Dylan Ferguson jumps, flips, and twists through the air. He's an aerialist skier who has his sights set on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Ferguson whose Olympic dream had to be put on hold four years ago during the last Olympic Games due to a medical emergency, is looking to step onto that podium and claim a medal for the United States.
In this week's "Person 2 Person," Shauna Lake sits down with freestyle skier, Dylan Ferguson.
Shauna Lake: Dylan thanks so much for sitting down and doing this interview. Tell me a little bit about what youre feeling as youre leading up to the Olympics.
Dylan Ferguson: The Olympics are coming up, this is obviously a big year for us athletes on the ski team, and yeah, Ive had some pretty good results this year so far and so Im getting excited and hopefully Ill be on the Olympic team.
Shauna Lake: You do the aerials.
Dylan Ferguson: Yes.
Shauna Lake: Were you not completely freaked out and scared the first time you tried that?
Dylan Ferguson: I was really scared. I think when I was maybe 10. I went to the water ramps for the first time and I spent a week there with my coach. I did a couple front flips and I think at the end of the week I was like, Mom I don't think I want to do that anymore. It was pretty scary; Im only 10 and this is kind of crazy. And now Im here today. I stuck around.
Shauna Lake: So what happened?
Dylan Ferguson: I think for me it was me and my sister ski together on the weekends. We were a big ski family and competing and traveling and having a good time and my sister was doing it and so obviously I was just going to stay right there with her and she pushed me to be the skier I am today.
Shauna Lake: Tell me, you had a real major disappointment.
Dylan Ferguson: Yeah a little disappointment; it was crazy. Going into 2010 I felt like I was in a pretty good place from where I had been going into that. I made the Olympic team. I was obviously extremely excited, crazy; I was 21-years-old making the Olympic team. That was my dream come true and then I got appendicitis and some complications with that. I had to pull out of the Olympics and give my spot to my best friend and teammate Scotty Bahrke.
Shauna Lake: Does knowing that you had qualified for the Olympics at age 21 give you an extra surge of confidence?
Dylan Ferguson: Qualifying for the Olympics in 2010 was great. I didn't necessarily think that I would be there. I thought that I was the guy chasing other guys onto the podium, now I feel like they are chasing me to that podium.
Shauna Lake: Talk to us about the training. What goes into being an Olympic athlete?
Dylan Ferguson: Being an Olympic athlete you're one of the best athletes in the world. Not a lot of people can say that. It's a full time job. I'm out here training 5-6 days a week. Whether it's in the summer time training in the water ramps, skiing off a ramp into a pool and practicing the tricks I do in the winter or if its just time in the gym. You have to be strong. This training is very hard on your body. You have to make sure you are physically ready so you can take those crashes that you sort of do sometimes, or just being out there jumping all day and your physically ready for it.
Shauna Lake: What do you do for your off season, what are some other things you do?
Dylan Ferguson: Recently Ive just got into surfing, so that's been my new thing. There isn't much surfing in Utah unfortunately so I take a bunch of trips to Southern California in the summer time and, yeah, just kind of learn to surf.
Shauna Lake: Describe what Utah means to you and what it means to your training.
Dylan Ferguson: In 2006 I moved to Utah specifically because I knew that this was the best training facility in the world. Not just that, but the climate of Utah. This is a full year-round training facility. I can ski in the winter and then in the summer its 80 and sunny every day and that's what you want if you are going to be training and having a good time. Utah has the perfect training facility for me.
Shauna Lake: Was there ever a moment when you felt defeated and you wanted to give up skiing and just go on a completely different direction?
Dylan Ferguson: I would say in 2010 I was a little bit defeated when I had to give up my spot but at the same time I felt defeated for a day and then there was all this motivation back behind that defeat. I knew that I wanted to come back and be one of the best people in the world and that's where I am today.
Shauna Lake: I know we'll be seeing you at the Olympics. It's been so nice to get to know you better Person to Person.
-Written and produced by Angie Denison
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)