Last week the prestigious X-Games went down in Aspen, Colorado. For those who did not know, Aspen city was founded as a mining camp in the Colorado Silver Boom and named because of the abundance of Aspen trees in the area. The city is now know as a popular ski and snowboard destination, and if you come visit you are most likely to see a celebrity. I arrived in Aspen on monday, after two weeks of training and getting ready for the event in Breckenridge. As we drove into the spectacular stadium size lighting that X-games had set up for the night finals (Even Manfred Man would have been blinded by these lights), I reminded myself my goal for the week; “Enjoy the event to the fullest, in the smiling memory of Sarah J. Burke”.
The next day we had our first practice and the riders were faced with a very intimidating slopestyle course. XXL size jumps and rail features with big drops was what we would try to conquer the next couple of days.
Apart from the actual contest, X-Games is a event where you meet everyone in the snowboard industry, and more. The athlete tent is like a big party, with free fitting of footbeds, games and free bodywork. This is the place where the athletes can hang out, watch each other compete (on one of the many tv screens), eat good food or get their boards waxed.
The week moved quickly forward, and on thursday night ESPN arranged a memory celebration for Sarah in the pipe. Over 150 athletes rode down the pipe with flowers and light torches, as a slideshow of Sarah was ran across the big screen. It was a gathering filled with tears, yet I could feel the smile of a beautiful human shining above us.
The next day slopestyle women’s finals was up. It had snowed over night and the course was slow as we started practice in the morning hours. As our contest was about to start, we had a meeting up at the top discussing different ways of running the competition. We agreed to keep all four jumps in the event, despite thelack of speed for some of the features… It was go time! We got three runs and I managed to put down one run that held up to third place, finally (after getting fourth the last three years).!
The next days I took some time off and watched the men’s big air and slopestyle and the women’s and men’s pipe finals. My ankle was very happy to get a rest, as I had tweaked it training in Breckenridge one and a half week before the competition. So, after the annual Monster party at the top of the mountain, Shaun White’s perfect score (100 points out of 100), the first front flip ever on a snowmobile, triple corks on skis and snowboards and disappointment for notmeeting Mariah Carey, I packed my bags and left for Europe.
So, 20 something hours later, I’m jet-lagged, yet happy to be in snowy Austria with the Roxy team. We are having a photoshoot here before we continue to the 5 star TTR “Roxy Snow Pro” contest next weekend. Here are some more photos from the eventful week…