PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (WOOD) — Team USA’s Nick Baumgartner may have just missed the podium in snowboard cross, but he says sharing the experience with his son changed everything.
The Michigan native and three-time Olympian told WOOD TV8’s Jack Doles that while it normally would take him awhile to get over the disappointment of placing fourth, this year was different.
“When I got to the bottom and I unstrapped my board, I searched for my son,” he said. “The first thing I see is he’s like (jumping up and down) like I won the Olympics. So it’s hard to be disappointed when he’s so proud of me.”
Baumgartner, 36, said his experience in PyeongChang is also teaching his son a valuable lesson.
“He’s 13 years old, he’s on the other side of the world, he’s gaining this culture and he gets to see through my actions (that) it’s just not me telling him he can do anything you want to do. We’re from a small town in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and I’m on the biggest stage,” he said. “I’m 36 years old and I’m the oldest guy in the field and we almost had it.”
The medal would have been awesome,” he added. “But to share that experience with my son was like the gold medal.”