Athlete Spotlight: Faye Gulini
With two Olympic appearances and six X Games under her belt, Faye Gulini knows what it takes to perform on the snowboardcross course. She has been climbing the ranks during her five years on the U.S. Snowboarding team, capping off the 2014 season with a 6th place finish at X Games and a 4th place in Sochi.
Faye hopes to have more podium finishes this season, but the most important thing is that she’s having fun. “I find that when I am having the most fun is when I excel the most in my sport.”
Name: Faye Gulini
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: I started snowboarding when I was eight years old. I was encouraged by my older siblings who had all snowboarded at this time. In the beginning I hated it. I hated spending half the day on my bum and I hated having to unstrap for every flat section. But I stuck with it because I wanted to be cool like my brothers. When I was about 11 I really started to love it. At this point I could make it across all the flat sections and I fell very rarely. When I was 11 I did my first snowboardcross race. I was so terrified but I loved the feeling of being a competitor. I loved the bib and I loved seeing my name on the start list. I ended up winning that race, though I was the only competitor in my age class. That is when I knew this was something I would be doing for a very long time.
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: 4th place in Sochi. I never thought in my whole life that I would be an Olympian, however that dream came true when I was 17 years old competing in Vancouver. I was thrilled this year to have made the team again, the competition only got steeper and the season leading up to the games was quite stressful. Not many people can say they have competed in the Olympics, let alone twice, and I am happy to have walked away with a 4th place. I am still competing and plan to participate in at least one more Olympic Games. My biggest goal is to retire with an Olympic metal.
Favorite moment from Sochi: Touring around and watching all the events at the games with my father. It was such a treat to have him out there supporting me, although my whole family could not attend, I was blessed to have him there. He loves the Olympics as much as I do and between the two of us we did a pretty good job of tackling the games. We saw at least 10 events together and explored every venue we could.
Goals for next season: Continue having fun traveling and snowboarding. I find that when I am having the most fun is when I excel the most in my sport. I would love to have a few podium finishes, and like I said, the more fun I am having, the more likely I am to succeed.
Favorite snow destination: Spain; regardless of my location within Spain, I am thrilled to be there, the terrain has a lot to offer and the exploring is quite exciting as well. I always find that the people in Spain are so accommodating and nice.
Favorite non-snow destination: Barcelona; we have had multiple trips to Europe where we have spent a few days in Barcelona exploring on vespa scooters and enjoying Las Ramblas and its street vendors.
Favorite candy: Hershey's cookies and cream.
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: A full time student, education is so important.
If you could have dinner with one person dead or alive, who would it be: My mom; she passed away in a car accident when I was 5 years old.
One thing you can’t live without: My brother Zach.
Favorite USSA athlete outside your sport: Whitney Gardner
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Have fun; you are way more inclined to be successful if you love what you do.