Colby Stevenson feels fortunate to still be skiing after a life-threatening 2016 car crash dealt him numerous injuries including a fractured skull. But the Utahn returned less than nine months later to win a World Cup, then X Games slopestyle in 2020 and a silver at the 2021 World Championships.
As part of our preparation for the 2022 Games, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to multiple athletes to learn more about their lives on and off the snow or ice. Here’s what we found out about Stevenson:
Colby Stevenson, Freeskiing
Events: Slopestyle, Big Air
Birthplace: Portsmouth, N.H.
Hometown: Park City, Utah
Residence: Park City, Utah
Past Games: N/A
Family & Upbringing
Tell us about your family.
❝Single. Both parents are happily remarried to my awesome stepparents. My aunties live in Utah now and my only grandmother is in Florida.❞
Who do you live with?
❝I live with my mom and stepdad while my townhome is being built. Set to move in spring 2022.❞
Where does your family come from?
❝Dad's family is from Connecticut and Montreal. Mom's from Vermont.❞
How influential were your parents in your athletic aspirations?
My parents put me on skis at 14 months old, then enabled me to try so many other sports. They've always been my biggest supporters – even through the hardest parts, they never doubted my dreams.
Where do you attend college?
❝I'm a junior at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Studying sports management during the summer and fall months.❞
❝Take risks when you have a gut feeling, but diversify your investments.❞
Do you have any pets?
❝My cat Yoda died on May the 4th this year. He was part Maine Coon and lived 23 years, 15 of those with me. That guy is by my side everyday.❞
Top spots in your hometown?
❝Davanza's near Main Street Park City is my favorite spot. They were my first sponsor at 8 years old!
❝You also have to check out the Utah Olympic Park, where they have water ramps, ski jumps and zip lines. Go to city park and play volleyball, check out the skatepark and play tennis/pickle ball.❞
How has your hometown shaped who you are today?
❝Park City is a huge reason I was able to chase my dreams from a young age, having the best mountains and training facilities in the country.
❝The high school I attended, The Winter Sports School, is the only of its kind in the country, where you go all summer from April till November.❞
Where else have you lived?
❝Parents went from New Hampshire to Lake Tahoe, California, back to Vermont, then Park City in 2001.❞
Lifestyle & Training
Typical training day?
❝Wake up 7-8 a.m., then do something fun outdoors, then go to the gym and do something else outdoors like golf or bike.❞
How much time to you train? How much do you sleep?
❝My lifestyle is training, so I just try and fit in as many activities in a day as possible. My absolute minimum is eight hours. Typically sleep nine but can sleep 10 to 11 after a serous training week.❞
What's your favorite workout?
❝Legs, shoulders, hard core at the end to feel the burn.❞
What's the most grueling workout you've ever done?
❝Ran a 5k as fast as possible when I was younger.❞
Surprising things regarding training for Olympics?
I use other action sports to tune in my flow state mind and reaction time and that helps my skiing stay feeling natural, even after a long break.
Any out-of-the-ordinary or experimental training?
❝I get some cold laser therapy when injured and also practice yoga to stay limber.❞
Experience during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?
❝I was in Park City and the gym was closed all summer. Spent lots of time camping in the mountains and lakes but missed out on the proper training. Still had a much better situation than most people in the world.❞
Have you ever been seriously injured?
Car crash five years ago, 2016. Shattered my skull. Took perseverance, dedication, and hope to return to my sport.
Any nutrition plan? (e.g., calories, meals)
❝Veggie eggs, bacon or sausage, toast and avocado is a staple. Usually eat two lunches. Well-rounded dinner.❞
❝My mom makes a mean chocolate chip cookie.❞
Reflection & Olympics
Earliest memory of participating in sport?
❝I learned to backflip when I was 6 on a little jump we built into powder. I was still in my race suit from that day and it took me many tries but I'll never forget landing my first backflip.❞
Earliest memory of watching Olympics or Paralympics?
❝Maybe watching Michael Phelps win eight golds, definitely crazy to watch all these other sports and the talent across the world. It's so cool that the sport I fell in love with as a kid became an Olympic event!❞
Specific breakthrough moment?
When I won my first World Cup, eight months after the car crash, that's when I unlocked the proper mindset to give myself the best chance to make the Olympics.
What would you change about your sport?
❝To be partial rider judge and partial criteria/impression from a set of judges.❞
Who is your coach?
❝Dave Euler has been my coach since I was a little guy on the local ski team. Skogen Sprang is my other coach who has been a legend in skiing and always fun to travel with. These guys are the bomb.❞
Who do you socialize with most within your sport?
❝Norwegians, Swedes, Canadians, Finnish, Kiwis – they are all legends.❞
Most interesting teammate?
❝Alex Hall, because he's an alien.❞
Have you ever worked with a sports psychologist?
The sports psych helps remind you that we make life much more complicated than it has to be. Just go do what you love.
Big obstacle that you've overcome?
❝Car accident that left me thinking that skiing was over.❞
Biggest fear when competing?
❝Not having fun.❞
Greatest influence within/outside sport?
❝Joss Christensen won gold in 2014. He was the underdog and laid down the sickest run. Also happens to be one of my best friends and was with his roommates when he won.❞
Advice you'd give a young athlete?
❝The body heals, don't be afraid to crash when you are learning new tricks!❞
Play any other sports?
❝Bike, moto, wakeboard, surf and golf. Keeps the mind sharp and reflexes on point.❞
Which Summer Olympic event would you like to try?
Any pre-competition rituals?
❝Good music, stretching and visualization.❞
❝Lucky shirt, gems in my pocket.❞
Passions & Personality
Which comic books/superheroes are you a fan of?
❝Spider-Man my fav but love all Marvel.❞
Any teams/athletes that you are a fan of?
How do you unwind after a competition?
❝Spin bike and stretch.❞
Do you have any hidden talents?
What would you do if you weren't an athlete?
❝Try to be a positive addition to the community.❞
Do you have any fears or pet peeves?
❝Spiders and heights.❞
What is on your bucket list?
Personal motto or inspirational quote?
Don't think, just do.
A woman that inspires you?
❝Mom has suffered some terrible hardships and is the happiest in her life at 60.❞
❝Surfing, biking, golfing, dirt biking, boating and skating with friends at all times.❞
Music of choice while training?
❝Nas, AZ, Big L, Mobb Deep and DL Incognito.❞
Do you sing or play an instrument?
❝Used to play clarinet, saxophone and trumpet.❞
❝Depends on the occasion but I like to look good.❞
Five must-have items in your gym bag?
❝Water, headphones, towel, shoes, snack.❞
If you could hear from one celeb, who would it be?
❝Matthew McConaughey, and say to me, 'green light.'❞
Favorite social accounts?