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What's up, Simon Dumont here. Right now I'm reclining in a massive library deep within the Target Chalet on the edge of town, winding down after some serious pipe and slopestyle practice. When I'm out here for X, I mostly look forward to the crowd. It's always super hectic and everybody goes nuts, which gets me amped to ski. It's kind of a tradeoff: They make noise, I ski harder.
But let's back up. It's still early in the season, but I've already competed three contests: A big air comp in Switzerland, the Icer Air in San Francisco, and another big air event in Sweden. So far so good—I podiumed every time, which was my goal. My next goal is to keep that streak alive. I'm doing all four events this year [SuperPipe, Slopestyle, and Big Air], so I think I have a really good shot at making that happen.
I've been training for slope and pipe particularly hard this year. I'd say it's been about 50-50, but the weather hasn't been particularly cooperative in Summit County where I just bought a house. Breck and Keystone have both been really snowy—in other words, not the best training conditions. But that's the way it goes, so my plan is just to come here, get my tricks down, and hope to put them down when it counts.
Last year was a real battle here in Aspen. That second run I had in the Final started off as one of the best I've ever put together. My amplitude felt great, I was right on point with my grabs, I had everything dialed on the technical side, all of that. Then I landed just a little low on my ally-oop 720 and lost a ski. Tanner came down, went off, and ended up moving into first with a higher score. On our second runs, we both threw down as hard as possible. It could have gone either way, really, but Tanner took gold and I took silver. And here we are, back again.
So what will I be throwing this year? I can't tell you, sucka, but I'll still be working my amplitude angle and going big. Pipe skiing has come such a long way, and these days even the smallest sketched landing or missed grab can cost you the whole contest. There's pressure on all sides, but I'm going to try my hardest to ski the way I want to ski.
In the meantime I'll have to watch out for Peter Olenick with that double flip he does. Mike Riddle, Jossi Wells, and Colby West are some other guys to watch, but the thing about the X Games is that even in the elimination round, you're skiing against the best athletes in the world. So everyone here is a threat, really, and the Finals represent the very best of the very best, like Tanner.
I'm also really excited about Big Air, although the circumstances suck: TJ got hurt so I'm in. That's something I'll need to put that behind me, but I'd like to win it something for him. To be honest, I don't know what I'm going to throw yet. I just show up, check out the jumps, and if I like them, I'll throw down. If not, I'll at least have fun and put something together. When you think about it, Big Air is just one jump instead of the four jumps in a slopestyle course. To be honest, this year's jump looks to have a bit of a flat landing, but I'm going in with an open mind. And as usual I'll go out there, take things as they come, and try to put on a show.
And that's it, kids. I've got the same game plan for SuperPipe, Slopestyle and Big Air: Just stick to the mindset that has been landing me on the podium. As long as I'm up there, I'm happy.