By Christian W Dietzel
2014 marks another Olympic year, which for one athlete looking back on 12 years of world class preparation, training and pressure to perform, leaves only one thing on the mind coming into this year's games: triple glory. But it's not going to be easy for Sugarloaf, Maine's Seth Wescott, the two-time Olympic snowboard cross gold medalist. Wescott, 37, continues to recuperate after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament. Whatever this year's outcome, Wescott's journey is paved with soul, one which rests peacefully in Carrabassett Valley, home of the ‘Loaf, where Wescott is co-owner of the bar The Rack. Catching up with Wescott over dinner one night last October in Carrabassett Valley, I found all manner of Olympic-sized queries, adventure, and further trivia brought from slope to table.
Mountain Advisor: How's training going?
Seth Wescott: I just got back on the bicycle, finally. It's been a long road during recovery and rehab, but I'm feeling strong.
What's the skinny on your injury? What are you doing to recuperate and what's how do feel coming into this Olympic year?
Like I said, riding the bike has been the big thing. I literally just got the okay from the doctor to start putting more stress on it, and the trails around Carrabassett Valley are gorgeous for this kind of recuperation. I ride out my back porch and find hills. Started with some light distance, and have been working up. It's going great. I feel strong.
What are your feelings on the political climate your walking into in Russia this year?
I think all of the athletes are on edge. I know athletes in the gay community and I think it's our duty to protest the absolute discriminatory policies we are walking into Russia with this year. I did a full interview on that with ESPN recently.
Working on any projects these days?
I just finished with Warren Miller, filming with another original Maine athlete, Ben Wheeler, a really sick big mountain charger. We had a blast.
Any adventures you experienced in your travels that fans at home haven't heard of that you would care to share?
Filming and travelling around out west, I had the opportunity to spend time with some really legendary names. One that comes to mind is [ski racing Olympic gold medalist] Phil Mahre. Hearing his stories about travelling around as a young man, competing and filming, all that made a big impression on me. It was also inspiring to hear our past talk about the future.
You are a co-owner of one of Sugarloaf’s most happening centers of ski culture, The Rack bar and restaurant. You guys host everything from fundraisers, to ski and snowboard films, to bands brought in from across New England and beyond. You bought The Rack in 2005, right before your first Olympic games. Your business partner, Jeff Strunk, is the son of the legendary country folk singer Jud Strunk, and Jud's grandson Mason is quite the up and coming talent himself. Who else is playing strong in the area these days?
The Steves are one of our regular local acts, and we have people coming through from all over New England. North of Nashville and Tricky Britches will be coming through here in December—some really talented players from Maine, and we'll be doing New Year's with J.T. Lockwood.
Your establishment is also known to support local artists; all anyone has to do is walk inside to see the large sprawling canvases on the wall. Between Sugarloaf, the town of Carrabasset, and the surrounding King Field area, there is a talented arts community. Who are a few of artists populating the walls these days?
We display a lot of local art. James Sturzenberger's bottle cap art has been turning heads for a long time, and local music artist Gareth Warren's paintings are on display.
Thanks for the interview, Seth. Good luck in Sochi. You going to finish that PBR?
You're welcome. And no. It's all you.
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