Date of Birth:
July 10, 1988
City/State of Birth:
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Olympics and Events Attended:
2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 FIS Snowboard World Championships,
2018 Winter Olympics, Parallel Giant Slalom
When Frank Makrin first met Mike Trapp, he thought Trapp kind of looked like a surfer. It was 2011 and Trapp, a parallel giant slalom snowboarder for Team USA, had applied to be a service mechanic at the dealership where Makrin worked.
“He was really nice, great personality,’’ said Makrin, the service manager at Prime Service Center of Hyannis, in a telephone interview. Makrin hired Trapp, and it took just a week for Trapp’s new boss to be impressed by his skill in the garage and his work ethic.
“His mechanical skills are incredible,’’ Makrin said.
Trapp, who spends six months of the year working at Prime and the other six months on the road as a professional snowboarder, finishes three- to four-hour jobs in an hour and a half or two.
“Believe me, there are times I spot-check things, and it’s spot on,’’ Makrin said. He shows up for his 8 a.m. shift at 6 a.m., usually staying until about 7 o’clock at night.
“He loves what he does,’’ said Kelly Trapp, Mike’s wife, in a telephone interview.
He completes certification trainings even when on the road for competitions, replying to Makrin’s staff-wide e-mails about it quickly and promptly taking care of business.
“It takes my mind away from snowboarding for a little while,’’ Trapp, 29, said over coffee near the Olympic Stadium here, about a 40-minute drive from where he will make his Olympic debut this week at Phoenix Snow Park.
Trapp’s love of fixing cars was born out of a dislike of the classroom. He realized during his junior year of high school that the classroom was not for him, that it was not how he wanted to learn about life, that he did not want to go to college. One day during his junior year, as he thumbed through the catalog of classes to pick for his senior year, he thought, “Oh, I need to get out of here. This isn’t working for me.’’
So he hatched a plan to earn the last few credits he needed for early graduation, one of which was an internship, and pitched it to his parents, who went for it after some initial hesitation. Trapp’s father, Robert, who is a used car salesman on Cape Cod, suggested his son do his internship at a dealership.
“Do you want to do sales, service, parts — like, what do you want to do?’’ Trapp recalled his father saying. “I was like, ‘Well, I haven’t really thought that far. But I guess I’ll try fixing ’em.’ Yeah, I never looked back.’’
While his job at Prime has provided a different arena to exercise his brain and taught him the value of a dollar, his sport is where he learned his work ethic. Trapp has spent years trying to carve out his place in the parallel giant slalom snowboarding world, placing 16th at last year’s world championships. The native of Marstons Mills, Mass., began at Waterville Valley Academy in the sixth grade, and was practicing all five snowboarding disciplines before his coaches strongly suggested he pick either freestyle or racing.
(Boston.com, Rachel Bowers
February 21, 2018)