Some people love what they do. Baumgartner lives for it.
“I like to play and have fun, and it’s that famous quote from George Bernard Shaw that stuck with me for so long when he said, ‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing,’” Baumgartner said.
This explains how at age 40 he is still one of the best in the world in a younger man’s sport.
“It’s funny, there’s one kid on our team that is three days younger than my son,” Baumgartner said.
It’s not all fun and games for Baumgartner. He endures rigorous training in season and out.
“You only get so much time in your athletic career to compete at this level,” Baumgartner said. “For me, it becomes a thing of ‘How far can I push this? How far can I go?’ Every year I do more and more work, including this year which is the most I’ve ever done.”
Nick finished fourth in Pyeongchang, missing out on his first Olympic medal. The last thing he wants to do is look back years from now and wonder if he did enough.
But with four Olympics on his resume, that’s not likely going to happen.
“Fourth place was close, as close as you could possibly get,” Baumgartner said. “I want one of those medals. It’s the one thing missing. It’s not necessary as my career has been awesome, but I put this work in for a reason. It wasn’t just to make an Olympics. It’s to go there, make some noise and go out swinging.”
Baumgartner is not the only Michigan native competing in snowboarding at the Winter Olympics. Zoe Kalapos of Beverly Hills also made the team and will compete in the women’s halfpipe. It’s the 24-year old’s first Olympics.
Remember the Winter Olympics get started next Thursday, Feb. 3, and you can catch all the action on Local 4.