5 Questions for Olympian Faye Gulini
It’s International Olympic Day (#OlympicDay) so we sat down with two-time Olympic Snowboardcross athlete Fay Gulini (@FayeGulini) to ask her 5 questions about her experience at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
1. What was the biggest difference for you between 2010 Vancouver & 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games?
I loved both my Olympic experiences despite the fact that I approached them in very different ways. I was only 17 when I competed in 2010. Looking back I don’t think I even understood how incredible an opportunity that was for me. When I was 17 I was shy so I didn’t meet a lot of people and I stayed close to my family and my comfort zone for the 2 weeks I spent in Vancouver. I needed my family and mellow experience. This time I spent 4 weeks in Russia and did it all. I explored everything and met a million people, and that was right for me this time around. I could not be more grateful of the experiences I have had and the people I have met throughout my journey.
2. Many felt the Snowboardcross was the most dangerous event in Sochi. Did you ever consider not competing?
Snowboardcross is dangerous whenever you do it. I committed to competing in this sport a long time ago. I have had a million great experiences and I worked my butt off to get there, not a chance I wasn’t going to compete. Although a lot of people saw the course as dangerous, I didn’t see it that way, that course was so fun and it was made for my style of snowboarding. I came from a freestyle (slopestyle and halfpipe) background so I love big jumps and a lot of airtime.
3. Did you sightsee or watch other competitions while you were in Sochi?
Sochi was such an incredible experience for me; I stayed from start to finish. I was lucky to have my dad join me and we explored as much of the Olympics as possible. We watched so many events and explored both the mountain village and the coastal cluster.
4. What aspect do you like the most about snowboard cross?
Snowboardcross is unlike any other sport/discipline that I have experienced in my life. It is a combination of speed, jumping, and physical contact. There are so many variables during a competition that it doesn’t always matter how you perform because someone right next to or in front of you could go down, and it is very likely that you will fall as well. That’s what I love about snowboardcross; it is so inconsistent and chaotic. It teaches you to not only be fast, agile, and maintain good air awareness, but also how to assess your competitors snowboard style and anticipate their next move. You might be surprised how many people would do anything to win, even if that means running you over. You need to know who you can trust and who you need to steer clear of at all costs. Snowboardcross is also a race so there is no judging involved, its basic, the first one to the bottom wins.
5. In the 5 years you have been on the US Snowboard Team is there one competition that stuck out in your mind?
Over that past 5 years of competing for the US Snowboard Team the competition that sticks out the most to me is the 2013 Canyons Grand Prix. It’s always nice to compete at your home resort. My entire family came to support me as well as a few groups of friends. I was in my element and I was on fire, I ended up winning. It was incredible to share that experience with so many people that I love and at a place I call home.