Born and bred in Utah, Steven Nyman was skiing at 2, his Mom taught him how to ski while his Dad ran the ski school at Sundance Mountain Resort. Steven and his three brother chased each other all over the mountains teaching and pushing each other to different skiing heights. His younger brother Blake migrated more toward the free-skiing scene gaining several segments in films and magazines around the globe, Michael his older brother became a ski patroller for several years, while Sam, the youngest, enjoys his time skiing for fun.
Steven stuck to racing and dreamt of skiing in the Olympics and winning on the World Cup level. While racing for the Park City Ski Team he became a discretionary pick to the 2002 World Junior squad where he landed two medals. Gold in the Slalom and Silver in the combined. Coaches were so impressed, they entered him in a World Cup slalom six days later and he finished 15th! Since then he progressed to win on every level all the way to becoming a three time World Cup 3x World Cup winner, a 10x podium performer and becoming a 3x Olympian 06', 10' 14'. He is currently the fastest American alpine ski racer and ranked 6th in the World in downhill.
His goals reach far beyond the heights he has currently reached. Winning on the World Cups isn't satisfying enough. Steven aspires to be the first American man to win the World Cup Downhill globe (being the most consistent Downhill skier in the world over that particular season), he is also pursuing an Olympic Medal and a World Championship medal! This past season he landed on the podium at the future 2018 Olympic venue, Jeonseong. He also was second place on the upcoming World Championship track at St. Moritz. To say Steven is fired up for the upcoming season is an understatement.
In 2011 during a routine training run in Copper Mountain, CO, Steven crashed and tore his Achilles tendon. It was a major setback but without hesitation he got right back to training and rehab. Putting in serious hours in the gym and many days on the ski hill in the southern hemisphere. The season after the injury he stormed back and claimed the victory on a familiar track in Val Gardena, Italy!
In his spare time Steven expands his web project, www.fantasyskiracer.com. He has also taken the stadium mic at the Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek and the U.S. Alpine Championships at Winter Park. Fan reviews where nothing but rave, though his coaches say he's better at skiing. Steven also has a podcast to help keep his fans updated on his work.
In 2010 Steven wanted to create a better connection between ski racing and its fans. So he developed www.FantasySkiRacer.com He and his brother set out and designed the site for fun, as a side project. It quickly grew to ski racings premier fantasy website. He and his brother continue to run the site and improve it with everyones feedback. Try it out yourself, see where you stack up against the rest of the World!
The game of downhill is raw and exposes a person to their core. To sit atop a mountain with nothing in your way except a sheet of ice, some sticks you’re trying to turn around, two long, sharp boards strapped to your feet, and wearing next to nothing brings a lot out in a person. It is the ultimate test to see what you are made of.
The sport of skiing develops the person like no other sport I know. The strength required, the awareness, agility, endurance, constant analysis, the desire to push oneself within its elements helps develop people into more confident, capable, resilient, balanced humans.
These two things have consumed me for my entire life and will continue to. I love this sport and will forever enjoy it. My game of World Cup downhill skiing has run its course. I gave my heart to it and it taught me so much. I milked every last drop I had…but my tank is empty.
The level of human and strength that is required to race at a high level on the World Cup is now beyond my grasp. The focus and energy that has to be put into each run is incredible, it brings out abilities that astound me. I love watching the game; I love witnessing the greatness of my compatriots and teammates. It is an inspiring spectacle to watch, and I will continue to pull inspiration from it.
This summer I set out to take myself back to that level. I touched it at times. I was able to beat up on the young bucks in summer training. I thought I was back, but then my back told me otherwise. Three times I had to get cortisone injections, the last one being just two weeks before the season. Then, I made it into the season and two races in I broke my hand. I tried making it work so I could ski one of my favorite tracks, the Saslong, in Val Gardena, Italy. And, I was indeed able to dance with the Saslong one last time. A track that has blessed me with wins but also has kept me humble. It was a fun ride, but in the finish I realized I was finished. I had fallen too far behind. With the injuries and lack of ability to train and maintain my fitness I was playing catch-up, and playing catch-up on the World Cup tour is no place for me right now. It is a dangerous position for a 40-year-old with two kids. I have been there many times and crawled out, but I don’t have the energy and will to do so once again.
I am happy with my achievements. I experienced levels I only dreamt of as a kid. I grew up without TV - we would have people record events and shows for us to watch and they would give it to us on VHS tapes. One of those tapes was the 92’ Olympics in Albertville. I wore that tape out watching my heroes compete on the biggest stage. Those heroes I later became friends with (AJ Kitt), stood on the podium with (Kjetil Andre Aamodt), were teammates with (Daron Rahlves, Bode Miller)…Then I was fortunate enough to chip my way to the world's biggest stage. I had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me at the Olympic Games! I was able to wrestle with the mental beast that is the Olympics, several times! I was able to race on that stage, to be there in person, and to witness some incredible performances! And, perhaps most rewarding, I was able to hoist my teammates onto my shoulders in victory!
On the World Cup stage I was lifted onto my teammates shoulders in victory! Week in and week out we were competing for the top, pursuing that excellence helping the American Downhiller tradition and the sport of downhill ski racing blossom. Yet, the petals of flowers shed and it moves to the next layer. My petal has dropped, but I will continue to nourish the flower and help it grow.
I want to thank so many people who have helped me along the way:
First and foremost my parents. Mom taught her boys how to ski, and my Dad taught us how to race. Your example, support and never-ending love fueled my tank and helped me dig deep when times were hard.
My brothers for instilling my competitive nature within me. You were my initial competition and I am forever in debt to you.
Leo, my service man, you’ve been by my side since 2006! You’re like a father to me. You stuck with me through the dark times which made our successes so much brighter. You taught me so much about the simplicity of skiing and you were my filter to all the noise that can constantly move around us.
My coaches (too many to name 20 years on the US Ski Team is a lot and there are plenty more before then that I am grateful for), I listened and loved analyzing your words and putting them into action trying to help me become the best I could.
The U.S. Ski Team, the support staff direct and indirect, you keep the engine running and we athletes don’t know half of what you do but the support is felt.
My partners/sponsors/supporters your support and belief in me meant and means the world. It allowed me to pursue my passion with full force and commitment. Our relationships we generated over the years will go well beyond just ski racing, thank you again for your support.
My home mountain, Sundance. It is funny to look at my skill sets and see how I was one of the best gliders in the world. That touch and energy came from the endless skiing I put in as a kid on your hills. It's going to be fun to dance on them more frequently.
I want to thank the doctors, therapists, trainers, psychologists, body workers and beautiful minds that have helped put me back together countless times. I have to specifically thank Craig Buhler/AMIT Method and his team for their countless hours working with me. Those hours extended my career by years; your work truly is amazing.
I want to thank all the people I met along the way. The hotels that housed us, the communities that opened their doors. It was always great to come back to you every year. You are our family on the road and your energy is motivating.
My competitors. This is an individual sport, but our team dynamic with the American Downhillers was always something special…and this was so much more than an individual sport to me, and us. Beyond our team, competitors from other nations feel more like family than anything else. You pushed me on the mountain, but I am honored to call you some of my closest friends off the mountain. You taught me more about myself and the world we live in, more than words could ever begin to convey.
Last and not least thank you to my family, my wife Charlotte for entertaining my desires to chase my dream for so long, your patience is incredible. My children, you brought a renewed energy to me. I’m sorry you had to see daddy broken so many times but you also got to see daddy get back up and continue to go! You bring energy and joy into my life.
I love you, I love you all! Thank you for the good times!
Here’s to the next chapter…