Winter X Games 15 Day 4 notes

Posted: February 2, 2011 in X Games
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sorry for the delay. After the freak ice storm that hit Texas, I needed a break from all things winter. However, the awesome memories that Winter X XV brought couldn’t keep me away for too long. All of Sunday, I was watching the X Games web broadcast so prepare for a great deal of observations and commentary.

Ski thoughts

  • The fastest skier wears yellow. It’s like having a target on your back.
  • Was the audio of Ashleigh McIvor’s crash necessary? It was scary enough watching her take a tumble.
  • That X Course was brutal, especially the “Money Booter” at the end.
  • Would you trade blood and potential broken bones to get a spot on the podium? Kelsey Serwa and Ophelie David did, and that’s why Skier X girls are as hardcore as the guys.
  • Privateers often have a huge disadvantage (no sponsorship = no money to get new equipment). Just ask freestyle snowmobiler Daniel Bodin, who went factory this year and won gold. However, John Teller (Skier X) proved that you can beat the odds and the favorite to win the event.
  • Mono Skier X is a lesson in perseverance. If you fall, pick your self right back up and continue.  Sean Rosen did that and wound up first in the semifinal.
  • According to the Sport Science feature, Mono Skier X athletes have it much harder than their Skier X peers due to a lower center of gravity, less blood circulating through their body, and concentration of pressure put on their upper bodies.

Snowboard thoughts

  • Were names given to the Slopestyle obstacles just so we can hear bad puns such as, “It’s always the hardest to come up with the Down Payment” (Keir Dillon)?
  • Playing it safe does not pay off. That might explain why Jamie Anderson, who has won every Slopestyle contest she entered prior to Winter, only got bronze.
  • Whether you’re racing or throwing down tricks, riding snowmobile or sliding on skis or a snowboard, depth perception is important.  Thus, the blue line is everyone’s best friend.
  • Torstein Horgmo had the most creative use of the joystick.  Hard to believe he’s fighting broken ribs and a concussion (from Big Air).
  • According to Keir, Mikkel Bang holds his grabs for 900 degrees of his 1080.  That scores major points from the judges.
  • Being a judge means that you have to be real picky about stuff like grabs and direction of a spin.  Thank god for replays.
  • The medalists in Men’s Slopestyle are all teenagers and only in their first and second years of X Games competition.   Watch out for the young guns!
  • Are 1260 double corks are the new thing to throw?
  • Shaun White’s competitors came back with a vengeance.  With Peetu Piiroinen’s amplitude, Kazuhiro Kokubo’s tweaked out McTwists, Louie Vito’s successive double corks, and Scotty Lago‘s smooth riding, it wasn’t going to be as easy for him to get the SuperPipe gold.
  • All the snowboarders love Kazu’s style, but the judges favor technicality and difficulty.
  • Shaun was still so good that a bad run for him was a good run for others.  Nevertheless, Scotty came close to interrupting his four-peat, and I actually thought Shaun’s second run score was rather high.
  • Scotty was looking good for a guy who lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks (via the liquid diet).  He should win the MVP award for entering 4 contests and medaling in 2.

Snowmobile thoughts

  • Snocross was referred to as a “team sport”.  If your mechanics don’t do a good job, then your performance is going to suffer.
  • Tucker Hibbert showed that you shouldn’t complain about your gate pick.  He still managed to get the holeshot.  Of course, he also became the second Winter X athlete to five-peat.
  • Adaptive Snocross is another inspiring event.  These guys will not let paralysis or loss of legs get in the way of their need for speed.
  • Even though he finished 6th this year, 2010 Adaptive Snocross bronze medalist Doug Henry is undoubtedly the comeback king.  He restarted his motocross career after breaking his back, then went onto SuperMoto (where he won Summer X gold).  After an accident left him partially paralyzed, he moved onto Adaptive Snocross.
  • The level of insanity in Best Trick has reached the point where video games tricks are coming to life: tsunami flip, lazy boy flip, Carolla/body varial, double grab flip…
  • Then there was this thing, dubbed the “brother backflip”.
  • Usually judges like innovation, but this year, they seemed to favor Superman/seat grab variations.  They also seemed hell-bent on providing that this was a serious competition and not a wacky exhibition, but is the Carolla a circus trick?

My final congratulatory wishes go to Enni Rukajärvi (Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle), John Teller (Men’s Skier X), Kelsey Serwa (Women’s Skier X), Mike Schultz (Adaptive Snocross), Tucker Hibbert (Snocross), Sebastien Toutant (Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle), Josh Dueck (Mono Skier X), Daniel Bodin (Snowmobile Best Trick), and Shaun White (Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe). Thank you to all the athletes for all your efforts during these amazing four days!

Jen’s Prediction Status: 4/14 – So my predictions were inaccurate but I’m okay with that.  The people who threw them off were the underdogs and rookies that deserved to make themselves known to the world.
Quote of the Day: “Hard work in life, no matter what you do, pays off.” – John Teller
Trick of the Day: Daniel Bodin’s double grab backflip

Inspiration of the Day: all the Mono Skier X and Adaptive Snowcross athletes
Doug Henry
(Photo by Stephen W. Clark for American Snowmobiler)

Question of the Day: Do you think Caleb Moore’s Carolla should have scored higher than Daniel’s double grab flip?

That’s it for my notes. I’m thinking of a clever way to recap everything because that’s what I do every year. Plus, I want to highlight the courage, perseverance, and camaraderie that draws me to the X Games. You’ve probably been as saturated with X Games stuff as I have been with ice and snow so I’ll give everyone a week off before we relive the memories of Winter X Games XV.

Listening to: “Hu Shi Luan Xiang” – K One feat. Ivy Hsu

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