Archive for June, 2011

ESPYS VOTE NOW!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Lot’s of our favorite snowsports athletes are nominated for the 2011 ESPY’s including snowboarders Kelly Clark and Shaun White and skiers Kevin Rolland, Lindsey Vonn and Sarah Burke.  So now’s your chance to make sure that these guys rock their category and come out with the win! 

Remember voting ends July 9th and you can only vote once in each category so make it count!!  VOTE HERE.

X Games Athletes Nominated for ESPYs

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ESPN Action Sports


Matt Morning/Shazamm/ ESPN ImagesKelly Clark, who’s been nominated for Best Female Athlete for the 2011 ESPYs.

The ESPYs (July 13, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPNHD) have announced the nominees for the Class of 2011, and the list includes seven of the top X Games and Winter X athletes for Best Action Sports Athlete. Snowboarder Kelly Clark is also nominated in the Best Female Athlete category.

The ESPYs will be televised live from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE. The ESPYs will be hosted for the second time by Saturday Night Live’s Seth Meyers.

The ESPY nominees for Best Male Action Sport Athlete are:
Kevin Rolland, Skiing
After winning Ski SuperPipe at both Winter X Games 14 and the inaugural Winter X Games Europe in 2010, Kevin Rolland successfully defended both titles in 2011. After making history at Winter X Games 14 by becoming the first skier to throw three doubles in the same run, Rolland continued his dominance, winning two of three Winter Dew Tour Superpipe competitions and the overall title for 2011. He finished out the year by earning the AFP Superpipe points title by an enormous margin.

Tucker Hibbert, Snowmobiling
The most medaled snowmobile athlete in Winter X Games history, Tucker Hibbert easily earned his fifth straight Snowmobile SnoCross gold medal at Winter X Games 15, becoming the first Snowmobile athlete to five-peat. The youngest gold medalist in Winter X Games history, Hibbert has also dominated the National series, winning 11 of 16 National series contests last season and taking home the 2011 National series points title.

Travis Pastrana, Motocross
After sealing his reputation as the best Moto X Freestyle rider with the first double backflip in 2006, Travis Pastrana returned to the Freestyle and Speed & Style disciplines at X Games 16 to win the first Moto X double-gold since he did it in 2006. In 2011, Pastrana is also making his NASCAR debut, both as a driver and team owner under the Pastrana-Waltrip racing banner. With 12 Moto X medals and four Rally Car medals, Pastrana is one of the most successful crossover athletes in X Games history.

Kelly Slater, Surfing
Long before winning his 10th ASP World Title in 2010, Kelly Slater had earned himself the title of surfing legend. Winning his first ASP World Title at 20-years old, Slater is now both the youngest and oldest person in ASP history to win a World Title. Slater earned four ASP elite victories in 2010, bringing his total to 45 overall elite tour victories, the most of any surfer.

Shaun White, Skateboarding and Snowboarding
With the most gold medals and the most total medals in Winter X Games history, Shaun White earned the first Snowboard SuperPipe four-peat in Winter X Games history in 2011. In addition, White earned his fourth X Games medal at X Games 16 when he took home silver in Skateboard Vert. He finished out 2010 competing in two Dew Tour skate vert competitions, which he won.

The ESPY nominees for Best Female Action Sport Athlete are:
Sarah Burke, Freestyle Skiing
Leading the charge for Ski Halfpipe inclusion in the Winter Olympics, Sarah Burke is one of the most influential female skiers in history. With the most SuperPipe gold medals of any athlete male or female, Burke has won halfpipe titles at every major contest, including gold at Winter X Games 15 and Winter X Games Europe 2011.

Kelly Clark, Snowboarding
The most decorated female Snowboard SuperPipe athlete, Kelly Clark has won eight total medals in her 12 Winter X Games appearances. With an Olympic Gold in 2002 and Bronze from 2010 already under her belt, Clark had a banner season in 2010/2011 where she won nearly every contest she entered, including Winter X Games 15 and Winter X Games Europe Snowboard SuperPipe. At Winter X Games 15, Clark wrote herself into the history books as she became the first female athlete to land a 1080 in SuperPipe competition.

Ashley Fiolek, Motocross
At just 20-years old, Ashley Fiolek has blazed a trail for women’s motocross by earning the first-ever female factory Honda Red Bull Racing sponsorship. In her first three seasons, Fiolek claimed the 2008 and 2009 AMA/WMX Championships and became the youngest champion ever. Though she finished in second for the overall title in 2010, she is back on track and leading the points standings for the 2011 season. Fiolek is the two-time defending X Games Moto X Racing Women’s gold medalist and was the first profoundly deaf gold medalist at X.

Stephanie Gilmore, Surfing
One of the most talented female surfers on the ASP Tour, Stephanie Gilmore won four of the eight surfing events on the 2010 ASP World Tour en route to winning her fourth straight ASP Women’s World Title. In 2011, after surviving an attack outside her home in Australia in Decmeber, Gilmore is back from injury and sits in fourth place in the Women’s World Title rankings.

Fans will determine the winners in all categories (except the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and other special awards) by voting online at the ESPYs website, www.facebook.com/ESPN, as well as on ESPN Mobile Web from Friday through July 9. A limited number of ESPYs tickets are available for public purchase via www.ticketmaster.com.

Dates announced for Winter X Games 16

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

From ESPN.com

ESPN announced Wednesday that the 2012 Winter X Games 16 will be held January 26-29 in Aspen, Colo. and the Winter X Games Europe 2012 will be held on March 14-16 in Tignes, France. Specific competition venues and event schedule will be announced at a later date.
Vianney Tisseau/ESPN Images
Chas Guldemond on his way to posting the highest score ever in slope at Winter X Games Europe 2011.

 
Check out highlights from Winter X Games 15. Gallery Photo Gallery

The X Games features athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in the following sports: snowboarding, snowmobiling and skiing. More than 125 athletes will compete from all over the globe in snowboarding and skiing in Tignes, France for the third year of Winter X Games Europe and over 200 of the best action sports athletes will compete at events in Aspen/ Snowmass, Colo. at Buttermilk Mountain for the premier Winter X Games event.

Winter X Games 16 and Winter X Games Europe 2012 will be covered live on ESPN’s family of networks as well as across ESPN’s many digital media assets including ESPN.com/action, XGames.com and ESPN3.com. The X Games winter events include 24 original hours of high-definition coverage on ESPN and ESPN2 and 18 hours on ESPN 3D. A total of 34 hours of Winter X Games 15 content was also distributed across ESPN’s digital platforms, including ESPN3.com, ESPN.com/Action, XGames.com and ESPN Mobile. Winter X Games content, results and updates were also distributed through the X Games social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr.

Outside the United States, Winter X Games 15 was delivered to more than 382 million homes and live to 154 countries and territories, including Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Israel, Latin America, Mexico, Middle East and New Zealand.

U.S. Freeskiing National Team Announced

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

PARK CITY, UT (June 15) – A first ever U.S. Freeskiing national team is being formed by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). The formal plans were announced this week to nine invited athletes during a dryland training camp at the USSA Center of Excellence in Park City. The announcement comes on the heels of a decision by the International Olympic Committee to add halfpipe skiing to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Athletes invited to the first U.S. Freeskiing Pro Halfpipe Team for the 2011-12 season include some of America’s greatest stars of the newest Olympic sport including X Games champions Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City) and Simon Dumont (Bethel, ME). Nine athletes were invited based on competition results from the past season. The selection process for the inaugural Olympic team will be determined over the next two years with that team being named just prior to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“These are the best American athletes competing in the sport today,” said U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing Director Jeremy Forster. “They have played a key role in the formation of their sport and helped influence the IOC decision to include halfpipe skiing through their skills as athletes.”

Under the new Pro Team program, U.S. Freeskiing will provide support for the athletes at both dryland and on-snow camps, plus competition programs including the U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix, X Games and other events. Athletes will also have access for training at the USSA Center of Excellence.

In addition USSA also announced the veteran Head Halfpipe Coach Mike Jankowski (Portland, OR) will provide support for U.S. Freeskiing halfpipe athletes just as he does for the U.S. Snowboarding Pro Team.

“Mike is one of the most knowledgeable halfpipe coaches in the sport and has a long track record of athletic success,” said Forster. “His knowledge and leadership will be an asset for our U.S. Freeskiing Pro Team athletes as an adjunct to the programs some of them already have in place on their own.”

The U.S. Freeskiing sport program and brand was strategically developed over the past two years with anticipation of the IOC decision to include halfpipe skiing and slopestyle skiing (decision pending) in the Winter Olympics. The program was announced in concept in January, with the IOC selecting halfpipe skiing in April.

“Freeskiing is a rapidly growing segment of the skiing market worldwide,” said USSA’s Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Andrew Judelson. “It provides us an opportunity to build further scale in our sport to attract partners to support athletes and to grow the overall base of skiers in America, as well.”

The USSA has already announced a series of major partners with the new U.S. Freeskiing brand, including The North Face, Delta Air Lines and High Sierra. The North Face will play a major role leading up to 2014 as official uniform supplier for the U.S. Freeskiing Olympic Team.

The Pro Team nominations were announced during the first dryland camp at the USSA Center of Excellence. Athletes underwent physical training and testing sessions, as well as trampoline work and an orientation to the USSA.

The season will kick off with the U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix this December at Copper Mountain, CO. 

2011-12 Nominated U.S. Freeskiing Halfpipe Pro Team: 

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Never Summer Creates Custom Snowboards for Returning Soldiers

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Never Summer's Mike Gagliardi and G unit Staff Sargeant Edwin Wiley

By Mike Horn — ESPN Action Sports

Compared to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, snowboarding seems pretty insignificant. But many soldiers, especially those based in Colorado, are snowboarders.

The G, 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation, which is a helicopter medical evacuation unit based out of Colorado, just returned home this May after a year in Iraq. The primary mission for the Company was to provide life-saving support to U.S. and Coalition soldiers there.

It’s standard for soldiers in the unit to be issued a pistol to commemorate their deployment and service, but Staff Sergeant Edwin Wiley already has three commemorative pistols. This time around he wanted to do something different, so he contacted Never Summer last May to inquire about getting a custom run of commemorative snowboards made.

Wiley and the unit collaborated with Never Summer’s Jeremy Salyer on the graphic design, a silhouette of a Black Hawk Helicopter like the ones the Battalion flew in Iraq. The board base is custom die-cut that reads “DUSTOFF” — short for: “Dedicated, Unhesitating Service to Our Fighting Forces.”  

“I guess they had a pretty active debate on the final choices, and we came up with the final graphic after the unit took a vote,” says Never Summer’s Mike “Gags” Gagliardi.

Gagliardi and fellow Never Summer collaborator Chris Harris attended the unit’s welcome home ceremony, where 66 boards were distributed to a group of stoked soldiers. The unit then returned the favor by presenting Never Summer with a Certificate of Thanks and a special U.S. flag. 

“I was shocked … my jaw literally dropped,” Gagliardi admits. “We never expected to receive anything like this back from these guys. [The flag] flew in five different unit missions in Iraq. … These guys are the ones putting their lives on the line. It is proudly displayed at the Never Summer offices.”

The Denver, Colo.-based snowboard manufacturer is already planning other projects with the armed forces.