The 13th annual Winter X Games kick-started earlier this evening (9 PM ET) in Aspen, Colorado. The three main events of the night were filled with action, as you may expect, and Shaun White wasn't even involved with any of the events.
Snowmobiler Levi LaVallee--my personal favorite--was looking for another Gold medal in the '09 Snowmobile Speed and Style course against youngsters Cory Davis, Heath Frisby and Joe Parsons. Unfortunately for those Snowmobile fans out there, the 25-year old LaVallee failed to win that Gold, being knocked off in the competition's final by 20-year old Joe Parsons from Yakima, WA. LaVallee got off to a quick start, but eventually fell behind and lost by four points. A surprisingly low style run of 34 hurt Lavallee in the end as he settled for the Silver medal. LaVallee knocked off Paul Thacker and Heath Frisby to get into position for yet another gold medal, but his score of 83.00 in the final just wasn't enough.
GOLD: Joe Parsons 87.30
SILVER: Levi LaVallee 83.00
BRONZE: Cory Davis (--)
Tanner Hall, arguably the best skier out there today, could not pull off the third 4-peat in WXG history in the men's Ski Superpipe competition, settling for his third Silver medal at the X Games. Hall is currently tied for first with 7 gold medals in the Winter X Games (snowboarder Shaun White is the other with 7 career WXG Gold medals). Xavier Bertoni, the 19 year old from La Clusaz, France, took home the gold in the night's second of three main event's (men's Ski Superpipe) with a best of 93.66, which he accumulated in run two of the skier's three total runs. Bertoni became the first skier not named Tanner Hall or Simon Dumont since the 2003 WXG to take home the Gold. Coming in to this competition, all everyone could talk about was the Hall/Dumont "rivalry" even though Dumont denies there's even a rivalry between the two good friends. Bertoni--the dark horse of the competion--managed to knock off both Hall and Dumont for his first-ever WXG medal. Dumont settled for Bronze.
GOLD: Xavier Bertoni 93.66
SILVER: Tanner Hall 92.00
BRONZE: Simon Dumont 91.00
In the night's final event yet another WXG athlete failed to defend their title. In the Men's snowboard Big Air Final Torstein Horgmo--who didn't have on his wacky, rainbow-colored jacket this year, believe it or not--was upset by 26-year old Travis Rice, who received around 78% of the votes (winner of each matchup is decided by fan voting via text message). The victory gave Rice his first WXG Gold medal since 2003, which is when he won Gold in the Men's slopestyle competition, and it was just his second overall WXG Gold. The winning trick: double backflip backside 1080.
GOLD: Travis Rice 78%
SILVER: Torstein Horgmo 22%
Day two will begin tomorrow at around 9:30 PM ET and will include a double backflip attempt by Levi LaVallee. He will attempt to be the second-ever XG athlete to land a double backflip--the other being motocross (and, of course, rally car driver) Travis Pastrana a few years back. The attempt will take place during the debut of a brand new competition this year, the Snowmobile "Next Trick" competition. Be sure to tune in, broadcast will be on ESPN.