Jan 22, 2014 8:09 PM by Greg Smith
Justin Reiter has stumbled over just about every hurdle in his race to Sochi, including injury, and homelessness. But it makes the rise to the top that much sweeter.
In 2010, Justin Reiter was on his way to the Olympics, maybe even a medal, but doctors discovered he had a degenerative Patella Tendon in his knee, ruining his shot at Vancouver.
"It was a big setback for me not to accomplish that goal," says Reiter. "Something that I set out to for a long time. It really hurt, cut deep. I think that's something that a lot of athletes don't talk about. Everybody always hears about when goals are accomplished."
He retired at just 29, giving up his dream of standing on the Olympic medal stand.
"I walked away from it, I went and joined the corporate world, sat behind a desk," says Retier. "Kind of realized that the working man is a sucker, hate to say it. Once you live this lifestyle, you really get spoiled. It's a really unique opportunity, and so to all of a sudden stop, it was really hard."
But he didn't last long as a sucker, soon, he was back training, back on his board, and back to within sight of his dream.
"Had I accomplished my goal of winning a medal, I probably would have been fine with it," says Reiter. "But I just had a restlessness in my heart to get back on my board and continue to test myself. and so I decided to come out of retirement and start racing again."
He was so dedicated to working towards Sochi, that he spent the summer and fall living out of his truck near a mountain biking path. If that path leads to a medal in russia, it will mean even more this time around.
"Probably some tears, I'm not going to lie," says Reiter. "Big smile, and just try to drink it in, because it is fleeting."
Reiter will be competing in 2 events in Sochi, meaning twice the chances to medal.