What nation is the most dominant at Winter X Games 10? Well, if you’re going by medal count, it’s the People’s Republic of California ” which should really be considered a nation, since it has the world’s seventh largest economy.
Golden State athletes had won seven of the 17 medals given away through Sunday ” including two golds. Meanwhile, the lone medal from a Colorado athlete came in Sunday’s skiercross final when upstart Chris Del Bosco of Vail skied to a surprise bronze.
Del Bosco’s medal was a nice story, but it also underlines what has been a disappointing showing from in-state action sports stars. In the same skiercross final, Aspen local Casey Puckett ” the 2004 skiercross gold medalist ” was last.
Carbondale’s Peter Olenick, who was second in skier slopestyle and third in superpipe in 2004, finished 10th in Sunday’s overhauled slopestyle final. And, as everyone already knows, Aspen local Gretchen Bleiler, the defending gold medalist in women’s snowboard superpipe, pulled out of Friday night’s qualfier.
It’s no surprise that the United States ” with the seven medals from Californians ” led the medal count with 13 through Sunday, followed by Canada, Norway and Switzerland, each with three.
No word yet from the Governator’s office as to whether there will be an official visit to Ahnold and Maria’s house in the coming weeks for a photo op.
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Here’s some real fun with numbers. ESPN estimated that Saturday’s crowd at Buttermilk was 28,250.
OK, so the 28,000 part seems reasonable, but how do you arrive at 250?
ESPN spokeswomen Melissa Gullotti said 28,000 represents the estimated tally of spectators while the 250 represented the number of people wearing credentials ” whether ESPN employees, security officials, athletes or VIPs.
“I don’t know if we count media in that number,” Gullotti said.
Ouch, that hurts.
After five days in the press tent, there’s a whole Jonestown vibe going on. We’re all drinking the X Games Kool-Aid at this point, opting for mass amounts of free Mountain Dew over Gatorade or water.
One photographer suggested we start shotgunning Mountain Dews, just for fun.
Another mentioned that she downed seven Mountain Dews in one day last year at Winter X Games Nine to stay energized.
Now that’s extreme.
Thank God they don’t offer free Red Bull, or Mountain Dew’s own energy drink, AMP.
“If they did, they’d have to pad the walls in this place,” said the photographer, before taking another swig out of her second Mountain Dew of the day.
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There’s a lot of free stuff at Winter X Games 10 ” Taco Bell foam hats, Thunderstix, posters, stickers ” but if you want a cup of hot chocolate, it’s going to cost you.
Just outside the press tent, hot chocolate is being sold for $3 a cup. Again, that’s a cup of hot water with a 30-cent bag of cocoa powder. Three bucks, take it or leave it.
Nachos ” or rather, a handful of tortilla chips covered with a glob of processed cheese sauce ” cost $7.
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Mark this one in the category of great headlines that didn’t make the cut. On Sunday, Vail Daily sportswriter Shauna Farnell talked with motocross best trick specialist Mike Metzger.
Among other assorted injuries, Metzger lost a testicle last year after one particularly gruesome fall. The headline for Farnell’s story was “Appropriate use of ‘gnarly'” ” a more family-friendly version of what could have been “This sport takes balls.”
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