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Deadliest Catch's James Gallagher Was Sponsored In This Unexpected Sport

The early aughts were a boom time for reality television. In the wake of successful series like "The Real World" and "Survivor," the genre exploded. As reported by The Washington Post, over 300 reality series premiered between 2001 and 2015. Among many short-lived flops and head-scratchers, "Deadliest Catch" has earned its longevity and scores of loyal fans. Now nearing two decades on the air, "Deadliest Catch" first premiered in 2005 and offers a glimpse at the perilous world of commercial crab fishing.

The reality TV boom launched a generation of fans who, now adults themselves, are beginning to join the very shows they grew up watching. That's the case of James Gallagher, a rookie engineer for the Lady Alaska who appeared on Seasons 16 and 17 of "Deadliest Catch" (via IMDb). "I grew up watching the show," Gallagher posted on Reddit. "Eventually started salmon fishing in Bristol Bay and eventually one job led to another and I ended up working on the Seabrooke for Junior."

Gallagher may have started working in the fishing industry shortly after high school, but the young seafarer got into some unexpected activities on land, too. Here's the sport that earned Gallagher a sponsorship.

James Gallagher was a semi-pro skier

James Gallagher may have made a career for himself at sea, but he fared just as well in the mountains. In a Reddit AMA, Gallagher revealed that he used to be a semi-pro skier. "I had a couple minor sponsorships and I coached a freeride ski team at Monarch Mountain near Salida, CO," he wrote. Still, he's humble about his skiing abilities. "I was never close to that good," he said. "The concentration of talent in the ski industry right [now] is absolutely ridiculous."

With commercial fishing's demanding schedule, Gallagher hasn't had much free time to hit the slopes. "Now I pretty much just fish nonstop," he said. "I've been home [for] like 8 weeks in the last 14 months. They keep me pretty busy."

Gallagher's background as a skier surely helped his endurance while working tirelessly on the deck of the Lady Alaska, as did his familiarity working in hand-numbing conditions. Indeed, Gallagher confirmed that the Bering Sea boasted colder temperatures than the Rockies. "Couple times I have forgotten to change my gloves and ran hydros," he said in a second AMA. "It was literally the coldest I've ever been in my life."

Skiing is certainly one way to relieve stress when you're not hauling in crab pots, and Gallagher admits that he still skis when he can. Other crew members prefer more illicit activities, like the "Deadliest Catch" star who dabbled in bank robbing. Captain Sig Hansen, meanwhile, prefers to kick back with his family when he's ashore. As he told Miami New Times, "With all the travel we do with Discovery, it's nice just to be home and relax, just do nothing."