Steamboat’s Justin Reiter earns his shot at Olympics
January 21, 2014
Steamboat Springs — On Tuesday afternoon, Brenda Reiter's phone rang while she was picking up mail at the post office near her home in the Virgin Islands.
It was her son Justin calling with a bit of good news. News Brenda had been waiting years to hear.
"My mom isn't known for being quiet," Justin said. "When I told her that I had made the U.S. Olympic team, she screamed and then she told everybody in the post office that her son had been named to the Olympic team."
Justin Reiter wasn't sure he was ever going to make that call.
Being part of the U.S. Olympic team is something he has dreamed about since he first strapped on a snowboard at age 9. It was something he dreamed about in 2006, then in 2010 when he was training, and then when he was recovering from a number of injuries in Steamboat Springs.
Several times, the 32-year-old rider was close to making the team, only to fall short down the stretch. Many times he spent his offseason recovering from injuries that eventually kept him off the Olympic roster.
"It's been an incredibly long journey," Reiter said. "I've fought, laughed, cried and sacrificed to get to this moment. Now the only thing I want to do is take the moment in and enjoy it."
Reiter will be the only American representative in the Alpine snowboarding events at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which open Feb. 6 in Sochi, Russia.
The Alpine snowboarding events will open with the parallel giant slalom event Feb. 19, and the parallel slalom event Feb. 22. Reiter said he doesn't have any expectations headed into the Games, but he wants to make the most out of his opportunity as an Olympian.
"It's a pretty emotional moment for me, and I'm stoked," Reiter said. "The thing I'm looking forward to the most is walking into opening ceremonies and knowing what that feels like."
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966