SOCHI, Russia -- Alex Deibold is basking in his Olympic victory after snagging a bronze in snowboardcross.
Mother Nature threw the athletes a few curve balls Tuesday. Snow, fog and rain fell in Sochi, but Deibold felt like he knew what he had to do.
“I went up and watched the girls compete a couple of days earlier, and I knew the name of the game was going to be staying on your feet. So when I went up, I focused on my own game. I worried about my own snowboarding, and things turned out pretty well,” he told NBC Charlotte’s Dave Wagner.
Deibold says he’s ecstatic about the win and feels grateful for the people who supported him along the way.
And it’s been a long way.
Four years ago, Deibold served as a wax technician in Vancouver. He waxed, scraped and grinded boards. The now winner’s results didn’t quite cut it for the 2010 games, but the team brought him along.
“It was a really valuable experience. I got to see behind the Olympic curtain. You don’t see that sort of day-to-day stuff. I really think that it helped inspire me and motivate me in those four years in between to work hard,” he said.
The 2014 Olympics made an impact on Deibold. Negative press surrounds Russia, but he’s been nothing but impressed.
“Everyone’s been really friendly. All of the volunteers are so excited and happy to see you. The security’s been incredible. It’s been an awesome experience.”
Deibold thanks all of his supporters at home and says the backing means more to him than he can describe.