Mike – give us some background on yourself.
I’m 24 years old and live in Lake Tahoe, CA. I’m a professional skier and I grew up on southern VT. I was a gymnast as a kid and I’ve spent my whole life jumping on trampolines and flipping and spinning. And I do flipping and spinning on skis for a living; that’s kind of how I got into it and how I am into it.
So why rope swings?
The rope swings and base jumping and cliff jumping and stuff like that is a slightly unique anymore fun way of training for skiing rather than just skiing. I like jumping off stuff and the main reason I do it with rope swings all the time is because there aren’t a whole lot of sheer cliffs in Tahoe, certainly nothing as big as I like, so because I can’t just jump of something my only real option are either to create a diving board or platform, which is a pain in the butt, or zip line, which you’re not going to zip line across Lake Tahoe, so a rope swing is a way to get me in the air, flipping and training for skiing.
Where in Southern Vermont did you grown up?
I grew up in So. Londonderry, VT, which is where Ross Powers grew up; who won the Olympics in 2002 and got bronze in 19998 in snowboard halfpipe, so snowboarding and skiing is pretty strong in that town and in that area. My parents got me into gymnastics in Manchester when I was a super young kid as a way to get rid of some energy, and so the flipping and spinning just came naturally to me.
So your parents were supportive of you?
My parents have always been super supportive of me and have never really pushed me. In fact have tried to prevent me from doing anything too gnarly
but at the same time as long as I know I can do it, my parents have always been there to support me.
Any aspirations for Olympic gymnastics?
Honesty I did it when I was so young and gave it up when I was still pretty young, so no, I never had any interest in gymnastics for that, and it’s weird because people ask me now about the Olympics, but I’m probably the only kid in the world who has no desire to win the Olympics; I never really had that desire.
So with skiing how do you see yourself fitting into that world?
I try to be the best skier in the world by being the best all around in the world. I wouldn’t say I’m a pipe skier or a rail guy or a big mountain skier, I just would say I’m a skier.
Where can people see you do your thing?
Well there’s ShreddyTimes.com which has a lot of my stuff, and then last year Poor Boyz Productions shot a tv show about me and my friends as we travel around the world. It’s basically an action sports based adventure show with skiing, snowboarding, skydiving, BASE jumping, snowmobiling and all that. It’s gonna be pretty cool.