Back-to-Back Gold Medals at XGames Aspen

It has always been my dream to win a gold medal at the Aspen XGames. Since I was ten years old, I have obsessing over being a professional skier. In being a professional skier, the biggest event of the year is Xgames, it is our “Superbowl” of freestyle skiing. As you can imagine, winning the event last year was my most prized dream to ever come true. As this year’s 2020 XGames approached it seemed as if there was a lot of pressure on me to repeat last year’s success. I was extremely nervous going into the contest but, I was also extremely dedicated to performing at my absolute best. I was skiing like an absolute mad man in pursuit of the illustrious gold. I was showing up at every training session right on time and had a well thought out plan of what I was going to do in that moment. My coach, Elana Chase, and I had many conversations while spinning on the bike trying to figure out the best plan to suit the new “Jam Style Format” that XGames unveiled. We knew it was most likely going to be four runs in finals and that each run had to be different and or progress from the last one. With this new format it was imperative to be consistent and progressive, something that is really difficult to do under pressure. I had to execute and land a number of different runs in a row.

Run one:
Rightside Double cork 1260 mute, left 720 tail, switch right side double cork 1080 Japan, left side double cork 1260 mute, and finishing with a double down the pipe flatspin 900 Japan. I have never done this exact run before and I performed it in good fashion but, definitely Far from perfect! I was sticking to the plan and everything was looking fairly solid.

Run two:
Rightside Double cork 1260 mute, left 900 tail, down the pipe double flatspin 900 Japan, left side double cork 1260 mute, into a down the pipe double flatspin 1080 Japan. I was not planning on doing this run at all but in the middle of the left side double cork 1260 mute I realized that I wasn’t going to make it around for the 1440 and I had to then pull an audible mid run finishing with the down the pipe double flatspin 1080 Japan which I have never done in competition. Overall, it was a solid run and I was really grateful to have pulled off something new!

Run three:
Was a total throw away run as I repeated some tricks and missed a few grabs. I simply stayed on my feet and got to the end of the pipe with a few fun stylish tricks.

Run four:
I was the last to drop in. I never watch any of the other competitors runs and or look at the scoreboard until the contest is over but, for some reason I decided to glance over at the leader board and I was in second place… I Looked Elana dead in the eyes and said “showtime”. I dropped in and did a right-side Double cork 1260 mute, left 900 tail, down the pipe flatspin 540 Japan, left side double cork 1440 mute, and finishing with a switch right side double cork 1080 Japan. A run that I have never done before and a run that would plunge me back into first place and achieve back to back gold medals at the X Games!

My whole family came rushing over to me after I landed that fourth and final run. I was overwhelmed with pure jubilation and sincere gratitude. It was an amazing experience to watch all of my hard work unfold in front of my eyes. I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life, and I am so grateful that I got to spend it with some of my closest friends and family members. My coach (Elana Chase) and I hugged and spoke briefly about the contest afterwards. I have the upmost respect for her as she has got to be one of the worlds best sports strategists and continues to blow me away with her knowledge and sports intelligence. We had a plan, stuck to the plan the best we could, and the result is just fantastic. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported me and or watched on television, I could feel you riding right along the side of me. Back to Back Champ baby! Love all, trust few, paddle your own canoe!

A Warm Welcome to the Völkl Family

Photo Credit: Matt Power

I am happy to announce that I have officially signed with Völkl skis as my newest sponsor. The conglomerate of Marker bindings, Dalbello boots, and Völkl skis or (MDV) for short. They are the quintessential trifecta of quality products. I am deeply honored to be representing the best skis in the business as they have been around since 1923. Cheers to almost 100 years! 100 years speaks for itself as the Völkl brand has expressed their core values of progressive technologies, outstanding products, and high quality “Made in Germany”. I’m more than happy to be a part of the Völkl family and share their company vision stating, “At Völkl, high-tech innovation meets traditional craftsmanship to create the most precise, highest quality, and technologically advanced skis in the world. We focus on constant improvement of the ski and the creation of the perfect setup to revolutionize skiing.”

Photo Credit: Matt Power

To Be completely honest this is my first ever paying ski sponsor. At the age of 25 years old, all it took was 5 X Games medals (one of them being gold), 1 Olympic silver medal, 2 Dew tour championships, and numerous Grand Prix podiums HAHA! Most people can’t believe it when I tell them that, but I don’t take it personally. Actually, quite the contrary. I am extremely grateful that Völkl was the only company in the whole ski industry that was willing to go to bat for me. To really believe in me by supporting what I do. They were the only company that was willing to sit down and talk numbers. While it is never about the money, it is about the support. In the most real terms, skiing is an expensive sport and we as the athletes are putting our lives on the line every time we click into our bindings. I believe a lot more skiers should be fully sponsored head to toe because what we do is absolutely impressive. Our talents and deserve recognition through a number of avenues, one of them being a few dollars to get to the next contest.

Photo Credit: Matt Power

Being in the industry since the age of 10 I have continuously noticed that Völkl has been there for a great number of athletes. They have upheld their contribution to the sport of skiing and especially towards freestyle/freeride skiing. Volk truly works with some of the best athletes in the world including Oystein Braten (Olympic gold medalist), Nick Goepper (3x X Games Gold Medalist and 2X Olympic medalist), Kevin Rolland (5x XGames gold medalist and Olympic Bronze Medalist), Tom Ritsch (Back country and style extraordinaire), just to name a few. What a great honor to join this list of incredible people. Not only are they friends of mine, but they are very fun to watch and celebrate their victories. Völkl has put tons of time into their R&D, making the perfect park and pipe skis. Finding the balance of a strong/powerful ski, yet just the right amount of softness allowing for increased style. They have incorporated their athletes into not only the creative graphic design of building skis but, also the pure technical side as well. Here at Völkl the athlete opinion matters. It’s not just a pay check and go skiing. It’s a collaboration, a process, a purposeful relationship where both parties win.

Photo Credit: Matt Power

Overall, I could not be more grateful and honored to join such a credible team. The Völkl family’s root run deep and I can’t wait to hit the slopes on the best equipment money can buy. In the park I will be riding the Revolt 86 in a size 180cm paired with the DS 130 and the Jester 18 Pro ID. In the pipe I will be riding the Revolt 87 in a size 177 paired with the Dalbello DS 130 and the Jester 18 Pro ID. For all mountain riding days, you’ll find me on the Revolt 95 in a size 181 paired with the Dalbello DS 130 and the Jester 18 Pro ID. I will also be riding this as an alpine touring set up paired with the Lupo touring boots and the Marker Kingpin 13! Lastly, for the deepest days of the year I will be riding the Revolt 121 paired with the Dalbello DS 130 and the Jester 18 Pro ID. See you on the slopes and thank you again MDV!

Introducing the Pro Model “Alex Ferreira” Signature Line from Level Gloves

Last fall I was approached by Level Gloves to make a Pro Model “Alex Ferreira” signature line. When hearing the words pour out of their mouths about a pro model glove line my jaw dropped. “let me get this straight, you want to do a pro model line with me???” – “Of course!” “WOW!” I ran home right after this monumental meeting and started thinking of ideas of what I wanted to do. I reached out to my creative director (Michael Campbell of ​Visual Intent​) and we started collaborating on our mutual ideas. I told Mike, “I want something fast, Red + White, and classic!” and mike responded, “COOL, Lets do it!”

I cannot express in words how grateful I am to Mike for him creating these gloves under an unbelievable time crunch. We decided to do a two-part line featuring the “Alex Ferreira Pro Rider Mitten” and the “Alex Ferreira Off Piste Trigger” He worked his magic and produced some phenomenal looking mittens and trigger gloves.

Alex Ferriera Pro Rider Mitten

Discount applied at checkout

The “Alex Ferreira Pro Rider Mitten” is a blend of red and white colors and is much more of a light weight mitten for sunny spring days. This is my go-to mitten when competing in events like X Games, Dew Tour, and Grand Prix’s. It is perfect for riding on a sunny spring day when you obviously need hand coverage but don’t want to be sweating profusely. It’s pure red + white combo gives it this counterintuitive thrust of progress yet keeping that established classical look in mind. It’s electric, bold, and screams CHOW (my nickname)! The red leather palm has three white embroidered snowflakes along with the C H O W name. The white linen top includes the AF shield Logo along with some classy diagonal stripes near the cuff. On the inside cuff we have the Alex Ferreira signature in white embroidery on a red leather background. We wanted to have fun with this glove, we wanted to be the quintessential projection of myself through my hands. These mittens will be retailed at $60 per pair. Please use the “AF20” discount code when purchasing and get 20% off! Any feedback is greatly appreciated, please leave a note on the site!

Alex Ferriera Off Piste Trigger

Discount applied at checkout

Now to the Trigger. The “Alex Ferreira Off Piste Trigger” is black with red stitching. The trigger is a mutation of glove and mitten. It is a three-piece glove that covers that hand in three different sections, the first being the index finger having its own compartment, the middle, ring, and pinky fingers in their own compartment, and lastly, the thumb having its own compartment. It too features a red leather palm with a black embroidered snowflake near the inside cuff. The classic Alex Ferreira signature is found on the cuffs tightening Velcro strap. On the back side of the glove we have red stitching accompanied by a black and red AF shield logo. I’m wearing these gloves when it’s cold, deep powder day. With Level’s iconic Primaloft technology and a 4000 Thermoplus warmth level rating, these puppies will not only keep you dry, but most importantly, they will keep you happy and HOT! We were going for a more professional (James Bond) look here, very sleek yet, noticeably attractive. These gloves will be retailed at $150 per pair. Please use the “AF20” discount code when purchasing and get 20% off! Any feedback is greatly appreciated, please leave a note on the site!

Alex Ferriera Pro Rider Mitten

Discount applied at checkout

Alex Ferriera Off Piste Trigger

Discount applied at checkout

Overall, this was truly a full team project, and nothing would have been completed if it weren’t for some very memorable and important people including:

Michael Campbell
visualintent.net
Michael Campbell acted as my creative director and he is an absolute master of his craft. I am forever indebted to Michael and grateful for his time and expertise. He has a wonderful Eye for creative projects, and I would say he absolutely nailed what we both had in mind.

Erin Sullivan & Jarka Duba
level-gloves.com
Erin Sullivan and Jarka Duba first introduced the idea of having Level and I partner and make a Pro Model line. If it weren’t for them that bridge would never have been crossed. They have been behind the scenes working day in and day out dealing with manufacturing, distribution, and shipping. Thank you guys, so much for thinking of me and seeing this project through until the end.

Max Perotti
level-gloves.com
Max Perotti has been my Level Glove representative over in Italy and has been nothing but open minded and there to help. He carried out the finishing touches of the gloves and really brought them to life.

Emily Belyea
emilybelyeacreative.com
Emily Belyea is my website developer and was actually introduced to me by Michael Campbell. Emily has been the perfect fit since day one as she works so hard and her hard word shows in how elegant and pristine the AF website turned out. She continues to stay on me about getting things done and I am so grateful and appreciative of that. Lastly, she has offered countless ideas to market the AF glove line in a positive and profitable light.

Candice Reider
level-gloves.com
Finally, we have Candice Reider who handles the Level Glove USA website and was able to bridge the gap by means of directing sales from my website to the Level Glove Website and carrying the tasks of using the “AF20” discount code. I cannot say thank you enough, and I can’t wait to do it all over again coming into 20/21’s line!

 

Summer X Games

In early August I was fortunate enough to have been invited to Summer X Games in Minneapolis MN. I was asked to come out to the event by the X Games family which is a huge honor in my eyes. While there, X Games set up a number of poster signings for me to attend but, most importantly X Games recently partnered with the Special Olympics and organized a “Unified BMX Event”. The Unified BMX event consisted of the respected athletes competing and of course the mentally disabled kids as well as adults. Jack Mitrani (X Games Host) made a cameo appearance shedding light on an event that is soon to gain a lot of traction and attention that is deserves. Being its inaugural year, I would say it turned out to be a huge success as the athletes such as Chad Kerley, Ryan Williams, and many other big names were projecting the quintessential values of kindness, encouragement, drive, and pure athletic ability. It’s kind of funny how many of the Summer X Games athletes have tattoos up to their neck and look very intimidating but having gotten the chance to chat with them, they are truly some of the nicest and down to earth people I have ever met. Watching the athletes strut their skills in front of these mentally disabled kids was all out in inspiring and was so much fun to watch.

I flew in on Wednesday afternoon and the new X Games intern (Ben) drove me directly to the venues to check out the set up/ festivities. Thank you, Ben! Upon checking into my hotel, the receptionist told me that my room had been cancelled and in the midst of the confusion I proceeded to tell him, “Well, I’m here!” As I got things sorted out, he eventually checked me in and said we could figure it out later. As I was settling into my new room when the Senior Director of Marketing for X Games (Amy Lupo) explained to me that they had cancelled my room to upgrade me to a nicer hotel… What!!!! Thank you, Amy and the X Games family! What an awesome way to start the trip, as my Friend Tommy Doyle says, “The Universe is spinning our way!”

On Thursday, a great friend by the name of Levi Levallee (Countless X Games medalist and snowmobile master) kindly invited me to his neck of the woods for a boat day on lake Minnetonka. Levi is a Minnesota native and had some of his friends at The Wake Mafia (a local boat retailer) take us out for some wake surfing, wake boarding, and other fun activities. Levi is not only a master on the snowmobile but, it turns out he has incredible talent on the wake board showing us his endless bag of tricks including casual 540’s, massive playboy backflips, and the occasional McTwist. Not only was the boating day amazing but, being able to actually talk shop and get into the nitty gritty details about how Levi has come to be so successful beyond snowmobiling was very special to me. He somehow balances his family, training, managing his own snowmobile race team, and owning two different businesses with a firm sense of equanimity. Being able to ask him real life questions and witness how he has carved out a great life for himself and his family was a real treat and he is definitely someone who I look up to and want to emulate. Thank you, Levi, @WakeMafia, and Daniel Milchev.

On Friday, my friends (Broby Leeds + Erik Whese) and I went to all of the events, specifically looking forward to Men’s Skate Street, Men’s Skateboard big air, and Motocross best trick. We were lucky enough to find front row seats to watch the likes of Nyjah Huston, Yuto Horigome, and Sora Shirai battle it out for podium spots. I was then asked by X Games to present the medals for Men’s skateboard big air which was an amazing experience to give the gold medal to my fellow Rockstar teammate Elliot Stone! On Saturday and Sunday, we enjoyed many of the festivities including the Diplo concert and many fun experiences. I owe a huge thank you to the X Games family and the high level of professionalism and aurora they bring to the pro circuit of competition.

A Dream Come True: Winning the Gold at X Games

I haven’t posted a blog post in sometime now but, I have something of substance that is worth while talking about. Every January the most critically acclaimed event in action sports known as X Games takes place in a little place called Aspen Colorado. A warm place, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. (your supposed to laugh) that is a joke HAHA. But in all seriousness the XGames is an event of integrity, an event held FOR the athletes, an event where you are getting the up most media coverage and actually making it onto the top sport network of all time known as “ESPN”.

Ever since I was 10 years old I always dreamed of being able to compete in XGames.

When I was in eighth grade I specifically remember sneaking out of the classroom with two of my best friends Mikey Schumacher and Torin Yater-Wallace and catching the bus from school over to Buttermilk just to watch the training sessions of the athletes. My mom would call and say, “Where are you? The school just said you weren’t in class” I would reply with “I couldn’t miss watching the training sessions mom, its XGames week, don’t I get a break?” Its funny to laugh about now but in the moment all of our parents weren’t happy with us. We would live, eat, and breathe X Games because we knew in our hearts and in our heads that we all wanted to be professional skiers when we grew up.

Over the years we kept practicing and eventually competing in regional events, then national and, soon after – World Cup level events.

I had worked hard for so many years awaiting the prestigious X Games invite that oh so few were given every year. Year after year the invite would swoop over my head and into the lap of another more worthy candidate, but in 2013 there was an open qualifier held in Whistler Canada and if you won that event then you won yourself an X Games invite. I flew to Canada Guns a Blazing and did just that… I WON!!! I finally received my first X Games invite at the age of 18 (my senior year in High School).

I went on to compete in my first X Games hoping for a great result but only to find myself crashing on both runs and not even making finals…

Eventually I got better at dealing with the pressure and by the next year I received my first X Games medal (bronze). It might as well have been gold because all of my friends and I sure enjoyed ourselves as if it was HAHA. Since my first X Games appearance I have been invited back every year totalling to Eight starts in the X Games gate. I am grateful and humbled to receive an invitation back every year making me just as happy and stoked as I was for that first X Games invitation. In those Eight starts I have received two bronze medals, two Silver medals, and as of recent the most illustrious Gold medal at the X Games.

Since I was a little boy I had always dreamed of winning The X Games. My friends and I would talk about it for years on end describing how it would be when we really won and what it would mean to us, and what we would do with all of the new sponsors. It was amazing dreaming of that moment day in and day out, we would obsess over it. Creating reenactments of the event on the trampoline in the summer, watching every video that we could get our hands on all of the professional skier’s at the time.

Coming into X Games this year I was not 100% to say the least.

I went to a training camp the week before and ended up straining my hip flexor muscle. When I got home later that week it had snowed a lot and while shoveling the driveway I pulled out my back. Lastly to top it all off I came down with a bad case of Strep throat, ultimately having me bedridden for four days before the event. The first night of training I could barely ski. The second night of training got a lot better and I pushed my body much harder than I had for a number of days at that point making me extremely sore the day of the event. I woke up the day of finals and I could barely lift my legs I was so tired. I waited around all day trying to ice and rest as much as I possibly could before going into battle. I showed up to the venue breathing heavy and dragging my feet to the base of the pipe as slow as a turtle. I did four training runs and wasn’t terribly happy with how they went. My body hurt so much and I wasn’t sure that I could compete at my highest level leading me to seriously consider dropping out of the event entirely.

I continued to fight on and see how the first run went and then make a further decision. By the time I knew it I was up and at ‘em in the start gate and feeling the nerves coursing through my veins. I was second to last to drop in. I dropped into the pipe with laser focus and basically blacked out until my score came in… 90.66 a great first run score in my book! Leaving me in first place.

Run two came around and it was a throw away run.. Didn’t land. Run three, still in first place and nothing to lose with one person left to drop behind me I dropped in and gave it my absolute best effort using every ounce of energy I had left, posting a 3rd run score of 92.66! The last competitor landed his run keeping me on the edge of my seat until his score came in at a 90.33. I WON!!!! WOW! The moment that I had been dreaming of since I was 10 years old had finally come true.

My mom, dad, sister, grandfather, extended family and most of my close friends were there to share that incredible moment with me making it the most special night of my life.

The town of Aspen was so gracious to me, offering complimentary meals and drinks to my family at most of the restaurants in town. I was humbled and honored to receive hundreds of thank you messages via text, Instagram, and email from friends and family. We enjoyed all of the after contest festivities to the fullest and I cannot thank all of my supporters enough for the kind words that I have received. Overall it was the best day of my life and I was lucky to have been able to share it with people whom I care about the most.

To view more images of me at the X Games as well as other competitions, check out my media gallery.

Olympic Competition

alex ferreira olympic medalist for team usa

This is my second blog post so I figured that the next best place to start was where I left off. I spoke about opening ceremonies in my first post and now I’m going to talk about the actual competition at the Olympics. After the Opening ceremonies there was a three day training camp scheduled at a resort in Japan called Aomori Spring. I showed up and was prepared to ski halfpipe in light of the upcoming contest. Little did I know that in the 72 hours I was there it would not stop snowing for more than 10 minutes… It was blower pow and no one on the resort to enjoy it but the the US Team. I would ski powder by day and park by night under the lights, then finish with a nice onsen (Japanese hot tub). It was incredible to interact with everyone at the resort, especially the staff. Alex, Dai, and Xinny will forever hold a special place in my heart for going out of there way to help us with anything. The resort owner (Edan Park) and I hit it off immediately and have remained friends to this day. In fact I went back to Aomori Spring in September for two weeks with some friends to play golf at their amazing Arnold Palmer course but, that’s another story. I filled up on my hundredth bowl of ramen and was back on my way to Korea for the main event!   

Alex Ferreira is a Silver Medal Olympic Skier, with a passion for coaching, athletic training, and motivational speaking.

I was having a dandy time, but I also had to remind myself that I was there to complete a task so I mainly kept to myself for the remainder of the 3.5 weeks I spent there. We had THREE days of training. Each Training session was three hours long. Elana and I devised a plan for training and we executed perfectly. The first day of training would consist of five runs. Two straight air runs, two singles runs, and one run with my two most comfortable doubles. The second day of training was exactly the same format with the exception of doing my two most uncomfortable doubles. The third day of Training was very different because I was going to throw my switch double cork 1080 japan and I had not done this trick in over four years… I watched tons of video, visualized for hours, and just like that I whipped it around perfectly to my feet!

alex ferreira olympic games 2018

 

Then we had qualifications. One of the most nerve wracking days of my life. I was on the bus ride from the Olympic village to the venue and I couldn’t stop thinking that all of my family and best friends just flew halfway across the world to watch me perform… I better land a run today. I think that paramount of pressure that I put myself under made me qualify into the finals. I managed to qualify second into finals right behind Aaron Blunck in first and Aspen Native, Torin Yater-Wallace in third. It was a great day, but for me it was onto the next which was finals.

The morning of finals was dark and cold. We arrived at the venue and I stood in front of a space heater on full blast for 20 minutes straight. That heater saved my life. It was time to suit up and get out there. This was the moment that everyone had been waiting for. I took five training runs in the practice session before, two straight air runs and three singles runs. I didn’t throw one double in training and I was about to attempt five doubles in one run… Right before I dropped in Torin and I gave each other a hug. He wished me well, and I reciprocated. It was a special moment that I will never forget. It reminded me that no matter what happened I would still have my friends, my family, and my town by my side. I took my run and posted a score of 92.60! Woohoo, now thats what I’m talking about. 20 minutes went by and I was on deck for run number two. My plan was to attempt an all doubles run for the first time in history. I grabbed my poles, fist bumped Elana (my coach), and took a deep breath. It was my time to shine. Boom, history was made. I did it. I had been thinking of that run for four + years, put in countless hours of training and I landed it first try. That run earned a score of 96 points flat. It wasn’t over yet though. I went back up for my third and final run. I spoke with Elana and the plan for this particular run was to get more amplitude. Amplitude we got, It was by far the the most height I have ever gotten and it was the best run that I have ever landed. A score of 96.60 appeared on the jumbotron. Good enough for second place. It was one of the happiest and most proud moments in my life. I prepared long in advance for this day and all came together. I took 36 runs total in that halfpipe. I only fell once and messed up one training run in all five days that I had skied the Olympic pipe. “Victory Lies within preparation”. Elana came down the middle of the pipe and hoisted me up to get our classic photo together after a podium finish. My friends and family jumped the fence into the finish coral and it was spectacular to say the least. I gave everyone hugs and kisses. I couldn’t believe the most special people in my life were there to celebrate such a fantastic victory with me.

alex ferreira wins silver medal for team usa at 2018 olympic games

 

Opening Ceremonies at the 2018 Olympics

Alex Ferreira is a Silver Medal Olympic Skier, with a passion for coaching, athletic training, and motivational speaking.

Didn’t know where to start for my first blog post so I figured the Olympics is at least something of good substance to talk about so here we are. The Olympics were created around the 8th century BC. The modern day Olympics was first established in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Furthermore the first “Winter Olympics” was held at Chamonix, France in 1924. There is a long lineage of history deriving from this sporting event. It brings countries all around the world together cheering for their nation and their favorite athletes. I was fortunate enough to attend the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Not only was it a special event to attend for my personal self, but even watching this Olympics on TV was special because for the first time since the 1950’s two countries were brought together above their social and political differences through love and passion for sport. I watched North and South Korea walk into opening ceremonies holding hands. They walked in the stadium under one united flag, one Korea. It was truly spectacular to watch and be apart of. It felt as if all of this hatred and ill will between the two countries was instantly washed away with a tsunami of love and happiness. I will never forget that moment and that feeling laying in bed later that night after witnessing opening ceremonies.

My opening ceremony experience was even more crazy because the whole (halfpipe) team with the exception of David Wise decided to opt out of this amazing experience to attend a training camp in Japan with hope to get some relaxation and great training before this monumental event. Totally understandable, but was not happening in my case. I was forced to go out of my comfort zone and meet new people and athletes. I remember before you walk out and represent your country in the stadium all the different nations with their respected athletes “hang out” in this giant tent awaiting their big moment! During this time a now close friend of mine (Alex Hall) and I started bartering and trading with other athletes for their nation’s pin. Each country has a certain number of pins made for each athlete to trade with other nations. We were running around like crazy people trying to acquire the most coveted pin of all. The “Jamaican Bobsled pin”. We scoured the tent and finally ran into the Jamaican team. After minutes of haggling for this pin we were lucky enough to trade and acquire this awesome pin. We even got an epic picture with them!

After we this photo we went back to our USA chanting family and started to walk out of the tent and on to the big stage. As we entered the grounds of the stadium the song “Open Gangnam Style” blasted into our ears making the night that much more special. (Alex Hall) and I put on our “speed shades” and entered the stadium cool as cucumbers. This unbelievable energy or aura if you will was radiating through the stands and I remember looking at Alex and being so thankful and proud of this moment. A sense of hubris crawled over and under my skin as we walked our nation’s lap around the stadium. We were decked out in this beautiful Ralph Lauren kitt all matching all as one. The United States of America, under one flag, in one outfit, in one mindset. No one was better than anyone, we were all on the same level playing field and everyone was truly happy.

We proceeded to take our seats and enjoy the rest of the show. I cannot say enough good things about the people and culture of Korea. The time and passion it must have taken to put the whole opening ceremonies together is unimaginable. They had every fine tuned detail in order and presented it beautifully.

I then took my goodie bag and got on the bus back to the Olympic village and went to sleep. It was difficult to sleep with the sensory overload that my brain was trying to process all at once. I layed there in my little bed as if I were back at summer camp as a young boy. It was a very humbling experience and I was just so grateful that I was able to attend such a one of a kind event. I thank the nation of South Korea for an experience that was so beautiful it is difficult to fully put into words.