Posts Tagged ‘Scotty Lago’

This X Games has been a test of priorities in my life. Showering and date night? Skip when there’s something cool. Motorcycle riding lessons and a photoshoot? I’ll catch the re-runs. No X Games on-line? I’ll find a TV (and I did). However, I still missed all of Ski Slopestyle, as well as the snowmobile racing events, so my last set of notes are a bit sparse. I tried to make up for it by being very thorough on the two events I did see. I would like to send my well wishes to Rose Battersby and Ashley Battersby, both of whom were injured in Slopestyle.

There hasn’t been any more news about Caleb Moore. His family has set up a fund to help with medical bills: click here if you’d like to donate.

Snowboard thoughts

  • Now that Shaun White has cut his hair, can he really be called “Animal” now?
  • All snowboard announcers need a lesson is pronouncing Japanese names. It’s Ayumu Hee-rah-no, not Hir-ann-no.
  • Poor Iouri Podladtchikov. He gets a stomach flu the day of finals.
  • That means, another showdown that never really was. However, we do get a glimpse of the new Shaun White versus Ayumu Hirano rivalry.
  • To put things into perspective, Shaun appeared in his first X Games when he was 13, and he got his first medal 15. He’s now the oldest competitor. Ayumu is the youngest at 14, which is the age of the students I taught in Japan. My how times have changed.
  • Scotty Lago definitely has the best style. He was the only one shown grabbing the board with both hands (100% committed).
  • Shaun broke the height record with a 24-foot method. He averaged around 17.5 feet. That’s about five feet higher than everyone else. He was also five points ahead. Coincidence? I think not. Shaun_White_zps7de8667b photo Shaun_White_zps7de8667b.jpg
    From Doug Pensinger/Getty Images (via Sports Illustrated)
  • A repeat of his perfect run from from last year got him a 98 even though it was bigger and cleaner. Snowboarding judges are going to have to turn into gymnastics judges and arbitrarily deduct points.
  • Louie Vito was having a rough night. His third run looked okay, but it wasn’t perfect.
  • Ayumu became the youngest medalist in X Games history. He definitely deserved it with his sick tricks and amplitude. I can’t wait to see more from this kid.
  • As the last rider to go before Shaun White, Scotty looked like he could set up a dramatic finale, but then he came in fast, put too much pressure on his toes, and didn’t even get to drop in.
  • Shaun was going to let Scotty take another run, but judges say no. Although that’s probably the fair things to do, it’s a MAJOR bummer.
  • I understand why Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe is the final event with all the star power, but it’s almost a given nowadays that Shaun White is going to win so it makes for an anticlimactic end to the X Games.

Snowmobile thoughts

  • Willie Elam needed to work on his flexibility, but he’s new to freestyle so the extension and confidence will come in time.
  • WTF was Jackson Strong doing there? He apparently had only been on a sled for four hours. I guess he really wanted to stake his claim on the Jack.
  • In an ironic twist, Jackson was okay from his fall (which looked really scary), but the runaway snowmobile claimed another victim.
  • The key to the underflip is to get sled perpendicular. Despite the his innovation and smooth landing, Heath Frisby scored lower than Daniel Bodin’s Indian air flip.
  • To be fair, Daniel did have crazy extension and went on the larger jump (which I guess counted for a lot). XGAspen13 - Day 4a photo bodin_zps17415ced.jpg
    From Joshua Duplechian / ESPN Images (via X Games official website)
  • Joe Parsons’ “gator hater”, which looked like an Indian air plus landing backwards on the bike, was insane! I would’ve given put him in first for the commitment, but maybe the judges docked points for how he barely hung on.
  • Heath and Joe were wearing Texas flags in support of Caleb Moore.
  • There was a reversal of luck from Day 1’s Freestyle contest to Day 4’s Best Trick. Levi LaVallee won Freestyle, and the last person who could’ve unseated him had snowmobile issues from a first run crash. On top of that, Daniel hurt his wrist. Later in the weekend, Levi got hurt and had to pull out of Snocross and Best Trick while Daniel ends up getting gold.

Special recognize goes out to the first ever six-peaters in Winter X history: Tucker Hibbert (Snocross) and Shaun White (Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe). Also congratulations to Nick Goepper (Men’s Ski Slopestyle), Mike Schultz (Snocross Adaptive), Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen (Women’s Ski Slopestyle),  Daniel Bodin (Snowmobile Best Trick), and Frank April (Real Snow Fan Favorite) on their wins!

Prediction Status: 5/10 – another improvement from last year even though there are less events
Quote of the Day: “Even though @scottylago fell before the first hit. It was still more stylish than 98% of pipe riding” – Todd Richards’ Tweet (It was technically the day after, but it was too good to not share. If you want snarky X Games commentary, follow btoddrichards.)
Trick of the Day: Joe Parsons’ gator hater
Inspiration of the Day: Ayumu Hirano – This kid has so much potential, and he’s now showing the world.
Question of the Day: What were you doing in the eighth grade?

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

Sorry for the delay.  It’s kind of hard to post when X Games action has been going on all day and you have to work when it’s not (sometimes when it’s going on).

This isn’t a recap; you can get all the highlights and results at EXPN.com . I just decided to put down some fun facts and insights I gleaned from watching the web broadcast. Also, you’ll get to see how well I’m doing with my predictions. In here are my Day 0 (name thus because the announcers called yesterday “Day 1” even though web broadcast began the day before) as well.

Ski thoughts

  • Way to give me a heart attack, guys.  My picks for SuperPipe and Slopestyle, Simon Dumont and Bobby Brown, looked like they weren’t going to qualify in the beginning, and Kevin Rolland found himself in the unlikely position of 5th. Luckily they all made it to the finals (with Kevin killing the competition).
  • Kaya Turski (Slopestyle) also had me worried.  Her victory wasn’t so easy this time around… though I thought her Kaya’s run would’ve been more than 0.33 points higher than second place.  It was much smoother, and she mixed up technical grinds with huge spins.
  • The X Course must be super gnarly because seven skiers and snowboarders, including Ashleigh McIvor (Skier X) who injured her knee, have pulled out. Get well soon, Ashleigh!
  • Jen Hudak (SuperPipe) showed that you have to be perfect. She pretty much did the 1080 and was riding away when it all went wrong at the last minute. Too bad you don’t get points for big cajones.
  • Pipe ladies were jamming out to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” and Katy Perry’s “Firework”. Old school and new school!

Snowboard thoughts

  • How the heck can Shaun White move, much less snowboard, in pants that tight?
  • Even though he looks bigger, Kazuhiro Kokubo is 5’3″ while Louie Vito is 5’5″.
  • Some math from someone in the booth (Kevin Pearce or Keir Dillon), Louie Vito launches at a 60-degree angle versus Shaun White’s 85-degree angle. Thus, his amplitude is not as high.
  • Scotty Lago, you crazy S.O.B.!  Two weeks ago, Scotty broke his jaw, and everybody figured he was out of the Games.  He comes back to compete in 4 events and qualifies in second in SuperPipe.  I think I’m going to have to change my top three picks (especially with Iouri Podladtchikov sidelined).

Snowmobile thoughts

  • It’s been a warm winter in Texas.  How the heck did the Moore brothers improve their skills?  Possible answers: vacation in the mountains, on ATVs, made the most of the few snow days we had (maybe Krum got more than the one day in Dallas).
  • Flying squirrel (freestyle snowmobiling) = holy man (FMX)
  • I will never call in sick again after seeing Justin Hoyer, who was coming down with a bad cold AND coming off two crashes, put together a silver medal-winning run.
  • Four is an unlucky number in Asian cultures.  It was pretty unlucky for Daniel Bodin because he kept missing the podium, but this year, four times is the charm.

Congratulations to Kaya Turski (Women’s Ski Slopestyle), Daniel Bodin (Freestyle Snowmobiling), and Sarah Burke (Women’s Ski SuperPipe) for their victories!

Jen’s Prediction Status: 1/3 – This is not counting Freestyle Snowmobiling. Ashleigh McIvor has pulled out so that prediction isn’t correct.
Quote of the Day: “She likes to get wax jobs.  I call that foreplay.” – Torstein Horgmo, on his new board “Nicole”
Trick of the Day: Whatever that crazy thing Joe Parsons pulled in Snowmobile Freestyle Snowmobile, where he turns around mid-backflip to land backwards on his sled.
Inspiration of the Day: The return of Kevin Pearce, who was in critical condition last year, was a very touching moment.  We’re glad to have him back and in good health and spirits. I might have shed a tear.

Question of the Day (for y’all to answer): What do you think of Shaun White’s ripper pants and leather jacket?

I think I will combine Day 2 with Day 3 since certain events will keep me away from my computer and the TV. So keep an eye out for that huge post on Sunday.

Listening to: “Jojyoushi” by L’Arc~en~Ciel