Fans of pro snowboarding may have observed Greta Gaines providing commentary on ESPN. In fact, Greta also has hosted MTV's Sports and Music Festival, and on the Oxygen Network she's been the focus of "Freeride with Greta Gaines."
Viewers may not realize, however, that Greta Gaines has an athlete's background as a snowboarding champion, or that her main career is in entertainment rather than athletics. Greta currently is pitching a new album, "Whiskey Thoughts," which she describes as "a real hippie, country, psychedelic, southern rock record .... a witty and rollicking ride."
Greta Gaines' main snowboard riding, before she became a cable TV extreme sports commentator, took place during her childhood and young adult years. In rural New Hampshire during the 1980s, she joined her two brothers in snowboarding during the winter and fly fishing during the summer.
This was during a time before snowboarding became popular. When the sport emerged during the 1990s, the free-spirited Greta Gaines moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she says her lifestyle was "snowboarding all day, and singing songs in country and western bars at night." She captured an extreme snowboarding tournament championship, establishing credentials to enter the broadcast ranks.
An original life? Greta Gaines comes from an original family. Her father, Charles Gaines, is an author whose bestselling work was "Pumping Iron" and who played a role inventing the game of Paintball. Her mother, the former Patricia Ellisor, is a painter and sculptor who held the Miss Alabama crown. "My parents wrote their own rules, so it didn't seem odd to me to invent my life as I went along. I started out to show the world that women can represent in non-traditional sports such as snowboarding and fly-fishing, and have a career singing and songwriting at the same time," Gaines says, in promoting her new album.
"I've never been interested in the status quo. It took me 20 years to get here, before anyone saw the link between sports and music. But here I am, and I want to be in your iPod."