Alex Deibold is as comfortable in the halfpipe as he is on the snowboardcross course, yet when he took third at the U.S. Champs in '07, the Stratton Mountain School grad stamped his name on the competitive world of SBX. According to the man himself, you ride because "snowboarding is fun—and when you compete, you're pushed to improve whether you want to or not."
Deibold continued to have his fun at the start of 2011 by taking a seventh-place finish on the World Cup, which landed him a ticket to World Championships. He capped his season with a fifth at the Stoneham World Cup—his best race of his World Cup career (at the time). In February of 2013, Deibold made the breakthrough he was looking for. He placed second at the FIS World Cup on the Olympic venue in Sochi, Russia, snagging his first World Cup podium. In a world of tough competition and deep fields of competitors, Deibold made finals at four out of five World Cup starts in 2013.
Name: Alex Deibold
Sport: Snowboarding (SBX)
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: I've been competing since I was eight years old. I've always loved it and don't see that changing anytime soon.
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Keeping my chin up through all the rough patches. It's a lot easier said than done. My second place at the Sochi World Cup was pretty cool, too.
Goals for next season: Stand on the top step in Sochi.
Favorite snow destination: Japan, no question.
Favorite non-snow destination: Somewhere with a mellow, right-hand point break, warm water and no crowds.
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: I've been asking myself that question for years and have yet to come up with an answer.
Time you've been most scared in your life: Going to the hospital for an ultrasound to see if I had heart murmur (luckily I didn't). I was only a kid but they told me if something was wrong I would have to sit out recess.
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Remember to have fun. Snowboarding is getting more and more competitive, but remember why you stated in the first place. I snowboard because it's fun.