Rails: The Decider
While I had a suspicion that rails were going to be a bigger part of the X Games scoring this year (although I offered the botched piece of advice to "keep your eyes on the jump line" for the men's final), it appears that the rail scores determined both the men's and women's winner this year. With most of the men's field about to pull off three doubles cleanly with grabs, it was McRae Williams' rail game, and likely his nosebutter 450 in particular, that put him in first. On the women's side, Kaya Turski put together an average (again, for her) jump line (what happened to that switch 10?), but threw a switch 450 disaster onto the top kinked rail and a switch 270 on, 270 out of the rainbow at the bottom that was the most tech women's rail run yet seen at X Games. Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen's upper rail section was a close second, and these two rail performances clearly vaulted their scores into the 90s.
Helmets, Now with Junk Food Logos
Torin Yater-Wallace broke a new boundary of processed food sponsorship this week with the addition of a Pop-Tarts logo displayed next to his long-standing Target sponsorship. Parents can now be excited to not only be fending off the influence of poisonous sugar-water purveyors in action sports, but now also debilitating junk food. Consumerism, rejoice!
Train 2 Bottom
The multi-skier follow cam train down the park is a hallmark of Shane McFalls' Traveling Circus episodes, but nothing has quite matched the longevity of this Calgary Olympic Park gang's run.
Watching the Czech Republic's Daniel Hanka ski is like watching style with ADD.
Mikaela Shiffrin on Letterman
While the hype this week might have centered this week on the news that Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are now dating, fellow Vail racer and newly-minted World Cup slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin got her digs in on Letterman as well.
Deaths Not What You'd Expect
We've talked a lot about risk this season, especially at the highest end of the sport. But a recent Denver Post article has found that the average skier death in the state of Colorado is a 37-year old experienced male skier who hits a tree while wearing a helmet on a groomed intermediate run. It should be noted, however, that they didn't count out of bounds and backcountry deaths in their study.