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      Iron River snowboarder could head to Sochi Olympics

      Iron River native, Nick Baumgartner, has been snowboarding since the age of 15.

      "Itâ??s freezing cold up here in the U.P., and either you find something fun to do and enjoy yourself and be active to stay warm, or you freeze your butt off,â?? said Baumgartner.

      What may have just started off as a competitive way to stay warm in the winter eventually led Baumgartner to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

      â??My brothers started snowboarding and I was the youngest of four boys, so it was â??follow what your brothers did.â?? Then it was a constant battle if I could be better than them, so it pushed me to keep going and going,â?? Baumgartner said.

      He had a vision, but it wasn't an easy road; there were a few detours along the way to get to where he's at now. â??I went to Northern Michigan and I played college football and I didn't have a grasp of what I was going there for; I went for all the wrong reasons,â?? Baumgartner said.

      So Nick took a semester off, and that's when his game plan hit him.

      â??I needed to find something to do because Men's League Softball wasn't cutting it for me. I was good at snowboarding and from the day I started snowboarding, I was like, man, it'd be cool to be a pro-snowboarder,â?? Baumgartner said.

      That thought eventually helped him get to the 2010 Olympics, and later, winning the 2011 X-Games. But now, he's got a few more competitions before he can head to Sochi, Russia.

      â??So for me right now, Iâ??m sitting number two on the team for four positions to making the Olympics. There are three events left; we've already done two. The first one I had a crash and I ended up getting hurt--got a concussion, helicoptered off the mountain--not exactly what I was looking for. Being that I'm number two on the team right now, I'm very happy.â??

      And though Baumgartner has already competed in the Olympic Games, heâ??s thinking a little differently at Sochi.

      â??Now this time my goal isnâ??t to make it to the Olympics---itâ??s going to take a lot to keep me away from making that Olympic team---my goal is to go there and bring a medal back to Michigan.â??