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Tanner Hall is back. After suffering a number of setbacks -- in May 2009, he blew out both of his knees and in February 2010, his best friend CR Johnson died -- Hall says he now has a newfound focus and drive. He hasn't had a drink since November, he works out all day, everyday. The goal? The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. We caught up with the 7-time Winter X Games gold medalist over lunch last week at Mount Hood, Ore. While icing his knee, Hall talked about his training regimen, why he doesn't care about being on the official U.S. Halfpipe team, and how great it is to be back on snow.
So how was your day?
It was all time, man. All-time. It was our first day up here and we just cruised around. It's Inspired Week. Eric Iberg and I started Inspired Media, and it's more than just movies and edits. It's a bigger movement. We have plans of taking over the world. So we came to Windell's to have fun and for people to get inspired. We chose Windells because it includes both skiers and snowboarders with some of the best riders in the world.
The campers at Windells must be excited you're here.
The kids are stoked. They are smarter about how they approach their idols now. They used to say anything. They seem more conscious now. I'm stoked on every kid at the camp.
Do you usually scale things back in the summer or train pretty hard to be ready for the upcoming winter?
I used to go to New Zealand. Since I blew out my knees it's been constant work in the gym, everyday, to get my range of motion back, to get my strength back. So if I do take a slam, there will be so much muscle that it will take something really serious [to injure me]. I used to feel so much pain, but I know that if I put in the work and do everything I can, I will be in that start gate at Sochi.
You mean the first Olympic ski superpipe in 2014?
Yeah, I have accomplished a lot in skiing, and in pipe, but the one thing to tick off, which has never before been possible, is the Olympic Games. I'm going to train everyday. I'm going to start competing in comps again the year before the Olympics with a look in my eye. I don't have any wants or desires to be on the U.S. halfpipe team, I just want to be on the Olympic team. I want to do it my own way, just as I have always done it my own way.
What does your training look like?
It's been tough. But my confidence is coming back. And I get to hang out on the hill with my friends, and I realize how lucky I am to live this life. I do two to three hours in the gym, then I mountain bike 40 miles, then I jump on the trampoline for a few hours and do rehab for a couple hours, then I go to sleep and do it all over again the next day. I'm hungry, man. I'm ready to come back. I've never been this healthy. This driven. This focused. When you are out of the competition scene it can do stuff to your mind and to your confidence. Recently, I woke up and decided I needed to take my training to another level. I'm not drinking. No tobacco. I've been clean for two months and it's crazy how much better I feel. I can't wait to see how I feel at a year and two months.
Were you surprised that slopestyle was chosen to be included in the Olympics, too?
I was surprised, but it's the natural evolution. It's going to be weird to see rails in the Olympics. It's crazy to see what we've done and how far we have pushed it to see the IOC say, 'Okay, this is legit.' It's crazy to see that we turned enough heads that the Olympics want to be a part of it. The downside is that some of the core will be taken out of the sport. There will probably be more jocks.