Rewinding another installment of the teenager’s Woodstock
January 28, 2007
ASPEN ” As the Winter X Games entered decade No. 2 this week, we learned (and were reminded of) a few things:
– Skiercross is not for: pregnant women, the uninsured, irregular heartbeats, you, me. It is, however, for: photographers, course netting manufacturers, the Olympics, and mono skiers ” really.
– Lindsey Jacobellis either has some very, very, VERY bad luck or she owed Joanie Anderson the same favor she owed ” and paid ” Switzerland’s Tanja Frieden in Turin, Italy, last February.
– Just like everyone else, Shaun White falls from time to time while riding a snowboard.
Winter X, part 11, offered more of what we’ve come to expect from the teenager’s Woodstock. There were the token mohawked fans, 1080s for days (ho hum), overflowing parking lots, strange soup in the media tent, and enough Mountain Dew to keep a village awake for a year.
If you are an X Games hater, this year’s edition did not leave you feeling any more confident that an end is near (as the record crowd of 30,000-plus demonstrated on Saturday). We’ll stop just short of saying the Generation X Gamers are taking over the sports world ” as an army, they would be too small in stature ” but this ain’t a niche deal anymore.
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Whereas once upon a time the country’s major media outlets covered this event like it was monkeys breast feeding turtles, now the writers are more like beat reporters. They don’t even have to dumb down their coverage so that the mainstream is able to relate. Heck, as far as recognizing when a backside 9 is super steeze, the mainstream might just surpass the scribes in the not-too-distant future.
As we always do this time of the year, we take a look back at the week that was in Winter X Games 11. The best, the worst, and all that other stuff in between.
A tie between Peter Olenick’s Whiskey Flip ” a double backflip with a twist in the frozen pond-icy superpipe ” and the freestyle snowmobilers’ no-handed backflip. Really, if you’re not getting inverted these days, what are you doing?
Torah Bright, the Aussie snowboarder who would’ve absolutely ruined everyone’s women’s halfpipe office pool if such things existed. If possible, though, a request: Should a repeat materialize, spare us the “Oi, oi, oi!” Too touristy. Wave a flag or something.
In other words, the progression is numbing. Seemed like every time you cleared your ears someone had just landed the “first-ever” something. Imagine if everyday inventions flowed like those in the park and pipe and on the freestyle snowmobile course. We’d be cooking dinner with our Blackberries.
Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont, each of whom swears their back-and-forth battles in the halfpipe do not connotate a rivalry. However, if we the media created it, then you the crowd owe us one. Because when Hall and Dumont cease conversing in the heated athletes’ tent and go at it like Magic and Bird below, they can hug all they want afterward. A rivalry doesn’t mean you have to hate each other. Only that you want to beat each other, badly.
Five-time gold medalist Blair Morgan getting knocked out in snowcross qualifying. Nothing’s guaranteed in a 12-man snowmobile race, sure. But Morgan is as close as it gets.
Andreas Wiig of Norway, pretty much hands down. In short, snowboarding’s linebacker sustained a concussion while practicing for Saturday’s slopestyle final and was taken to the medical center. He wasn’t even going to compete until his girlfriend convinced him to at least give it a go. The result: Wiig ended Shaun White’s incredible run of four straight slopestyle golds and was carried out of the finish corral on his friends’ shoulders. Then he came back the next day and won the inaugural gold medal in snowboarding’s best trick showdown, making him the only athlete to win two events this week.
Gnarly with a silent “G”: To the fearless guys and gals who competed in Saturday’s mono skiercross, you set the finish corral ablaze.
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