Action sports: Who is NEXT?
In most towns, aspiring to compete in the Olympics makes you a dreamer with a one-in-a-million shot. In Steamboat Springs, Colo., those odds drop to about 1 in 152. In fact, the 12,000-person community has produced 79 Olympians -- 17 in 2010 alone. Its next representative? Arielle Gold. "Arielle is among the very best in the world for her age group," U.S. snowboarding coach Spencer Tamblyn says. "She is leading the way for a growing group of young girls that will put lots ...
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Every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead -- athletes we call NEXT. They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but on the verge of transcending their sports. NEXT is what happens when the hype is real.