The X Games are the action sports Olympics. Everyone who was in Aspen was amped; the athletes, the fans, even the townsfolk were down with the positive vibe. Aspen marches to a different beat during the X Games. Instead of flying on their own Lear jets like the usual Aspen clientele, X Games fans do what they can to get here. They sleep in their cars, put 10 people in a room, whatever.
Aspen has four sick mountains, but all the events took place on Buttermilk Mountain. Thousands flocked to the base to check the action. The pipe was looking good. Master pipe shaper Frank Wells worked on it until 6:00 a.m. the day of the comp. Danny Kass liked what he saw, “Yeah, yeah it’s real good,” he said.
The sun was blazing which softened and slowed the pipe a bit but the thing still went off as the heavy tricks went down. Just getting to compete in the X Games is huge so everyone was throwing down the hammers.
Tommy Czeschin, JJ Thomas, and Joe Eddy all threw down 1080′s in the men’s pipe finals but failed to podium. Markku Koski pulled a 10 and many other stunts to take the bronze. Everyone’s favorite rock star, Danny Kass, did a lot of stuff, but big straight airs and back-to-back 9′s were key to putting a silver medal around his neck. Sixteen-year-old Shaun White battled to the top of the pile. Think you could beat a sixteen year old? Well you would have to do huge airs, a Cab 7, f-side 5, and a stale 9 to beat him. Shaun’s first run was amazing, a well-deserved win for the wonder boy.
While the men are always bonkers, the women stepped up this year. Big air and back-to-back tricks is what it took to get a good score in the women’s comp. Kelly Clark stomped her first run, the others had to step it up. Gretchen Bleiler stepped it up with a giant crippler on her first hit and backed that up with more maneuvers. She wound up in first after the first round. Kelly Clark was in 2nd and Barrett Christy in third after round one was over. The women were fighting for the top spots in round two. Lindsey Jacobellis attacked with a 9, knocking Barrett out of third. Hannah Teter also charged, going big and hitting a nine. Ms. Teter finally secured third place. Clark’s first run stuck for second and Bleiler held on to first.
Congrats to all the competitors just for being here!. Many that did not make it to the finals had some strong performances. Mason and Molly Aguirre almost made the finals; they are young, watch for them in the future. Abe Teter was sick and did not make the finals, but his brother Elijah did. Daniel Franck failed to make the finals, got upset over the whole thing, and left the event altogether relinquishing his Slope style spot. Torah Bright looked strong but hit her head and was out of the comp. Torah was ok and came back for the controversial women’s slopestyle.
Many athletes chose to participate in Aspens world famous nightlife, but that is a story better suited to Star magazine. If you can, check out X next year, rumor is, they will be in Aspen again, but we will see. SNOWBOARD SUPERPIPE MEN’S
January 31, 2003 — Aspen, Colorado
1. 221Shaun WhiteCarslbad, CA97.67
2.208Dan KassMammoth Lakes, CA96.67
3.210Markku KoskiSievi, FIN96.33
4.215Ross PowersS. Londonderry, VT95.67
5.212Vinzenz LupsUtting, Bavaria GER94.00
6.220J.J. ThomasGolden, CO92.67
7.202Keir DillonEast Stroudsburg, PA91.33
8.224Tommy CzeschinCrowley Lakes, CA90.33
9.203Joe EddyMommoth, CA90.00
10.219Elijah TeterBelmont, VT77.67
1.284Gretchen BleilerSnowmass Village, CO95.33
2.288Kelly ClarkWest Dover, VT94.00
3.316Hannah TeterBelmont, VT91.67
4.336Lindsey JacobellisStratton, VT90.33
5.287Barrett ChristyVail, CO89.33
6.291Manuela PeskoLenzerheide, SUI88.00
7.292Fabienne ReutelerZurich, SUI84.67
8.299Nastasza ZurekVancouver, BC79.00
9.298Doriane VidalRivesaltes, FRA74.33
10.286Tricia ByrnesNew Canaan, CT64.67