When it comes to winter action sports in New England, there is only one video company that brings it to life on a regional, national and worldwide level: Meat Head Films.
Started 12 years ago by a college student at the University of Vermont, this home-grown, East Coast gang has carved out a niche all their own and they are dedicated to highlighting the talent and terrain of the east coast.
Meat Head Films' newest release won a Powder Award for Best Powder Segment of the Year for their segment on Jay Peak, a massive accomplishment considering last year was not the snowiest and here in the East, we're not generally known for our deep powder turns.
The annual Powder Awards, sponsored by Powder Magazine and handed out in Park City, Utah the first night of the Sundance Film Festival, typically honors films made in the West and exotic locations around the world.
Meat Head Films has been nominated in recent years for the “Best Jib” category, but to be nominated (and win) the “Best Powder Segment” is a real landmark moment.
Chris James, co-owner and senior photographer at Meat Head, knows well the struggles of being a dedicated East Coast action sports video company and Edging the Xtreme caught up with him recently to talk about his many projects, including Ski the East, Meat Heads newest release, “No Matter What,” and the Ski the East Freeride Tour, which had its first event of the season at Mad River Glenn last weekend.
The Ski the East Freeride Tour filled a void in the East Coast for competitors who did not want to race or compete in moguls or half pipe events.
All the events on the tour were pre-existing and started by the host resorts to highlight their terrain and the spirit of the resorts. Competitors of all ages compete and the demand was so large at the junior level that the juniors had to pre-qualify through a separate series of events.
Last weekend, the first stop of the tour was held at Mad River Glen and with the resort's slogan, “Ski it if you can” as famous as the mountain itself, this event is a real test. The southern Vermont event is held at Magic Mountain , the resort I first ski bummed at back in 1983. Then the tour moves to Sugarbush and on the famed Castle Rock lift line, where you can find my brother John hiding out from his office job. His son, Johnny, is a regular competitor on the tour and finished 20th last weekend at Mad River.
The finals is a two day event at Jay Peak on the rugged terrain under the Tram at the summit.
Listen to the entire Chris James interview here on Edging the Xtreme and RadioBDC.
Three-time Olympian Kelly Clark is widely considered one the greatest female snowboarders ever. She has won every major event in the history of the sport, including the Olympics, the U.S. Open, and Winter X Games, among others. She just got back from winning the Olympic Test event in Sochi Russia and she shared some experiences and some insight to the culture of snowboarding and what it takes to stay on top for over a decade.
Regarded as the best female boarder in halfpipe history, Clark won her third consecutive Gold medal at the Winter X Games last month. She was the first woman ever to do so! Last week, she won the World Cup in Sochi, Russia and she is gearing up for the US Open next week in Vail, CO.
She attended Mount Snow Academy and joined the US Snowboard team as a teenager. Since then, Clark has claimed an astounding 23 podium wins, including a Vans Triple Crown win, a Junior World Championship title, and an overall Grand Prix title. Only a year after graduating high school, she competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, winning a Gold medal in Women’s Halfpipe. She later participated in both the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, landing a bronze medal in Vancouver in 2010.
Aside from her competitive efforts in snowboarding, Clark founded The Kelly Clark Foundation in 2010 to foster youth snowboarding. Since its establishment, the Foundation has awarded $42,000 worth of scholarships to young athletes with financial need.
The Foundation also provides a Snowboard Passport Program, which partners The Kelly Clark Foundation with nonprofit charities to fund daytrips for inner city disadvantaged youth to "get them out on the hill."
The Foundation realizes that the key to success starts with the opportunity to follow your dreams and they aim to give every child the opportunity to make his or her dream a reality.
Listen to the entire interview with Kelly Clark at the link below.
Ted Ligety is the fifth man in history to win three or more gold medals at one world championships and the first to do it in 45 years, since Jean-Claude Killy (FRA) won four in 1968. And he is the first non-European man to achieve this feat.
Here is the video:
Plus, Ligety is the first skier in world championships history, in either gender, to win the Super G, the giant slalom and the (super) combined at one world championships. As if that wasn’t enough, Ligety's SG and SC wins at Schladming 2013 have come in disciplines in which he has never won on the World Cup tour.
All 15 of his World Cup wins have come in giant slalom.
Well it doesn’t stop there: Ted is the first USA skier, in either gender, to win the giant slalom gold medal twice at the world championship.
Ligety is the first American skier, in either gender, to win three gold medals at one world championships and his fourth career individual world championship gold ties Bode Miller's USA record and joins the ranks of the USA record held by Miller, Vonn and Julia Mancuso with five World Championships medals.
With the World Championships in full swing, Ted Ligety is on the verge of making history, and two-time Olympian and World Champion Bronze medal winner Doug Lewis has the the story - listen to his interview below and watch Ted's impeccable run.
Lindsey Vonn had her knee surgery last Sunday in Vail, and with the Olympics now just under a year away, she has vowed to be back. Doctors report that the surgery was successful and anticipate that Vonn will make a "full recovery."
Julia Mancuso is attempting to win her sixth World Championship medal this week in the giant slalom.
Hannah Carney won both the individual moguls and the duel moguls events at Deer Vally in Utah last week.
With President’s week upon us, there are many great events. The legendary Wayne Wong will be at Nashoba Valley this coming weekend. Don’t miss your chance to see and ski with a living legend.
On Main Street in Bethel, Maine a jumping competition called Rail Jam will be held in the middle of the street, to showcase tricks from the area's best skiers and boarders. The annual Rail Wars event will be held on Feb. 23.
And if you want to ski with me, come to Killington Feb. 17 and 18 for one of my advance Skiclinics. Go to Skiclinics.com for more information.
Listen to my full report at the link below.
Doug Lewis competed in two Olympics and won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Bormio Italy back in 1985.
Today, he is a television sports analyst for Universal Sports Network.
There are few people on the planet as passionate for ski racing as Doug Lewis, and he was nice enough to give Edging the Xtreme an up-close-and-personal interview about Ted Ligety’s gold medals in both the Super Combined and the Super Giant Slalom at the World Championships this week in Austria.
Also, here's a bonus with some insight to the Lindsey Vonn crash and her surgery this week in Vail Colorado.
The World Ski Championships have started in Austria and after just one day, I have good news and bad news.
The good news first: Julia Mancoso, who won silver in the 2011 World Championships in Garmish Gemany, captured the bronze medal in Austria. Julia always steps it up for big events, and this is her fifth career World Championships Medal.
And Ted Ligety won gold in the Super G.
The bad news: Lindsey Vonn blew her knee out and had to be airlifted off the mountain. This is a devastating blow to the best Women Skier in in US Ski Team history, especially with the Olympics just a year away.
The US Disabled Ski team is also off to the World Championships in Spain and Tyler Walker is ranked number one in the world,
You can read and listen to the entire Tyler Walker interview here.
This is the spot from RadioBDC on this week's news:
Tyler Walker had his legs amputated when he was four years old. He was born with lumbar sacral agenesis, a birth defect that meant he was born without most of his spine.
“My parents had my legs amputated, which was a good decision, because my legs were just flopping around underneath me," Walker said in an interview from his home in Aspen, where he now lives and trains with the US Disabled Ski Team. "Since I can get out and walk around on my hands so easily, I’m glad they did.”
Originally from Franconia, NH Walker is a two-time Paralympian and a multi-time X-Games Gold Medalist. He has a lot to be proud of; this year at the International Paralympic Skiing NorAm Cup, he won five out of six events.
The first time I met Tyler was back in the late 1990’s when I was hiking over to ski the backside of Cannon Mountain. There he was, with a friend who was pushing and pulling him in his mono ski up and over the top of the mountain to ski some new snow on the backside of Cannon. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Chris Devlin-Young, whom Walker met at the Disabled Ski Programs at both Loon and Waterville Valley ski areas, is known as a fearless athlete who recently skied the famed Corbet's Coulior in Jackson Hole.
Devlin-Young, who is also from New Hampshire, a World Champion and four-time Paralympian, has become a coach, mentor and friend to Walker. Together they are aiming for the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.
“I like to ski the most challenging part of any mountain," said the 26-year-old Walker. A 10-year veteran of the US Disabled Ski Team, he's is heading over to Spain to the World Championships next week.
Listen to my entire interview with Tyler, and follow his progress at the “Worlds” and on the road to the Paralympics in Sochi Russia in 2014, here at Edging the Xtreme on Radio BDC.