TODAY

TODAY   |  December 12, 2013

Seth Westcott: I’m getting better every year

The 37 year old two-time Olympic snowboard cross winner talks to Matt about recovering from a knee injury, and his plans to make history at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> today. .

>> we are proud to continue the countdown until sochi . 56 days until it beginning, the intense downhill race, he is looking to make it three in a row. seth westcott had been dominating the sport for years. so it was no surprise that when the sport made its olympic debut in 2006 , he was a fiefrt win.

>> westcot with the gold.

>> westcot lived up to the hype.

>> it was a heck of an experience yesterday.

>> four years later in vancouver , seth westcot 's name enters the history books once again.

>> westcot does it back-to-back.

>> recently westcot headed to alaska for big mount riding. during a run, he seriously injured his knee and underwent reconstructive surgery this spring. it's a possible road block in the journey to sochi . but westcot 's confident, we haven't heard the last of it. he hopes to make history once again. hey, seth , how are you doing in.

>> doing all right.

>> yeah, how's the knee?

>> it's getting close. i had real break throughs. we had a golden camp on the glacier. i came back a week ago tuesday. this week at home at sugar loaf . it's been feeling good every day.

>> you would like 56 days away from sochi to say it's feeling a lot better. you want to say it's great. are you not quite there yet.

>> i'm not quite there yet. monday, i will go up with the team to lake louise . i don't actually imagine i'll be racing there. buying myself three more weeks through the christmas holidays, just the amount of training, we'll have real progress .

>> i talked to you about the big mountain riding. i go es the question i have is why risk the olympic and the other competitions for something. i know you are passionate about. i know you love it.

>> yes.

>> isn't it kind of an extra risk?

>> ah, yes and no. i still look at it i've taken a million little baby steps to get there, you know, with the level that i'm at. we were up doing a piece for warren miller this spring. you know, for me that interaction where, you know, you got the tour that goes around, goes around in the fall and, you know, millions of people come out and see those movies, it's a whole other aspect to the career.

>> all right. so right now your plan is to make it to sochi ?

>> absolutely.

>> you are 37-years-old.

>> 37 years young.

>> i'm sorry. you also say that you really don't know if you are going to retire after sochi . you might like to ride in south korea in 2018 ?

>> yeah. it's actually kind of my plan right now. especially two years coming off of injury to be able to have a period of time where i'm healthy leading into a game. this week the tie kwan masters is going on in hawaii. i watch kelly slater 41 years of age dominating the sport. it's inspiration for me.

>> you realize if you go to south korea after sochi , you will be racing against some kids who were ten-years-old when you won the first of your two gold medals .

>> yeah, we got a kid from australia, jerry hughes, i have been on tour as long as he has been alive.

>> i know there are some disadvantages getting old, take it from me. are there any advantages in your sport?

>> yeah, i think, absolutely. you know the way i look at it, i never would have thought even post torino i would be going right now. to be honest, i'm getting better at it every year, i'm making progress in the sport.

>> better strategically?

>> skills-wise, i was the only american that won last year. the progression is happening. i think the time point where i decide to walk away will be when i feel there is stagnation there. it's just not happening.

>> there is also this huge carrot out there.

>> that carrot is in the form of a record. if you go to sochi and if you can defend your gold medal for the third time, you'll be, you'll make history.

>> yes.

>> how beg of a motivation is that?

>> it's huge. i mean, originally, basically, the day after the race in vancouver i looked at my wax pack, curtis, we're making this three in a row in sochi .

>> that has really been the game plan all along.

>> have you this habit, it is so annoying, this habit of coming from behind. i've lost a lot of hair watching you race i'm telling you, could you do me a favor, if you go to sochi , could take the lead early?

>> i was trying to do that?

>> is that something a part of your dna, coming from behind?

>> no. the races go different ways. in torino i came out, i was moving through. i messed up my time trial in vancouver . so i had that worst start gate. i talked with my tactical coach right before, he was leak, you know, you can do this. if you hang back, turn four, get through the pinch spots in the course, you got the longest straight aways to reel these guys in.

>> i remember in vancouver , we were doing a part of the show. someone said in my earpiece westcot got the gold medal . it was telling. we thank you for your time, seth .

>> my pleasure.

>> always a pleasure for me. coverage of the 2014 winter olympic games begins on february