Olympian Nick Baumgartner, Iron River, Mich., who honed his skills at Ski Brule, recently won a gold medal in the Winter X Games men's snowboard cross final at Aspen despite suffering a broken collarbone just a couple of weeks earlier. He derailed reigning X Games champ Nate Holland's five-year winning streak in the event.
Baumgartner powered through all his runs. He was still able to manage fast pull starts and keep his lead out on the course despite his injury.
"Fifteen screws and a plate, but nothing was holding me back today," Baumgartner said. Part of his motivation was his six-year-old son Landon who was there to watch dad win.
"Knowing that my boy was at the bottom was so phenomenal," Baumgartner told the media. "It got me down here every time just coming around the corner knowing that he would be watching. To win is unreal. I am so happy to do this in front of my boy."
The 29-year-old is ranked third in the U.S. and fourth in the world in snowboard cross. He won a bronze medal at the 2009 world championships. It was his first gold medal at the X Games.
Baumgartner frequently shows up at Ski Brule to ride and sign autographs. He was just there over the Christmas holidays. He's one of those "Heartland Heroes."
Here's ESPN's coverage of Baumgartner's winning performance.