Another eXtreme Games has come and gone; this is my account from my third time competing at the frozen circus, hosted in a little place called Assspen.
There’s plenty of questions as to why I subject myself to the violent impacts of the Mono Ski X course. Here’s my .o2c. I love the thrill of head to head competition (especially this year when I was (unfortunately) lined up beside the downhill legend, 220lb New Jersey Native, know as Bramble, whom subsequently mowed me over in the semi-finals). Then there is the challenge of trying to unlock the riddle of the course, as there is an easy and a hard way to negotiate your way down the mountain. Beyond my own personal desires, I have great appreciation for the immaculate presentation of the X Games by ESPN; there is no better environment to showcase our sport.
It was a big question for me this year, to compete or not, so soon after I announced my retirement from competition. The reasons above certainly justify my decision to be there, but beyond it all I just love to ski. Any chance I have to play on snow – I’m in. Skiing is a big part of who I am, it feeds my soul. Plus it pays to podium – and a dudes gotta earn.
This year I put a great deal of energy into my performance, from preparing my gear for the big hits, to the coordination of travel for my team (yes, I brought a team). My old dog Reed Speedman stepped up to be my coach and the stoker of the fire. My buddy Joe came out to keep the sit ski tuned through the inevitable thrashing it would take. *Joe is the lead engineer of the Canadian sit ski, and for him this environment proved to be an excellent testing opportunity for the rig – BONUS. We had high hopes for the contest!
As I eluded above, this years games did not go my way. Which was disappointing but not devastating. For me the silver lining was that the fastest man of the day was Chris Devlin Young. He is a salty old dog that has literally influenced the sport of sit ski more than any other person (over the past 30 years). He was an incredible mentor to me during my time as a ski racer, sharing his wisdom freely for the betterment of the sport; my successes are a direct product of his generosity. Proud of you Chris, you the man!
This years X Games happened to be a great one for many fellow Canadian friends of mine. Shout outs to everyone who represented, special cred goes to Simon Dar’tois, Vinnie Garnier, Mark McMorris and Kevin Hill for their stellar performances. Way to show up and throw down!
Lots more coming down the pipe this winter, so please stay tuned.
photo credits: @dupsburritos (instagram)