It’s a huge week for snow sports in Colorado, and in addition to all the X Games action happening in Aspen, the Snow Sport Industries America (SIA) trade show is off and poppin’ at the convention center in Denver.
Let’s start things off by checking out what is happening over at Buttermilk in Aspen.
Thursday marked the first day of Winter X Games 14, and in the women’s Freeskiing Slopestyle Final, Breckenridge’s own Keri Herman took home the silver medal.
With a first run full of switch 540, 360 and 540, Keri stomped her tricks out on the course, but it wasn’t enough to beat Kaya Turski who threw down a switch 720 and 900. Grete Eliassen rounded out the podium in third place, and all three ladies donned ear-to-ear smiles with X Games hardware hanging around their necks.
A fellow University of Denver alum, Keri has been holding it down in Breckenridge for years now and she never ceases to amaze me with her enthusiasm, humor, and lust for life.
The action will continue on Friday with the women’s skiing superpipe final, and men’s snowboard super pipe finals.
Make sure to look out for Breckenridge team riders Steve Fisher and JJ Thomas in superpipe finals, both finished in the top eight in the qualifier and will be looking to de-throne Shaun White from his X Games gold medal dominance.
Fisher is a two-time X Games Superpipe Champion, bringing home gold in 2004 and 2007, and Thomas, best known for his 2002 bronze medal in the winter olympics, is looking to make to the podium with his self-proclaimed old school style.
Check out the schedule for Friday:
|10 am- 11 am||Snowboard Snowboarder X Men’s & Womens’ Qualifying||Aspen, CO|
|10 am- 12 pm||Skiing SuperPipe Men’s & Women’s Practice||Aspen, CO|
|10 am- 12 pm||Snowboard Slopestyle Men’s Elimination||Aspen, CO|
|12 pm- 2 pm||Snowmobile Best Trick Practice||Aspen, CO|
|12 – 1:30 pm||Skiing Skier X Men’s & Women’s Qualifying||Aspen, CO|
|12:15 pm- 2 pm||Snowboard Slopestyle Women’s Practice||Aspen, CO|
|1:30 pm- 3 pm||Mono Skier X Practice||Aspen, CO|
|2:15 pm- 4 pm||Skiing Slopestyle Men’s Practice||Aspen, CO|
|4 pm- 5 pm||Snowmobile Best Trick Practice||Aspen, CO|
|4:30 pm- 5:30 pm||Skiing SuperPipe Women’s Final||Aspen, CO|
|5:30 pm- 7:15 pm||Snowboard SuperPipe Men’s Practice||Aspen, CO|
|5:30 pm- 6 pm||Skiing Big Air Elimination||Aspen, CO|
|6 pm- 7 pm||Snowmobile Best Trick Final||Aspen, CO|
|7 pm- 7:30 pm||Skiing Big Air Final||Aspen, CO|
|7:30 pm- 9 pm||Snowboard SuperPipe Men’s Final|
Snowmobiling freestyle final also went down Thursday night, and I must admit that I’m still confused as to how this “sport” made it to X Games.
Yes, I admit, trying to pull a 450lb machine around to do a back flip while you are 30-feet in the air does require quite a bit of strength, but I still don’t see how this qualifies as an athletic event.
Watching the finals on Thursday, my two male roommates sat in silence with dropped jaws. I, on the other hand, just didn’t get it.
In my opinion, competing in professional sports requires a tremendous amount of skill and endurance, and in the end, the athlete emerges as the main focus. In snowmobiling, it seems to me like the machine takes center stage. During Thursday’s snowmobiling finals, one of the athletes had to coast through the course without blasting off any jumps because his handlebars weren’t aligned.
Maybe I just don’t get it. I’m not about to argue with the sled heads around the county, but I can’t deny that snowmobiling ranks up there with NASCAR in my book, and I’m not about to seek it out on television again any time soon.
In other news, SIA continues tomorrow down at the Colorado Convention Center and I am going to be checking in with some of my friends in the snowboard industry to see what the vibe has been like since the convention moved from Las Vegas to Denver.