By Jack Tarrant
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - As American Nick Baumgartner crashed during the Olympic snowboard cross final on Thursday, the first thought that crossed his mind was not anger or disappointment at missing out on an Olympic medal once again.
It was about whether he had made his 13-year-old son Landon proud.
“As soon as I stood up (after the crash) I looked for him immediately and I could see on his face that he wasn’t disappointed at all so how can I be disappointed if my son is stoked at his dad?,” Baumgartner told reporters after his fourth-place finish.
“As a parent, 36 years old and still competing at the Olympics, to have my son here and to show him with my actions that you do anything you want to do, to dream big, it is unbelievable.”
Baumgartner, who was using his son as a crutch as he hobbled around the mixed zone with an injured knee sustained in the crash, beamed every time his boy spoke and in particular when Landon called his father “awesome”.
“That is a pretty great quote to hear as a dad,” smiled Baumgartner.
He also spoke about how difficult it is being away from his family and his hometown of Iron River, Michigan but knowing he has their support makes him want to keep pushing to claim Olympic gold medal at the fourth time of asking.
“I will be here in four years, absolutely. I am still hunting for one of those medals. This is my third games and if I have to keep on going until I am 100 to get a medal I am going to keep doing it.”
(Reporting by Jack Tarrant, editing by Ed Osmond)