The Iron River area is getting world-wide recognition thanks to one of our own residents, Nick Baumgartner. The 32-year old Iron River Native has one thing on his mind, Nick says “I didn’t come here to take second or take third, I came to win”
Of course, that’s pretty much the way Baumgartner approaches every event, be it the World Cup, the X Games or the Olympics. He’s never seen a caution sign that couldn’t be torn down.
Which is why snowboard cross is the ideal sport for him.
“If it’s dangerous and scary, and I can overcome it and do well – I’m looking for that rush, that adrenaline,” he said. “It’s the reason I do it. It’s what brought me to the sport.”
At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, however, his all-or-nothing approach cost him dearly. He was riding along in perfect position for advancement to the next round. But, again, conservative just isn’t his style.
“If there’s an opening, I’m not going to wait,” he said. “At Vancouver I fell making a pass for the lead. I could have sat second but that’s not me.”
His approach is obviously OK with the U.S. coaches, Peter Foley and Mike Jankowski. They used their discretionary pick to give Baumgartner the fourth and final spot on the Olympic team, over two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott.