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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tanner Hall, Red Bull part ways

By Devon O'Neil
ESPN.com

Tanner Hall at the Red Bull Snow Performance Camp in New Zealand last week.

One of the most enduring partnerships in snowsports -- Tanner Hall and Red Bull -- ran its course this week when Red Bull decided to end its relationship with the iconic freeskier.

"After 11 years of hard work for Red Bull and everything I have done and been through the[y] decided to drop me," Hall wrote on his Twitter feed late Tuesday night.

Red Bull released a statement Wednesday morning that read: "After 11 remarkable years together, Red Bull and Tanner Hall have decided to part ways. Red Bull would like to thank Tanner for his achievements including multiple gold medals, a slew of amazing video parts and countless awards and accolades. We wish Tanner the best of luck in all his future endeavors."

Hall broke the news from New Zealand, where he'd been participating in the Red Bull High Performance camp alongside a number of other Red Bull-sponsored pros. When asked what prompted the move, Hall's agent, Tom Yaps, said in a phone interview with ESPN.com on Wednesday morning: "It's a very difficult question to answer."

Yaps added: "The relationship had pretty much run its course. They'd been together for 11 years, and companies and athletes change directions. Tanner was ready to move on as well, and both sides agreed after the High Performance camp that it was time to go their separate ways."

Hall, 28, is arguably the most influential newschool skier in history. He is a seven-time X Games gold medalist and the only skier to three-peat in both Superpipe and Slopestyle. He also won gold in Big Air. But he has also endured a string of injuries and lately has spent more time filming in backcountry powder than competing.

He's planning a return to the competition circuit this year as he attempts to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics. He is on the start list for the North Face Freeski Open in New Zealand this week and, according to Yaps, will be entering a number of major competitions during the Northern Hemisphere winter. Yaps said Hall will compete at the Breckenridge Dew Tour and Park City Grand Prix in December; the X Games in January; and the FIS World Cup in Sochi, Russia, in February, which serves as an Olympic test event.

"Those four are definites," Yaps said. "He also may do Euro X and the AFP World Championships."

Added Yaps on the search for a new beverage sponsor for Hall, "We've already been speaking with a few different companies and hope to have an announcement shortly."