How do you get into the right mental mindset to compete so successfully?
I don't want to say I isolate myself, but I definitely protect the environment I'm in, and that helps me perform at a high level. I listen to music when I compete to protect what I hear, for example, so I can stay focused on the task at hand. I don't need to be thinking about what the announcers are saying or what my competitors are saying; I need to stay focused on the process that I'm in, because I never want to get ahead of myself and think about the outcome. I find that you're not able to perform well when you're focused on the outcome and step outside the process.
I've also been working with a sports psychologist for the last four years. I think people can look to athletics and say it's all physical, or it's all mental, but at the end of the day – physically, no one can do what we do on snowboards. It's got to be 95 percent physical; your average person couldn't just drop in and figure it out. But that 5 percent mental can completely erase your 95 percent of prep work if you allow it to.
What are you most looking forward to about this year's Olympics?
I've learned that the Olympics shouldn't be treated as a destination. And they're not a place that you arrive at – they're not something that should define you. My experience has given me that perspective, and that was something that was very successful for me at the last Olympics – I really enjoyed it. I don't want to get done and be relieved it's over. I want to enjoy it. I want to be excellent. I want to see if I have what it takes, and I want to give it my all. I think it should be fun, because that's why I started snowboarding.