Steve Fisher plots his return to the podium
Summit Daily News
Some might call it anger. Steve Fisher calls it motivation.
Fisher won the Winter X Games snowboarding superpipe competition in 2004. This year, just 24 months removed from that career-best result, he had to fight and claw his way back into the event. The reason, organizers said, was Fisher’s lackluster season a year ago.
Just as his 2004 Winter X showing had highlighted that superlative winter, the 2005 result at Buttermilk ” he finished last of the 20 riders while competing on a borrowed board, and failed to qualify for the final ” lowlighted last season’s forgettable one. Still, Fisher took second at the U.S. Open a couple of months after the X Games and has posted decent results this season.
Imagine Tiger Woods winning the Masters, then not getting invited back two years later because he had an off year in between. That’s what Fisher feels like. He considers himself shunned, overlooked. He aches to do something about it.
“I just want to go out there and give it to them,” Fisher said during a break in training Thursday at Buttermilk. “I want to shove it in their faces after I podium again.”
He has a plan to do just that when the pipe competition begins Sunday night. It involves Shaun White, the untouchable Olympic gold medal favorite who recently became the first male rider to sweep the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix series.
“I’m going to copy Shaun’s run,” Fisher said. “Just do the same thing.”
This is easier said than done. The string of tricks Fisher has in mind goes like this: backside 900, frontside 1080, cab 1080, frontside 900. No rider other than White does anything nearly as difficult.
Still, Fisher is riding higher than he has all season right now. His most recent result, third place at the Grand Prix finale in New Jersey, was his best of the year. Momentum and confidence count in halfpipe snowboarding; Fisher has both.
Now it’s up to him to use them.
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