The 2018 Olympics are just around the corner, and one athlete might not have been a snowboarding sensation if it wasn’t for an accident on the mountain.
Snowboarders Red Gerard, Danny Davis and Julia Marino stopped by PEOPLE Now to chat about the upcoming Games, and Marino talked about how she almost never took up the sport.
After growing up as a skiier, 20-year-old Marino was forced to start snowboarding after breaking a ski on a family vacation.
“At the time I was super not stoked at my dad for forcing me to snowboard,” she said. “I asked if he could rent me a new pair of skis or something and he said, ‘Nope. We have a perfectly good snowboard in the storage. You can go use that one.’ ”
The X Games gold medalist continued, “I was so mad for the first couple days — then after I just fell in love with it.”
Still, she never thought her hobby would get her this far.
“It kind of just started as a passion, a fun thing to do. I just randomly stumbled upon the sport in a way that just picked up really quick,” Marino said. “Now I’m here and this is how it’s going for me.”
Gerard, 17, is also hoping to compete in his first Olympics, and his Colorado backyard is both the perfect hangout spot and his personal training ground.
“It’s really awesome, honestly,” he said. “All my homies come over and we have a little barbecue and snowboard, so it’s really fun.”
Davis, 29, is the veteran in the group. He competed in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but he’s hoping for another chance in South Korea.
“Last time when we did Sochi, the test event was a bit of a mess and the test event in Korea seemed to go really well,” he said. “The half pipe was in good condition, so it sounds like it’s going to be a better venue altogether.”
The 2018 Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 8, 2018, in PyeongChang, South Korea.