Steamboat snowboarder closes season with two national titles
Cody Winters was the only snowboarder on the World Cup tour this season to compete in both the Alpine and boardercross disciplines.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club alumnus said it is pretty special to compete in both and it makes for a busy competition season.
“I had a very hectic schedule,” Winters said. “They’re both snowboarding but they’re almost two totally different sports. I was happy my parallel results didn’t diminish with how much I was taking away from that training and spending more time with the boardercross training. I had some good results in boardercross too.”
The experience gained in both disciplines meant the most to Winters this season. He was able to muster several top finishes on the tour this season, including two fourth-place finishes at a World Cup event in Germany in March.
This was Winters’ first season competing at the international level in both events. He grew up competing in every snowboarding event and remembers the adrenaline rush in snowboardcross very fondly, which was a driving factor in getting back into the sport.
“The last Winter Olympics I made the decision to focus on parallel and put all of my energy into only one event to give me a better chance of making the Olympic team,” Winters said. “Once I achieved that goal, I decided I wanted to keep trying for boardercross.”
Winters capped off the competition season with three podiums at the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships at Copper Mountain, including two gold medals.
Kicking off the competition on April 3, Winters won the boardercross event that was in a new location with an improved course. The following day he took second in parallel giant slalom and he closed out his week with a victory in parallel slalom.
For Winters, it was nice to be back in the states after competing in Europe all winter at the highest level. USASA Nationals was a way for him to challenge himself in a lower-stakes environment.
“Being back in Colorado to compete in lower-level events is always really nice,” Winters said. “USASA Nationals is what grew me as a competitive snowboarder so the goal was to come back, have some fun and get back to the roots of what grew me.”
This year at nationals, Winters had the opportunity to compete against top Canadian athletes as well as American. His close friend from international competition, Arnaud Gaudet, edged him out by 0.06 seconds to win the giant slalom event.
Winters said having other top competition at any event will always raise his intensity. It meant a lot to come out with two gold medals and compete alongside Gaudet one last time this year.
“We’re really good friends and spend the whole season as teammates competing on the World Cup tour and we really push each other at all times,” Winters said. “I won the slalom, he won the GS and it’s nice to have a teammate that’s just as good as you or maybe better to always keep you pushing.”
April 2, 2023 – Boardercross
Men’s: 1. Cody Winters, 43.30. 6. Christian Blight, 45.32.
Women’s: 1. Gigi Boyd, 47.98.
April 3, 2023 – Parallel Giant Slalom
Men’s: 2. Cody Winters, 59.11. 8. Michael Smith, 1:05.29.
April 4, 2023 – Parallel Slalom
Mens: 1. Cody Winters, 45.72. 5. Walker Overstake, 58.21. 9. Myles Silverman, 50.05.
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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