Top story of the games: Positive energy |

Top story of the games: Positive energy

Xgames White, Shaun 2-1 BH

ASPEN ” It’s fun hanging out with kids who have so much energy.

The athletes at Winter X Games Nine, for the most part, are positive, wordly and know more about hard work and dedication than most adults.

Sure, they mess up from time to time.

They’ll make headlines when they get arrested, they’ll stick their fingers in their noses on national television, and they’ll promote their sponsors before they thank their mothers.

But there’s a reason kids flock to Shaun White. You could see the disappointment on his face after Monday night’s finals, after he finally stomped the landing on a 1080, and the judges gave him the same, 90-point score. But what did he do? He cracked a joke.

This, to me, is the most important story line from the whole week. Athletes, fans and kids reaffirming their belief that positive energy can be spread, even if it’s to a small nook of alternative sports fans who skip school or take a break from work, just to take in the confidence and skills these “other” kids exhibit.

Sure, there are exceptions. But that’s exacctly what they are ” exceptions.

Three-peat Saturday: Stratton’s Lindsey Jacobellis wins her third straight boardercross, Shaun White wins his third-straight men’s snowboard slopestyle, and Janna Meyen wins her third-straight women’s snowboard slopestyle.

Breck your legs last year, win a gold medal this year. And, the best part about it is, he only pulled a 360 in practice. He left his best motorcross trick in the bag when the finals rolled around.

It’s becoming international: Canada’s Charles Gagnier wins men’s ski slopestyle and upset three-time defending champ Tanner Hall of Montana in the process. Finland’s Antti Autti becomes the first non-American to win the men’s snowboarding superpipe final. And, a Swede won women’s skiercross.

Aspen’s own Gretchen Bleiler returned to X Games gold in the women’s snowboarding superpipe. Nothing like a hometown girl with a positive attitude to bring in 25,000 to Buttermilk for the finals.

The Crist brothers, Reggie and Zach, go 1-2 in the mens’ skiercross finals.

Grete Eliassen became the first women’s superpipe winner in X Games history, and ESPN organizers introduced disabled athletes to skiercross.

Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at

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