April 06. 2013 1:36AM
With the Caucasus Mountains as a backdrop, Laconia, N.H., native Chas Guldemond soars above a hill at during a snowboard training session before the start of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Extreme Park in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (USA TODAY Sports)
Chas, who is now known as the 'Bucking Bronco,' started snowboarding at the age of nine. He is a graduate of Waterville's Ski/Board Academy. He learned a strong work ethic from his parents, and that hard-charging attitude has translated to the slopes where he is considered one of the hardest working boarders in the business. He considers his father his hero, but his biggest snowboarding influences include Chad Otterstrom, Travis Rice, and Damien Sanders.
In an interview with Snowboarder Magazine, Chas called Bill Enos, his snowboarding coach at Waterville, one of the "most underrated snowboard coach(es) ever," and he credits Enos with producing some of the most "well-rounded snowboarders" around the world.
In 2006, his first year competing professionally, Guldemond took 2nd Place in the Slopestyle Competition during the U.S. Open, the final stop for the Burton Global Open Series. During the event, he lost out (some say he was robbed) to Shawn White, who had a perfect season until he ran into Guldemond. The controversy got him a lot of press coverage and he earned the title of "Best Rookie" at the event. That season he also took 3rd Place in Slopestyle at the Invitational Vans Cup in Tahoe and was nominated for Transworld Snowboarding's 2006 "Rookie of the Year." That same year, he moved to Truckee, California, where he rides the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, who is now one of his sponsors. Before moving out west for good, he returned home every summer to New Hampshire to work during the off-season.
The following year found Chas winning the 2007 Australian Open. He also began filming with Standard Film's crew and has since appeared in three of their films, including Catch the Vapors, Draw the Line, and Aesthetica. Chas appeared in the 2007 Winter X Games and became the first athlete in Winter X Games history to land a 1260° in Slopestyle Competition. He landed 5th Place in the Best Trick Showdown and 10th Place overall in the Snowboard Slopestyle Competition.
During the 2007-2008 season, Guldemond won six major pro contests in three disciplines, and you could find him at the podium at nearly every other competition he entered. Most recently, he took second place — again to Shawn White — at the 2008 Burton European Open's Slopestyle Competition. In September 2008, Chas won the Boost Mobile SnoSho in Australia, taking First Place and bringing home $15,000.
In December 2008, he appeared on "The Standard Snowboard Show," which aired on FUEL TV. Chas finished third place overall at the Nissan X-Trail Jam in Tokyo, Japan on December 12, 2008. His intense contest schedule included participation in the Winter Dew Tour, which made three stops through February 2009. The Dew Tour aired on several networks, including NBC and USA Networks, with highlights airing on MTV and MTV2.
In 2009, Chas earned a Gold Medal in the U.S. Open Slopestyle Competition, with a score of 94.5. He also competed in the 2009 Winter X Games, where he came in 4th in the Men's Slopestyle Competition and followed that with a 3rd place finish in the 2010 Winter X Games, which were held in Europe for the first time ever. He took 1st place in the 2010 Mammoth Grand Prix Slopestyle and the 2010 Dew Tour at Snowbasin Slopestyle.
Chas posted a 5th place start in the 5-Star Billabong Ante Up in June 2010. In January 2011, he took 1st place in the Relentless Big Air Stuttgart Competition and a few days later ranked number three at the Burton European Open 2011 in Laax, Switzerland. He competed in the Winter X Games from January 27-30 and took the Bronze Medal for Snowboard Best Method Air. Judging was done by the fans in the first event of its kind for the X Games. Chas even competed shirtless for the winning run. He went on to win the WX Europe Slopestyle that year. In 2011, he also won the Oakley Arctic Challenge, Toyota Big Air and Mammoth Grand Prix.
Chas, who can now add the title "Olympian" to his long list of accomplishments, joined the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team in snowboard slopestyle at the final selection event in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Saturday, January 18, 2014.
Chas is sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink, DC Shoes, Electric, Kicker, and Northstar at Tahoe. He considers the character "Rocky" an inspiration.
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