MT. SHASTA, Calif. - Mt. Shasta native Robby Burns is officially an Olympian.
"It's overwhelming, it's exciting, it's a total shock," he said.
After months of intense training in Italy and competing in qualifying events, Burns got the highly anticipated call from the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. He'll represent Team USA in parallel giant slalom.
"It's like 10 years of memories flooding through your mind," Burns said. "All the work, all the time up here at ski park, all the coaches, all the mentors, all the things that kept me going."
His family, coaches and friends kept Burns going after he missed the Olympic team in 2018. Now the 31-year-old has punched his ticket and plans to take it all in.
"It's like seeing something with the child's mind for the first time," he said. "You don't know what exactly to expect. You just know that this is the kind of thing that dreams are made of."
Naturally, there will be some nerves.
"I think the butterflies are going to be super high," Burns joked.
Before the Mt. Shasta native travels to Beijing, he made one final training stop at a familiar ski park.
"Mt. Shasta is like our little hidden gem," Burns said. "We're from a town of 3,000 so we all know each other. We're all on first-name basis and we can work well together."
Training on Mt. Shasta as an Olympian is a full-circle moment for Burns, as it's where he first learned to strap into a snowboard.
"It means a lot to me," Burns exclaimed. "At the end of the day, when people ask me where I came from, I'm just a small town Mount Shasta kid, just like the rest of these kids who raced here."
Now the snowboarder gets to live his dream that started after watching the Yreka High School ski team.
"This is what little kids dream about, and I'm now getting to live that dream out and fulfill that," Burns said. "I'm excited to be there and experience the entire thing."
Burns hits the slopes to compete in parallel giant slalom starting Feb. 8. In California, his events begin the evening of Feb. 7th.