Baden out, not down, after Olympic qualifers

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— Steamboat Springs snowboarder Nik Baden didn’t qualify for the Olympics on Saturday as he wrapped up participation in the five Olympic qualifying events in snowboarding slope-style.

He wasn’t disappointed with the outcome, though. He said the experience of competing in the events was one he’d treasure.

“It’s been super fun,” said the Steamboat Springs 16 year old. “It’s been really hectic, but I haven’t had much pressure at all. I’ve just been having a lot of fun and enjoying it.”

He wrapped up the circuit Saturday with a seventh-place finish in the final snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., scoring 83.2 on his best run.

Baden finished 10th in the overall Olympic qualifying standings with three seventh-place finishes and one sixth.

“I was really hyped with the way I rode all through the beginning of the season,” he said. “Hopefully I can carry that into the next contests.”

He’s hoping that includes the X Games in Aspen, where he’s an alternate.

“It’s been crazy,” he said. “I have been able to be a part of everything to ride every day with the people I look up to. I get to see them riding in person and to stand next to them and it’s super cool to me. I’m really excited, especially for the X Games.”

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