Snowmobilers Rise Above at X Games Aspen 2014
The 2014 Winter X Games got off to an emotional start on Thursday, opening with Snowmobile Freestyle. Last year, this event unfolded with dramatic crashes, one of which resulted in the tragic loss of four-time X Games medalist, Caleb Moore.
Caleb’s brother Colten, who also suffered serious injuries due to a crash of his own last year, returned to Aspen this week to compete in Freestyle once again. Caleb’s return leant a special significance to the race and as such the crowd got an impressive show as all of the riders appeared to step up their game in honor of Caleb. Among the riders who did Caleb proud was Team Oakley athlete Heath Frisby. Heath has medaled every year that freestyle snowmobiling has been part of the Winter X Games and this year was no exception. He bagged the bronze medal, trailing Joe Parsons (second) and Colten Moore who won the event in honor of his brother.
“There was a lot going on [during the Snowmobile Freestyle event],” said Frisby after the race. “But I just wanted to go out there and get gnarly and that’s what I did.”
Team Oakley snowmobilers also competed in the Long Jump, an event that had been absent from the Winter X Games repertoire since 2010. It was no surprise that the defending gold medalist and record holder for the longest distance jumped on a snowmobile (412’6”), Levi LaVallee, dominated jumping 147’5” for his longest jump to win gold over fellow Team Oakley athlete Cory Davis who peaked at 142’11".
“It was awesome to compete in the Long Jump again,” said Levi LaVallee. “The biggest thing is getting a good hole shot and I was just trying to chuck that sled as far forward as possible. Luckily it worked out!
We’re not sure how much luck was really involved. Levi has proved time and time again that he is a force to be reckoned with on a snowmobile and doesn’t settle for second best.
The snowmobile disciplines bring loud, heart pounding action to the Winter X Games, but it is the passion of the riders who really bring the sport alive. Congrats to our talented Team Oakley riders! We can’t wait to do it all again next year!