He pursued that dream when he graduated in 1999 by playing baseball in college before his career was derailed by an elbow injury.
Romano gave up baseball, but returned to another athletic love — skiing.
That path proved to be the one that led him to the pro circuit. He became a member of the FIS Masters World Cup Tour — skiing’s equivalent of the Senior PGA — in 2010 after winning the Summer Nationals that same year.
“I was hoping to play minor league baseball, so I took some time off for college,” said Romano. “When I hurt by elbow, I went back to skiing then.”
Romano began skiing as a 3-year-old. An Atlanta native, his family would take frequent trips to the slopes, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he began to compete. At the time, he was living in Washington, D.C., but took a ski trip to Bogus Basin near Boise, Idaho.
“I just got lucky and I was in the right place at the right time,” said Romano. “I like going really fast and there was basically no one on the trails. I passed this guy and he found me later and asked me where I raced. I told him that I didn’t and he said that I should.”
The other skier turned out to be a coach at Boise State. Romano explained that he lived on the East Coast and was only visiting the area and the coach offered to put in a word with some contacts he had in the area.
“That’s how it all got started,” said Romano.
Romano, who recently returned to Cobb County to live, competes primarily in South America and Europe. This season the tour features just one race in North American. He begins racing in September with the South American Cup in Chile, then in December the FIS Masters World Cup begins with races in Italy and Croatia. The series finals are held in Sestriere, Italy on April 5-6.
He will also participate in the U.S. National Championship in Big Sky, Montana from Mar. 18-23.
Romano, who was sponsored by Rosetta Stone one year, took up Italian and studies French through high school and college. He says it helps when he travels abroad.
Romano, who competes against racers age 30-34, said he would like to win another personal globe, which is given to the top three finishers each season.
In his first season on the tour, Romano placed third out of 18 competitors to earn a globe.
After finishing fourth last year, Romano would like to earn one more before his racing days are done.
He entered Sunday in first place, but fell to second in the standings after skipping the weekend’s competition in Switzerland.
“It all evens out because we will all have the same number of races at the end of the season,” said Romano. “It’s like baseball. Sometimes have more games played at a certain point of the season. Not all the teams play every day, but at the end it all matches up.”
Romano said he gets in as much practice time as he can, but it isn’t always on a course. His favorite spots to visit at Vale, Co. and Alta, Utah.
“Free skiing helps you racing, so it’s not always just on the race course running gates,” said Romano. “Racing gives you a challenge. It gives you goals. I mean, I could race all day and not get bored.”