Action County: Justin Reiter
Justin Reiter, a third-year member of the U.S. Alpine Snowboard Team, passed through Summit County on Friday while en route to Eastern Canada from Steamboat Springs. Reiter, who graduated from Summit High School in 1999, will compete in two NorAm Cup events in Le Relais before heading off to a World Cup event in Switzerland.Why did you move from Summit County to Steamboat?”After high school, I was faced with a decision: either go to college or pursue snowboarding. I decided to pursue snowboarding and I moved to Steamboat because they offered a very good program for my discipline, which is racing. I haven’t looked back since.”How does living in Steamboat compare to living in Summit County?”Steamboat still has kind of a small-town feel and Summit County seems to be growing a lot. Summit is nice because you get all the modern conveniences and the proximity to Denver is great. I’ll always consider Summit County my home and it’s always fun to come home.”
What’s next for Justin Reiter?”I’m still trying to qualify for the Olympics. Due to some point discrepancies, I’ve kind of hit a stumbling block. Right now, I’m just hoping for a miracle … In the long term, my goal is to not only represent the U.S in the Olympics but to win World Cups and be a true professional in my sport.”What’s your relationship with your teammates like?”We’re all friends and we all support each other. We have almost a third of the U.S. Alpine Team in Steamboat. This year, we decided to stay together as a team and train and travel independently of the U.S. team. Fortunately, they were kind enough to allow us to stay on the team and continue to represent the U.S. We train, travel, work and live together; it makes for a really tight-knit group. We all share the same goal and that’s to take U.S. snowboarding and put it at the forefront of snowboarding in the world.”
Why did your group in Steamboat separate itself from the rest of the U.S. team?”We decided to go as a group because so often in the past, people will be brought up by a program that sacrifices so much to support them, like the winter sports club in Steamboat. They hired the best coach in the world, Thedo Remmelink, and they’ve done everything possible to help us. A lot of times, as soon as people make the U.S. team, they jump off that hometown boat and train only with the U.S. team. We’ve always felt that there’s a lot of politics on the U.S. team as well as different relationships. We wanted to stick together as a group of friends and find power in numbers. We believe that we got to the top of the U.S. by riding together, why should we change in order to get to the top of the world?”Do you have a job outside of snowboarding?”Because I finished in the top 30 in the World Cup last year, I was fortunate enough to qualify for a program called the Olympic Job Opportunities Program. Right now, I work for Home Depot. They work with our schedules, take care of us and allow us to focus entirely on training. It’s an amazing program, it really allows athletes to be athletes.”What’s your favorite snowboard run in Summit County?
“Straight down the main Flyer run (at Copper Mountain), right under the lift the whole way. I love it, I think it’s a blast to play around on. That’s where I grew up riding and that’s where my heart is.”Justin ReiterDecade Born: 1980’sFavorite Team: U.S. Snowboard TeamFavorite Band: A.F.I. (A fire inside)Fastball or Curveball: Fast curve
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