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Snowboarder Faces the Reality of Living His Dream

When Andy's lifestyle as a successful snowboarder began to lead him down a dark path, he wondered if he was being punished by God. Drowning in his own guilt, he was too weak to stand against the constant temptations Read Transcript


Well, probably to understand what I love about snowboarding

goes back to when I was a kid.

I love to fly.

I like jumping out of trees, off fences, off roofs.

And when you're in the air on a snowboard,

gravity's pretty much gone.

Well, at least til you hit.

Then that kind of hurts sometimes.

NARRATOR: Andy Finch was 12 when his dad took him to the slopes

for a day of snowboarding as a reward for good grades.

When he saw what the other snowboarders were doing,

he was hooked.

What really captured me was when a snowboarder came

flying off a roller that I'd never seen anyone catch air off


And he made it look good.

He did what's called a grasser or a method.

And it looked amazing.

I'm like, Dad, that's what I want to do.

NARRATOR: Living just down the road from a ski resort,

Andy spent hours on the slopes.

Eventually he started competing.

ANDY FINCH: I think within three or four years,

I had won a national title.

And then I started getting sponsors.

And that's when I started to meet people and get noticed.

And I just kept winning bigger and bigger events.

I won nationals, then I won Junior Worlds.

The year after I won Junior Worlds was when I got

thrown on tour.

NARRATOR: In 1998 he turned pro at 17-years-old.

He hit all the major tour stops from the World Cup

to the Winter X Games.

I definitely had goals set in my career.

And I think I wanted to be the best.

I wanted to be known as one of the best,

and be at the top of the game.

NARRATOR: But the wide, open lifestyle pro-snowboarder

pulled him away from his Christian upbringing.

I traveled to all these new places around the world.

Yeah, I mean what comes with freedom?

You know partying, and you could just blow money at will.

I think as far as what I was telling myself,

I was lying to myself.

I was lying myself that everyone does this.

That was kind of a turning point;

when I turned my back on God.

Even though I believed He existed,

I believed Jesus died for my sins.

I basically said, I'm going to go off and do this.

And I went for it.

NARRATOR: Andy partied as hard as he competed.

He also became sexually active.

The following year at the 1999 Gravity Games,

he took a 40-foot fall on a quarter pipe run,

badly injuring his knee.

At age 18, I had my first major injury.

It was shortly after I made that decision to be sexually active.

So all of a sudden I start stirring like, man,

am I getting these injuries because I'm

being sexually active because I'm disobeying God?

NARRATOR: After surgery Andy took a year

to recover before returning to competition.

But now he was finding it difficult to keep

his head in the game.

ANDY FINCH: But I still was able to just ignore it.

I was still able to find my support group,

focus, deal with my coaches, and talk through stuff,

and figure out my game plan, and stick with my strategy.

That wasn't what turned me from my sin.

NARRATOR: Andy managed to push those nagging thoughts aside

for another five years.

As his life revolved around snowboarding, partying,

and sex.

That is until he started to see how his actions were

hurting others.

All of a sudden, so many different things

were really starting to make sex not that rad.

It actually really started to torture me.

And along that lines, I started to see a couple girls

that I had really liked.

All of a sudden I saw how I was using them and destroying

their life, really messing with their heads,

and I saw that destruction.

NARRATOR: The 2003-2004 season turned out

to be one of Andy's best.

He'd medaled in the Winter X Games,

and was making more money than he ever had.

But come September he could no longer ignore

the feelings of guilt that were forcing

their way to the surface.

ANDY FINCH: Like all right, God, this is your deal.

I know I still want to live that lifestyle.

You know I still want to do those things.

I know the temptations, and I'm too weak.

So this is your deal.

It's got to be you that changes my life, that

changes my heart, that gives me strength

to turn from these temptations.

NARRATOR: Andy handed his life over to Jesus Christ,

and trusted with His help, he could change.

All right, God, this is yours.

You're sovereign God with all authority.

What do you want to do with my life because what I'm doing

is not working.

NARRATOR: As Andy read the Bible he

found the strength to put the lifestyle behind him.

ANDY FINCH: God sees me not just as a good dude,

He sees me as the glory of God.

Like Jesus is the glory of God, right?

He came and did what no one else could do.

And that's how God views me?

Like are you kidding me?

I don't deserve that.

So that's pretty rad.

And that's something I really mentally

can't even comprehend fully.

But even just a little bit is worth it.

NARRATOR: Andy continued to compete at the highest

level of the sport earning him a spot on Team USA for the 2006

Winter Olympics.

He also married Amber that year, and together they're

raising a family.

Snowboarding is still a big part of Andy's like.

But today, he sees it as a way to share what

Jesus Christ has done for him.

As good as I try and be, I'm still a sinner,

that I still fall very short.

I know mentally the things I struggle with now.

But I understand that God has a love for me.

I mean he sees me as perfect, only because of Jesus,

not because of anything I did.

Now out of gratitude, and out of thankfulness,

I desire to be obedient to Him.



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