X Games Aspen 2016 Thursday recap

Posted: February 23, 2016 in X Games
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I know I’m late on these, but I hope they’ll get you amped about X Games Oslo.  Being stuck in Aspen for a couple of days after the X Games was great… until I got back home.  I haven’t had much time to sit down and consider how these posts would differ from my Tumblr updates.  It’s going to mostly be the same, but I hope you stick around for the photos and some additional facts that I remember.

To preface this adventure, I’d like to give you some perspective.  If you’ve followed freestyle snowmobiling at Winter X, then you know about the Moore brothers.  They’re from Krum, which is an hour from where I am.  If you remember all those remarks about how they’re not used to the cold or the altitude, you can apply those to them.  North Texas gets snow a couple times a year, and it’s super flat.  Therefore I arrived in Aspen with some trepidation but much excitement.
day1-dad7637  Aspen Airport knew what was going on.

It turns out that Aspen in the day felt like Dallas without the wind chill.  The altitude proved to be a bigger issue.  That combined with my bad health and lack of sleep led to a headache that put me out of commission for most of Thursday.  However, I was able to participate in the Skype group chats with Sage Kotsenburg and Tom Wallisch.  Here’s what I learned (asterisks were answers to my questions):

Sage Kotsenburg’s Skype group chat answers

  • *He likes to immerse himself in the cultures of the countries he visits when he’s not busy riding.
  • *He finds dropping in on his final run more nerve-wracking than dealing with reporters and talk show hosts because he wants to do his best.
  • There’s a Winter X regular with a huge mohawk who he thinks must be a cool guy.
  • His worst injury was when he tore his meniscus, but he won the Dew Cup and got silver at Euro X.
  • His favorite riding buddy is his brother Blaze, who is also his greatest inspiration.
  • His first contest was when he was 7.  It was a boardercross race that he was leading until Blaze passed him.  He wound up crying because he thought Blaze cheated since that was the only way his brother could have won.
  • After he quit doing contests for a bit (due to courses getting stale and judges only wanting the same thing), he got the motivation to come back for the fans.
  • He wants to suggest some new formats, but nobody listens to him.
  • He would be nervous competing against Kelly Clark and Jamie Anderson.
  • Recently he was in Japan with Halldor Helgason, and they got in trouble with the cops for riding in the streets.

Tom Wallisch’s Skype group chat answers

  • He’s been busy filming and will have a free webseries out soon.
  • *He doesn’t know much about editing but he does like to watch and give input on music and stuff.
  • Coming back from his ACL injury was rough.  It took 6 months of physical therapy.
  • His favorite trick is a laid-out backflip.
  • His advice for skiers is to go out and have fun with friends while you learn tricks.  Also be patient with learning tricks; start slow and build up.
  • *He takes a lot of summer college classes as he is trying to get a business degree.
  • He likes hip-hop.
  • *His favorite people to ski with is Good Company.

I managed to feel well enough to venture out for the Men’s Ski Superpipe finals with my dad and my rainbow flag.  The free shuttle made things convenient, but I underestimated travel time plus security (wasn’t expecting pat downs).  Although I understand the need for strict security, some things annoyed me.  My dad had to go back since D-SLRs were not allowed, and I had to pour the water out of my thermos.  I’m not sure which is better, paid entry with free concert tickets (like in Austin) or free entry with paid concert tickets.  Both still attract annoying people who don’t really care about the contests and block my view.  Despite all this, I had fun because Winter X is a lot smaller so you’re up close to the action even in the back.

Men’s Ski Superpipe

  • To get to the Superpipe viewing area, you have to go upstairs and then back down.  If you wanted to be on the sides of the pipe, there’s another set of stairs, but I was content on being at the bottom.  Plus I was completely out of breath.
  • It was hard to hear the announcers so I had to guess who was going down the pipe.
  • I was behind Taylor Seaton’s buddies.  Unfortunately he crashed on all his runs (and appeared frustrated).
  • Things are so much steeper than they appear on TV.
    x games-day1-jen0443
  • Torin Yater-Wallace looked good considering he was gravely ill a few months ago.  He was stoked on his fifth place finish (and on being congratulated).
  • Gus Kenworthy stomped the run of his life on his second run.
  • I had my flag out, but since I was squished off to the side behind tall people, I didn’t get a chance to really wave it.  However, his family represented with a flag of their own.
  • My predicted winner, David Wise, was injured and not having a good night.
  • Gus led the way until the last run with Kevin Rolland, who just pulled out all the stops.  That was such an exciting and flawless run.
  • More stoked than Kevin was his coach who ran all the way down the Superpipe.  It was an amusing sight to see.

It was a great first day even if it was less eventful due to us adjusting to everything.  I wanna give a shout-out to the Snow Queen Lodge for their great hospitality during our time in Aspen.

I’ll be uploading all the photos from the trip to my Flickr. Click here to check it out.

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