Gjermund Braaten, Front 10 Double.
So Saturday Night at X Games just went down, and that meant slopestyle finals. Gjermund, Peetu and Sage all made it through and all 3 had amazing runs. Some how the judges didnt see Gjermunds run of switch back 10, cab 9 double, back 10, front 10 double as anything better than 6th, but well thats contests at times. I didnt see Gjermund at the after party but I imagine he made up for not being on the podium, by being amoung the heavy hitters at the party. He rode amazing all week so should be stoked.
Some serious props got to go for the finnish machine Peetu, who finished 3rd. He isnt one of those guys just doing slope, he is also in many pipe finals around the world, but has had a tough time at X Games but put down a cracking run for a podium finish.
Sage finished 2nd, powered on by his runners jacket. Some Nike/Nasa space suit tech going down there.
In the Nike house we also had Kevin Pearce with us, which was a pleasure, so good to see him back out there, holding down the mic at the bottom and you could see how happy he was for Sage and his 2nd place. KP will be alongside me at BEO this year doing some hosting business. Should be great times.
Fairplay, if you haven’t been to X Games before or been in the states when its on, you have to see how they do it. Huge production, live Evening TV coverage, news about it on Sports Center right alongside Basketball, the guys at ESPN are crushing it when it comes to X Games. That’s the issue we have in Europe with our fragmented TV networks. In Norway and Switzerland they seem pretty on point but in the UK or Austria apart from air and style, Snowboarding is viewed as some crazy sport still. In the US its just what kids do in winter. That’s how to go the sport, by having it straight up on TV, and providing kids with new idols, which with Mark McMorris winning gold in Big Air and Slopestyle this weekend, they have a new hero.
I know it’s a cliché, but McMorris is a naturally nice guy, and its great to see him doing so well. The crazy thing is, he definitely has all the tricks, doubles, triples, rails etc but its his board control which is setting him apart right now, like he is on an edge the whole time carving down the slope, and throwing methods around like a mini Muller. Snowboarding needs more riders like him for sure.
1 of our kitchens. Sorry about the energy drink overkill.
So then, Nike had this pretty insane house, well two of them, nope 3 in fact, 1 for the Americans, 1 for us European Dreamteam and 1 for the ski bredren, so it was a pretty good takeover. Each house had a cinema, pool tables, hot tubs, gyms, 3 kitchens and more remote controls than I knew what to do with. Seriously, we sat down to watch an event the other night, and it must have taken us half an hour to find ESPN deep in the 800 channels, then to switch from cinema to stereo, to concert hall to regular TV watching on the surround sound machine, and then it took another half hour figuring out how to turn the whole thing off. It was like firing up the starship enterprise everytime for just a bit of TV time.
On Saturday we did a webcast too, which I hosted with guests Louie Vito, Scotty Lago, Silje, Spencer, Greg Bretz and many more rolling through. Will see if I can fix the link to it sometime.
So what else went down? Well Coach Thunder is kinda big business now. He is Halldors new personal coach/fitness aid/filmer/drinking fiend friend. You will have probably seen him during Big Air on Friday night aswell. He cuts a mean figure.
Kids Love Halldor in the states. It doesnt matter who wins, or does what trick, they love him. Which makes the fact that he and Johannes lost out on real street voting the more odd. 0.03% or something, and that lost them 50 grand. Hard times.
Probably whats stranger though, is the fact that X Games then didnt judge his video as one of the top 3s, nor did they invite him to ride real street, or slopestyle? Anti Euros with funny names? Jamie Nicholls did come along, and was a reserve in real street, but he will be back next year slaying this thing, and probably slope too, so watch out for him then!
Gjermund getting some arty filming from underneath from Per, and a long way out shot from me.
This is the run filmed of Gjermund in warm up. He must be pretty warm by now judging by this line….
Another of the norweigans was in our dream mansion aswell, Silje was on hand, with her mum too! Silje rode really well, but with fresh snow in the course had a few problems on the finals, but no worries, she will be here for the next 10 years easy….
Also in the womens, Spencer was killing it, but last run in finals, with a near perfect line down, she goes into the final jump and nearly rips a hole in the knuckle with her shoulder. Next thing, her hero of a dad has jumped a fence, battled security and is running up the landing of the jump to his daughters side. I tell you, they should put him in London 2012 Olympics for Canada as he made the nearest challenger (the aspen red cross bloke) look positively weak in comparison to his 100m dash up there. I also went riding with Bryan O’Brien or BOB as his street name goes, and he must be challenging Eddie Walls dad as best dad in snowboarding, what a shredder. He hit all the boxes and rails, and damn, made the rest of us look bad.
Last picture for now? Yep, energy drink overkill, what else? Nice work on the branding guys, I guess someones getting sacked in the morning.