During the St. Peter's Fiesta, it only takes a few steps and dive to become a legend.
In 2012, Ross Carlson cemented himself in fiesta history with his Friday Greasy Pole victory in the third round.
After the Greasy Pole was destroyed by a storm on September 30th, 2011, St. Peter's most famous event was in limbo. It was rebuilt just in time for this year's contest, and now Carlson has bragging rights to being the first winner on the new pole. Knowing the history surrounding the event, Carlson couldn't have been happier being crowned the first winner on the new pole.
"I'm honored," Carlson said. "My father took me out there when I was five and winning this is just a surreal feeling. I've been dreaming about this day since I was kid. It's the icing on the cake."
More importantly, it adds another page in the Carlson family history for the event.
Carlson's dad Chris is a well-known Greasy Pole walker himself. In 1995, Chris Carlson was the Sunday Greasy Pole Champion. With Chris still deciding to walk this Sunday, his son Ross has the chance to join him with a win on tonight's pole.
While Salvi Benson, Stew McGillivray, and Jake Wood have been the only walkers in the past 50 years to win multiple poles in the same year, don't count out Carlson.
Carlson is fueled by the power of a family reunion on the pole and the failed walks of previous years.
In years past, Carlson came tantalizingly close to capturing his first Greasy Pole title. This year was a much different story, as the former Gloucester High School football star made it clear that this event was his to win from the get-go.
In the second round, he got about three-quarters of the way down the pole before falling off. Given another chance in third round, Carlson came roaring out of the gates.
As he approached the same spot that he fell off in the previous round, Carlson stumbled slightly again. The slight stumble wasn't nearly enough to knock off the determined Carslon, as he dove and grabbed the flag in front of several hundred roaring onlookers.
As he was being carried from the ocean onto the beach after the victory, Carlson high five'd numerous fans on his celebratory march. With hundreds cheering after the victory, it's definitely a moment Carlson will never forget.
"Honestly, I think the best part is when you're coming up and you're almost at the top of the water," he said. "You can hear the whole crowd roaring and it was definitely my favorite part."
When asked about the secret to winning, Carlson said it was a hearty breakfast that fueled him. While most athletes look to Wheaties as the 'breakfast of champions,' Carlson had his own recipe for success.
"I had breakfast at Maime's Kitchen," he said. "I had an omelet, a hearty breakfast and was full the rest of the day. That's the secret right there."