Pinckney Olympian Jake Vedder returns, surprises snowboarders at Mt. Brighton

Jake Vedder placed 6th in Olympic Games

Snowboard Cross Olympian and Pinckney’s own Jake Vedder placed sixth in the Olympic Games. Now he is back, hoping to inspire the next generation. Local 4′s Jamie Edmonds went to Mt. Brighton to see him surprise some rising high school athletes.

MT. BRIGHTON, Mich.Snowboard Cross Olympian and Pinckney’s own Jake Vedder placed sixth in the Olympic Games. Now he is back, hoping to inspire the next generation.

Vedder grew up at Mt. Brighton and started skiing at two years old and snowboarding at age five. During his sophomore year in high school, he also won states, so this moment is a homecoming for him in more ways than one.

Vedder is back in Michigan with a lot of new Team USA Olympic gear and a little bit of jet lag.

“It’s crazy,” said Vedder. “It’s pretty surreal to be back in my hometown after a wild, wild ride.”

Vedder is fresh off his sixth-place finish in snowboard cross at the Olympics. It was a wild ride from an alternate to the top U.S. men’s finisher.

“I was one mistake away from getting on that podium and shocking the world,” Vedder said. “I’m looking forward to the next four years.”

Back at Mt. Brighton Wednesday (Feb. 16), he’s here for the MHSAA State snowboard cross finals. It didn’t take long for word to spread that a boardercross Olympian was in the mountain.

“It’s really cool that someone was an Olympian, and they started here training,” said Nya Caldwell, a freshman at Milford High School.

Vedder says, by meeting kids and even riding with some, he hopes to inspire, proving you can get your start right here in Mt. Brighton, and if you work hard, you too can make it to the Olympics one day.

“As a sophomore, I won states here,” Vedder said. “Again to these riders, there’s a lot of talent here in the Midwest. It’s cool to see.”

“Crazy to see him on these long races and think he was racing here one day just like we were,” said Collin Moore of Junior Catholic Central.

Vedder will make an appearance (Feb. 16) for the Olympic Zone tonight at 7:30 p.m. to talk more about his experience in Beijing.


About the Authors:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.