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Local athletic trainer will watch Olympics for one of his own

Seth Tinker of Rhododendron trains with Nick Goepper, a U.S. freeskier at the 2014 Sochi Olympics


Athletes from all over make Hoodland Sport and Fitness a go-to destination for training; owner and trainer Seth Tinker is all too happy to grant them 24-hour access. His clients range from mixed martial arts fighters to the Sandy High School snowboard team to Olympic freestyle skier Nick Goepper.

Rhododendron resident Tinker, 32, grew up ski racing. He was no stranger to competition and ended up spending a lot of time at the Olympic training center in Park City, Utah.

After he was done competing, he wasn’t ready to leave that world behind. He graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in exercise and sport science. In 2006, Tinker was fitness director at Mt. Hood Athletic Club; in 2009, he opened a gym in Happy Valley; and finally, in 2012, after having built up enough clients to relocate to a less bustling area, Tinker was able to move his business to Welches. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Tinker has several athletes who just stop in and train when theyre in town, including a handball player from Brazil.

“It’s close to home, and close to the mountain,” Tinker said.

Hoodland Sport and Fitness, 68308 E. Highway 26, is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week club where Tinker is the only trainer.

Tinker has trained with wrestlers, motocross racers, snowboarders, skiers and many other successful athletes, but Goepper is his first athlete to make it to the Olympics.

Goepper, 19, of Lawrenceburg, Ind., met Tinker through a mutual acquaintance in Park City in 2013, the year he took gold in the Aspen X Games. This February, he is competing in Sochi for the U.S. ski and snowboard team in freeskiing.

When training with Tinker, Goepper’s workload is intense. In addition to working on the slopes, Tinker has Goepper doing four to five days of explosive movement weight lifting and balance training at the club, and three days on the trampoline.

Tinker thinks that part of why he has trained so many successful athletes is because of the different approach that Hoodland Sport and Fitness takes with its athletes.

The training incorporates a lot more than just lifting weights.

“I ask that it becomes a lifestyle,” Tinker said.

He often has to discredit the common stereotype that skiers and snowboarders are lazy. In addition to weights and exercise, the athletes work with nutritionists, and being on the road does not mean being on break.

“When (Goepper) goes home, he trains, and when they’re on the road, he trains,” Tinker said.

Another of Tinker’s athletes, Johnnie Paxson, a member of the Nike snowboarding team, also knows that to be a pro, you’ve got to train like one.

“The athletes are extremely driven,” Tinker said. “They work very hard, and they’re here for a purpose. They don’t need to be pushed into being here.”

Right now, Hoodland Sport and Fitness caters to 10 active athletes. Tinker has 15 athletes who are revolving, and several who just stop in when they’re in town.

Tinker said he is excited to see Goepper in the Olympics, mostly because he knows the hard work that has gone in to getting him to Sochi. Tinker believes that skiing is one of the harder sports to train for, because there are so many different techniques that go into it.

“Most of the top athletes I’ve met are skiers,” he said.