You want extreme? We’ve got it here in Aspen but it does not begin, nor does it end, with the 10thanniversary of the Winter X Games taking place here, January 27-30th.
When you live close to nature, chances are that youre going to get out in it, some more than others, such as revered local celebrities Neil Beidleman and Chris Davenport. Neil has done firsts on Denali and climbed on K2, Makalu and Everest and Chris has skied all 54 of Colorados 14,000-foot peaks within one year.
Up here, extreme is the norm, not the anomaly and I’m worried. With three boys reaching greater and greater heights with our beloved local ski club, AVSC, I am filled with admiration and fear as I study the younger athletes competing in the X Games this year.
Take Aspens local fifteen year old, Torin Yater-Wallace, for example. He’s good, really good and my boys are watching him closely. And then there is Breckenridges nineteen year old Bobby Brown. As ESPN’s Devon O’Neil reports:
Nineteen hours. That’s how long it took Bobby Brown to vault from skier to superstar last January. It wasn’t just that he became the first skier to win two gold medals at the same Winter X Games — something not Tanner Hall, Jon Olsson, Candide Thovex or any other freeskiing legend had achieved. It was how he did it.
The first night, in the finals of Big Air, Brown pulled a switch dub misty 12 — an impossible combination of spins and flips that makes keeping track of where you are in the third dimension laughably difficult. He nailed the trick like a free-throw, scoring a rare perfect 50 with the judges. Then, for his second run, Brown added yet another half-rotation and landed switch. He stuck it just as solidly for another perfect score and his first X Games gold medal.
Let’s be clear: Brown had never even tried the switch double misty flip 1440 that he landed in his second run, and he’d only been doing the 1260 version for two weeks. But as he likes to say, “It’s just when you’re feelin’ it, you’re feelin’ it. And you know you have a trick and you’re gonna land it.”
The next day, Brown, a Denver native who now lives in Breckenridge, upset the deepest and most talented Winter X Games field of all time to win gold yet again, in Slopestyle. He peppered his run with a handplant misty 720, a switch right misty 900 and a double cork 1260 before once again stomping his switch double misty 1260 on the final hit. The following weekend, Brown continued his streak by winning a well-attended Dew Tour Slopestyle event in Vermont, laying down a similarly impressive run. His name is sometimes a bane, he says, because of the endless “My Prerogative” jokes, but in the span of one week, the words “Bobby Brown” had become the hottest in skiing. (END)
I’m excited to watch the Winter X Games 15 and as the loud music pumps through my veins while I watch more than 200 gravity-defying athletes attempt to “kill it” during the competitions, I will do my best to let go of my fears for my sweet little boys and not stifle their dreams, whatever they may be.
Winter X Games 15 will be delivered to more than 382 million homes and will be televised live to 154 countries and territories, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Israel, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand and South America.
A roster of action sports experts including Kevin Pearce, Mike Douglas, Zach Crist, Keir Dillon and Chris Burandt will join Masekela for the Winter X Games 15 telecast and serve as analysts for the Skiing, Snowboarding and Snowmobile events. Winter X Games athlete Sarah Burke will join the telecast as a reporter.??In 2010, ESPN recorded its highest-rated and most-viewed Winter X Games ever. On ESPN, Winter X Games 14 averaged a 1.2 rating, 1,147,000 homes and 1,628,000 viewers (P2+). On ESPN2, Winter X Games 14 averaged a 0.5 rating, 465,000 homes and 635,000 viewers (P2+).
The Winter X Games 15 mobile app will be available on Android and iPhone/iPod Touch? devices. The X Games 15 app features complete venue info, customizable schedules, athlete bios, results, photo galleries and more. The app can be downloaded for free by texting GUIDE to 43776 or visiting XGames.com/App.
Social Media: The X Games page on Facebook will feature a Winter X Games 15 photo gallery, live streaming video of events on the “X Cast” tab, athlete chats and a daily X Fest show: Inside X. The page will also host a custom tab integrating ESPN.com/action’s headlines, the X Games YouTube channel and direct links to XGames.com event information. Facebook.com/XGames Fans who follow the X Games on Twitterwill be provided with instant event updates, breaking news, results and a behind-the-scenes look at Winter X Games 15. Twitter.com/XGames.
See you there!