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Meet the Athletes: Maddie Mastro

Meet the Athletes: Maddie Mastro
Posted at 8:11 PM, Dec 12, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-12 00:20:43-05

Maddie Mastro began snowboarding at age 6 on a pink board, driving to the mountains in SoCal with her family in an RV. A two-time medalist at both X Games and worlds in halfpipe, she finished 12th in her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games nine days before turning 18.

As part of our preparation for the 2022 Games, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to multiple athletes to learn more about their lives on and off the snow or ice. Here’s what we found out about Mastro:

Maddie Mastro, Snowboarding

Event: Halfpipe
Age: 21 (22 on Feb. 22)
Birthplace: Loma Linda, Calif.
Hometown: Wrightwood, Calif.
Residence: Oxnard, Calif.
@maddie_mastromaddie_mastro

SEE MORE: PyeongChang 2018: Maddie Mastro qualifies for halfpipe final

Family & Upbringing

Tell us about your family.

❝My parents are Chris and Eileen. I have an older brother named Cameron. And our four family dogs.❞

Who do you live with?

❝I live with my boyfriend, Ryan Wachendorfer.❞

How influential were your parents in your athletic aspirations?

❝My parents are one of the main reasons I am where I am today. Constantly making sacrifices to help me pursue my goals in snowboarding.❞

Did you attend college?

❝Currently in college.❞

Do you have any pets?

Four dogs, all rescues: Archie, Beasley, Zody and Stevie – all mutts, the best kind of breed.

How has your hometown shaped who you are today?

❝I grew up in Wrightwood with Mountain High five minutes down the road in my backyard. That alone played a huge part in building my passion for snowboarding. It was what I looked forward to doing on the weekends or after school.

❝When I think about why I love snowboarding, a lot of the memories from Mt. High or Mammoth [Mountain] flash through my mind. Riding till the lifts closed with your friends, building pump tracks in the front yard.❞

Lifestyle & Training

Typical training day?

❝Depends on where we are located for training. Wake up around 7 a.m., make breakfast 8 a.m., 9 a.m. head to mountain, 9 a.m. warmup, 9:30-10 a.m. start training in the halfpipe (training lasts anywhere from two to five hours a day), come home, recover, relax, dinner, sleep, repeat.❞

How much time to you train? How much do you sleep?

❝On snow training I spend typically four hours a day. I sleep 10 hours hopefully a night.❞

What's your favorite workout?

My favorite workout is cross-training. I love doing different sports, getting outside and still being able to get a workout by doing those.

Surprising things regarding training for Olympics?

❝I think people would be surprised that snowboarders spend lots of time in gym, it's not just fun all the time. We put the work in on and off the mountain.❞

Experience during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?

❝I was in Bend, Oregon, with my coach and boyfriend. Luckily it hasn't impacted our training too much. Training camps were canceled, so we took that time to work on off-snow training and finding new ways to be active.❞

Any nutrition plan? (e.g., calories, meals)

❝I don't eat dairy or meat. I do eat fish. A typical day of eating starts with breakfast egg sandwich or breakfast burrito, lunch is probably a veggie sandwich or PB and fruit sandwich, dinner salmon with rice and veggies. :)❞

Dessert indulgences?

❝Thai teas with boba!!!!❞

SEE MORE: PyeongChang 2018: Mastro falls on final-run 1080 attempt

Reflection & Olympics

Earliest memory of participating in sport?

I grew up in the mountains, I started skiing when I was 2 and switched to snowboarding when I was 6. I don't remember a time when snow sports weren't in my life. They were always there.

Earliest memory of watching Olympics or Paralympics?

❝I remember sitting on my living room floor watching the 2010 [Vancouver] Olympics. Torah Bright was competing in halfpipe and in that moment that's when I knew I wanted to be a halfpipe snowboarder.❞

Who is your coach?

❝My coach is James Jackson, we have been working together since 2019. I wouldn't be where I am without him. We have a great relationship, I would consider him friend and coach.❞

Who do you socialize with most within your sport?

❝These past years with COVID we have mainly been socializing with only our teammates from the U.S., which has brought us all so much closer and I'm really grateful for.❞

Close friends with any competitors?

❝My best friend is Emily Arthur. She is from Australia and competes in halfpipe.❞

Biggest rival?

Chloe Kim.❞

Olympic or Paralympic role model?

Torah Bright!❞

Summer Olympic buddy?

❝I would love to meet any player from the U.S. women's soccer team (Rose Lavelle), Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka.❞

Advice you'd give a young athlete?

Don't be afraid to try. The first step in getting better is trying.

Best part of living in the Olympic Village?

❝Being able to meet new people from all over the world and learn about them. Every time you go to the dining hall you meet someone new.❞

Play any other sports?

❝I grew up playing and doing all different kind of sports. But soccer was my most competitive, alongside snowboarding. I loved playing soccer, I played club till I was 16 and then had to pick between soccer and snowboarding.

❝Soccer is a team sport so that is a big difference than snowboarding. The actual fitness portion of soccer really helps snowboarding – the quick movements and thinking quick on your feet translates.❞

Which Summer Olympic event would you like to try?

❝Climbing! It looks so fun!❞

Any pre-competition rituals?

❝I ALWAYS watch 'The Office' before any comps.❞

SEE MORE: 2018 Copper GP: Maddie Mastro can't catch Kim, takes second

Passions & Personality

Do you have a nickname?

❝Maddawg. I'm not sure how I got that name. It is definitely suiting for me. I love animals, dogs in particular, and I have
always had a little bit of sass haha. Mostly teammates, coaches and friends call me Maddawg.❞

How do you unwind after a competition?

❝Easy, taking a nap and eating sushi.❞

Do you have any fears or pet peeves?

❝Eating an olive – gross.❞

What is on your bucket list?

❝Drive a race car.❞

Woman that inspires you?

My mom! She has made me the person I am today. She leads by example, showing to me how to speak up for myself, and to be strong.

Favorite hobbies?

❝I love being active. So surfing, biking (mountain/gravel), tennis, skateboarding are a few of my favorite hobbies. Like most things in life, doing things with friends/family is better. So whenever my friends are able to do those hobbies with me I never say no. I would say I do those hobbies as much as possible when I'm not snowboarding, especially in the summer.❞

Favorite musician?

Fleetwood Mac, Billie Eilish and David Bowie.❞

Music of choice while training?

❝'Raise Hell' by Dorothy, 'I Can' by Nas, 'Just a Girl' by No Doubt, and 'The Wild One' by Suzi Quatro.❞

Must-have items in your gym bag?

❝Headphones, that's about it.❞

If you could hear from one celeb, who would it be?

Rainn Wilson.❞

Favorite meme/GIF that best describes you?

❝Anything 'The Office.'❞