IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Nick Baumgartner has been to two Olympic games as a member of the Snowboard Cross team and on the 21st he will compete in an all-or-nothing qualifier in Turkey.
"If it's a typical season I'm already pre-qualified for every race because I'm on the top tier of the US Snowboard team, so I'm already pre-qualified for all the races," said two-time Olympian Nick Baumgartner. "The Olympics is different in that you have to show results just before the games."
On December 17 Baumgartner was in the midst of qualifiers in Austria where he suffered a back injury.
"I ended up having some pretty severe damage, I crushed two vertebrae a little bit, a broken rib, some bruised lungs," said Baumgartner.
This is not the first time Baumgartner has competed with an injury and he is not letting it hold him back this time, either.
"I broke my collarbone in 2011, just 12 days before the finals at the X-Games and I won," said Baumgartner.
Most of his training was completed pre-season and now, post-injury, his training has included lots of chiropractic work and massage therapy.
Baumgartner is still chasing that Olympic medal and says the experience of the games is everything.
"I wish I could explain to everyone in words what it's like to walk out in the Opening Ceremonies, wearing your colors," said Baumgartner. "It's unbelievable."
And if Baumgartner makes the qualifiers next week he does have special something to bring with him.
"If I go, my sponsor Ponsse here is going to bring my son and my mother so it'll be nice to have those people there," said Baumgartner. "And so far when my son comes I perform really well."
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games start February 8 on NBC.