Rumson native talks about his experience during Olympics


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A Rumson resident is thrilled to share his speeding down a large hill, twisting and turning around colored gates as a snowboarder during this winter’s Olympic Games in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.

A.J. Muss proudly discussed his once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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“This was my first Olympics and it was a great experience. Ultimately its just another race, but its the biggest stage, which is an honor to qualify for and attend,” Muss said.

Muss, 23, who is a lifelong Rumson resident, competed in the Parallel Giant Slalom snowboarding event on Feb. 23 during the Olympics.

The Parallel Giant Slalom is a snowboard race event, where each athlete races to the finish. It starts with a qualifier and then the top qualifiers move into head-to-head finals for a race to the finish, according to Muss.

Having started snowboarding at the age of three, Muss said, “My dad would take me [snowboarding] all the time since he was a snowboarder, and my mom would take me with her on business trips to Colorado and rather than put me in day care, she put me in snowboard school because I loved it.”

Muss said he started competing at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in 2011.

He enjoyed meeting athletes from all over the United States.

“Being able to meet so many athletes from so many disciplines and coming together as one to represent my country was just amazing. South Korea did a great job and they were terrific hosts.”

Muss said prior to competing in this winter’s Olympics, he had been to South Korea last year for the Olympic test event.

“I got to explore it last year and the rich culture was interesting to explore on my time off. During the Olympics, I did not have a chance as I was too busy training because my event was held on the last days of the Olympics,” Muss said.

After the first run of his event, Muss said he made third, but sadly hit a rut in his second run so his second run time was much slower and he ended up in 20th place.

“I had over 20 family members and friends there cheering for me, which was just incredible and they shared in the honor of becoming an Olympic athlete, something I have strived for since I was a young athlete and something I dreamt about as a child,” Muss said.

According to Muss, he trains 12 months a year to be prepared for his sport.

“I train all over the world because I have to chase the snow. In the off-season, I dry-land train all over the U.S., but I’m mainly in New Jersey and California. I take trips to the Southern hemisphere [during] snow time…when the season really gets going,” Muss said. “I train in late August, September and October in Austria and Switzerland on the glaciers preparing for the season. During November, I train mainly in Colorado, but my home base once the season starts is in Austria, where my coach is.”

Now that the Olympics are over, Muss said he gone back to training, his part-time job and personal training.

“Since I pushed through a severe injury I sustained in November this season…I didn’t let it hold me back and luckily [I’m] back to engaging in my second sport of race car drifting. I never stop snowboard training as I am always doing personal training, dry-land and have trips to wherever the snow is until I get back at it full time [on] Sept. 1,” Muss said. 

Contact Vashti Harris at

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