jessejamesIt is so sad to see a young amazing athlete reduced to a life with the possibility of never walking. The jumps keep getting the bigger. Why is USASA putting together enormous courses for amateur athletes. Yes there the best kids in their area but they are still kids. Kids who are encouraged to by the sponsors, parents, coaches, USASA, and the entire ski industry to "push their limits". I was on the side lines and Nationals. I heard parents freaking out-yelling at their kids to throw it big. The kids were scared. I watched a little kid take a hard crash after a jump on his head and then the jump judge got up and told the kid who was crying and could hardly stand up to hit the next jump. The kid hit the next one in a nose dive and had to be taken out in a sled. The head judge at the rail jam riders meeting said, "I don't care if you guys fall, we won't be deducting points for falling. I don't want you to be too conservative...THIS IS NATIONALS!" There is no excuse as an organization to contribute to ruining the lives of children. The children should be protected. These are the up and coming athletes of the freeride sport and they are being destroyed before they even have a chance to shine. If this happened in another youth sport it would be obvious that something was wrong. US youth football???? and the kids aren't even hurting themselves to this degree. The pro line jumps at Nationals were massive. This little girl was not the only one severely hurt on them. The athletes are crazed because they are having fun, their coaches are too and the industry is encouraging it all for a buck. She would have been just as happy to win a silver medal, as would any of the athletes, on a much smaller feature. Maybe happier because she and the rest of the kids wouldn't be scared shitless while doing their run. Even the jumps on the 9 and under line had a 30 foot clearance over the knuckle. Yes there were baby jumps which were a total joke to all the athletes because they were set up on the knuckle so you didn't get air rather you fell off a cliff. Food and Entertainment people and with children not gladiators! or maybe more like the Hunger Games!
So what are you suggesting? We make all the jumps small because some people can't hit them? I'm not sure how big they were but I know 50 foot jumps are fairly standard in large parks out there.
I do agree that things aren't perfect though. In the USASA everything is based on being the champion from your region. Some regions are comprised of some of the best parks in the world, others not so much. Also you have different age groups. I really don't know if they're all competing on the same course. That said there are little rippers out there from some of these mountains throwing down on big jumps.
You're making it sound like nobody wants to compete and the industry is this huge money making entity that's eating them up and spitting them out so they can rake in the cash.
Maybe the USASA is run like shit, maybe they are raking in loads of cash, but I feel like even if this contest was run grassroots the jumps would still be big.
The USASA is supposed to be a stepping stone for those competing. I just don't understand what you want.