The last two days have been a test of my determination to watch the X Games. I wound up missing Day 1 and part of Day 2 because of work and a photoshoot. On top of that, AT&T doesn’t have WatchESPN access so I had to go hunting for a TV with cable, dinner and Mountain Dew in tow. When I found one, I wound up losing my pen. It’s been a fight to see the action, but I’m glad I was able to catch what I did.
- The TrickTrack on the X Games site is really cool, but it takes away part of the fun of my job.
- Sarah Burke would’ve been proud of what went down in Women’s Ski SuperPipe. Everyone except Jen Hudak (who’s coming back from injury) did a 900.
- Annalisa Drew, a rookie, tried to go for the 1260. That’s definitely a way to get noticed.
- The walls are 22 feet. Roz Groenewoud soared 14+ feet over that.
- The defending gold medalist goes last, which creates potential drama. In this case, we had Maddie Bowman snagging the top spot early on and Roz trying to knock her off.
- In the Men’s SuperPipe final, Simon Dumont made a comeback. He gave quite an impressive performance considering it’s his first comp after his injury and he’s got pins in his wrist and no poles.
- Newcomer Aaron Blunck showed a lot of potential. He goes fast and huge, but he’s gotta learn to not be so squirrelly.
- Kevin Rolland had good run until he clipped his ribs on last trick. That looked like a painful way to go down.
- I’ve heard a lot about the effectiveness of visualization, and maybe the claims are true. It seemed to have helped David Wise, who was shown spinning his helmet.
- He did the first back-to-back double cork 1080, spinning in both directions.
- Joffrey Pollet-Villard got so much amplitude, over 23 feet.
- Torin Yater-Wallace put up a really awesome fight for gold, especially since he was coming off of an injury and doing tricks he hadn’t tried since summer.
- David Wise got second highest score in Ski SuperPipe history. The highest belongs to Candide Thovex. (From Aspen/Snowmass Instagram)
- Triples (corks and rodeos) are the trick to winning Snowboard Big Air. Because the standings are determined by your two highest scores, it’s good to have different variations in the bag.
- I did wish the judges gave more style points though.
- Halldor Helgason took a hard fall and wound up getting a concussion. Hope he gets well soon!
- Ståle Sandbech got an early lead with the competition trailing behind by more than 20 points for much of the evening.
- Backside triples are harder than Cab triples so Mark McMorris’ only got a 38. It’s unbelievable to consider that triple corks were the winning trick last year.
- Also crazy is Ulrik Badertscher getting a low score for a 1620.
- Guys were crashing all over the place trying their triple cork variation.
- The Big Air finals really proved that you can’t be too comfy sitting up top, especially when you’re against a hot bed of talent. Ståle didn’t try to better his score (not that I blame him because the guys were getting really beat-up), and that wound up costing him.
- There could not have been a more dramatic conclusion. Last two riders on their last jumps, both former gold medalists, do tricks that have never been stomped in competition (and in Mark’s case, never done period) after spending most of the contest wiping out. Both Mark McMorris and Torstein Horgmo made it count although they both seemed really surprised too.
- Even though I wasn’t present to see the contest, I did watch the video of Levi LaVallee’s run and he has definitely made a comeback.
- I also want to send well wishes to the Moore brothers. Caleb Moore has had surgery for his heart contusion. Colton Moore has been treated for a dislocated pelvis.
Congratulations to our gold medalists: Levi LaValle (Snowmobile Freestyle), Louis-Felix Paradis (Snowboard Street and Real Street judges’ vote), Maddie Bowman (Women’s Ski SuperPipe), David Wise (Men’s Ski SuperPipe), and Torstein Horgmo (Snowboard Big Air)!
Prediction Status: 2/3
Quote of the Day: “She would fall harder than any other girl, and she would get back up and do it again until she got it.” – Maddie Bowman, on Sarah Burke
Trick of the Day: Torstein Horgmo’s switch backside triple cork 1440, with Mark McMorris’ Cab triple underflip 1440 in a a close second
Inspiration of the Day: Simon Dumont – He came out for the fans despite having surgery last December. He couldn’t use poles and still got bronze.
Question of the Day: Do you think skiing is becoming more popular than snowboarding? (The New York Times thinks so.)