X Games buzz: Flipping snowmobile, snowboarding perfection
Shaun White flies above the superpipe in Aspen, Colorado, Sunday night en route to a perfect 100 score and a gold medal.
January 30th, 2012
11:17 AM ET

X Games buzz: Flipping snowmobile, snowboarding perfection

The Winter X Games wrapped up in Aspen, Colorado, on Sunday night with two of the most buzz-worthy moments we've seen in the 16 years of the competition: a perfect score from one of the games' most famous and most decorated participants, and a first-ever feat in the admittedly short history of flying snowmobiles.

First, Shaun White. The two-time Olympic gold medalist added to his impressive haul of Winter X Games gold, this time in mint fashion on the snowboard superpipe, posting the first perfect score ever recorded at the Winter X Games.

White has won 17 medals - 12 of them gold - but Sunday's performance surprised even White himself, as he'd come to the competition with a sprained ankle that forced him to miss the slope-style competition earlier in the games, and doubting if he'd be able to try the superpipe.

In fact, he said he spent time before Sunday night's finals dunking his ankle alternately in buckets of hot and cold water to ease the swelling. And it worked.

"I got here and I said 'Wow, it feels better than this morning,'" White told reporters.

Better, indeed.

White locked up the gold with his first of three runs, wiped out on the second, sustaining a black eye in the process, and then put it all together for the final.


"I just came through and everything felt perfect," he said.

"I've been to so many X Games now and I will forever remember this getting that perfect score," White said.

Earlier, it was Heath Frisby earning gold by becoming the first participant ever to flip a 400-plus-pound snowmobile headfirst and bring it down to a perfect landing.


Frisby saluted family and friends for supporting him in attempting the stunt.

"My whole family, everybody, all my friends have been behind me through all this," ESPN.com quoted him as saying. "I know my grandma is watching - she must have gotten a little chill there. Grandpa, I love you, man. We got it. We got it."

Later he tweeted: "I can't even express how thankful I am that I have all you awesome friends and family. Going to bed I'm sore and feel a bit concussed."

Before even trying his trick, Frisby had to watch competitor Justin Hoyer suffer a crash that sent him to the hospital.

"Guys, it's all right, I've been waiting a year to do this. I am my own deal. This is a totally different trick and I'm ready," Frisby said then, according to ESPN.com.

The Games closed with celebrations after White's perfect run, but they opened on a more somber note, in remembrance of freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died after a training accident earlier in the month.


Host Sal Masekela said the final night was what Burke was all about.

"She's probably looking down at us right now and she's smiling that Sarah Burke smile because this right here," Masekela said pointing to the superpipe course, "this was the spirit of Sarah Burke."

X Games kick off with tribute to fallen champ Sarah Burke
Sarah Burke competes in 2009's Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado.
January 27th, 2012
01:01 PM ET

X Games kick off with tribute to fallen champ Sarah Burke

Just three weeks ago, Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was preparing to defend her 2011 Winter X Games ski superpipe gold medal. On Thursday, athletes kicked off the 2012 event without her, memorializing the fallen skier with stickers, ribbons and a torchlit tribute.

Dozens of athletes with torches gathered on the top of a darkened Buttermilk Mountain halfpipe in Aspen, Colorado, and wordlessly skied to the bottom as part of a tribute during ESPN's Winter X Games broadcast Thursday night. Many then embraced Burke's relatives, who were waiting at the bottom.

See the Denver Post's video of the tribute

Burke, a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist credited with getting women's ski halfpipe into the 2014 Winter Olympics, died January 19 as a result of a training accident nine days earlier.

Thursday's tribute on the superpipe was part of a seven-minute segment dedicated to Burke on ESPN. A 90-second video showed performance highlights and old interview clips of the skier.

Burke, at the Winter X Games in 2009.

"She was a superstar with the humility of a rookie," one of ESPN's hosts for the Winter X Games, Sal Masekela, said before the video was shown. "She is the reason that women’s ski pipe is at Winter X, and why it will be in the Olympics in 2014. So if you are looking for her legacy, you will find it in all the faces that you see here tonight, and all those that line halfpipes and come-down mountains around the world for years and years to come."


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Filed under: Canada • Colorado • Skiing • Sports • Winter X Games