From the Glove, with Love

Contributed by S. Jacobs

Featuring Michigan-born athletes from all sorts of sports

Michigan has snow.  Sochi has snow.  You can snowboard all over Michigan.  You can snowboard all over Sochi.  You don’t have to worry so much about wildlife interfering with your day of snowboarding in Michigan.  You have to fear for your life about wildlife interfering with your day of snowboard in Sochi.

This guy’s got previous Olympic experience, X Games notoriety, a State Champion Wrestler, Multi-sport extraordinaire, and all around Michigan Outdoor Badass.  He’s Nick Baumgartner.


The weather today in Iron Mountain, MI is 9 degrees with 3 feet of snow on the ground; pretty typical for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  So what’s a Yooper to do with these conditions growing up?  Shred, obviously.  Many of us Michiganders can relate to making it through winters by finding some cold weather activity to pass the time.  Many of us also don’t make a living from said activities.  Check out this resume:

  • 2012: X-Games Silver
  • 2011: X-Games Gold
  • 2009: World Championship bronze (SBX)
  • 2008: Visa U.S. SBX champion
  • 2008: First World Cup win (Lake Placid, N.Y.)
  • 2007 U.S. SBX champion
  • 2007: 2nd at World Cup Finals
  • 2007: 3rd at Copper Mountain Revolution Tour
  • 2004: 1st in SBX at USASA nationals
  • 2004: 1st at U.S. Extreme Boarderfest

You can’t hate these stats.  This year Nick seeks retribution against the 2010 Olympics (and possibly communism) where he didn’t take home any medals.  Nick’s event, snowboard cross, takes place on Monday the 17th.

High School Nick spent his days at West Iron County High School where he did typical high school jock things, just on another level.  This guy has all-state honors in 3 sports, wrestling, football, and track.  His mother, Mary, was actually the coordinator for the local wrestling club.  Which is genius on her part, having 5 kids, and letting them beat the daylights out of each other in an organized fashion.  Kudos Mary.  His dad, Bob, well the guy had 5 kids, what more do you need to know?..because if there’s two things to do in the U.P., its make babies and drive them around to sporting events.

College Nick played a year of football for the Northern Michigan Wildcats before deciding to take his talents to the real world.

Grown-Ass-Man Nick is now an adrenaline junkie that stays humble in his roots.  He’s a skilled tradesman by day and an Olympic caliber athlete by night.  He still lives in northern Michigan, close to family.  He works just like the rest of us to support his hobbies, two of which are Demolition Derby and Truck Racing.   He has a 9 year old son, Landon.

What I like about this guy the most: he’s not a career athlete.  He’s a career dad.  Family will always be first, and being an Olympian is just a hobby.  It’s outstanding to have priorities like that.

I’d also like to point out that his favorite movie, as well as his mustache, is “Rad” with Laurie Loughlin and bunch of BMXs.  If you haven’t seen it, you haven’t lived.  You can pick it up on VHS at your local cinematic medium rental establishment.


Follow this guy on Twitter: @nickbaumgartner and show him some love!

Best of luck in Sochi, not only getting that Gold, but getting out alive!


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