Andrew Swanson

Age:  23

Hometown:  Gilbert, AZ

Occupation:  Coach/Trainer

Season Bib:  126

Wins:  0

Runner Ups:  0

3rd Places:  0

Podiums:  0

Top Ten Positions:  1

Mens World Ranking 2016/2017:  36th

Mens World Championship 2016/2017:  126th

Competing Since:  Afton Apls 2015

When did you learn to skate?

-Age 4 – Played ice hockey for about a year and after that I didn’t touch ice skates for nearly 10 years. Most of my skating skills were developed on inline skates. I didn’t start Ice skating again until I was 15.

 

Did you play hockey growing up?

-YYes – I played 2 seasons of Ice hockey starting at age 4. Then resorted to street hockey in front of the house until I was 15. At age 15 I joined my high school hockey team and have been playing since.

What other sports did you play growing up?

-I played quite a few, mostly traditional sports. I tried my hand at water polo, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, however swimming and baseball were my main two.

 

If you could do anything non-athletic in your spare time, what is it?

-Tinkering and fabrication as well as car stuff. I love to create, build, and modify almost anything. Especially if it has an engine.

Are there any other good hobbies that you have?

-Outdoor stuff. Camping, hiking, kayaking, stuff along the lines of that. Anything outdoors is such a treat for me.

Describe going down an icecross downhill track for the first time:

-“AHHHHHHHH!! Brake brake brake! Shit! Ouch!” I picked myself out of the snow and made my way back to the track. “Alright, keep your knees bent.” I kept trying to tell myself. “Skate, skate, skate. Jump. Jump. Turn. Jump and reaaaach! Whew, I made it.” Here is where the biggest part of the downhill comes with “The Sender” jump taking you into the finish.  “Holllllyyyyy mollllyyyyy I’m going fast! Don’t brake, don’t brake, don’t brake.” Somehow my body instinctively turned my skate sideways and made myself brake. “Ready. Set. Send it! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, oouffff. OUCH!” I finished out the course sliding across the end line on my extremely bruised tailbone. I felt like I had just got a swift kick in the pants and oddly enough I couldn’t wait to get back to the top.

What are your guilty pleasures? Why do you wake up in the morning?

-The simple things in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commotion and craziness of everyday life. To give an example, I enjoy sitting on the porch in the morning drinking a cup of coffee or late at night with a cup of tea. It gives me the time to break away from technology and be left alone to explore your own thoughts with nothing around but the sounds of nature.

How long have you been competing in ice cross downhill?
-2017-2018 will be my third season.

What first got you interested in the sport?
-I saw an ad to try out for Crashed Ice way back in 2013 on the door of the Redbull case at a gas station, which spurred me to look up a video. I was instantly intrigued by the craziness factor.

If there is one piece of advice that you could offer new riders, what would it be?
-Stay low and keep your knees bent. More than you think.

What is your best result or favourite memory at a Red Bull Crashed Ice?

-My first race in Quebec during the 2015/2016 season when I got up to the starting gate for my heat. I had nerves like crazy, but I specifically remember looking out over the start ramp, seeing the cameras, hearing the music, and feeling the energy from the crowd which got me so amped up that I started dancing in the start gate to release some of the anxiety I was getting. It was all craziness until I heard, “Riders ready! 5 second warning!” and even though everything around me was still super chaotic, my mind went silent. I could no longer hear anything and I entered this zone where time seemed to slow down. Eventually, I heard the starting gate beep and all four of us burst out of the start gate and jumped in going zero to sixty within a split second…. and well, the rest is history. It was entering the “white room” as I like to call it, though. That’s the one memory that I will never forget and the feeling I keep chasing as I continue to compete in this crazy sport.

Who is your favorite sports athlete?

-The late, great, Shane McConkey. Hands down the baddest dude to ever walk the face of the earth. He was always pushing the limits for anything he was involved in and I try to keep that mindset with everything I do. Not that I compare even in the slightest to him, but I loved his ambition and his love for always keeping life fun!

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