Mt. Shasta snowboarder eyeing gold medal ahead of Beijing Winter Olympics

MT. SHASTA, Calif. —A local man is in the final stages of his training, before he heads off to Beijing, to fulfill a lifelong dream in the Olympics. For Robby Burns, it’s a dream come true, to wear the red, white, and blue of Team USA.

“I remember from the time I was a little kid, telling my parents I wanna get really good at this someday and go to the Olympics. Back then they were kinda like yeah sure, that’s great,” said Burns.

Born and raised in Mt Shasta, Burns was home-schooled until 6th grade. It allowed his parents to let him come to the mountain several days a week.

He took to racing at a young age, then began competing in alpine snowboarding. Far different from the aerial acrobatics of the half-pipe, Burns heads downhill through the course at speeds of around 45 miles per hour. The goal is simple, to get to the finish line first. But getting to the Olympics was no easy feat.

“In 2018 we were runner up to the Olympic games, so that was super hard to put in that effort and to find out you’re runner up. Then you have the decision to make, do I wanna go after it for the next four years and for me it was an easy decision to make it happen,” said Burns.

He spent countless hours training the last few years, with Beijing and perhaps his last chance at the Olympics, always pushing him forward. He qualified earlier this month, to be one of 32 athletes worldwide to race against the clock.

This week he’s back on his home mountain, training on Mt. Shasta, where it all started.

The general manager of Mt Shasta Ski Park, Jim Mullins, remembers watching Burns compete back in high school, and is thrilled to see him get this far.

“Whenever you have a local athlete you’ve seen grow up and their success and the hard dedication he’s put into this and to see it all pay off for him this year is tremendous,” said Jim Mullins.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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