Photo provided by NBC Olympics/USOC

Louie Vito lives by his dad’s mantra: If you’re good enough, they can’t ignore you.

But growing up in Ohio made showing off in the snow a bit of a challenge. “Most people who have been to the Midwest know it’s not the land of mountains,” he says, “but where I grew up, there was a small resort.” 

At the resort, Mad River Mountain, he and his dad discovered snowboarding together. “We tried it and fell in love with it,” he says. Vito later attended the Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, where he could really cultivate his talent.

Today, he’s a pro, living in Sandy and snowboarding at local resorts. Vito has five X Games medals, competed in the 2010 Olympics, will be in the 2014 Olympics and recently took a one-two step out of his comfort zone for Dancing with the Stars

And whenever possible, he still snowboards with his dad.

Back>>>Read other stories in our Jan/Feb 2014 issue.