Bryon Friedman Reveals #WhatMakesAChamp

Courtney Harkins
2015-10-13 14:46

The U.S. Ski Team and Copper Mountain teamed up to give away a chance to race Olympic champion Ted Ligety by asking the ski community “What makes you a champion?” Ligety shared his answers, and now former U.S. Ski Team member Bryon Friedman says what makes him a champion. 


U.S. SKI TEAM: In your words, what makes a champion?
BRYON FRIEDMAN: You hear that ‘you gotta work hard’ thing all the time. But, I don’t care what they say. You have to work smart and have balance and focus. At the end of the day, a champion is born from a love for the sport and an accountability to make themselves better at that sport. No one is going to do it for them. It comes from within. That fire and love is uncoachable.

It starts at the foundation. It’s like a solar system. There are tools athletes have access to—coaches, equipment, training, mental prep—that act as the planets. Then there’s the fiery sun that’s a gravitational pull for these planets. The earth is the core, the sun is the balance, Saturn is the technique. Everything balances each other and works. It starts with the fire.

U.S. SKI TEAM: Do you remember the first time you felt like a champion?
I go back to being 12 when I won my first race against older competitors and bigger field. That’s what solidified that for me and made me want to do this for a long time.

U.S. SKI TEAM: What is the biggest piece of advice you have for aspiring kids who want to be sitting where you are today?
BF: Don’t make bamboo ski poles! I don’t want competition [laughs]. I would say, do what you love. My dad taught me that. If something is telling you that it isn’t right then listen to that. Listen to your gut. Know who you are; know what you want to do. Have a vision and put the pieces together to get there. It comes down to accountability—you can’t blame your coach or technician. It’s an individual sport. It’s how you interact with all the pieces.

Thanks, Bryon!

Now, we want to hear your answers! Tell us what makes you a champion on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and include #WhatMakesAChamp. You could win a trip for three to Copper Mountain in Colorado to race in the Putnam Investments NASTAR Pacesetting Trials with Ted Ligety.

Click to see more details on #WhatMakesAChamp