He Has Been to the Top of the Mountain

1992 Graduate Returns to West to Share Olympic Story with Students

Brian+Currutt+in+Room+124

Brian Currutt in Room 124

44 year old Mr. Brian Currutt, a 1992 West G. graduate, visited his alma mater recently as part of the speaker series. The speaker series is new this year, seeking to inform, enlighten, and, in some cases, also entertain the student body during advisory period. Currutt, also a University of Utah graduate, is currently living in Bainbridge with his wife, Kate, and their children, 3 year old, Ryder, and Landry, age 2. Why was he here ? Well, being a former Olympian can make for an informative, enlightening and entertaining talk…and it was.

Currutt’s Olympic sport was Freestyle Aerial Skiing, which he described as, “…basically gymnastics on skis. We perform quadruple twisting, triple backflips 50 feet in the air, [from] a 14 foot high ramp at speeds [of] up to 40 mph. Each jump is scored by judges and has a degree of difficulty assigned to it.” He competed in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City UT where he placed 6th.

Prior to competing in the 2002 Olympics, he was a member of the US National Ski Team since 1997. He also competed in two World Championships in 1997 and 2001. He proudly noted, “I have over 20 Top 10 finishes on the World Cup Tour.”

You might think that to be an Olympian, one would have to do that sport 24/7 for his or her entire life. Currutt was focused, but he also found time to do other things while at West Geauga. He played on the soccer team when they won the CVC title in 1991 and lost in the District championship, being named 2nd team all – conference. “We had a lot of fun that season. I also enjoyed going to the football & basketball games as a student and supporting my classmates and school. While at West G I made a few friends [who] are still my friends today. They encouraged me when I was injured and times were difficult. Without these lifelong friends, I might not have come back to compete after my knee injuries.”

Currutt has always recognized how rare what he accomplished truly is and has never taken the experience for granted. “Being an Olympian was a huge honor for me, he said, “being able to compete for the United States was something I had always dreamed about as a boy and was a culmination of over 10 years of work. My whole Olympic dream came down to 2.8 seconds of hang time. Hearing the, ‘USA,’ chant while competing is something I will never forget.”

When asked if he would to do anything “differently” in regards to training Currutt said, “Nothing really; I worked as hard as I could while I was competing, while trying to have fun along the way. It was a lot of work and I sacrificed a lot, but it was worth it. I miss the thrill of the competition, being at the top of the hill with my heart racing before a big event.” Currutt also said he misses the camaraderie of the sport. Although skiing is an individual sport, he said they had a great team and a lot of fun training and competing.

After retiring from competition in 2003, Currutt coached the U.S. Team from 2006-2011. He coached in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada where he coached Jeret Petersen to a silver medal. He said it was a great feeling to be able to give back to the sport that had given him so much satisfaction. Currently, he stays in touch with coaches to see how the kids are doing. He also helps out locally from time to time out at the Mont Chalet Training Center in Chesterland where there are a few talented kids training during the summer.

Currutt had a clear message for the students here at West G. He reminded them that they can do anything being from West Geauga. He followed a dream by working hard and taking a few chances along the way. He also hopes the students realize that there will be obstacles to overcome when chasing dreams and that perseverance is a real quality.

For his final thought, Currutt said, “I just want everyone to realize that I grew up in Chesterland and graduated for WGHS. I had a dream and I followed it as best as I could by working hard and staying focused. Setbacks are part of life and will happen….just don’t take yourself too seriously.”