NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

January 14, 2013

One year out for Lago

(Continued)

“No slopestyle,” said Lago. “I’m putting all of my focus on the half-pipe right now.”

Lago is in the midst of a strenuous stretch run with all roads leading to Sochi, Russia and the 22nd Winter Olympics in February of 2014. Although Lago was a medal-winner in the half-pipe at 2010 games in Vancouver, there’s no guarantee that he’ll end earning one of the four core spots on the United States snowboarding team.

“Qualifying doesn’t begin until next winter,” said Lago. “We have to have four people in the top 25 overall in the World Cup rankings to get them, so we have four core spots for the US, which is the maximum number of people we can send to the Olympics.

“Hopefully I can make the team again. There will be five contests, and they’ll take your best two results out of the five. After then it’s off to Russia.”

For Lago, rounding out the 2013 winter season with momentum on his side will be a priority.

“I’m going to putting all of my energy into competing,” said Lago. “It’ll be the first time that I’ve ever really concentrated just on competing, focusing all of my time and energy on the half-pipe.”

In preparation for Russia, Lago has penned a schedule that includes the Winter X-Games in Aspen, the Burton European Open in Laax, Switzerland, and then a pit stop in Russia before heading back to Colorado and gearing up for the pivotal 2014 winter.

With the X Games just around the bend, Lago couldn’t be in better spirits.

“I’m feeling really good. I’ve never been more confident or happier with my riding than I am now,” said Lago, who will be prepping for the famous event in Breckenridge. “The time I’m going to spend (at Breckenridge) is going to be important, very helpful in the week and a half leading up to the X Games.”

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