Brad Wilson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Brad Wilson skier, Brad Wilson Olympics

Gett Brad Wilson is hoping his second Olympic trip is better than the first, looking to notch a medal in PyeongChang.

He’s got his eyes on the prize – and a bit more pressure this time.

Brad Wilson, one of the few returning Olympians to the PyeongChang ski team, is determined to bring home gold this year and, after facing more than his fair share of challenges recently, the Montana native isn’t about to let anything stop him. He’s ready for every, literal and metaphorical, bump on the course, anxious to not just stick the landing, but do his country and his family proud.

Here’s everything you need to know about Wilson:

1. Wilson Made His Olympic Debut at Sochi in 2014

This isn’t Wilson’s first run down the Olympic slopes.

The 25-year-old Montana native made his Olympic debut in Sochi and while the results weren’t ideal – he placed 20th in men’s moguls – Wilson still considers the experience one of the best of his athletic career. He told First Track Online:

Qualifying for the Olympics is still one of my favorite athletic accomplishment. It’s a really big deal. But I was kind of naïve about it. I didn’t really expect anything – I was just going to ski. That’s kind of how I was up until that point. I would just go, ski and the results would come.

Wilson came into the ’14 Olympics with the fastest qualifying time, but opted to go for a trick that didn’t land and his dreams of a medal were over as quickly as if he’d simply blinked. That, however, is not the plan in PyongChang.

“I’m feeling good. I kind of started slow and have been really working on a bunch of stuff throughout the season so far and starting to figure some stuff out so definitely I’m feeling good,” Wilson told 406 Mt. Sports.

Wilson has been up and down on the World circuit this year, but he’s got his sights set on gold in South Korea. And, this time, he’s hoping to land on his skis.

2. He Returned to the Wold Cup Circuit in 2016 After a Knee Injury

Bradley Wilson Returns to the Top of the Podium in Tazawako Moguls World CupTAZAWAKO, Japan (Feb. 27, 2016) – In his first World Cup appearance since 2014, Brad Wilson (Butte, MT) made a triumphant return to competition, taking the win in moguls in Tazawako. Wilson, a 2014 Olympian, suffered a knee injury at the World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland in December 2014. With the help of the…2016-02-27T20:19:32.000Z

It’s been a challenging course for Wilson over the last few years, particularly after coming up short in Sochi and then, in December 2014, suffering a torn ACL during a training run for the World Cup freestyle skiing moguls in Ruka, Finland.

It was a frustrating time for Wilson, who had done his best to put the disappointments of Sochi behind him. He notched two podiums during the 2014 season as well as a top-five spot in the World Cup rankings. And, then, suddenly everything changed, but Wilson now considers the injury a blessing, an opportunity to reexamine his approach and fine-tune his talents.

“It was kind of a blessing,” he told First Track Online. “After the Olympics, I just wasn’t as driven as I was before. Rehab gave me something to do.”

Wilson rehabbed in Park City, Utah, working at the USSA’s Center of Excellence and getting back on  track, quite literally. He returned to the course on February 27, 2016, nearly 15 months after his initial injury, at the World Cup in Tazawako, Japan and found himself back on top of the podium.

Since then, Wilson has focused on finding consistency every time he skis and, most recently, notched a second-place finish in the World Championship dual moguls.

3. Wilson Started Skiing When He Was Four Years Old

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Gettin mushy up here. ?: @troy_murphy

A post shared by Brad Wilson (@wilsfreestyle) on May 24, 2017 at 1:51pm PDT

It didn’t take long for Wilson to realize he belonged on the slopes. The medal hopeful first started skiing when he was just four years old, learning at a small ski area in Montana. He told USAA:

It was at Lost Trail where I started skiing freestyle. When I was eight and my brother was 12, we would follow the Lost Trail Freestyle Team around because they were the best skiers on the mountain and we wanted to be as good as they were. By the end of the day, they finally asked if we wanted to join their team. We joined and by the next year we started competing in Northern Division Freestyle.

Wilson continued to ski at Lost Trail, on the border between Montana and Idaho, but once he and his brother decided they wanted to commit to skiing full-time, the family moved to Park City, Utah.

“My parents did everything they possibly could to get us where we are,” Wilson told First Track Online. “If we really wanted to do it we would figure out a way. As a family, we went all in. We’ve always worked as a family, and it’s like we’re one unit. Family for us is enormous, I’m really lucky to have that.”

4. His Brother, Bryon, Won Bronze at the Vancouver Games in 2010

Bryon Wilson 8th Visa Freestyle International Deer Valley 20142014-01-10T06:43:21.000Z

Talent runs in the family.

Wilson’s older brother Bryon took the skiing world by surprise in 2010 when he secured a spot on the Olympic team in Vancouver after notching a pair of second-place finishes on the World Cup circuit. He didn’t waste his chance. Bryon captured bronze in moguls and, despite his own ACL injury shortly after, continued to impress against international competition.

Bryon notched his first World Cup victory in Kreischberg, Austria and finished the season ranked 10th in 2013 before going on to capture four top-10 World Cup finishes in 2014. He also placed second at the U.S. Championships in 2015.

Although he’ll always have one eye on the slopes, Bryon currently works as the Vice President and Technical Advisor for ID one USA as well as the director of the ID one Pro Mogul Camp.

5. Wilson Considers Himself a Big-Time Outdoorsman

When he isn’t competing or getting ready for competition, Wilson can often be found outdoors. According to his Team USA profile Wilson enjoys fly-fishing, mountain biking and camping.

It’s a good thing he’s used to spending so much time outdoors because, according to a Reuters report, PyeongChang is currently in a deep freeze, suffering from sub-zero temperatures that may make competition even more of a challenge. Wilson told Reuters:

I‘m not (happy about the cold), like my body’s not. But as far as the conditions go, absolutely (I am happy), we’re in winter sports for a reason, when it’s cold like this it’s good, it’s a good thing, yeah. As long as we can stay warm.

As far as Wilson is concerned, the cold just makes for better atmosphere. And, he hopes, better snow.

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