The Menís Ski Superpipe has always been my favorite X Games event. Think of it ... the pipe is rock-hard ice with walls 17-plus feet high. The athletes are flying above the walls while flipping, twisting and grabbing their skis. If you have never been in a superpipe, visit Loon or Okemo and take a look. It's very wild just to ski down the middle of it and look up the walls ... nevermind ski up to the lip, or jump up and out of the pipe.
David Wise won the contest on Friday night - and he did it with style - leaving no doubt of why he became the first double gold medalist in this event since Tanner Hall in 2008. It's hard to win one of these contest due to the nature of the judging, and the fact that every year competitors are constantly setting new heights and new tricks. Check out his superpipe performance from last year.
The 21-year-old Wise is a new dad from Lake Tahoe, California. You can see him in the new Warren Miller film "Flow State" or any number of other videos.
His winning run included a back-to back double cork 1260 trick that has never been done before. It was an amazing run. What struck me were the grabs, the height and how smooth he was floating in the air.
Turin Yates-Wallace, at just 17 years old, won the silver while Bethel, Maine native Simon Dumont - a true superpipe warrior - won the bronze. The 26-year-old Dumont had a broken wrist and skied without poles in the competition. (Dumont is pictured to the right competing without poles at the US Grand Prix on Jan. 11, 2013.) It could be argued that poles donít help much in the superpipe. But if that was true, why do the other competitors use them? The answer is simple: Balance.
He broke his wrist while competing in the Dew Tour earlier in the year, but that didnít slow him down. He is known for going big in the pipe, and this year was no different. Dumont is also no stranger to injuries. In 2006, he broke his pelvis in three places and ruptured his spleen when he overshot a jump in Utah. Another injury includes a knee injury that caused him to pull out of the X Games in France last winter. If you are looking to see this Simon in person, donít miss the Dumont Cup held at Sunday River in late March.
The 5th annual Dumont Cup returns this spring as the biggest free ski event in the East, and the biggest pro-am competition in the world. With $20,000 in cash up for grabs, you'll see top X Games pros throwing down against an amateur field that always gives them a run for their money.
So it's bronze for Dumont to add to his medal count. Since 2002 he was won two gold, two silvers and now four bronze medals in Winter X Ski Superpipe, plus a gold in Big Air back in 2009. We have not seen the last of Simon, he has been named to the 2014 US Olympic Ski Team and will compete in Sochi, Russia next year in the superpipe. He is a true ski professional, one I like to watch and one who has not let injury or fame slow him down from his passion for the sport.
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