Every summer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Nick Baumgartner went to work pouring concrete, taking on the harsh physical conditions of the construction trade in order to support his professional snowboarding dreams come winter. Unable to afford housing for those months spent training in the mountains, he lived out of a crusty van, parked anywhere he could find a spot.
And in 2022, after 17 years of failure—all the crashes, injuries, and personal setbacks—he won Olympic gold at 40 years old, becoming the oldest Olympic snowboard medalist in history.
Baumgartner details his journey from a one-stoplight town to the podium in Beijing in this candid and affable memoir. Tales of crisscrossing the globe on the racing circuit and competing in four Olympic Games sit comfortably alongside Baumgartner's reflections as a single parent and his affectionate portrayal of Iron River, Michigan, the community that raised him.
More than just a sports story, Gold from Iron is a tale of massive dreams, constant sacrifice, and the lessons that can be learned racing down an ice-covered course with your feet strapped to a thin board.