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Wax on: Bend High grad getting Team USA Snowboarding’s Beijing gear up to speed

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) – When it comes to who gets to go to the Olympics, there are so many more involved besides athletes and coaches.

Especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding, each team brings along its own techs, to make sure their equipment is in tip top shape.

This year, one of those wax techs for Team USA Snowboarding is one of Bend's own: Ian LeVine.

“There’s a lot of, a lot of good energy,” LeVine told NewsChannel 21 from his workshop at the Beijing Games. “Everybody is ready to compete and do as best as they can at the Olympics.”

LeVine arrived in Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics three days before the Opening Ceremonies.

The Bend High grad isn’t competing himself, but he’s just as crucial to the medal count.

“I’m helping our working group to essentially make the boards go as fast as possible,” LeVine said.

He is one the wax techs for Team USA’s Snowboard Cross team.

The snowboard cross event, along with most of the snowboard events takes place at Genting Snowpark, part of the Zhangjiakou Olympic Village. 

LeVine used his phone to show NewsChannel 21 around the three-story building dedicated only to each national team’s wax technicians. Up and down the halls were signs for each country, with plenty of boards and skis in each wax room.

If you think LeVine is a little youthful to be doing this, you're not wrong. At the ripe old age of 22, he's the youngest on Team USA’s wax staff.

But he’s not young in experience.

"Just sort of happened upon a job at a shop called the Race Place in Bend, which is ski racing-specific," he said.

A high school alpine racer himself, LeVine picked it up fast. Also coming fast was an opportunity, when the U.S. Alpine team held a camp at Mt. Bachelor in the spring of 2020.

“So they asked my boss if he would do it,” LeVine recalled. “And he didn't want to, but he just sort of offered up my services."

He did one more camp at Mt. Hood, before he got a request from a familiar source.

“My uncle, who is the head coach for the US Snowboard Cross team, hit me up,” LeVine said. “He said, 'Hey, we're in need of a tech. Can you join us? You'd be working with two other guys. This is the deal.'

“Obviously, I said yes."

He traveled the next two seasons with the SBX team, which led him to Beijing.

A younger LeVine, like everyone who picks up a winter sport, he said, had dreams of competing in the games one day.

But perhaps finding a potential career is just as rewarding.

"Definitely cool, to make it to that dream in some capacity," he said.

Article Topic Follows: Olympic Zone

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.


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