Original Snowboarding Generation
JJ Thomas has been a professional snowboarder since he was 15 years old and currently serves as the Head Coach of the US Snowboard Halfpipe Developmental Team. He is a former coach to multiple medal-winning Olympic US Snowboarders, is an X-Games Gold Medalist himself, and in 2002 was awarded the Olympic Bronze Medal in the Halfpipe Competition (first Snowboarding Olympics). JJ was a trailblazer from the start, even in the perceived counterculture of professional snowboarding during the early years, helping to establish the current culture that now produces some of the most high-performing professional athletes in the world.
At 19 years old, one year out from the 2002 Olympics, JJ was informed by Burton Snowboards (the primary sponsor at the time) he was no longer a viable contender to be in the Olympics or on the professional circuit and was fired. Everyone else would have quit that late in the game, but JJ instead used it as the fuel and fire to stage an impossible attempt at the Olympics in less than a year. In a sport (at the time) riddled with inconsistent practice schedules, lack of physical training and nutrition, and, JJ did the opposite. He secured a trainer, dietitian, and a personal snowboard coach, all going unnoticed until he qualified for the 2002 Olympics eventually going on to win the Olympic Bronze Medal.
Come Back Kid
Like most professional snowboarders, JJ faced injury after injury, but due to his physical fitness routine and nutrition, he was able to mount comeback after comeback. Some of the greatest in the sport took notice, to include three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Shaun White. JJ became Shaun’s personal coach and helped to ensure he goes down as one of the greatest and most accomplished Extreme Athletes in history.