US Olympic countdown: Tricia Byrnes


In the run up to the Winter Olympics in February, we’re getting exclusive access to the USA’s snowboarding Olympic hopefuls and their preparations for the games. Check regularly for more updates from the top riders.

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Veteran halfpipe rider Tricia Byrnes is training hard for her second Olympic games – she


 placed sixth in the halfpipe event in 2002. Here is an exclusive extract from her diary.

So here we are. Two Olympic qualifiers down, three to go and the level of riding just keeps rising and rising.

After a full on stress fest we can all sit back and breathe for a minute over this holiday season, before we head back out onto the road to try and secure our spots on the 2006 US Olympic team.

The past two weeks the entire US snowboard scene has been riding day in and day out trying to get ready for these first two Grand Prixs.

I took off one full day and felt guilty about it, and now we are all sore and tired and slightly contested out.

It has been some of the best riding that has ever happened.

Everyone pretty much came to Breck and started throwing down because there really was no time to warm up to this intense season. High altitude and cold weather made sure that everyday we left the hill exhausted and frozen; it was so cold here in Colorado that by the fifth day of temperatures in the negative teens it actually started to feel warm.

We were staying at Copper, and for the first few days of that the Breck pipe was open; and, as you might imagine, car rides with the team are always an interesting event.

What I love so much about the young boys on our team is their total comfort with who they are and their high energy that wakes everyone up whether you like it or not.

We would all pile into the Suburbans and first thing Goldy would plug in his iPod and play the song from the "Rent" soundtrack and everyone is sitting there belting out "500 25,000 600 minutes" at the top of their lungs while Danny Davis waits for the temperature gage on the mirror to read -10 and then sticks his head out the window trying to freeze himself in the wind.

It is quite a funny picture as we head down I-70 towards our pipe session.

It keeps the spirit lively and free and reminds the crew that we are just a bunch of freaks trying to enjoy life and makes other drivers take a second look and lock their doors…

You can read the rest of Tricia’s journal and follow her progress at

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