Was at the World Cup in Beaver Creek last weekend. Fun to see Bode win the downhill. I wish they would put the GS on Saturday instead of Sunday so we could watch Ligety.
You can’t really see the actual race very well so most people watch from inside the tent on TV.
On Saturday, I got this shot of (from left) Franz Weber, Billy Kidd, me , Franz Klammer, and Klaus Heidegger, inside the tent watching the race on the TV.
My favorite paper, the Wall Street Journal, interviewed me for an article on Shaun White. I guess he had mentioned my 02 “Dinner Roll” performance when talking about his plans to unveil new tricks in Vancouver at the Olympics. Most of what I have to say about the subject is in the video which I embedded. The written part is very brief and my quote is little out of context. Of course, I do have some moments of bitterness when thinking back on my 4th place result but I don’t mean to disparage my competitors. In general, my performance there has been a highlight in some ways equal in satisfaction to my gold in 98, X silver in 99 etc. although it has taken me awhile to realize that. It has been a great part of my whole career. I love hearing people recounting the 02 games. There was no hesitation for me. Had I known ahead of time that I would not be able to win, I can’t say that I would have done the same thing but I felt strongly about presenting the myself and the sport in its most advanced stage on the worlds biggest stage, the Olympics. I am flattered that my performance pops into Shaun’s sphere when he is thinking about his strategy, even if it is as a “don’t.” I remember what I did as do others and my performance contributed to the evolution of a sport that I love. In the end, I was true to the spirit of Freestyle competition and I can live with that.
Spent a few days in Utah. Skied Canyons early morning with a fa mily that won a day of skiing me with via a Sprint sweepstakes. The kid was good, so it was easy for me. We tore up the mountain. Text Snow to 7777 if you are interested in this one day. Canyons is a decent mountain. Lots of traversing around but it has some good stuff. We skied some trees which were fun. Snow was good, old pow, chopped up a bit but still soft. I was in Park City for the Freestyle world cup which consisted this time of moguls, dual moguls, aerials, and superpipe. Aerials was first night and and it was pretty exciting I must say. I am doing the color analysis for NBC so I was paying close attention to the event. Although Aerials can sometimes getting boring after awhile because everyone seems to be doing the same trick, I figured out that the best thing to do is pay attention to the competition. What I mean is that it is more exciting to look at the performance of the individuals under pressure. See if they choke or not. I guess this is what FIS/Olympic committee figures is a more universal attraction than the actual sport, because if they were concerned with the sport getting stale on its originality they would surely change the rules. More on this after we hear some Damien Marley:
With regards to judging we can look at the world cup superpipe. The event was held in Park City in one the world’s only 22 foot superpipe. Conditions were perfect and there was a good crowd. The field was strong but the big names were absent. Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont decided not show for whatever reason probably because SIA was the week before and X games was the week before, I am sure they were spent. I was a little surprised they laid off because the show is for NBC. The fact that is a world cup though does little for them because the event is not in the Olympics and won’tbe for quite some time, if ever. Prize money was good but not enough to motivate them if they were burnt.
However, X games champion Xavier Bertoni from France, Canada’s Mike Riddle and Colby West were on hand. Bertoni Qualified first but it would be his teammate Kevin Rolland who killed it in finals. Rolland had learned the whiskey flip in practice at X a week earlier and busted it out in the finals. The whiskey flip is essentially a double back flip with a 180 or what is know as a flare. Sick trick originally done by Peter Olenick. Kevin stomped that trick off the top hit huge and then rolled into a series of impressive combos including a super styley 1260 in the middle of the pipe with huge amplitude. I really liked his run. Xavier laid down a nice run too with a very cool flatspin which I really love even though it is only a 360 it is very difficult to do well from what I have seen and heard. But in the end Xavier was not boosting out like Rolland and did not have the double so Rolland took it, Xavier was third behind Walter Wood. I have to check that but I think that is right. Wally threw a 1440 at the end of his run which was the first one ever done in a contest. It was fun to watch, everyone was talking about the caliber of the competition. Colby West, an X games bronze medalist 3 times was somewhere around fifth or so. Speaking of judging, this is my point here, that pipe contests have five judges: amplitude, difficulty, execution and two overall impression judges which make up forty percent of the score. Overall impression is what moguls and aerials needs. Otherwise everyone just does the same thing over and over again because why wouldn’t if you got no extra points for originality?
More on this after we play some pennywise.