Hoyer looks back on X Games performanceBy winning a silver medal at the recent Winter X Games, one would think Ellsworth’s Justin Hoyer finally came full circle.
By: Sean Scallon, Pierce County Herald
By winning a silver medal at the recent Winter X Games, one would think Ellsworth’s Justin Hoyer finally came full circle.
Two years ago Hoyer suffered an injured and equipment plagued X Games experience which, coupled with serious injuries from a training accident, threatened his future in snowmobile freestyle.
Since then Hoyer has recovered from his injuries and built himself back to the top of his game in the freestyle world.
But he’s not stopping, as he stated in an online interview. The taste of X Games success has him hungry for more.
How were you chosen to participate in this years’ Winter X Games?
This Year, the X Games was on an Invite only basis. So I was lucky to be included based on the previous years’ performances.
How confident were you that this year’s X Games would turn out better than the one you last participated in 2007?
Well, this year I had a good feeling from the start. I was finally all healed up, no new injuries and I had been riding a lot. Also had to end a three-year relationship, it just wasn’t working out. All these things combined really took a toll on me in years past, so this year all I had to do is just go ride and I can handle that for sure.
I really got to thank my family and friends for sticking with me. I had gone through a few really rough years. It scares me to look back at myself some times. I don’t even recognize myself. I feel bad for what it did to them as well.
How did it feel competing in the finals against a good friend of yours?
All these guys for the most part are friends of mine so it’s nothing new. If you watched any of the coverage on TV you would notice how positive everyone is towards each other. I mean, you can’t really be mad at someone personally if they beat you straight up. It just means you need to go back to the drawing board for next year. Even if you lose by the judging, it’s not your competitions fault. So as a whole, it’s not bad competing against friends at all. In some ways it’s nice cause you are comfortable with each other.
Describe the whole X Game experience and what did people who watched you on TV say about the way you looked on the small screen?
Well, the X Games as a whole is always a stressful time. I guess as a viewer on TV people might think that it looks awesome and everything goes perfect. In reality, I had a lot of work to do with the sleds, probably put in a solid 20 hours of wrenching in before the finals over four days. I was really sick. I don’t have a crew of mechanics or factory support anymore so it’s a little hard to manage it all. What I do have is a great family and friends that were one hundred percent behind me as always. I was kind of like a stray dog at the Games and different groups of people would give me a hand from time to time. So as long as they are there, it gives me strength to do whatever it takes. It always feels good doing better than competitors that have a big advantage over you. Also, as a viewer, it may seem more glamorous or larger than life. It’s like any other sporting event. Any time it’s on TV it just seems bigger and when your there in person it seems different. I haven’t even seen it on TV yet, so I guess I really don’t have any opinion personally.
What are your next goals in snowmobile freestyle competition now that you have medaled in the X Games?
Well now I want the gold! I mean silver is cool and all, but I know I have what it takes to get the gold next year. Now that I am finally back and got a taste of what I am chasing, it will all be over for the competition. I feel I have grown up a lot since I first started out and now it really hits me everyday how lucky I am to be able to do this as a career. Aside from my family, this is the most important thing in the world to me. Some people get caught up in all the recognition and money and all that, but I don’t care about any of that. I just want to ride to my full potential every time. I am just beyond driven right now.