Keir Dillon

Snowboarder

Keir Dillon     Photo: Jeff Lipsky

Keir Dillon couldn't concentrate. It was the February 2004 World Superpipe Championship in Park City, Utah, and the pipe's 18-foot walls were booming with the sound system's house music and the noise of the raucous crowd. So he put on his earmuff-size Sony headphones, tuned in to the mellow vocals of a singer from his church, dropped in, and won gold. That same focus earned Dillon third-place finishes in both the X Games in January and the U.S. Open in March—a trifecta of podium appearances at the sport's most renowned contests. In the pipe, Dillon, 27, is known best for his personalized McTwist—a 540-degree spinning front flip—and soaring amplitude. Off the snow, the Carlsbad, California–based boarder—who is married and sticks to a rigorous year-round training regimen in hopes of making the 2006 Olympic squad—is leading a new revolution of career-focused riders by being up front about who he is and what it takes to win. "You can't be pro these days and be a complete derelict," he says. "It's about being dialed."

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