Saturday, September 28, 2002
Steamboat Springs Nobody paid a whole lot of attention to Steamboat Springs freestyle skier Travis Mayer in the days leading up to the 2002 Olympic mogul event.
He went about the task of preparing for his Olympic mogul run pretty much outside the scope of reporters, cameras and press conferences. He didn't have the pressure of trying to win the gold medal while being asked if he would return to play football at the University of Colorado once he was done skiing.
He also didn't have Jonny Moseley's gold medal or the "Dinner Roll" to get the attention of a field of reporters who quite frankly knew more about the quarterback sneak than they did about a quad twister.
While Mayer enjoyed some great results in the months leading up to the games, his story didn't seem to have the same flare for getting the media attention that his football-playing teammate Jeremy Bloom, or the always reporter-friendly Moseley had.
But it never really seemed to bother him.
By the time the mogul competition was scheduled to take place, those other guys had to be shielded from the prying eyes and never-ending questions from the media.
Meanwhile, Mayer seemed relaxed and focused.
Things didn't really change all that much after he finished second in the event. Sure, he attended the awards ceremony and talked with Jay Leno.
But Mayer remained modest, quiet and focused on what he was doing.
He was the same guy that placed in the top 3 at a World Cup event in Steamboat and won the Gold Cup prior to the Olympics.
It's been a little less than a year since Mayer's medal run.
While he still lives in the shadows of teammates like Bloom who has made plenty of headlines lately both on and off the field it doesn't seem to bother Mayer.
Maybe it is because he is starting to get the recognition from the people who really count.
I was happy to see the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. come to an agreement to sponsor the skier for the next four years.
Mayer is happy, too.
It means that money will not be an issue for the rest of his skiing career, and the ski area is also happy because Mayer will be a great representative on the slopes.
Andy Wirth, vice president of marketing for American Skiing Co., said it's a win-win situation for everyone.
The best thing about it is that a guy like Mayer who has always been happy to live outside the spotlight is finally being rewarded for his accomplishments.