After a 14th-place finish in slopestyle at the 2014 Sochi Games, Ryan Stassel is attempting to qualify for his second straight U.S. Olympic team. His inclusion as a discretionary pick in 2014 capped off a surprising run, as he quickly went from relative unknown to Olympian thanks to a couple strong performances at the end of the qualifying period. A year after his Olympic debut, Stassel earned a gold medal for slopestyle at the FIS World Championships.
A native of Anchorage, Stassel used to support his budding snowboard career by working as a commercial fisherman. During the summers, when the contest scene is on hiatus, he continues to return to Alaska to reprise that occupation. But make no mistake: Snowboarding is his number one career these days.