out and seeing if boardercross is going to be my next adventure in snowboarding. In pipe there’s so many good young riders. I can still go out there and have fun, but I like just doing straight airs and stuff. I don’t always like hucking the 10s. I’ll still do pipe for fun and I may start focusing on boardercross and doing that ‘cause that’s something that seems like you can do a little longer. I’m not going home yet, but we’ll see.
Lat34: Do you have anything in snowboarding left that you’d like to do, that you haven’t gotten to yet?
Ross: I always like to do some more heli-ing and cat boarding and just go cruise and have fun. One event I’ve always wanted to do is the Baker Banked Slalom. I have a schedule conflict this year, but next year I want to do that. I’ve been lucky in the halfpipe to have done so well. I still love coming to events riding with everyone. It makes you push the level of your riding, and seeing all your friends, it’s good.