Monthly Wrap Up: Surfing, Shredding the Gnar, and Oprah?!
Like many new years resolutions, mine - slow time down - promptly failed before the first month of the New Year was over. I knew this resolution would fail; it was more a pipe dream that felt good to say.
So as I knew it would, time and with it the month of January flew by. But before we dive into February I wanted to sit down and recap on some events I missed, others I briefly read about, and one I was more or less obsessed about (hint: I wrote an article on it earlier this month (Read here).
January 17 -18th: Lance & Oprah
After years of fiercely denying he ever used performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong came "clean". The match up with Oprah seemed a bit off to me, but regardless, she asked the questions many had been asking for years. From admitting that he was a cheat, a bully, a man who would never call a woman fat, and even tearing up a tad, Armstrong’s confession was anticipated yet still surprising.
I know some – in protest to giving Lance any more attention – refused to watch the Lance/Oprah interview. If you were one of those people, don’t worry as I suspect a book or movie will come out soon detailing what you tried to miss. For those who did watch – like myself – yelling at Lance through the TV screen, and throwing popcorn at him probably didn’t leave you feeling very vindicated. So in the end, I just resigned to not care. I am over it, frustrated, and moving on, hoping with little faith the cycling community will only use the Lance era as motivation to push for a cleaner sport.
P.S. OK, one last Lance comment: Who do you think would play Lance in a movie on him, and don’t say Bradley Cooper?
January 24 -27: Winter X Games.
For those of us not into shredding the gnar or going for the pow-pow, the Winter X-Games was probably one of those events you missed. But before you write off the event that grades on stunts called air-to-fakie switch nollie, some mad props need to be given.
For instance, the youngest competitor was a 14-year-old Japanese snowboarder named Ayumu Hirano. At 116lbs Ayumu outmatched most of the other riders, taking the silver medal in the Superpipe. Ayumu was beaten by the infamous Shaun White, who took gold in the Superpipe event for the sixth year in a row. Shaun is 26, Ayumu 14… they represent the oldest and the youngest in the Superpipe competition. See Shaun’s winning run here.
There were several other notable results, all by remarkable athletes many of which were born in the 90’s. The “geezer” of the games, the 29-year-old Kelly Clark, is my age. Kelly kicked ass on the women’s snowboard Superpipe, taking home a gold.
So even if this event missed your radar, it’s worth a look back. There are plenty of cool videos and pictures documenting the games.
January 23-26: OR for the gear junkies.
Being a gear whore is just par for the course for many outdoor enthusiast. And one of the best places to preview the latest and greatest gear is at the Outdoor Retailer trade show (OR). The trade show happens twice a year. This year’s winter show kicked off in Salt Lake City. Though most of the gear is so new it won’t be available for months out, OR gives outdoor enthusiast a heads up of why they should start saving their pennies (or more realistically, their Jacksons).
There is too much gear to cover here, but for more information on some of the gear previewed at OR, check out the following places:
January 29: “Death on a stick out there mate” Point Break, a must see surf movie.
November 2011 Garrett McNamara successfully surfed a 78 foot wave, landing him the record for the largest wave surfed. But I guess 78 feet wasn’t enough. On this last Tuesday, G-Mac as they called him, went for a 100 footer, and nailed it! It’s a little hard to believe, but check out the video here. Holly Crap….
Upcoming for February: Patagonia adventure race “The last wild race”
Known as the adventure race that truly defines adventure, the 10-Day Patagonia Adventure race starts February 12th. Drawing competitors from around the globe, race organizers have confirmed that they will have an all-time high number of participants. Facing complete immersion into the Patagonian wilderness this competition will be as much about racing as it will be about exploration and challenge.
Watch live race coverage at the Patagonia website. Anyone have bets on teams to win? I put my money on the Yoga Slackers. I like these guys. They are young, spunky, teach slack lining for a living, and only seem to get stronger the tougher the conditions.