Steamboat Olympic siblings Taylor and Arielle Gold at home in Breckenridge
Make no mistake, Taylor and Arielle Gold are still from Steamboat Springs. It’s just that these days — like a number of other pros — the Olympic snowboarding siblings are spending a lot of time calling Breckenridge Ski Resort’s terrain parks home.
It started with weekend family trips to compete in amateur competitions. When that turned into offers to join the U.S. Snowboarding Team, Breckenridge became the place to set up shop in the wintertime. Now the two are renting a condo together and thinking about buying a place.
For Taylor, 21, turning pro was a dream that began at age 7, watching the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic halfpipe competition. For Arielle, 18, it was initially just something to do in the wintertime. She followed in Taylor’s footstep because it looked cool. But when the podium finishes started to happen, it became a passion.
Now at age 18 and 21 with podium appearances at the Dew Tour, X Games and Burton Open between them, the two are making a strong case to be a part of the next generation of pro snowboarders.
We recently caught up with the annual X Games contenders for a feature story in the upcoming issue of Explore Summit Magazine. Here’s a sneak peek at what they had to say.
Summit Daily: Why Breckenridge?
Arielle Gold: Breckenridge has always kind of been our place of choice for training. It’s right in the middle of where we want to be.
Taylor Gold: We ended up in Breck primarily because of the halfpipe and the park being way better. Steamboat’s probably my favorite mountain in Colorado, and one of my favorites in the world. It’s just that they don’t put that much effort toward their park because there’s not very much desire for people to have a good park. Park City would be a good option too, but here we’re closer to home. There’s a lot more options here.
How did the decision to live together come to be?
AG: It kind of just happened. I figured Taylor would be the easiest roommate. We’ve lived together all our lives. It doesn’t get too frustrating. We know each other’s habits.
You live together, train together, travel together. How does that work?
TG: We get along most of the time, but definitely have stupid little spats about nothing. Probably at least once a day.
AG: We’ll argue about something for 15 minutes and then it’s like it didn’t happen.
Your parents describe you — now as adults — as good friends. Your coaches say you push each other to be better. Has it always been that way?
TG: We definitely didn’t get along as well as we do now when we were younger. We used to have intense fights. Back then she used to tag along. It was cool to have her but it would get heated some times. … It’d just get annoying. You get in a stupid argument about nothing, “Where did I get to sit on the chairlift or something stupid like that.”
What’s it like now being pros as brother and sister?
TG: I think it’s a blessing and a curse. We’d like to be seen as ourselves and not as Team Gold. And that’s how we’re pegged a lot, ‘Oh the Gold siblings.’ We’re trying to establish ourselves individually. At the same time we do get opportunities that if we were individuals we wouldn’t get otherwise. It’s nice from that standpoint.
AG: We definitely get more publicity being siblings. When I see that it can be frustrating is at events if one of us doesn’t do very well and the other does really well. The media loves to compare our results.
How do you handle that?
TG: It’s hard. For that first year when she exploded and came on to the scene, I was hurt. That was when I had really hurt my heel. That was really hard ’cause she was getting all these podiums and I had never podiumed. I started becoming Arielle’s brother instead of Taylor, and that sucks, being the sibling that’s like, ‘Oh you kind of snowboard too don’t ya.’
AG: Now you get Taylor winning, ‘Gold for Gold,’ oh and Arielle got silver.
You both started the year with two podium appearances. How much easier is it when you each do well?
TG: When it goes well for both of us it’s awesome. There’s not really a way to describe it. It’s just cool. For that much to come together is awesome.
If someone looks at what you do in a halfpipe and says ‘That’s nuts,’ how would you respond?
AG: I think what a lot of people don’t know from watching snowboarding is that everything we do is really calculated. I wouldn’t say anything we do is totally crazy. You just know when you’re ready to start doing the next trick.
TG: It is a calculated risk. You wouldn’t just go up and try to learn a front 12 if you haven’t done a 9 and a 10 first. By repeating those and practicing those tricks you prepare yourself for the next step. I think when people get hurt is when they skip those steps.
The Olympics didn’t go the way either of you wanted them to — Arielle with the dislocated shoulder in training, Taylor not making finals — what did you take away from it?
TG: It was really frustrating … When we didn’t do well it was hard not to blame ourselves. It was such a high level contest and such a rare opportunity, even though I think the conditions were completely inadequate.
AG: I would say the hardest part about the Olympics was that you spend so much time working to get there. It never crosses your mind that you could get injured at the Olympics, that was a pretty big punch in the face. … It was a lot of motivation. Originally, if anything it seemed like less motivation. I was like, ‘How could this happen after putting in so much work?’ After you see the big picture it’s just one event. Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity again.
TG: More than anything it reminded me that the reason I snowboard is to have fun. I got to remember that if I’m going into contests and not enjoying myself, there’s no point. At the end of the day you want to look back and say I had a great time. Even if it didn’t go entirely your way.
AG: I think it’s hard to predict that kind of thing. I have a really hard time predicting where I’m going to be in the next four years. … As long as I’m still passionate about it I will do it as long as I can. For the time being, I’m enjoying it more than I ever have.
TG: I always wanted to be a snowboarder. As long as I can remember it was like, ‘This is what I ‘m going to do.’ I want to do this as long as I can. I want to have the longest career possible. Hopefully progress the sport. I definitely would like to be involved in filming projects and backcountry trips and stuff liked that.
Look for the full feature story on Taylor and Arielle Gold in the spring edition of Explore Summit magazine, available starting in mid-February.
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