Almost 40-Year-Old Nick Baumgartner Finds Silver Lining in Snowboard Cross

by Bob Reinert

Nick Baumgartner competes during the Men's Snowboard Cross Seeding at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 15, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.


A week shy of his 40th birthday, three-time Olympian Nick Baumgartner of the U.S. certainly wasn’t acting his age.
The age-defying Baumgartner turned in a youthful performance on Friday, riding to a silver medal in the men’s world cup snowboard cross event in Montafon, Austria. It was his second podium finish of the season for the Iron River, Michigan, resident.

Alessandro Haemmerle of Austria won the gold on his home soil. Germany’s Umito Kirchwehm took the bronze.

“What a way to start the season! Second race of the year and second podium!” Baumgartner posted on Instagram. “I am happy, excited, blown away!! This is why you should work as hard as you can for what you want. Thanks to everyone for all the support and kind messages! You guys are the best.”



The day before the final, his Instagram post indicated that he was ready to turn in a big effort.

“I’m having so much fun so far this season and I know it’s because of the hard work and sacrifices I made this off season,” Baumgartner wrote. “The commutes to @advantedge906 were rough, the workouts were tough, the nights sleeping in the van away from home were hard, but riding good, and having my son @landonsunn proud of me makes it all worth it!”

Other American finishers at Montafon included Michael Perle (19th), Mick Dierdorff (25th), Mike Lacroix (30th), Jake Vedder (38th), Alex Deibold (45th), Tyler Hamel (48th), Senna Leith (49th), and Hagen Kearney (60th). 

In the women’s individual race, also on Friday, Stacy Gaskill turned in the top showing by an American, finishing seventh.

In Saturday’s mixed team event, the U.S. duo of Dierdorff and Gaskill reached the semifinals, placing eighth. The mixed team event will make its Olympic debut next year in Beijing.

Haemmerle leads the men’s world cup standings with 200 points. Baumgartner is in second place with 140 points. Dierdorff holds down 10th place with 46 points. Baumgartner, who finished just out of the medals in fourth place at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, has his sights set on the snowboard cross podium at Beijing in February.
Bob Reinert spent 17 years writing sports for The Boston Globe. He also served as a sports information director at Saint Anselm College and Phillips Exeter Academy. He is a contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.