by Evan Dybvig

1998 U.S. Ski Team, 1998 Olympic Team

I love mogul skiing! I realized pretty early on that I loved to compete. I mean I really love it. I knew as soon as I started this gig that I wanted to be the best. I wanted to compete at the highest level that I possibly could and that meant the Olympic Games. I was willing to do whatever I had to do to make this happen.

This meant setting my priorities up in such a way that mogul skiing was at the center of my life and all of the other components revolved around this pursuit. In doing this it was necessary for me to make some sacrifices along the way. Whether it was going to summer camp to train while all of my friends were hanging out at the lake trying to get up the nerve to talk to girls or missing out on five months of my regular high school year to attend a boarding school in Killington, I was not only willing, but completely fired up about making these decisions, because I knew that these steps would help me to achieve my goals.

I feel that it really simplifies my life and makes it a lot easier to make decisions when I have an ultimate goal. I can look at whatever I'm faced with and ask myself, "How is this going to affect me and the pursuit of my goals?"

If you have decided to make mogul skiing your early life pursuit, you have to be willing to commit yourself to it one hundred percent and make the necessary decisions that will set you on the right path. All along this path you will be encountering all types of set backs, and what some people consider failures. I think that you only fail when you don't learn anything from any given situation.

The success of a person depends greatly upon how they handle those set backs and adverse situations. "What happens to you is nowhere near as important as how you react to what happens to you."

Using myself as an example, I was faced with all kinds of adversity when trying to reach my goals, especially in the season leading up to the Olympics. How much more of a setback can you have than not being named to the Olympic Team? Yet I still managed to be able to go. Obviously, it wasn't one of my goals to go to the Olympics and have my ski come off in my run, but that is just the type of adversity and setback that I am talking about.

So what have I learned from all this? The fact that it takes even more hard work, dedication, desire, and persistence than I had previously thought. It takes more than just being a good skier and working hard on the hill. It takes working hard to become the best in all areas related to skiing and competing. It also takes believing in yourself and having the confidence in yourself that you can do all of those things.

YOU CAN, just go out there and give it everything that you have got.