the uneXpected

Boy do I wish I could turn back the hands of time. Again, I get to build character this season, with one of the most incredible and simultaneously most frustrating moments of my life. On Thursday night after the men’s snowboard pipe qualifiers went down, the 6 ski girls who made finals dropped in to a chewed up halfpipe. Conditions were certainly not ideal, but everyone has to ski the same pipe. So I stuck with my game plan and I was ready to throw down.

My game plan was to do a “safety run” on my first run, land it and then replace my 7 with a 10. 900 tail, alley-oop critical, mute, alley-oop 540 , 540 mute, tail, 720 tail. First run, my ski popped off when I landed my 7. It shouldn’t have, but it did. So for run 2 I went with the same plan as run 1, get a decentscore, hopefully secure a spot on the podium and then do the 10 on run 3.

But again, my 7 gave me trouble. This hit was far less vert than the previous days in training, and though I popped I could see that I was really close to the deck. My landing wasn’t super clean and I definitely punched the ground a little bit, so I was a bit concerned about the score, but I was optimistic. Sadly, the score came in a 78- good enough for 5th.

Run 3 it was on. I was fired up and ready for the 10. I was extremely conscious not to think too far ahead in my run and forget about the tricks I needed to do before I got to the 10. Dropped in with heat,10 foot 9 grabbed, big alley-oop, grabbed my 5, focused on the tail grab going into the 10, just remember to pop and grab. So I did, and I landed a 10 tail grab. As I began to celebrate (albeit a bit prematurely) and went to turn around, I caught an edge and fell. The run wouldn’t be enough.

For the first time in 5 years I won’t be taking home a medal from X-Games. But I will be taking home a new trick and a new perspective. I have never had so many people compliment my skiing when not on the podium. Though the run wasn’t completed, the 10 was landed, which is what I wanted to do when Iwoke up in the morning. I told myself that as long as I do that trick in my run I would go home happy. I do this sport because I love it and I want to reach my potential. I have unlocked a new level of my skiing that will lead me to incredible places in the future. I didn’t take home a medal, but I am taking home my pride. But before I go, I need to leave you with this: Sarah Burke is back in action and I couldn’t be happier. Witha newly revamped cork 900, and back-to-back flairs that took a year of sacrifice to get dialed, Sarah islooking good. She took home the gold. X-Games newcomer, Brita Sigourney took home silver throwing a massive 900 landed consistently throughout the night. Roz-G took home bronze for the 2nd year in a row, andher consistency is certainly being noted. In 4th, my teammate, Anais Cara deux. She made me so proud with both way 5s andmassive 900. I ended up in 5th. And last but not least was fellow east coater and the number 1 qualifier fromWednesday, Devin Logan. She threw back to back flairs, steezy 5 tails, and a solid 7. It was by far themost progressive women’s ski pipe comp that I have ever witnessed. This sport is going to incredibleplaces. For photos and a full recap visit this link: