Winter X Games 15 Day 2-3 notes

Posted: January 30, 2011 in X Games
Tags: , , , , , ,

Man, I was rather overconfident of the accuracy of my predictions. There were some where I should have gone with my initial choice (over-analyzing doesn’t work here). In other cases, the results showed how different the X Games are compared to events like the Dew Tour and how well the athletes respond to a larger playing field and more pressure.

I have been catching up on the Day 3 action during the breaks in today’s contests so I’ll throw in a few thoughts from those events as well.

Ski thoughts

  • The SuperPipe guys were probably not liking it the sunny Aspen weather so much. You see, the heat leads to slippery pipe which leads to more speed. While that results in bigger amplitude, the greater inertia and lack of control means more crashes and general squirreliness.
  • Simon reminds me of freestyle motocross’ Nate Adams with his serious attitude (some might say too serious but that mentality has helped him win) and analytical approach to competition. He had a guy taping his final runs for him to review and make improvements.
  • Local boy Torin Yater-Wallace became the youngest X Games medalist. He’s a few months younger than snowcross racer Tucker Hibbert, who also medaled at the age of 15. The judges really liked his alley-oop double flatspin 900, and I did too. We’ll be seeing more from this kid.
  • Way to keep us on the edge of our seats, Kevin. He said there was “too much pressure” on him during his last run, but his smooth spins suggested that he kept his cool. Loved his reaction, so humble and sincere.
  • The pressure (on top of an injury from Killington last week) may have gotten to Bobby Brown, as he failed to medal is the event he has been dominating (Slopestyle).
  • Big Air seems to be the place for rookies to try out new moves and shine. Way to go Alex Schlopy!
  • I used to be able to count the number of rotations and multiply by 360 to call out moves.  Now that we’re going into 1260s, 1440s, and even 1620s, I can’t do math in my head that fast.

Snowboard thoughts

  • Missed the memo on Helene Olafsen being injured
  • What, Shaun White didn’t qualify? Well, this is Slopestyle, and the sport progresses so fast that it was too hard for Shaun to catch up.
  • Being a fan of old-school tricks and major style, I loved the Best Method comp. My vote went to Ross Powers. He gave us a 2002 Olympic flashback with his almost horizontal method and huge amplitude.
  • Advice all the new X Games spectators: when the announcers start yelling, it means either someone crashed hard or pulled a HUGE move. This was what I told my boyfriend, who said the Big Air tricks “all just looks like a bunch of spins” to him.
  • I have a bone to pick with Sport Science. It makes the triple cork sound like a 1620.  What is really going on is that a snowboarder is spinning 1080 degrees. On top of that he has to flip upside down three times. While his total number of degrees might add up to 1620, the rotations are on different axes. The presentation is still worth checking out.
  • The desire to see your child is strong motivation… at least for Nick Baumgartner. At lucky X Games #7, he finally gets a medal, and it happens to be gold. Very cute moment with his son at the end.
  • The debate continues over who is the better racer, 2-time Olympic champ Seth Wescott or 5-time X Games champ Nate Holland? Maybe it just depends on the course.
  • Kelly Clark seems to have taken a cue from Shaun White, using her victory run to throw down a history-making maneuver. Congrats on being the first woman to land a 1080 in competition!

Snowmobile thoughts

  • The question for Speed and Style was whether the racers would have the advantage or the freestylers. At first, it looked like racers would have an edge since they were used to hearing more than one sled out there and to have better endurance. However, Cory Davis, who left Joe Parsons in a pile of snow during semifinals, found out that not having inverted tricks was costly. He needed about an 8-second lead (that’s a long time in snocross racing).

Lots of congrats to hand out. Day 2’s winners were Kevin Rolland (Men’s Ski SuperPipe), Snowboard Best Method (Snowboard Best Method), Joe Parsons (Snowmobile Speed and Style), and Torstein Horgmo (Snowboard Big Air). Day 3’s winners were Nick Baumgartner (Men’s Snowboarder X), Lindsey Jacobellis (Women’s Snowboarder X), Sammy Carlson (Men’s Ski Slopestyle), Nic Sauve (Snowboard Street), Kelly Clark (Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe), and Alex Schlopy (Ski Big Air).

Jen’s Prediction Status: 3/8
Quote of the Day: “If you take a hard hit, you’re going to lose your wallet.” – announcer after Dan Csokonay’s crash in Snowboader X eliminations caused his wallet and money to fly out
Trick of the Day: Torstein Horgmo’s triple cork, which he did with an injury and a bad crash on his first attempt

Inspiration of the Day: The two injured gold medalists, Torstein Horgmo and Scotty Lago, deserve props for their courage/insanity. Check out Scotty’s Best Method Kodak moment.
Best Method 2011
(Photo from Winter X Games facebook page)

Question of the Day: What do you think is more impressive, 5 consecutive X Games gold medals or 2 Olympic gold medals?

Listening to: “Underneath It All” by Nine Inch Nails

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