SNOWBOARDING: Nevada City snowboarder sets Olympic-sized goals
Ever since Tyler Guenter was a young boy, he’s had passion for snowboarding.
“I love it,” Guenter said. “I just love sliding down the mountain and conquering this huge massive rock.”
That love began when he was five years old.
“I started skiing at age 4 and did that for a year,” Guenter recalled. “Then, I saw a snowboarder go ripping down the hill and decided I wanted to try that – I haven’t stopped ever since,”
The, now 23-year-old, Nevada City native said his love for snowboarding has only grown since those early days.
Guenter, a 2011 Nevada Union alumnus, was a four-year varsity letter winner for the Miners snowboard team and reached the high school state championships three times. Now, he has Olympic-sized goals for where he wants the sport to take him.
“I have a 6-year goal of making the 2022 Olympics,” he said.
Guenter’s line to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing begins in the USASA’s North American Tour where he has been competing the past few years in hopes of making it to the World Cup (a professional snowboarding circuit).
Guenter, who races boardercross events in the North American Tour’s open class, said he hopes to earn his way into the World Cup by winning the North American Tour, which has 10-races all over the U.S. and Canada starting in February.
Boardercross is a snowboard race that includes turns, jumps and other aspects designed to challenge the riders’ ability to stay in control while maintaining maximum speed.
To rise to top of the North American Tour and beyond, Guenter said he knows there is still lots of work to be done both physically and mentally.
“No. 1 is my mental game,” he said of things he needs to work on. “I got to stay focused and have the right mentality on race day. I just need to race my own race.”
As for what makes Guenter a contender on the course — it’s his fearlessness.
“I love to go fast and hit big jumps,” said Guenter, who has been a member of the Squaw Valley Snowboard Team for three years. “There isn’t a jump on the course I’m afraid of. I’m usually the crash test dummy for the team if we build a new jump or course.”
Highlighting Guenter’s young career was a ninth place finish at the 2014 USASA Nationals in the mens open class. Guenter has also had top-10 finishes on the Rahlves Banzai Tour, a series of races in which four competitors at a time race down the mountain over natural terrain and snow conditions.
Guenter’s coach Mort Nyberg spoke highly of the aspiring Olympian.
“He is very dedicated, he works hard and he has progressed really quickly,” Nyberg said. “He can (make it to the World Cup) as long as he figures somethings out. He just needs more time on the hill and he will be really good.”
Nyberg also touted Guenter’s ability to learn from his mistakes.
“I like how he is able to overcome his failures, analyze them and learn from them,” Nyberg said.
At this point in Guenter’s career a major concern is having adequate financial support, and while Guenter works in construction and as a poker dealer in the offseason to help carry him through the competition season, he is always looking for more support. Guenter hopes to raise $25,000 for the upcoming season. The money would go to pay for equipment, training, travel and race event fees. If interested in sponsoring Guenter in the upcoming season, he can be reached at Tylerguenter@gmail.com or by phone at 530-277-5045.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Nevada Union Junior Miners Football and Cheer teams traveled on Saturday to Casa Roble High School in Orangevale to play the Casa Roble Junior Rams in Sacramento Youth Football League action.