Monday, September 3, 2012

Fight for it.

The International Snowboard Training Center posted something a couple of weeks ago that made me do a double-take while scrolling through my Facebook news feed. The information didn't make sense. Then additional trustworthy snowboard sources posted the same information. "X-GAMES CROSS EVENTS CANCELLED FOR 2013."

ESPN cancelled all cross events (boarder, skier, and mono) from the Winter X-Games. As the reality of the announcement hit, the social media sites went insane with comments.

SBX course at Copper Mountain, USASA Nationals 2012. Look at all of the riders ready to race. 

On August 23, 2012, ESPN's action sports page posted an article about the cancellation of cross events for the 2013 Winter X-Games. Professional riders started speaking out (see comments by Jonathan Cheever  and Seth Wescott at the end of the ESPN article). Others are hand-writing letters and sending them to ESPN (including yours truly, and I'm writing it on my fancy stationery). "Bring Back the X Course" was launched as a page on Facebook, and the organizers behind SBX The Movie are rallying the crowd.

Personally, I have no idea how ESPN can take something as incredible as boardercross (and skier-X and mono-X) out of the X-Games. In fact, last year's Winter X-Games frustrated me because the cross events were televised while I was training for or traveling to or riding in my own events, and it was difficult to find re-run footage.

All I can think of while watching the level of awesome of pros riding at top speed along that amazing course is, "THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!" That is, until I watch the next video, and I end up shouting the same words out loud.

Luca Matteotti made an excellent video of the 2012 course:

and one of my favorite videos from the Winter X-Games is of Lindsey Jacobellis killing it before the 2010 Olympics:

We need cross events in the Winter X-Games. Or, we need to build a new circuit in the U.S. for these incredible athletes to ride. We need to video and advertise the living daylights out of it, and increase viewing access for spectators. Most people I know have never heard of boardercross, and then I show them the 2010 Winter X-Games women's final (above), and jaws drop in awe. For all of you writing and supporting the return of cross events to the Winter X-Games, keep going.

If it's built, they will ride, and those of us who aren't quite at top pro circuit level will keep competing where we can, and watch the pro race videos on repeat.

If you want to write a letter to ESPN, please send it to this address:
PO Box 588
Tahoe, CA 96145

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