Winters reflects on Olympics, wraps up snowboarding season with USASA podiums
Maybe Cody Winters didn’t have the Olympics he wanted, but he concluded the 2022 season in style. He earned his best World Cup finish ever and ended the year with not one, not two, but three podiums at the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships at Copper Mountain this past week.
Winters won parallel giant slalom, which is normally not his strongest of the two Alpine snowboarding events. Despite being better at slalom, Winters made his Olympic debut in Beijing, where he competed in parallel giant slalom, the only Olympic Alpine snowboarding discipline. He didn’t make it past qualifiers and didn’t even have the qualifying run he was hoping for, but he’s happy his giant slalom racing has improved so much since then.
“The Games were really cool. It was fun to learn that experience and just be there and check that one off the bucket list, for sure,” Winters said. “My GS riding really stepped up after the Games. I wish it happened before the Games, but it’s nice to see my GS riding is finally coming along.”
In the USASA parallel slalom race, Winters finished second behind Canadian Arnaud Gaudet.
“USASA Nationals, when I was a kid growing up, that was the biggest competition I could ever think of and really important,” Winters said. “But now, it’s just good to see everyone, hang out with all the little kids that go there and try to inspire them and talk to them and sign some autographs.”
He said it’s a great, full-circle feeling to end his best season yet at a USASA event, the type of event that launched his career.
He also competed in snowboard cross, which he never competes in, and finished third. Winters did the same thing last year, racing snowboard cross in the National Championships and two FIS races at Copper Mountain. He finished second in all of them. That performance earned him a spot on the U.S. Snowboard cross ‘B’ team.
The USASA National Championships was just for fun, though. The results ultimately don’t mean much. Winters’ World Cup season ended back in March and he went out with a bang. On March 19, in Berchtesgaden, Germany, Winters earned his first ever top-10 finish in parallel slalom. In a field of 54 men, Winters was eighth.
Now that the season is over, Winters will take a couple weeks off, go on vacation with his family, and then get back to running Winters Window Washing to raise money to fund his next winter of competition.
Weinberg wins at USASA Nationals
Another young Steamboat Springs snowboarder performed incredibly at USASA nationals. Rocke Weinberg, a 12-year-old boarding sensation who was recently featured on Whistle’s No Day’s Off, finished first in halfpipe and second in slopestyle.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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While warm days and nights are fueling strong flows in the Yampa River through Steamboat Springs, the pace of runoff is expected to dip this week.