When it comes to the action sports industry, most would associate skiing and snowboarding with Utah — and for good reason. But Utah resident Colton Satterfield would like to remind everyone that he is the reigning gold medalist in the X Games BMX Bir Air competition, and that Utah is more than just skiing and snowboarding.
“Winning the X Games BMX Bir Air competition last year in Austin was a huge step for me in my career,” said Satterfield. “On one hand, it was the realization of a dream come true, and on the other hand, it was my way of announcing to everyone that I had arrived and I was driven to work hard to continue to be a threat to the podium.”
Satterfield began riding in 2004 and turned professional in 2007 winning his first competition as a professional in 2011 at the Air in the Square event in New York City's Times Square.
“I never really had a moment where I said to myself, maybe I can make a career out of this,” said Satterfield. “For me it was more that I didn’t want to do anything else. I wanted to ride my bike and I spent every moment that I could riding my bike. I have been very fortunate to be able to make a career out of this, but its come with a learning curve but I work incredibly hard at my craft to be the best I possibly can be.”
While most other riders live and train in California or at training facilities across the nation, Satterfield prefers to stay home in Utah to train and visit the training facilities when needed.
“When I am at home, I can focus more on my own personal training,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about all of the ancillary things that come with being on the road to train or living out of rented places. Being at home allows me not to stress about those outside influences and I can put all of my focus into training both into my riding and maintaining a healthy body. Utah is a great state to live and train in here. There is a reason we are called the State of Sport. The vibe around the action and outdoors sporting community is always supportive and I know that it has influenced me.”
Satterfield returns to Austin, Texas, this week to defend his gold and also compete in the brand new Big Air Doubles competition with skateboarding teammate Jake Brown.
“Jake and I share the same drive in our riding, just two different sports,” he said. “We both ride and work to be a part of the community of action sports athletes and not for selfish personal reasons. We are here to do the sports that we love and we work and train incredibly hard to maintain our level of competitiveness so that we can continue our careers for many years to come.”
When asked if he was feeling any added pressure to win again, Satterfield responded:
“There is always outside pressure, especially after you win once. But I also place pressure on myself to be the best I rider I can be, but I also make it a point to have as much fun as I can while being out riding and the minute I am having fun, the outside pressure is gone.”
The 2015 Summer X Games take place in Austin, Texas June 4-7. Events can be watched live on ESPN and ABC.