Shredding To Metallica, Dancing To 'Jump'

American Daron Rahlves competes during the men's freestyle ski cross qualification at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. i i

American Daron Rahlves competes during the men's freestyle ski cross qualification at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
American Daron Rahlves competes during the men's freestyle ski cross qualification at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

American Daron Rahlves competes during the men's freestyle ski cross qualification at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Ever since we started asking you to send winter song stories, we've gotten a lot of responses involving winter sports. So today, we're going to strap on our boots, snap on our skis and warm up with Olympic skier Daron Rahlves and two NPR listeners.

Winter Songs: Shredding To Metallica, Dancing To 'Jump'

  • "Enter Sandman" by Metallica (Daron Rahlves)

    "I think it's the intro to ['Enter Sandman']. The powerful song, the beat, it just gets me feeling different inside. It's actually the one song I play coming in at Kitzbuhel, Austria — it's basically the Super Bowl of all [ski] races — on the World Cup on the downhill tour. When I drive in about five minutes away from Kitzbuhel, the first day I'd flick this on the audio system in the car and get those juices flowing. The intensity — it's just building and building up and then, boom.

    "I go to bed just amped, but also scared. But I think that's what increases the focus level. It does kind of actually link a little more up to the lyrics of 'Enter Sandman' a little bit — the fear factor. Going to bed and you're feeling a little unsettled, you're not going to bed feeling comfortable.

    "The louder it goes, the more you feel it, right? It has good bass in this song, too, so it just kind of hits you and just jumps into your chest a little bit. I'm getting amped just talking about it right now, actually."

  • "Jump" by Pointer Sisters (Jan Hazard)

    "This was 1986, '87, and it was a hit song. We rented a ski house between Christmas and New Year's, and then again on Presidents [Day] weekend. We went to what we affectionately call 'Ice Face,' which is White Face Mountain in Lake Placid. There were four families, and our car was always the first to leave the rented house for the slopes in the freezing late-December morning.

    "And as I slipped the tape into the tape player — and, yes, it was a tape player — on came The Pointer Sisters. And as soon as that started playing, the 8-year-olds in the back seat were just wiggling to the beat, and they sang along. They would tap their heavy, heavy snow boots as best they could, and they just loved it.

    "Our kids today are thirtysomethings and planning ski trips for their ski bunnies, so I think I should send them all a tape of this song to jazz them as they drive to the slopes."

  • "Do You Wanna Dance" by The Beach Boys (Dan Dooher)

    "The reason I love ['Do You Wanna Dance'] so much is that it just really evokes great memories, actually, wrestling in high school. This is all during the winter in the mid-'70s in South Jersey — Cherry Hill, N.J.

    "Every time before a meet, I would just play 'Do You Wanna Dance' and just try to keep it in my mind. It just got the adrenaline going, and for one brief, shining moment when I'm wrestling — I was a 17-year-old kid in high school — I was Dan Gable, the Olympic gold-medal wrestler. And then when you're done, you walk out and it's into that cold air — you see your breath and you can feel your feet crunching on the snow. Always in the back of my mind, Dennis Wilson is blasting away and getting me pumped up."

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