Denver Big Air organizers at the Denver Sports Commission and the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup were right to be upset that top riders like Canadian Sebastian Toutant (aka "Seb Toots") stood them up in favor of getting in some extra practice at Buttermilk for X Games 15, a scheduling conflict if ever there was one.
Toutant, the current leader in the World Cup Big Air points race even after skipping the Denver event, ended up finishing in second place at the X Games' Snowboard Big Air (behind Torstein Horgmo, who won with the first triple cork ever seen in X Games competition) and winning the Men's Snowboard Slopestyle (after bumping Shaun White out of finals contention). Let's just say Seb Toots might have made for one hell of a show if they could have convinced him to compete in Civic Center Park last week.
Other highlights from the Winter X Games, including top finishes from Colorado-based athletes:
Shaun White won the Men's Snowboard Superpipe (surprise, surprise) for the fourth time in a row, ahead of Scotty Lago and Louie Vito, with Matt Ladley from Steamboat Springs making it to finals but finishing in 8th place.
Kelly Clark won the Women's Snowboard Superpipe, busting out her first-ever 1080 just for kicks in her Run 3 victory lap. Aspen's Gretchen Bleiler finished in 8th.
15 year-old Torin Yater-Wallace, from Basalt, beat out Simon Dumont to win silver in the Men's Ski Superpipe, behind French skier Kevin Rolland, becoming the youngest competitor ever to win a Winter X Games medal.
Mono Skier X might actually be one of the raddest sports in the X Games, with disabled athletes taking a how-much-worse-can-it-get approach to busting ass down the course and making for some of the week's most spectacular wipeouts. Brandon Adam, a local hero who trained with Challenge Aspen, finished in second behind Josh Dueck, the freeskiing pioneer from Vernon, B.C. who was paralyzed after a front flip crash seven years ago and now gets crazy over road gaps in his sit-ski. Dis-what?
Casey Puckett, another Aspen local and the 38-year-old director of the American Ski Cross Association, won the bronze in Men's Skier X, behind John Teller and Chris del Bosco.
Breckenridge local Bobby Brown finished 2nd in the Men's Ski Big Air, behind Alex Schlopy and ahead of Sammy Carlson.
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Keri Herman, another Breck local, finished 2nd in Women's Ski Slopestyle, behind Kaya Turski and ahead of Grete Eliassen.
Now that Denver Big Air, the SIA Snow Show, Mile High Snow Week and Winter X Games 15 are all wrapped, what's a guy who writes about this stuff to do? Go snowboarding, of course. Tomorrow I'll report from the SIA On-Snow Demo Day at Winter Park, where I'm spending the first part of this week trying out all those 2011/2012 boards I just checked out at the Colorado Convention Center.