Friday was the last day of the inaugural European X-Games and the sun finally bested the frigid temps.  The mercury climbed to just below the freezing mark which felt surprisingly too warm for the first time in the 2 weeks I was in Europe.  But riders and spectators welcomed it like a day at the beach!  This was a competition to remember and kept us all at the edge of our seats!

8 riders made it into the finals and put on their best game faces as practice was starting…. 45 min then the best of 3 runs to determine the winner!

Tom is a machine on the rails and makes it look way too easy.  Switch 270 on to 450 off…

Alex made finals in his 1st ever X-Games and skied his 17 year old heart out.  The competition was stiff and he finished where he started in 8th.

Representing Switzerland, my good friend Elias was eyeing that podium after winning a bronze in Big Air back in Aspen….

With a plethora of doubles and going deep on landings, he felt a little bummed to be scored in 7th…

Andreas has had a stellar year and gotten quite used to the podium again, but the 6 jump 2 rail course changed things up a bit for the riders.  He would have to settle for a 6th place finish…

He’s back!  Henrik will be a force to be reckoned with next year and will be gunning for the top ranking in the world for sure!  Judges scored him in 5th, but I expect to be seeing him on the podium next year…

T.J. saved his best for today and came oh so close to getting back on the podium, but with one skier to go got bumped down to 4th.  It was a nail biter right to the end!

The best all around freestyle skier in the world, conquering the pipe and a field of slope style skiers packed so full of talent its mind boggling!  Jossi makes my photos look that much better oozing style right into the lens.  He deservedly found himself on the podium scoring a bronze medal.  (French version) Video of Jossi’s run:  http://player.canalplus.fr/#/325561

Bobby was not feeling well at all the day before and left a few of us wondering if he could somehow push through and ski the way he did in qualifiers blowing everyone away with a 97.33…  He fell on his 1st two runs on the last hit attempting to stomp his switch misty double 12…

Tom was in search of his 1st ever medal at X-Games and he had his eye on the gold!  He landed everything so clean and smooth he held onto the top score throughout most of the contest… but… Bobby was the last skier to drop and he was the only one who could steal away that gold medal…

Bobby stood up top waiting for the signal to drop and trying to block out the last to falls.  He went huge spinning both ways into a misty 450 off the bottom rail to the last jump… the crowd was on their feet… and he finally stomped his switch misty double 12 to a deafening roar of approval from the fans.

Tom (left) Jossi (middle) and Bobby (right) awaited nervously as the judges seemed to take forever to decide on Bobby’s score…

It was… a 93 good enough for silver and Tom’s 94 scored him his 1st ever X-Games gold medal!  Video of Tom’s winning run:  http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4988660&categoryid=4978906

Classy as always, Bobby didn’t let any disappointment show and congratulated his friend on the win and happily obliged the many interviews that followed.  At 19 years of age, he will continue to push the sport to incredulous levels and keep fans enthralled for years to come.  Video of Bobby’s run: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4988685&categoryid=4978906

If you want to see the write up and photos I took for Newschoolers.com who hired me to go cover the Euro Open and X-Games, here is that link as well:  http://www.newschoolers.com/web/content/readnews/id/3216/

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more updates from Colorado when I return.


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