The names of the X Games |

The names of the X Games

Tim Mutrie

Ross Trulove.

Leaf through the eight page list of the 250-plus X Games competitors and you’re hard-pressed to find a finer name, a suitor more suitable for an event like the ESPN X Games.

Sure, Steele Spence is a worthy candidate and (in accent) Saint Lary, France’s Xavier de le Rue and the Italian Massimiliano Iezza have catchy call signs too. For that matter, Matt Hammer of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., and Levi LaVallee of Longville, Minn., deserve consideration.

For my mon-ey, though, I’ll take the one named Trulove.

But what’s in a name, anyway? See, this Trulove character isn’t just some random X-er in town for the winter carnival. He was born in Glenwood Springs, raised in Carbondale and he graduated from Roaring Fork High School in 1999.

Nowadays, he’s one of 12 snowboarders on the United States Ski and Snowboard Association’s boardercross team. Some of those riders, including Basalt’s Jason Smith and the esteemed Maine-iac Seth Wescott, are likely to be wearing the red, white and blue in 2006 when boardercross makes its Olympic debut in Torino, Italy.

But like a lot of riders who haven’t yet been elevated to the Shaun Palmer-Chris Klug-Danny Kass level of stardom, Trulove is a blue-collar entry. His job ” no less cool than his name ” is building custom pool tables with Roaring Fork Billiards.

Did we mention he turns 23 today?

Trulove, like the other 29 entrants in the men’s boardercross, rode the X Course for the first time yesterday. Today, they’ll be laying down qualifying-run times and the top 24 riders will enter the head-to-head brackets on Saturday.

“It’s a real basic course but it’s fun,” Trulove said Thursday. “You’ve got to keep all your momentum to get over all the jumps, and you’ve gotta be on your toes and be able to make the jumps or you’re not gonna win.

“Most of the riders feel that there should be a little more technical riding, but they all seem to like the course because it’s fun and the tabletops are big and there’s a lot of airtime, and that especially makes it fun. Not real hard, but fun.”

Are you nervous?

“You know, I’m not. I’m just excited, really excited. I’m very happy to be part of the X Games.”

Did you see Chris Klug out there?

“I did. It looked like he was making it through the course quite well … on hard boots and an alpine board. He seemed to like the course.”

So how does the course suit you, Ross Trulove?

“Everything else aside, I really like this course. It’s my style. I like going fast. Not too technical, just fast. I think I can do really well.”

‘Pipes, Parks and Powder’

California snowboarder Todd Richards returns to Aspen this weekend for his regular appearance in the X Games superpipe, as well as a book signing of his autobiography, “Pipes, Parks and Powder,” written with former Transworld Snowboarding editor Eric Blehm.

Richards, originally from Breckenridge, will be holding court at Explore Booksellers on Main Street in Aspen at 6 p.m. on Saturday.


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