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Friday Xcerpts

Staff

With X Games frenzy comes Super Bowl quiet. That’s what we’ve figured out here at Buttermilk, if we’ve figured out anything at all.

The music from three different events taking place at once blares outside the press center, which is a wedding tent with couches and TVs in one corner and lots of Gatorade bottles scattered around the room.

There is X Games on the tube, X Games on our computers, X Games plastered everywhere you turn outside. (ESPN doesn’t leave room for you to forget why you’re here.)

Yet in order to catch up with the Super Bowl hype that is suffocating the rest of America, you actually have to seek it out. For that, we are thankful. …

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It seems every competitor here has at least some semblance of a compelling story, but few touch as many themes as Cody Smith. A 27-year-old from Spokane, Wash., Smith once worked as a mattress salesman and is the reigning national champion in ski-joring, that awesome sport in which skiers zoom down Western America’s main streets while being tugged by quarterhorses at 40 miles per hour. (Leadville hosts an event each winter.)

He picked up skiercross last year, made the finals at the Winter Gravity Games, and received an invitation to the X Games this year. Smith didn’t fare as well as he’d hoped in Thursday’s qualifying, but the cowboy took it in stride, simply shrugging and saying, “Oh well…”

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Our name watch finds this little beauty of pronunciation in the women’s snowboarder X competition: Callan Chythlook-Sifsof. She is from Dillingham, Alaska, and according to the ESPN media folks, the pronunciation goes like this: “CHI (long I) TH-look-sif-sof. …

When placed in front of ESPN’s cameras and asked about the 15-foot rail-to-rail gap on the slopestyle course, Californian Chanelle Sladics rubbed her bruised tailbone and said, “I think it makes for an interesting little show.”

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The slopestyle course is a scary one this year, offering two different routes. One includes a 60-foot booster, compared with a 40-footer on the other path. And both offer a chance at the 60-foot rail near the top of the course.

Either way, Sladics wasn’t the only one who finished with a sore tail.

– – – –

Let’s have fun with numbers:

4 ” Four-peat possibilities at Winter X Games 10 are Shaun White (snowboard slopestyle) and Janna Meyen (snowboard slopestyle). Lindsey Jacobellis dropped our of her four-peat possibility in boardercross after suffering an injury on Friday.

6 ” Number of the most gold medals in Winter X Games history by Shaun Palmer in boardercross.

10 ” Consecutive years Tricia Byrnes and Ross Powers have participated in Winter X Games.

20 ” Colorado athletes competing in Winter X Games 10.

57 ” Age of Dan Hanebrink in 1997, the oldest athlete to compete in Winter X Games history.

Aspen, Colorado


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