From the CAPE COD TIMES
By Steve Derderian
Mike Trapp has spent the past few months training and competing in snowboarding in the mountains of countries such as Italy, Slovenia and, this week, Bulgaria.
Pretty soon he’ll add South Korea to that list.
Trapp, a 2006 Barnstable High graduate, was named Tuesday to the U.S. Olympic Team. He’ll compete in the men’s parallel giant slalom in the Winter Games next month in Pyeongchang.
“My initial reaction was complete shock,” Trapp told the Cape Cod Times via an email from Bulgaria on Wednesday. “It still hasn’t fully sunk in yet, but I couldn’t be any prouder to represent Team USA in Korea.”
Trapp, 29, who grew up in Marstons Mills, joins AJ Muss as the only two Americans to compete in the parallel giant slalom, which begins Feb. 21 at Bokwang Phoenix Park, west of Pyeongchang.
The event made its debut in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Each competitor completes two qualifying runs and the best 16 by combined time advance to the knockout round, where they’re seeded and compete head-to-head.
In addition to being ranked among the top 50 for points in the World Cup, Trapp took 28th place in the parallel giant slalom in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in December to get the Top 30 finish he needed to meet Olympic criteria. His best world championship finish was 16th in last year’s parallel giant slalom.
“It always brings out the best and worst in your athletic abilities,” said Trapp, who is in his 16th season as a competitor. “So over this time it came down to resilience and never letting go of that end goal.”
Trapp’s parents and older brother, Christopher, are planning to fly to South Korea to watch him compete. Trapp fell short of qualifying for the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, so his family members said they’re thrilled and relieved that Trapp qualified.
“I was scared he wasn’t going to go,” Christopher Trapp said. “When it went the other way, it’s the coolest feeling ever.”
Trapp has raised about $3,500 out of $10,000 through an online fundraiser on gofundme.com to help cover equipment and travel costs. He also has support from Hyannis-based Bros of Our Lives, run by John Collins, a 2009 Barnstable grad. Collins’ company is sponsoring Trapp and is selling a $25 shirt where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to Trapp.