By Barrett Christy
Winter X Games is a pretty good time. Young and old, athletes, agents, pros, bros, snowboarders, skiers, and slednecks… all in one place for a very long week. ESPN does a good job of giving everyone a reason to celebrate. There is always a record being broken, a 3-peat, 4-peat or greater, a triple cork, or a new trendsetting look being unveiled at the X Games. It’s endless excitement and the event sponsors all provide the parties to get extreme at all hours.
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Despite it being an on-snow event with action sports fans everywhere the slopes are pretty empty. Buttermilk is ZOID heaven. Groomers, rollers, and wanna-be zoiders everywhere! I am pretty sure that Kaitlyn and I had the only zoids on this mountain though. And for two riders who aren’t riding parks or pipes much at this point in our careers, we carve, we carve, we carve!
Henry Meece Wins Slalom Gold at Winter X Games!
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I got to meet Henry Meece today, he is the first Special Olympics athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter X Games. He competed in Unified snowboarding, a dual slalom with his race partner Chris Klug. Henry rode his Gnu Billygoat in the race, and he was proud to tell me that is was waxed with One Ball wax and razor sharp edges. It sounds like Temple’s Banked Slalom board! Henry fast and fluid, and he’s a modest champ, letting his snowboarding speak for itself. Gold Metal Tech served him well. I’m still fanning out at X Games.
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Despite the intense competition here, it’s a massive social circus gathering with so many different types of athletes and celebrities from ski, snowboard, and motor sports. It’s hard not to have fun and these guys and girls are good at having fun. I know everyone competing has trained hard and takes it seriously but I really think the secret to success is keeping it fun. The riders love the 3 run final format in pipe and slope and big air. It keeps it more loose, they can switch up their runs and feel more like they are having a progression session with their friends. Evidence was Danny Davis doing 3 completely different finals runs to win gold… reminds me of our girl Kaitlyn!
Even SBX has some guys having fun and making us want to watch to see what’s going to happen next! Trevor Jacob is taking his usual approach to life and bringing his own brand of extreme to the X Games. He brought the fun to SBX throwing a back 3 in a tight pack of dudes and then a one footer over the final 70ft. jump. He figured if you’re not 1st (or top 3) you’re last, so he was more interested in putting on a show than getting 7th in the consolation round. There’s a little RickyBobby in Trevor.
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I’m totally encouraged by the immense talent and attitude of snowboarding’s top competitors. Everyone wants to win, but they also value style and they know it’s up to them to keep it true and keep it fun. Yup, still a fan.