Editor’s note: The Sierra Sun is counting down the days to the Sochi Winter Olympics with a series of Q-and-As with local and regional Olympic hopefuls. Look to upcoming sports sections for more.
Chas Guldemond never expected to make his living as a snowboarder. He’s a realistic guy. Breaking into the pro snow scene just doesn’t happen for many 18- to 19-year-old hopefuls who move to Lake Tahoe.
So Guldemond worked side jobs during the offseason to pay the bills and, like most mountain kids, spent his winters riding as much as possible.
But the similarities end there because Guldemond is no average mountain kid when he gets on a snowboard, and it didn’t take long for his talent to gain national attention.
Guldemond became a household name almost overnight when he nearly bested Shaun White during the final stop of the 2006 Burton Global Open Series slopestyle competition. He settled for silver that day, but the performance earned him a Transworld Snowboarding “Rookie of the Year” consolation and there have been plenty of golds since.
The Truckee resident is the 2012 World Snowboarding Champion. He is also a four-time Slopestyle Grand Prix champion and X Games gold medalist.
On Sunday Guldemond was named to the first-ever Olympic snowboard slopestyle team. Check out what he had to say:
Q: Anything new and/or exciting going on in your life outside of the Olympic buzz?
A: “I always have a couple things up my sleeve, but I am back living in Truckee again, which is really exciting.”
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Was it always a pro boarder?
A: “When I was a kid I knew that I was not going to college, and I knew that I was going to work hard so I could support my snowboarding dream. I never dreamed I would make a living being a pro though.”
Q: Looking back, were there any key moments that really solidified the pro snowboarding path for you?
A: “Going to a snowboard academy was really helpful, and moving out to Tahoe to chase my dream was the best decision I ever made.”
Q: Who do you believe are the top contenders you’ll have to get through to win gold this year?
A: “I think Mark McMorris and Torstein Horgmo are my biggest competition.”
Q: Are you working on any new tricks we might see in the Olympics?
A: “Of course, but I can’t say yet.”
Q: What tunes are you rocking this season?
A: “I love listening to good hip-hop as well as ‘90s alternative rock like Pearl Jam. It keeps me stoked.”
Q: What are some of your hopes or goals for this season? What would make this a successful year in your book?
A: “I want to continue to work hard to prepare the best I can for the Olympics, and when it’s time I just want to enjoy the experience and portray snowboarding in a positive light.”
Q: Anything else you want to see or do in Russia off the snow?
A: “I would like to recreate the training scene from Rocky IV when Rocky is in Russia.”