Remember When…2002 Olympics

Indulge me on a little stroll down memory lane…10 years ago this week or maybe last, 14 of your favorite shredders strolled into the opening ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic games. Wandering into the roar of a home country crowd, wide eyed and awe struck like most Olympians at the fruition of life long dreams and all that, but I’d say maybe even a little more so and more in disbelief than awe. Most of us had been snowboarding long enough to remember a time when we weren’t allowed on mountains much less in Olympic arenas and we’d all watched our sport battle over whether snowboarding should give up its reigns to skiing just to be in the Olympics. We’d all watched Terje, boycott the 98 Olympics and then, to our naïve dismay, watched the world mock snowboarding in the Olympics. New York Times articles likened us to the snow monkeys that climbed the trees beside the venue and late night TV hosts had a field day with Ross Rebagliati’s weed mishap…uhh, he didn’t inhale, I swear. Anyway, we were cooler than that and the old boys club of the Olympic jock system didn’t quite understand us. So, four years later our bunch of ruffian dirt bags dressed up like adults in an atrocious turtleneck-beret-pleated pant outfits strolled in to the Olympic games expecting more of the same.nothing says, “Team America” like a bunch of berets made by Roots…

But this time things were different. Regular people were kind of excited about this whole snowboardin’ thing and we were being used to promote Team USA in ad campaigns and on TV shows. Reporters showed up at the press conference and some of them actually knew what they were talking about and I even had one of those made for Olympic TV profile pieces done on me, complete with sad music and a heart wrenching tale of the death of my brother and triumph through tragedy and all that shit…I’m being glib, but unbeknownst to us, we were legit or about to be.Danbo amidst an old guy media frenzy. Heath, Ross and Foley…

Day two of the Olympics Kelly, Shannon and I compete and Kelly walks away with a gold medal, the first of the games. The following day Ross, Danny and JJ sweep the podium for the first time since 1952 or something and all of a sudden snowboarders are the new Olympic heroes. Insert movie montage of talk shows, cereal boxes, commercial deals, movie premiers and all that “I’m going to Disneyland” shit. Now, it’s kind of a no brainer, we expect that stuff and snowboarding is front and center in the Olympic space. People train to become Olympic snowboarders and win gold medals; our stars are household names or at least they love that flying tomato guy. But in 2002, what happened was totally unexpected. I mean, we knew snowboarding was cool and we had a solid crew of riders who could win any contest and personalities that could win over any crowd but we didn’t expect anyone to care, no one did before. blah blah blah. Anyway, I guess I’m having one of those old people moments, looking back on stuff and saying, “remember when?” But yeah, most of you probably don’t so here are some snaps from way back when.remember when cell phones had antennas? Kelly calling in her gold.remember when this is what halfpipes looked like? #minipipeclosing ceremony crew.JJ getting all famous and stuff.nerds. now and then. nothings changed here.

thanks for indulging me.

xoxo t


7 thoughts on “Remember When…2002 Olympics

  1. I was not there, but I am fairly sure Kelly was talking to me, on Heath’s cell phone! It was so much fun watching you guys… When Kelly won, we were dancing around my living room, laughing and crying!

    Thanks for writing.

  2. been lurking on your blog for awhile thanks to a mutual friend…i’m actually headed to SLC tomorrow for a reunion with all the staff from 2002-working the Games was my first job out of college and still such a turning point experience-it’s so so fun to read such a great post from the perspective of the athletes. So many memories. (I work for the USOC now and manage Team USA apparel. No berets in Sochi I swear)

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