It’s been another successful run of ESPN’s Winter X Games at Buttermilk, and the events are expected to remain at least another year, through 2019. X Games came to the Roaring Fork Valley for the first time in 2002, and have obviously done well here. And of course the athletes love them… many of the recently-qualified Olympians have hung around to get another competition in, before heading to South Korea. Some of the final results coming up…
19-year-old Maggie Voisin is one of the up & coming freeskiing Americans, and Saturday she became the first American woman to win the X Games’ women’s slopestyle. Maggie was on fire Saturday, icing the title in her first run, but completing the second just to make sure. She made the US team 4 years ago, but couldn’t compete at Sochi with a broken ankle. Isabelle Atkin brought the Brits a silver in the event, and 15-year-old Swede Jennie-Lee Brumansson ran 3rd. Watch out for Jennie-Lee, who actually leads the World Cup standings in slopestyle at the Olympic break. She’ll be competing at PyongChang too. So will Voisin’s close friend Devin Logan, the only woman to take part in all 3 ski events at the X Games, running 6th in that Saturday slopestyle. Read the story about how close she and Maggie are in the Aspen Times.
For the snowboard men, Norway’s Marcus Kleveland felt beaten up and bruised, definitely not expecting to win, but the defending champ made his slopestyle run anyway– and maybe low expectations are good. He ended up crushing it with a 93.66, and the 18-year-old defended his title. Canadians Darcy Sharpe and Mark McMorris grabbed the silver & gold, respectively. In a bit of a shocker, the young trio who were expected to do so well, 2 Summit County men who are on the way to the Olympics with their boards, Red Gerard & Chris Corning, along with Kyle Mack of Michigan, came in 4th, 6th , & 7th. They’ll all take part in a Snowmass snowboard camp today & tomorrow, before heading for PyongChang with the rest of the Americans Friday.
Some of the other key results include…
27-year-old Sara Hoefflin of Switzerland winning the women’s ski Big Air Sunday… Henrik Harlaut of Sweden doing the same for the men… and Harlaut took the men’s slopestyle on skis, too.
Anna Gasser of Austria won the women’s snowboard Big Air… 17-year-old Californian Chloe Kim took the women’s snowboard superpipe just barely ahead of fellow Americans Arielle Gold and Maddie Mastro.
22-year-old Aspenite Torin Yater-Wallace continued his path to the Olympics mostly healthy after a series of illnesses and injuries the last few years, winning the bronze in the men’s ski halfpipe Friday at the X Games.
And some of the glamour of the weekend diminished when boarding legend Shaun White pulled out of the X Games after last week’s training runs. He’d had a bout with the flu, and wanted to rest up for the Olympics. 2 weeks ago, White scored a perfect 100 in a qualfier to get to the Olympics, at Snowmass. He’ll next be seen on his board on the 13th of next month, in one of the early halfpipe rounds in Korea.
Also from our region, congrats to yet another Olympian, who just punched his own ticket. 22-year-old Vail Ski & Snowboard Club alum Casey Andringa is heading for PyongChang, having won a spot on the US mogul racing team with a top 6 finish last week at Deer Valley, Utah. Casey overcame all kinds of injuries and other health problems to make it this far– read about his inspiring journey at vail daily dot com.
Other news includes First Bank launching foreclosure proceedings last Friday on the Aspen Club. The Aspen Daily News reports owner Michael Fox has been trying to rebuild and update the old property for some time. His plan is said to include luxury timeshares, some affordable housing, and a big clubhouse. But FirstBank says he owes it for a $45 million loan, and $11 mil in advances taken in connection with it… and a lender known as the Revere High Yield Fund. It says Fox has defaulted on loans it gave him of nearly $9 million. Construction companies that haven’t been paid have also filed tens of millions in liens against Fox. His responses are expected in court early next month. Without them, foreclosure and sale of the property are expected to move ahead.
A local icon departs soon, according to the Post-Independent, as Ron Leach steps down as Chief of the Carbondale & Rural Fire Department. He’s been a firefighter there for 40 years, and Chief for 37 of those. The board President, local Police Chief Gene Schilling, says Leach finally wanted to get some of the weight of the position off his shoulders, so the board and Leach agreed on a separation deal. Schilling says Leach did a great job all those years, and Leach says he considers the agreement amicable. He’ll get a final payment of $98,000 and 13 months of insurance coverage for his family.
And there’ll be a community service honoring the memory of longtime Glenwood Springs newspaper editor, former radio man, noted service club member and humanitarian Al Maggard, Saturday. He died 2 weeks ago tomorrow, on the 16th, after a long illness, at age 89. The memorial’s set for Saturday afternoon at 1:30, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. It’ll be followed by a reception at the Elks Lodge.