China – Air and Style
This weekend was the Air and Style in China, I think the official name is presented by Oakley and Shaun White, so that means he turns up like the queen swans about, and then chips off again. Shame, it would be good to see him on that jump with the rest of them, but its good, he is doing a good job at promoting the sport in China, well as are Oakley, and good to see the potential on offer in China.
The event itself was insane riding level, hats off to Ulrik and also Seb Toots who went toe to toe with him and tried the same double back rodeo 12 himself first go, middle of the contest. But let me show you some of the other side of Beijing. Well first up shopping. There is a lot to be done here…
You can buy fake anything here pretty much. It all looks decent ish but you can see where they arent real, but anyways, good to experience.
This girl here, her line to me and Ethan was (imagine the chinese accent)
To Ethan : Oh you so dirty shoes, you no so nice boy, you no so many girlfriend
To me : Oh you so nice clean shoes, I think you many girlfriends, man with nice clean shoes
This is Ninja, who is one of the chaps running Snowboarding in the states.
Shop worker : I give you good price
Ninja : I give you 50 yuan.
Shop guy : Oh you so funny, ha ha
Ninja : I give you 50 yuan.
Shop guy : Come on best price what you give me? (as he gives ninja a calculator and grabs his arm
Ninja : Leave me alone, stop touching me
Gjermund dropped in a tailor made suit. Pretty good deal, they measure you up and come back a day later and part hands with 150 nicker and your onto a new whistle and flute. I bought myself a dapper smoking evening jacket.
So into the stadium.
This place was built for the 2008 Olympics, the Birdsnest. There is quite some controversy over the numbers of people displaced/thrown out of their homes, in order to build the Olympic area, which if true is a pretty rough job, by a company trying to promote sport round the world, but seeing as FIFA is bent a a two bob note, then why not clump the IOC in that bracket aswell.
Its the same people who built the Allianz Arena in Munich, and it is impressive, no joke, even the mighty Swans could play here easily. The drop in ramp literally went from the roof down into the stadium. Here is a quick video from Gjermund getting suited and booted and training..
Jamie rode really well all weekend, and stomped a cab 10 off the toes, which maybe didnt get the recognition it deserved, as it was a different trick to the usual back 10 which so kills contests these days.
Here he is with a backside 5 stalefish. Jamie is always trying to mix up Style in the middle of all the madness, which for someone of 18 years old, is amazing to see. Along with Ethan they try and keep some variation in there all day.
This is the angle no one shows you on TV. Thats a meaty old drop, and sending it south there, would result in some trouble. Here is Kevin Backstrom cruising a backside 180. He managed to break his arm again, and give himself a bannana arm, and as someone who has been on the receiving end aswell, I can only imagine how he feels. All that is to be said, is get well soon, and lets find some powder!
This was the crowd, way bigger than last year, with way less security it seemed to me. The sweep of the area at the end, would put germans to shame with their efficiency, those guys dont mess around. And if you want too, they arent in the mood.
They even have ghost busters in Beijing just incase. This guy was ready for business whilst his mate the driver was beeping the horn like theirs no tommorow. Same on the roads. No one indicates, just beep and drive, beep and drive. Driving lessons must be easy. Right then sir, Beep like hell, and accelerate.
The Birdsnest by night
I took this photo for Frode Sandbech, as his brother came 3rd, killed it all night long, and yep, well the picture is for the master of coffee himself. Extra Calories with your coffee sir?
The event belonged to the norweigans. They were on fire. Even Torgeir and Gjermund who didnt make super finals were insane good last night, well done guys. Congrats to Stale for 3rd, Torstein, for being the boss and getting 2nd with the mellowist cab 10 double you ever saw. He is an absoloute boss. Also props for his on stage get up when they did the riders draw. On seeing Shaun White he was like “oh its Shaun White, let me take a picture with you” They got beef going back sometime, since Shaun said he had never heard of Torstein or “that kid who did a triple cork” well now you now Ginger.
Ulrik also won 10k for best trick with his double backrodeo 12, and so when i left the hotel at 9am, 3 things were clear
He “may” have driven the coach to the riders party when the driver jumped out to find directions
No one could find Ulrik this morning.
There we go world. A quick update back in the world of internet, blogs and twitter. Beijing was a great time, and the event went relatively smooth with an insane riding level. I have a few videos to post up in the next days, so keep checking back