X Games champ Matt Ladley out of ‘The Amazing Race’
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs snowboarder Matt Ladley has to be hoping his next trip to South Korea goes better than his most recent one.
Ladley and his teammate, Redmond Ramos, came up just short on the penultimate episode of season 29 of “The Amazing Race.”
Their downfall came in South Korea, which will also play host to the 2018 Winter Olympics in February. Ladley, an Aspen X Games superpipe champion in 2016 and runner-up in that event this year, will attempt to qualify for the Olympics this December and January.
Ladley and Ramos entered Thursday night’s episode on a high tide. They’d been among the race’s leaders throughout the season’s nine episodes and been at their very best in the 10th leg of the race, easily winning a stage set in Vietnam.
They started the 11th leg in first place and were in fine shape after a flight to Seoul, but two navigational errors sank them into a hole they never were able to climb out of.
First, they opted to take the subway from the Seoul airport to the first checkpoint. The other three remaining teams took a taxi, which proved to be much quicker.
“Every one of the locals we talked to all said go subway,” Ramos said on a CBS video. “We both originally really wanted to go taxi, but we wanted to listen to the locals.”
After Ramos completed a cup stacking challenge, the pair hit the road to another location where they made kimchi. They got lost again on their trip to the final challenge of the episode, costing themselves at least 20 minutes.
The final challenge was to beat a young South Korean in the fighting video game “Street Fighter 5.” Ladley, competing for his team, was among the fastest competitors to accomplish the task but not before the rest of the teams had completed it themselves and proceeded to the finish line.
Ladley and Ramos were eliminated when they arrived. The remaining three teams will compete in the season finale, which will air Thursday.
“We communicated. We got along. We wanted to enjoy it,” Ladley said in the video, taken as the team finished.
The pair completed 11 legs. They started in Los Angeles, traveled to Panama, Brazil, Tanzania, Norway, Italy, Greece, Vietnam and South Korea.
“The best thing was all the places we got to go,” Ladley said. “Italy was rad, going to Lake Como. Africa, I’d never been to Africa. That was cool. I love Norway. I’ve been there before but getting to see the fjords again was breathtaking.”
Ladley said he and Ramos, strangers to start the season, would be tight friends after their experience.
“We’ll go snowboarding,” Ladley said. “Red says he sucks. We’ll have to figure that out.”
The track at the Utah Olympic Park will be put to good use toward the tail end of 2022. The Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cups stop at the UOP from Nov. 28 through Dec. 4, and then the Luge World Cup from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17.
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