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2012 Winter X Games – A T Squared Review

If you are not following @TSquaredSports on twitter or following us on Facebook then you missed our daily updates of who won the X Games and how our guest celebrity picker Alex Schlereth did. Now that the 2012 Winter X Games are in the books, and with only 140 characters allowed, its hard to convey to you how epic the 2012 Winter X Games were.  New faces were welcomed to the top of the winners podium, veterans delivered fantastic performances, and the community said goodbye to the brightest light we had in Sarah Burke.

Kaya Turksi, co-creater and designer of the Believe in Sarah stickers (http://shreddytimes.com/believe-in-sarah) began the weekend with a win in Women’s Ski Slopestyle. Kaya became the first women to three-peat in the event needing her final run to secure the gold medal. The riding in Women’s Ski Slopestyle has hit a new level. The tricks were progressive and the ladies pushed each other. Kaya, I know Sarah would be proud.

In its second year of competition, Snowboard Street has yet to wow me. According to ESPN’s press release: “Snowboard Street contest features 10 of the world’s best street athletes putting their skills to the test on urban-inspired terrain features. Athletes are judged on aggressive execution of maneuvers, degree of difficulty of maneuvers, variety of maneuvers, originality and style.”

Reality is that Snowboard Street is a glorified rail jam. In my opinion no medals need to be awarded. Just make this an exibition and toss out some cash. There are not enough street competitions to determine who the best riders in this event are. Make this event an open invite and have everyone work through qualifiers to the finals. I would have more respect for it then.

Colton Moore can thank adrenaline and a youthful body for his win in Snowmobile Freestyle. After a wicked crash in his first run, Colt 45 put together a hi-flying and technical run bringing home the gold to Krum, Texas.

Under the primetime lights and with a light snow falling, a better background could not be had for Tom Wallisch’s record setting score of 96.00. Even though Tom has been progressive and Mr. Consistent, this was his first gold medal in X Games. In the press conference after the win Tom said, “This is amazing. Under the lights in primetime and this crowd, it is amazing. I think it’s going to open the sport up to a bigger audience and make it just that much sicker to watch.” We couldn’t agree more Tom.

The scoring records continued to be set when Jamie Anderson set a new 95.33 in Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle. The conditions were tough after a night of fresh snow, but Jamie showed off her skills and new training regiment by maintaining speed and style the whole course.

The objective of the X Games is to win, and to win convincingly. What Kelly Clarke does is win, but she wins with ease by beating out the second place rider by 10 points. Last season was Kelly’s best and her streak continued her at X by winning back to back golds.

The triple cork party was in full effect when the lights came on for primetime Men’s Snowboard Big Air. Mark McMorris came out on top, even with a perfect 50 point run being put together by Torstein Horgmo. Since Mark was the first to land the triple that night top get the triple party started, I think the judges gave a him a few points more than he deserved. Watch out next year, is there a quad cork on the horizon?

ESPN’s Press release couldn’t have said it any better so you should read it: With Sarah Burke stickers adorned to her helmet, Canadian teammate and close friend, Roz Groenewoud, captured gold in Women’s Ski SuperPipe with a 93.66 – the highest score in the events’ history. “It means so much,” an emotional Groenewoud said. “After the tribute on Thursday, I am so proud to be a skier. The outpouring of support has been amazing. I felt like I had Sarah with me. She has been a teammate for so long. This is for Sarah.” After winning the bronze medal the last two years, the gold is Groenewoud’s first in five Winter X Games appearances. Thank You ESPN for a release that captures the moment.

Pressure is a funny thing. It can propel you to a win or cost you everything. Pressure got to Kevin and Simon, but in his second appearance and with a brand new baby at home, David Wise brought home the gold in Men’s Ski Superpipe. Joining Wise on the podium was Noah Bowman who barely got into the event through qualifiers. It only goes to show the sport has depth, but you still have to ride for fun and let the pressure off.

Nate Holland loaned out his gold medal in Men’s Snowboard X for one year, taking it back this year in a wild finish. Nate rode in the second the majority of the race, but when the leader caught and edge and crashed, Nate capitalized and lead the way to a USA podium sweep.

WIth zero gold medals entering the 2012 Winter X Games, Mark McMorris left the games a double gold winner. Already with a Big Air win in his pocket, Mark wowed the crowd in Snowboard Slopestyle. Mark is progressing the sport nicely along with Torstein and Sage Kostenburg. Would Shaun White have had a chance in slopestlye if he wasn’t injured? Who knows but I am skeptical.

Bobby Brown didn’t even need his best tricks to hold off a hard charging Kai Mahler in Big Air. With a switch double cork 1440 and a switch double misty 1260, Bobby Brown a Colorado native kept that gold in state.

There is never enough that can be said about the mono skiers. To each and everyone one of you, YOU’RE CRAZY. What you do on the course defies odds and you are the toughest competitors out there. In my book, gold medals to all of you.

The 2012 Winter X Games closed with two events that have never been done before and will be the lasting legacy of these games outside of Sarah Burke. Heath Frisby landed the first ever front flip on a snowmobile and Shaun White took a victory lap and scored a perfect 100. What more can be said, probably nothing since my jaw is still on the floor, I have been dragging it around since Sunday night.

My final thoughts are with Sarah Burke. I have had the opportunity to interview her and get to know her through the years. To some people in the world it was a sad accident, to our community it was the loss of an monumental proportions. Sarah carried herself with grace and charm and could light up a room with just her smile alone. Her contributions to the entire ski community will live forever in every event and globally as her sport she championed enters the Olympics for the first time in 2014. Sarah, you will be missed greatly. This weekend was dedicated to you, but your legacy will forever be remembered each and every time a girl straps on a pair of skis and rides.

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