He was a contestant on Season 9 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," but since then champion snowboarder Louie Vito has competed in the Olympics, took home the gold at the European Winter X-Games, and even bared it all in ESPN Magazine's "The Body Issue."
In this interview we give you an update on Louie Vito -- and what he really thinks about the upcoming "DWTS" All-Stars season.
You competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. With the 2012 Olympic trials going on right now, how stressful is that process for an athlete?
LV: It can be an extremely stressful process, especially for the athletes who haven't been through an Olympic trials before. You have the pressure of the media, sponsors, family, friends, and most of all yourself. The people who are a favorite for the Olympics have the pressure that they are suppose to make the team and do well. Of course you can also see the athletes who strive under pressure and live for it. They are elite athletes and know how to deal with the pressure, especially if they have been through the process before.
Do you hope to compete at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia? If so, how will you train?
LV: I like to never say I hope to make the next Olympics, if I make the Olympic team. You have to be positive, and with that being said, I am already preparing myself. Luckily for me, we always have big contests year in and year out, that so I set goals each year to do well and keep progressing that way when the Olympics come around, I am where I want to be. Off the hill I changed up my program from the last Olympics, changed the way I eat and train. I started working out with John Schaeffer at Winning Factor, who I met through Apolo Ohno, and he literally changed my life in the sense of how I prepare off the snow.
You came in sixth place on Season 9 of "Dancing With the Stars." With the "DWTS" All Stars season coming up, would you compete again if they asked?
LV: "DWTS" was a great experience. I was so far out of my comfort zone that it actually made my snowboarding easy. If I could go out and dance in front of 22 million plus people every week, doing something I didn't have much confidence in, live audience, live judges, and wearing clothes I wouldn't even wear on Halloween, how wouldn't it help my snowboarding, which I am confident doing, know what the judges want to see, and wear what I want to wear? I would love to do it again especially since I am a little older now -- I just turned 21 when I was on last time -- and know how to deal with the pressure a little better.
So what's harder -- the slopes or the Salsa?
LV: Salsa for sure. These hips are as loose as they need to be to get down with the Salsa. At least if you mess up doing the Salsa, there is no slam or pain!
Besides yourself, who else would you like to see have another shot at the mirror ball trophy?
LV: If I am competing, I, of course, would only want to see me win. Haha. I never really watched the show until I was on it and after, but I did watch Floyd Mayweather on, and then people on my season were amazing to be with. Chuck Liddell, Joanna Krupa, Kelly Osbourne, Michael Irvin, they were some people I really got close with.
You were the commencement speaker at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City this year, speaking on the topic "Taking Your Place in Challenging Times." Any words of wisdom you can share with us from your speech?
LV: You always have to push yourself. Don't settle for mediocracy. My Dad gives me quotes for any situation I am in. Winning, losing, highs and lows of life in general, and two quotes that I will never forget and live firmly by are, "If you're good enough, they can't ignore you" - Lou Vito. "Be happy, don't be satisfied." As soon as you are satisfied you stop moving forward and start to plateau.
"Dancing With the Stars" All-Star premieres this fall on ABC.
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