Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Baumgartner visits Ski Brule for ride along
The winter resort is also raising money for Baumgartner’s travel expenses for the 2023 FIS World Snowboarding Championships.
IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Olympic Gold Medalist Nick Baumgartner made a stop in his hometown of Iron River Sunday.
Baumgartner glided down Big Bear Run at Ski Brule in style, American flag and gold medal in hand, followed by a group of skiers and snowboarders all there to celebrate his achievement at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
The Iron river Native and Olympic gold medalist joined hundreds this afternoon on a ride-along down the hills where he first learned to snowboard. “It’s been 17 years that I’ve been trying to bring this medal back home and share it with the community here,” Baumgartner said emphatically. “Right here [at] Ski Brule, this is where it all started.”
Afterward, Baumgartner signed autographs, took pictures, and shared smiles with all.
Ski Brule Operations Manager Jessica Polich says Baumgartner began his snowboarding career at the resort. “Nick started working at Ski Brule when he was 14-years-old so we had the opportunity to watch him over the years progress in snowboarding,” she said. “Just an absolutely amazing accomplishment.”
Baumgartner still lives in Iron River, and is an active part of the community. Now, the winter resort in his hometown is raising money to help him afford to keep competing.
Ski Brule says Baumgartner still needs to pay for most of his expenses. “We’re trying to help him be able to train and not worry about money by doing all these fundraisers,” Polich said.
Baumgartner says he is grateful to anyone who donates. Adding that he competes to motivate others from Upper Michigan to do big things. “I think by going out there, I just really hope that we can use my story to inspire more stories out of the U.P., northern Wisconsin, and the midwest,” he said.
Baumgartner plans to use all money raised to fund his travel expenses to Bakuriani, Georgia next January for the 2023 FIS Snowboarding World Championships. Baumgartner adds that he hopes to compete in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan, Italy, but is unsure if he will just yet. He credits his success to Ski Brule and all the great people of Upper Michigan.
To donate to Baumgartner’s travel expense fund for next year’s FIS Winter Snowboarding Championships, visit Ski Brule website by clicking here.
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