Kass, a dude who doesn't eat Wheaties

Snowboarder would rather pose for Count Chocula

Winter Olympics Salt Lake City 2002

February 10, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

PARK CITY, Utah - He talked about his haircut, and he talked about drugs. He made the room laugh and tried not to laugh back.

At his first Olympic news conference, U.S. snowboarder Danny Kass was right at home.

He's from the next generation of Olympic athletes, the breath of fresh air the International Olympic Committee was looking for when it made halfpipe and downhill snowboarding events at the last Winter Olympics. A gold-medal winner at the Winter X Games and the U.S. Open, Kass could easily come home with Olympic gold in the halfpipe. And yet he's hardly awed or excited about the prospect of appearing on a box of Wheaties.

"I don't think I've ever eaten Wheaties in my whole life," Kass says. "If I was on something like that, I'd probably want it to be like Count Chocula or something cool."

Danny, do you listen to music when you snowboard?

"Sure. Usually it's Metallica or AC/DC or something," he says. "But I was actually listening to the Beatles the other day, so it's cool."

Is it possible to do this sport stoned, asks an intrepid reporter.

"Whoa, I don't know about that question," Kass says with a smile.

Are you a dude, asks another media sleuth.

"Am I a dude?" Kass says, pausing. "Some of my friends call me dude. I mean, are you a dude?"

What did he think when ESPN The Magazine said he was bringing snowboarding back to the dirtbags?

"It was pretty cool."

Growing up in New Jersey and California, did he and his skateboarder friends get along with the football jocks?

"Not all of them. Some of them were mad because we used to steal their ladies."

What does he think of the Team USA powder blue uniforms?

"They're pretty sick," he says.

Sick? Is that good or bad?

"Depends," he says. "I guess I'd say these are pretty momish."

Momish?

"Yeah, you know, something your mom would pick out."

Do you train much?

"Nah. I do eat a lot of Taco Bell."

How do you deal with the pressure?

"I don't know. Lot of video games, I guess."

Can you win a gold medal here?

"I hope so. I'm stoked to go to the Olympics and see how the whole thing works. But really, I'm just here for the beer and the chicks."

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.