American snowboarder Nick Baumgartner was downright heartbroken after his quarterfinal elimination in snowboard cross at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“I don’t think people know how much you put into this,” Baumgartner said, choking back tears. “I put so much time and effort and then one little mistake and it’s gone.”
At 40-years-old, the Michigan-native knows his time on the Olympic stage is running out. This is his fourth Winter Olympic appearance in a sport as rough as anything on snow.
“I’m running out of chances,” he said. “I got so much support back home and I feel like I let them down. This one stinks. This one hurts. I just feel bad.”
When asked about his plans going forward, he said “I ain’t stopping on this. I’ve gotta do something better to end with.”
Baumgartner is adding himself to an ever-growing list of older athletes still mixing it up in a young person’s sport. Three of the riders in the men’s heat are barely older than his 17-year-old son Landon, who is in high school.
Baumgartner, a staple of the U.S. team since 2005, has had two World Cup podiums over the last three months. Among his 18 big-contest podiums is a Winter X Games gold he won in 2011