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I started snowboarding in 1988 when I was 13.  Andy Coghlan was "the man" back then, and became an instant hero of mine.  He posted this great story about his big US Open win on the FB group History of Snowboarding today.  Reposting here with his permission.


I need some good laughs today so I am asking you guys to post funny US OPEN stories (everyone has one). I'll start. Just before the finals of the Downhill at the 1988 US OPEN, I was upstairs at Mahogany Ridge in the base lodge having lunch, kind of feeling bummed out because I didn't do too well in the qualifiers so I would be running pretty far back for the finals. I was having a little pity party sitting all alone trying to get some kind motivation to go up there and at least have a respectable run. Then I overheard some kids talking at the table next to me. 'Who's gonna win it this year?" "A lot of European riders are here this time, it's all changing" "Yeah, I think Peter Bauer is going to take it. I don't think the Americans can compete" "Really? What about Andy Coghlan, the Dog?" "No, I don't think so, he looks a little washed up" "Yeah, he's running his Snowboard shop up in Burlington and I'm sure he's doing more partying than training" "Yeah, he looks a little chubby"

Well I looked down at my chili dog and beer lunch and my big belly and it really could have gone either way, pity party or motivation. Shit, I didn't want it all to end yet! It's like the theme song from Rocky started in my head and I suddenly got a big rush of adrenaline and was lazer focused on proving these punks wrong and keeping the dream alive. I remember being up at the start area growling and talking to myself like a madman. I wasn't even messing with Palmer or anyone else like I normally do. All the top guns were taking their runs and everything was going exactly as everyone thought, Peter Bauer was winning. I could here the times and placings over the loudspeaker from the bottom so I knew what I had to do. Since I had a slow qualifier run I was running around 12th or 13th. The stage was set. I felt like I was the only one left at the top. When I got in the starting gate, I heard them call my name on the loudspeaker and then I heard the massive crowd of people start yelling and screaming for me realizing that this was probably the last hope for a USA victory. Stratton is my home mountain were I grew up so I had a lot of family and friends up there partying and cheering almost the whole way along the course. That cheering gave me an extra boost of energy and focus and I knew I had to have a perfect run saving every hundredth of a second I could. So I took a deep breath and exploded out of the starting gate. I remember staying so low every chance I got. It even made me run a little low on a couple gates. When the finish was in site, I got so low, ducked my head and stuck my hands out to reach for the finish timing beam. I was going about 65mph and had to stop before the fence but I didn't care about that. All I cared about was the time on the big scoreboard. That time was 1 hundredth of a second (0.01) ahead of Peter Bauer. I was sure to wipe off the chili dog remnants on my bib before the awards ceremony. So thanks shit talking punks for motivating me to win my most favorite victory ever and helping to keep my career alive.


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