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Saturday, January 30, 2010
Winter X 14 Sunday Live Blog Archive

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We're live from Aspen, Colo. Check back right here for daily coverage from every day of Winter X Games 14.

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (9:45 p.m. MST)
It was an intense four days at Winter X 14, and once again the rules of what can and cannot be done on a snowmobile have been rewritten. Right out of the gate, the Freestyle Snowmobile athletes (with Justin Hoyer leading) showed the world they aren't about to stop throwing bigger and better tricks. The Best Trick contest was a showdown of innovation and amplitude, and Heath Frisby finally won a gold medal by fully committing to huge tricks. On the SnoCross track, Tucker Hibbert put the hammer down and rode away with an unprecedented four straight gold medals. Hibbert is seemingly invincible at X and the rest of the field will spend another year training to dethrone him. While Adaptive SnoCross was full of heartwarming inspirational stories, it was also full of some great racing. The Adaptive Athletes proved that positive attitudes make amazing things possible. Finally, Levi Lavallee and Joe Parsons doubled up on medals at WX14 by sending it in Knock Out. Lavallee finally earned a gold for something he does in the other disciplines without reward -- flying way past his landing. See you next year!

Snowboarding: Jesse Huffman, Liam Gallagher (9:40 p.m. MST)
Sunday was Slope day, and it was one for the books. On the men's side, most of us were almost certain, after watching last night's Big Air, that we'd see Mikkel Bang, Torstein Horgmo and Halldor Helgason battling for Slope gold. But it ended up not being their day.

Each dude did, however, have his moment on the course. Horgmo's backside 720 nose bonk on the cannon box and switch backside 1260s were something else. Unfortunately they were only good enough to get him into fourth place. Mikkel had the switch back 12s on lock, too, and complemented 'em with an uber-stylish Miller Flip tail grab on the Hitching Post. Bummer was, he struggled to stomp and found himself in sixth place.

As for Halldor, well, he had a rough go with the front double cork 10, and honestly it looked the jump was just a little too small for that behemoth of a trick. It is worth noting that he put down two double corks on his last run. It looked like he might bump one of the top three dudes out for a hot minute, but he dragged hands on both landings and couldn't carry enough speed for the last jump. So Halldor, who qualified first, finished last. So it goes when you're going that big that often.

Maybe he is human after all.

Anyways, it was an exciting day on the Slopestyle course. It's always nice to see some new faces on the podium. On the women's side, both Janna Meyen-Weatherby and Jamie Anderson -- who were notably absent from the 2009 Winter X Slopestyle contest -- were present, healthy and throwing down.

Despite all that, Jenny Jones proved her win last year was not just a one-time deal, defending her position with 540s and a 720. Anderson was ripping, but just couldn't put down her last 720 clean. Meyen-Weatherby was on her own trip, sticking a backside 540 to cab 720 and then a cab 900 that she also couldn't put down clean. Makes you wonder, though. What would have happened if she did?

Despite the heel bruises and epic slams the course exacted, having the women hit the same jumps as the men this year certainly worked out. We got new tricks from legendary riders, and jacked up the standard of what to expect in the world of women's Slopestyle.

That's a good Sunday.

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (8:40 a.m. MST)
Levi Lavallee stomped it in Knock Out and flew a full nine feet further than anyone else. "That landing is something fierce," he said from the winner's circle. Glenn Kafka, the Team Lavallee crew chief, replied, "I'm just glad we still have a sled that's still in one piece." Lavallee did wreck a couple machines this year at X, but was happy to keep himself from substantial injury and added two more medals to his trophy room.

With a nickname like "Big Air," one might have guessed that Chris Burandt would medal in an event that's all about, well, big air. Burandt was stoked to be back on the podium and wearing the silver medal.

Joe Parsons may have been the surprise of the evening, "knocking out" the likes of Tucker Hibbert, Robbie Malinoski, and Paul Thacker to claim the bronze. While Parsons was riding the same sled he rode in Freestyle and Best Trick, the other riders were on machines built for racing or specifically for Knock Out. Despite a power disadvantage, Joe used his unique technique to go big.

Skiing: John Symms (8:25 p.m. MST)
SuperPipe Highest Air. Justin Dorey is in the driver's seat with 22 feet, 1 inch. Here he comes again, and, whoops, somebody's face just popped up in the passenger seat, and Dorey just pumped it up to 23-9.

Speed has been an issue tonight, and Dorey has stripped down to a tight, long-sleeve T-shirt to get every ounce of it that he can. Olenick, sponsored by Spyder, is rumored to be considering a quick change into a Spandex speed suit to boost his aerodynamics. So far though, Olenick is still strapped into his standard apparel.

Olenick's lofty 22-9 alley-oop flat 5 has him in third.

Scratch that. Pete's in first now. 24-1. People are screaming "OHHHHHH!"

Sounds, fittingly, like "LOOOOOOAM!" to me.

Skiing: John Symms (6:25 p.m. MST)
Our Lord and Xavier Bertoni has just come down with his best run of the night. With grabs this time around, the thing looks unbelievable. Alley-oop flat 3 japan to switch 7 mute combo was epic.

And he bumps Simon Dumont out of a podium spot, moves into third. With one run to go, this is a situation that The Dumont hasn't been in for the last, is it seven years?

Ran out of pipe on an epic run. Finishes with the switch 10 without room for his last-hit alley-oop 9. And still in fourth -- that's a bummer of some Winter X history.

Skiing: John Symms (6:10 p.m. MST)
Two words: East Java.

Kevin Rolland's skiing is so dirty that it's muddy. And his second pipe run just left the Winter X pipe covered. Covered: double flare mute, alley-oop flat 3 safety, switch 7 mute, right double, flare, double 12 mute.

Kevin is doing the hardest stuff in the game. And the message he is sending is clear: you need tricks and grabs to win. Tonight, you need to be Kevin Rolland to win. He's untouchable at the moment.

In lower-down-the-standings news, Duncan Adams's unique run with unbelievable grabs and style has moved up to its rightful place in fourth. Thank you, judges.

Thank you, Kevin.

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (5:05 p.m. MST)
Heath Frisby decided that Knock Out was not for him and has opted not to compete. That opens a spot for Robbie Malinoski, and if the practice session is any indication, he's a contender. Levi Lavallee's machine appears to be ripping and his jumps look longer and higher than most of the rest.

Skiing: John Symms (5:00 p.m. MST)
Simon Dumont is considered the best pipe skier alive. And he wins a lot. Perhaps then you can imagine the frustration he's been feeling over not having won at Winter X for the past four years. With minutes left until Pipe finals, Simon is looking like he could break the cold snap tonight. With only one double in his run, he's behind the flippingest. Dubs or no, he's still got one of the techiest runs in the bunch. And his compact style and consistent grabs will put pressure on double flippers that still have trouble putting hand to ski on their big tricks. Simon has also been talking two different runs: one ending with a switch 10 to alley-oop ten combo, the other ending on switch 12 to switch alley-oop 9. Switch 12 would be a new trick for Winter X Pipe. And, doubles or not, judges like new tricks.

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (4:45 p.m. MST)
The snowmobile pits are clearing out in a hurry. Most of the race team rigs are leaving Aspen and heading 1,800 miles directly to Farmington, New York, to make it in time for the Eastern Nationals (which start Friday evening). When you consider the likelihood of bad driving conditions on Vail Pass, it makes sense to head out as soon as possible. Snow is falling.

Snowboarding: Jesse Huffman, Liam Gallagher (4:40 p.m. MST)
Aaron Biittner was right. No one could step to Eero Ettala's first run. He took Men's Slopestyle gold with the first run of the finals. How wild is that? Everyone knows Eero is capable, but seeing him claim top honors came as a bit of a surprise ­ even to Eero. "I was just hoping to make it to the finals," said Eero. "I didn't have any expectations. I know there are so many good people out here, and I don't think I'm one of those guys. So wow, I got lucky today. So happy." In case you weren't watching, or failed to read the last blog, Eero's winning run included a backside 1080 late-cork, a double backside rodeo and a switch double backflip. Eero said he had that run in mind before he showed up today and then just happened to hammer it out right off the bat. "Yeah, I just went for it," said Eero. "I said, 'I've got to do it. It doesn't matter if I end up in eighth place and I fall every time, I just want to get this run.'" Just last night, Eric Willett, the Winter X rookie from Breckenridge, snuck into the Big Air competition as an alternate. But he couldn't seem to dial in his tricks, and didn't make the podium. Today, Willett made good, taking silver with a run that needs a technical manual to decipher. He linked up a 1080, double cork, and a double back rodeo. "I didn't do to good at Big Air last night, but I was looking forward to today," said Willett. "To come out and put this down was awesome." As for upsetting a field of riders that included Torstein Horgmo, Willet was definitely happy. "First X Games, and to be on the podium is crazy."

Skiing: John Symms (4:00 p.m. MST)
Still counting down to Pipe finals. Minutes before warm-ups begin, a dusting of snow falls from the uncooperative Aspen sky. That no doubt has competitors worrying about their skis' preparation.

"Under normal conditions, the pipe surface is a sheet of ice and going fast is as simple as having smooth, waxed bases," explains Norwegian wax expert Henrik Lampert. "The second you put a layer of fresh snow on the pipe, the speed equation gets complicated: what's the temperature of the new snow? What's the texture? What's the water content? Getting it wrong can be very costly."

With this new snow, athlete support will be a far greater factor in the contest outcome. Wax techs are scrambling to hit it right.

Skier X John Stifter (3:00 p.m. MST)
Tyler Walker and Chris Devlin-Young train together most of the year. In fact, Devlin-Young, 48, was Walker's first mono-ski coach. So when the 23-year-old Walker made a split-second direction change around a fallen Devlin-Young, who crashed after the top roller section, he trusted his instincts and the protégé passed the mentor. The result? Walker's third Winter X Mono X gold medal. Devlin-Young, however, couldn't add any years to his record of being the oldest Winter X Games medalist.

"I barely missed hitting Chris, my heart was racing so fast," said a relieved Walker after his gold-medal winning run. Asked how he avoided Devlin-Young, Walker cited his "jedi reaction" skills. "I love doing this and I love the X Games. I put in a lot of work for this and it paid off today."

As for the silver and bronze, Alaska's Gregory Peck finished second and Bozeman, Montana's, Kevin Connolly claimed the bronze, his second Winter X medal.

Skiing: John Symms (2:20 p.m. MST)
What does everybody in the Men's Pipe final have in common? They're all hurt. Concussions, sore knees, bruised heels, skier's thumb. When you have to be 20 feet off the deck to catch the judges' eyes, SuperPipe equals physical brutality. Doesn't matter how good you are. Possible solution: less amplitude? Kind of. "We've made a strategic decision this year to pull the amplitude back by a little bit," says Bruce Wells, the father and coach of pipe competitors Jossi Wells and Byron Wells. "Not by much, just one or two feet -- enough that the boys are still going big, but are in control enough to focus on putting together runs that are more technical and more consistent than their competitors'." So far that strategy has worked: Jossi won Pipe at the Winter Dew Tour leading up to Winter X and won last night's elims. And even more importantly, he's healthy. Er, as healthy as any pipe skier could be.

Snowboarding: Liam Gallagher (2:15 p.m. MST)
Things got going quick at Men's Slopestyle finals. Eero Ettala dropped hammers right out of the gate. He qualified last in eliminations, so he dropped first today and didn't waste any time getting down to business.

Dig this jump run: Backside 1080 late cork, double backside rodeo, switch double backflip. It was insane as it sounds. Aaron Biittner was at the bottom of the Slopestyle course and like all the rest of us down in the corral he was blown away by what he was seeing

"I can't even believe Eero's first run," said Biittner. "It was crazy. It was a perfect first run. I'd be surprised if anyone can do a better run than that."

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (2:11 p.m. MST)
We checked in with Paul Thacker to see how he was feeling after his two painful-looking attempts at the "No Flip" the other night. Thacker says it was a wild ride but he will try to land it cleanly some time in the future. He also says he's pumped for Knock Out and won't be backing off the throttle just yet, in fact he can't wait to fly his sled over 100 feet multiple times tonight.

Mono Skier X John Stifter (2:00 p.m. MST)
It's a four-man final in Winter Mono X 2010, as the favorite and defending champ Tyler Walker advances in addition to Chris Devlin-Young, Gregory Peck, and Kevin Connolly. Walker, 23, won the holeshot and never relinquished a shred of his lead in semifinal heat number one. The 2007 and 2009 WX Mono X champ sent the final jump a good 70-feet plus. In semifinal heat number two, perennial U.S. Paralympic Team member Devlin-Young timed the start perfectly and led the whole way. But Connolly, 24, who prefers to ski powder to racing, could be a stiff test in the final, with his penchant for sending big airs and charging hard. In the semifinal, he almost charged too hard, as he crashed twice but still held on to qualify for the final.

Snowboarding: Jesse Huffman (1:45 p.m. MST)
The clouds are rolling in, but that's not slowing anyone's roll on the Slopestyle course. Torstein Horgmo, fresh off a silver medal in Big Air last night, was strapping to give the run a go. Obviously hyped, Horgmo said he is "Just ecstatic, that was funnest contest night ever." Horgmo and Halldor Helgason are staying together, so you know they were doing it up. Helgason himself was warming it up with huge shifties, but you know he's got crazy moves up his XXL jacket sleeve. Eric Willett, who couldn't seem to get his landing gear working last night at Big Air, was linking up crazy tricks; a backside 900 to cab double cork 1080 to switch backside double rodeo -- holy cow Mikkel Bang was also tossing a stomping in his totally relaxed fashion, putting down a switch backside 900 to frontside 1080. Who will take this game of spin to win is still very much up in the air, as it were. But remember, the whole field of riders, minus Chas Guldemond, was in big air last night, so they've got to be a bit beat up. "Yeah, I'm a little sore today," said Horgmo. "But I've been sore before."

Snowboarding: Liam Gallagher (1:30 p.m. MST)
Jenny Jones proved that she can hang with the best of 'em today. She won the Women's Slopestyle final for the second year in a row. The most significant thing about this year's win is that Jenny out-shredded Jamie Anderson and Janna Meyen-Weatherby. Last year, neither of these girls were at Winter X, so this win carries that much more weight. It was a progressive day in the park. Janna Meyen-Weatherby was incredibly close to nailing a cab nine, which would've been a Winter X first for the women. But the botched landing ended up earning her bronze behind Jamie Anderson's silver. Janna is a snowboarder's snowboarder and when asked if she was bummed on the bronze she responded exactly as you'd expect. "No, not at all," said Meyen-Weatherby. "I came here to do my run. I didn't give a crap where it left me at the end of the day. I wasn't here to do the contest, I was here to beat myself." That's the spirit. And that's why Janna's admired by all the other girls. Jenny was flabbergasted when asked what it felt like to beat Janna. "Janna Meyen is my legend, she'll always be my legend," said Jones. "It's...[trailing off]. I don't even know what to say."

Skier X John Stifter (1:20 p.m. MST)
may be a hockey and curling country, but today its sport is skiercross. It was a Canadian sweep of the Men's Skier X podium, as 27-year-old Chris Del Bosco won his first Winter X Games while teammates Dave Duncan and Brady Lemen finished second and third, respectively. The 220-pound Del Bosco led from the start, but Duncan was hot on his ski tails through the middle of the course on the jump section. Nevertheless, the Quebec-born and Vail, Colorado-raised Del Bosco never lost the lead, taking aggressive lines on multiple banked turns.

"We came in here really strong and managed to get four into the final and swept the podium," said an elated Del Bosco of the Canadian sweep. "I felt him [Duncan] a bit, but when you're in front like that, you just got to keep your head down and go."

The sweep could be a precursor to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, as three men -- Del Bosco, Duncan, and Stan Hayer -- hope to continue the podium sweep trend. "This is so huge heading into the Olympics in our home country," remarked Del Bosco, a product of Team 's massive effort to score a gold medal in Vancouver. "We got three guys on the podium here, so hopefully we can do the same there."

Skiing: John Symms (1:00 p.m. MST)
It's a good thing that Peter Olenick made it into finals. The Aspen local looked like anything but a Bubble Boy in this morning's practice session, bringing all the tricks to the table with so much height he needed a parachute. Olenick's practice runs are podium guarantees if he can bring them into the finals. The only runs that can tangle are coming out of Simon Dumont (no surprise) and Kevin Rolland.

The three were tossing out runs muddy enough to leave the pipe looking like East Java at the end of practice.

Rolland: Left double flare, right double flare, alley-oop flat 3, switch 10, double cork 12, alley-oop flat 7
Dumont: Left 9, right 9, double flare, alley-oop flat 7, switch 10, alley-oop flat 10
Olenick: Double alley-oop flat 9, left 9, right 9, double flare, right 7, switch 10


Skier X John Stifter (12:50 p.m. MST)
History has been made on a sunny day here on Aspen's Buttermilk Mountain. France's Ophelie David took home her fourth straight Women's Skier X gold medal, making her the first skier -- male or female -- of any Winter X skiing discipline to four-peat. The 33-year-old mother of two passed the two Canadian women -- Kelsey Serwa, 20, and Ashleigh McIvor, 26 -- that finished second and third, respectively, halfway through the course and outlasted them to the finish to claim a record fourth gold medal.

"It's so amazing because when I started, I was in fourth," explained an exhausted David at the finish. "I knew it would be quite tough to pass them, but I absorbed the jumps really well and it worked. I'm so super, super happy."

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (12:47 p.m. MST)
As the Adaptive SnoCross racers were taking their parade lap, Doug Henry tipped his sled over. Being a paraplegic, Henry could do nothing to upright himself. Amputee Travis Gravelle rushed over to help Henry up. Just a few short minutes later, during the final, Gravelle tried to take Henry on the inside and Henry slammed the door shut. Gravelle went down and his shot at a medal was finished. It's just one little story demonstrating that despite the camaraderie and respect among these inspiring athletes, they were here to win! Henry went on to pass Jeff Tweet for the bronze medal and apply some pressure to eventual silver medalist, Jim Wazny. Early favorite Mike Schultz took the win, but anyone who has experienced the rigors of SnoCross would classify all of the Adaptive racers as winners.

Snowboarding: Liam Gallagher (12:15 p.m. MST)
Here's what I've seen on the Slopestyle course so far this morning.

Janna Meyen-Weatherby was the first lady on course. Jenny Jones showed up second, and Jamie Anderson came after that. Those are the three girls to watch. That was about an hour ago. They've all been hot lapping, and from the looks of it they've got their legs under them. Simply put: they're ripping.

I've already seen a few sevens stomped and speed doesn't seem to be an issue. None of them were anywhere near the knuckles. It looked like Jamie might've been going for a cab 900. Janna's already got the cab nine.

Could that be the trick that decides it? I don't know about you, but I can't wait to find out.

Snowboarding: Jesse Huffman (12:10 p.m. MST)
The sun is out, but it hasn't heated all the way up yet, so course conditions are picture perfect for the Women's Slopestyle Finals. Last year's champ Jenny Jones was tossing frontside 5 to cab 5 to frontside 720 combos on the jump line.

But the real news is whether Janna Meyen-Weatherby can set down a cab 900 today. Jamie Anderson, who had the course on lock during eliminations, was also testing out some cab spins, getting ready to bring the heat if Janna steps up the game. The question, then, is what Jones will do. Things are about to get interesting

Look for the competition between these top female contenders to juice up the Slopestyle course in less than 30 minutes.

Skier X John Stifter (12:03 p.m. MST)
Defending Skier X champion Stan Hayer will not repeat in 2010. The big Canadian got pinched at a gate by Andreas Steffan and was forced off course.

In an absolutely stunning finish in semifinal heat number two, it was a Canadian sweep, but not by much. The Dark Lord Enak Gavaggio was battling for the coveted third transfer spot to advance to the finals. But Dave Duncan and Davey Barr barely beat out the Frenchman Gavaggio in a photo finish.

So the Men's Skier X final looks like this: Canadians Chris Del Bosco, Brady Leman, Davey Barr, Dave Duncan and Switzerland's Andreas Steffan and American John Teller.

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (11:58 a.m. MST)
The first round of SnoCross Qualifying just wrapped up. Cory Davis checked out on the field in heat 1, and surprise surprise, Tucker Hibbert REALLY checked out on the field in heat 2. Other racers on the move were Team Ski-Doo's Tim Tremblay and Brett Turcotte. Tremblay hounded Dan Ebert until the last lap of heat 1, stealing third place. The Turkey, Turcotte, took second in heat 2 after slicing his way past Steve Taylor, Matt Piche, and Paul Bauerly. Ross Martin and Emil Ohman tangled on the start of heat 2, forcing both to the LCQ. Another favorite that will be fighting for a spot in the final via the LCQ is Brett Bender.

Skiing: John Symms (11:42 p.m. MST)
Peter Olenick started Elims a definite medal contender, and ended it with a sigh of relief. Sitting in fifth after his first run, Olenick tried to put his big gun, the double alley-oop flatspin, into the second without having done it in training. "I know how to do the trick," reflected Olenick, "so I figure the chance that I'll land it on the first try of the day are the same as the chances on any other try." Unfortunately, this try wasn't a success. So Olenick had to wait and watch as a gaggle of not-yet-qualified riders that included Xavier Bertoni, Justin Dorey, and Mike Riddle dropped in. Olenick dodged bullets as Riddle and Dorey failed to set down clean runs. And Bertoni dodged his own bullet with the final run of competition, pushing Olenick onto the bubble. The bubble gets to play the game, so we'll see Olenick in the finals, with three chances to set down his two doubles in a run that could be his first podium run in three years. Maybe the first Winter X Gold of his life.

Skier X John Stifter (11:03 a.m. MST)
American Daron Rahlves, who won WX Skier X in 2008 and was a favorite to win his second WX gold here today, crashed high up on the course in the woops section as he was trying to make a pass in the fourth and final heat in the quarterfinal round.  

The American favorite was down on the course for a good five minutes after taking a tumble. According to on-course officials, Rahlves is moving around, but is complaining of hip pain.  

This is the second injury suffered by the two U.S. Olympic Team Ski Cross members Rahlves and Casey Puckett, who elected not to compete in favor of resting his left shoulder that he had surgery on January 13. As for the other three heats, all the favorites advanced, including 's Chris Del Bosco, Enak Gavaggio of France, Errol Kerr of Jamaica, the big Canuck Stanley Hayer, and Winter X rookie Dave Duncan of Golden, British Columbia, .

Rahlves, who won the Best Line award at last night's Powder Video Awards, said before his run that the course was skiing super fast, making for interesting runs with skiers racing for position.

Snowmobiling: Cory Tomesh (10:19 a.m. MST)
One thing is certain this morning: It's about to get savage on the SnoCross Track. The big question is, does anyone have the smoke to steal the four-peat away from the dominator, Tucker Hibbert? Coming into the final day of WX14, Levi Lavallee has managed to stay healthy despite some gnarly wrecks. Can Longville's favorite son medal in three of the four Snowmobile events? There are just a few short hours left before the history books are written.

Snowboarding: Jesse Huffman (10:05 a.m. MST)
Sunday is for Slopestyle. Women's and Men's Finals are both going down, and from what we've seen so far, it's going to be a sight to behold. Jamie Anderson put a notch in the belt of women's freestyle riding yesterday, so we'll be looking for her to continue that domination. Also, Janna Meyen-Weatherby lit a fire with her cab 900 attempt. Will she put that one down today in finals? In the men's final, Halldor Helgason will be the story du jour. Can he parlay that crazy double cork backside 1260 into a money-booter Slopestyle gold conversion? Helgason qualified first in Slopestyle, with the rest of the Big Air podium behind him, only reversed -- Mikkel Bang and then Torstein Horgmo. Will these dudes be able to get back on the hill after the beatings they took scrubbing landings on the Big Air jump? I know you're not supposed to work on Sunday, but this weekend, snowboarding is putting in overtime. Hope you can make it to the mountain with us heathens.

Snowboarding: Liam Gallagher (10:00 a.m. MST)
It's hard to imagine that the snowboarding action could get much better than today, but my gut is telling me it will. Finals have a way of bringing out the best. We saw that last night and the safe money says it'll be the same story on Sunday. The women will be riding first with Slopestyle finals set for High Noon. Doubt I need to alert you to those that are worth watching but in case you are just tuning in, here's the hype: Jamie Anderson, Janna Meyen-Weatherby and Jenny Jones are all going to be gunning for each other, and each has what it takes to take the other's out. It might be the best match in recent Winter X history. Same can be said for the guys. Halldor Helgason is hot and I've heard he wants to throw two double corks in his run. Last night was just a warm up for him, Mikkel Bang and Torstein Horgmo. You can bet they'll all be carrying mad momentum into today's Slopestyle final and yeah, it'll probably be way gnarlier than any of us ever imagined.

Skier X John Stifter (10:00 a.m. MST)
Finally, it's Finals day on the X course. And we all know what that means: eXtreme carnage, of the good kind, will shortly ensue for the men and women of Skier X and Mono X. The skies are cloudy and gray this morning, which switches up speed for the skiers, so the ski techs are scrambling to unearth The Wax That Wins! Of course, the most newsworthy preview news is France's Ophelie David, who is going for the first-ever Winter X four-peat in any skiing discipline. Based on her number-one qualifying time and experience, she remains the favorite. As for the men, Daron Rahlves takes on the entire country of in attempts to beat out Chris Del Bosco (number one qualifying time), Stan Hayer, Dave Duncan, and Brady Leman. But don't count out Frenchman Enak Gavaggio, aka The Dark Lord, who is making his twelfth straight WX appearance and knows a thing or two about Skier X finals. Meanwhile, four Mono Xers will battle it out for the gold, with 25 percent odds of winning gold, 50 percent winning silver, and 75 percent winning bronze. Huh? Wait, they all have a 75 percent chance of earning a medal. I'd take those odds. Six skiers racing down this burly course will no doubt prove to be extremely entertaining today. Men and Women's Skier X is live on ESPN right now, so tune in and watch the drama unfold!