Winter X 10
photos/text by Ilana Sochaczewski
happens when you put snow, 70,000 people, a jumbotron, Sal Masekela, and X-treme
athletes itching for a gold medal all on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen,
Colorado? You get one hell of a show, known as Winter X Games. All eyes were
on Aspen from January 28th to January 31st. Fans watching television,
reading the newspaper, or experiencing the Games first hand, anticipated the
exhilarating, nail-biting competition. And the athletes did not let them
down; from Moto X, to snowboard superpipe there was non-stop action.
main events included men’s and women’s slopestyle finals then finished the
day off with women’s superpipe finals. The day started out right with lots
of sun and the women’s slopestyle competition. This year’s slopestyle course
began with two jib features, then a choice of a kicker or a box that led to
a 40-foot gap jump. Next was the xbox obstacle that included an up-flat-down
box crossing with an up box with a gap to a down box, which continued on to
the “last chance kickers” for the finishing trick. After the women’s first
run, Hana Beaman (Big Bear, CA) held the top spot landing a huge Cab 5.
Janna Meyen (Bend, OR) decided that she wanted a 4-peat and pulled out a Cab
7, Cab 5, back 5 over the gap, and a back 3 giving her the gold, and bumping
Beaman to the silver.
Anderson (Lake Tahoe, CA) took home the bronze showing that the girls of the
Wes‘side know how to do it. With the sun still shining over the slopestyle
course, the men took control of the X Games. Tricks were thrown down from
beginning to end. Danny Kass (Mammoth Lakes, CA) took third place with a
switch back rodeo 7, to Cab 9 and Andreas Wiig (Oslo, Norway) stomped a
front 10 on the last chance kicker for second place. Shaun White’s
(Carlsbad, CA) first run put him in place to take his 4-peat gold in
slopestyle. His run was practically made of gold: 270 gap down the ledge,
tail slide 270 out, back 9, Cab 10, switch back 9 over the gap jump, and
finished with a clean front 10. White’s hold on first place was shaken when
Travis Rice (Jackson, WY), the last athlete of the contest, whipped out a
double cork front 10 on the final jump, but couldn’t complete it.
the sun went down, and the snow began to fall, Saturday came to a close with
women’s superpipe finals. Just as Shaun White clenched first position on his
first run, so did Kelly Clark (Mount Snow, VT). She had a clean run down the
500-foot-long pipe starting with a front air, back 5, front 5, back air,
front 7, Cab 3 and ended with a boned-out stale fish. Torah Bright (Cooma,
Australia) brought a switch back 5 and a Cab 7 crooked cop for her spot in
second and Soko Yamaoko (Japan) took third with a McTwist and a front 7.
Hannah Teter, Gretchen Bleiler and Andy Finch decided to not compete in the
X Games due to their participation in this year’s Olympics in Torino.
Everyone was looking forward to the men’s pipe finals on Monday night.
Scotty Lago (Seabrook, NH), rising from 10th place, took the bronze with a
double-corked 10, to Cab 7. Mason Aguirre (Duluth, MN) put down a front 10
and a Cab 10 for his silver medal. And who else but Shaun White grabbed the
gold in pipe, with his third run that included a massive backside air, and
clean back 10. White’s win in pipe gave him six golds, which put him next to
Shaun Palmer for the most gold medals in Winter X Games history. So when is
Shaun White finally going to reveal himself as Superman? Maybe when he’s old
enough to drink legally.