Ten Snowboarders

At the Olympics in Sochi Russia, Sage Kotsenburg drops in for his first run on the Slopestyle course. Everyone stares in awe as he flies off the jumps. Sage Kotsenburg is just one of many great snowboarders included on this list.

  • Travis Rice, an American snowboarder, has been featured in the movie The Art Of Flight. In the film, he performs on many mountains in different ways, mostly in the backcountry. As Travis rides in the backcountry, he races through the deep powder snow. Travis has snowboarded at places like jackson Hole, and Alaska. Travis Rice was also the designer and winner of the Red Bull Ultra Natural and is now sponsored by Redbull. Travis is 31 years old and close to the end of his career, but he will definitely be remembered as one of the greatest snowboarders.
  • Chris Bradshaw is an American snowboarder who rides for 32 Technine, Electric, Ambiguous, J.S.L.V., Neff, Bear Mountain, F.O.D.T., Vans, Grenade, The Pharmacy, and Ride Shop. People know him for his street riding and being able to snowboard places they normally would not. He uses his skateboarding skills on the mountain. Chris jumps over a staircase in the city Instead of using a hill to ride down he uses staircase He and his friends make videos and are in Sunday in the Park, and Thirtytwo Spot check.
  • Torstein Horgmo is a Norwegian snowboarder that has won many competitions including the X Games. What makes him so great is the way that he rides. Torstein can ride many different styles, like deep powder and street. He is best at riding the park. He flies down the hill and does tricks with grace. He rides in most of the Shred Bots snowboarding videos with friends like Mark and Craig McMorris. Torstein is sponsored by Oakley, Rock Star energy, Go Pro, DC Shoes.
  • Scott Stevens, an American snowboarder and personally my favorite snowboarder because of his creative riding and for having some of the most unique tricks. Scott has been featured in many videos like, 32 Spot Check, Sunday in the Park,I Ride Park City,Videograss and Get Real. Some of his most famous tricks are one footed. Scott rides up to the rail with only one foot strapped into the binding. He uses his unstrapped foot to make easy tricks harder. He currently sponsored by Crab Grab, Union, Capita, Smith Optics and makes most of his money off of them.
  • Sage Kotsenburg, an American snowboarder most known for winning gold at the 2014 Sochi winter olympics. While at the Olympics Sage goes off the biggest jumps letting him win. He has also won many other competitions including the events at the Dew Tour and X Games. Sage Kotsenburg is also in the I Ride Park City and Holy Crail videos. He is sponsored by Nitro Snowboards,Nike, Monster Energy, Neff, Pro Tech.
  • Stale Sandbech is a Norwegian snowboarder who has participated in the Olympics in 2010 and recently won silver in the 2014 Sochi olympics. Stale is young and able to be acrobatie in the air. He goes high off the jump and flips many times before landing, the crowd cheers loud. He has also won multiple events at the X games. He is also featured in the Nation video. He rides for Oakley, Rome Snowboards, 32 Boots, Session Boardshop.
  • Mark Mcmorris, a Canadian snowboarder who won bronze at the 2014 winter olympics in Sochi and some X Games events. Mark rides down the slope and slides smoothly across the rail.  He is also in many of the Shred Bots videos with Torstein Horgmo and his brother Craig Mcmorris. He is sponsored by Burton, Oakley, Red Bull, DVS, BMW.
  • Halldor Helgason, a snowboarder from Iceland. He has won X Games events and is featured in the Holy Crail videos with Sage Kotsenburg. He is sponsored by Nike, Monster Energy, Oakley, Colourd Headphones, Neff, and Techrider. He also owns Lobster Snowboards, 7/9/13 Belts, Switchback Bindings and Hoppipolla Headwear with his brother Eiki. He had stated his snowboard company Lobster snowboards with Kristoffer Hansson. Halldor is also famous for some of his giant leaps. He rides off a small jump on top of the a building and flips on to another building.
  • Forest Bailey an American snowboarder. He is known for his unique urban snowboarding. Forest uses staircase railings for his snowboard, jumping up high and balancing, then sliding to the bottom. He won X games real snow, and has a part in the Nation video. He is sponsored by 686, GNU, Redbull, ADIDAS, Dragon, GNARLY.
  • Danny Davis a snowboarder from American . People know him for riding Halfpipe and went to the olympics for it. Danny flies up the sides of the halfpipe flipping high over the ground. He also won the Mammoth grand Prix and was in the Peace Park video. Danny is sponsored by Burton, Analog, Mtn Dew, Frends, Nixon, Dragon.

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The National Basketball Association: Is it what it seems?

Considered the most prestigious basketball league on earth, the NBA has a certain appeal that other leagues lack. With its high level of play and stars that seem to do no wrong, how could it not? But is it possible that some of the best players and teams get a little help from the officials?

5 years ago, Tim Donaghy, a former ref for the NBA, was discovered to have been making bets on games that might have affected his decision making in calls. He denied his gambling to have affected his officiating, but was sent to court on charges of conspiracy to engage inwire fraud, and transmitting wagering information through interstate commerce. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison for betting on games that he reffed. His arrest unearthed a long debated topic about the NBA, it’s biased reffing, and slightly scripted feeling.

After his arrest Donaghy went public about his situation. He wrote a book, was on 60 minutes, and did multiple interviews with many radio stations. People wanted to know how was he so accurate in his bets? During the an investigation the FBI conducted, they discovered that out of the 100 games he bet on, he won a whopping 80% of his bets, a ridiculous percentage. To Donaghy however, it’s no surprise that he won so many bets. Donaghy had told the FBI, “You don’t realize how easy this was for me knowing what I know”.

In his book and his interviews, Donaghy explains how he could know the outcome of a game with the point spread, just by knowing who was officiating, and how crucial a game it was for either team. “I would call the referees the night of the game” he said. “I would pick their brain, and see if they had any vendettas against any player/coach/owner involved in the game that night, and based on the information, I could make a decision.”

During a YouTube interview, he stated, “I’m never going to say that the NBA is fixed, or that David Stern, NBA commissioner, is going to go out and completely screw teams but the way they program and train referees in meetings, it puts a team at an advantage or a disadvantage” He gives an example later on in the interview. “To use the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers as an example, the referees had talked about how important this game was to the Lakers. It’s a matter of them making the playoffs or not making the playoffs so if they are going to call a foul, they’re going to call them on the side of the Lakers because Houston’s already in, and if they make a call that ends up taking the Lakers out of the playoffs, there’s going to be big consequences due to fans. Not only for officials, but for the league losing millions of dollars because one of their main teams missed the playoffs.”

Donaghy gives another example of how the NBA is partially scripted in his book Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, by talking about current NBA ref Dick Bavetta. Bavetta is known for usually officiating close games. If a team was being blown out, he would alter his officiating, and instruct the other refs to do so as well. “Lets not embarrass anyone,” he would say. Donaghy knows first hand, as Bavetta has given him these instructions in the past. He says that during conversations with him, Bavetta stated that he was the NBA’s “go to guy”. Whenever they wanted a game to be really close, or a playoff series to go the 7 games, just to entertain fans, he would assign Bavetta to the game with instructions on which team to favor. What makes the situation even fishier is that when Bavetta was investigated, he was forbidden by the NBA to speak publicly about the case.

In an interview on WEEI radio, Donaghy was asked to elaborate on how refs might favor stars. Donaghy explained how sometimes if there was a foul called that would put an all star in a troublesome situation, they would try to find a person who was not as important, (maybe an 8th man to a team), that might have been involved in the play and give them the foul.

It can’t be denied that Donaghy did the wrong thing. But maybe it was all for the better, as it unearthed a controversial topic that few people were aware of. Many people now believe that the NBA does have a scripted feeling to it. If you have ever watched an NBA game, there is never a single game where there is not at least a couple controversial calls. Even the announcers pick up on it when looking at the replay.

I think it is very low of the NBA and the officials to pull this kind of stunt. Basketball is not a show; it’s a sport that should be played with dignity, honesty, and pride. The good teams deserve the wins they get, and the bad teams deserve the losses. There should be no unnecessary interference from the league or from the officials just because they want to entertain the fans. It’s just not fair to the players. Whether an All-Star, or a bench warmer, each and everyone of those players worked their butt off to get to where they are today, and the fact that the NBA is turning them into a show instead of letting them just play basketball, is just an insult to their dedication. The NBA should let the players just play basketball, no biased reffing, no extending a series for entertainment, just play basketball like it was meant to be played. Not for the money, not for the fans, for the competition and for the sport.

Chicago Bulls defeat streaking Heat

On Wednesday March 27th, 2012 at about 6:00 pm at the United Center in Chicago Illinois, the Miami Heat were ready to stroll in and get their 28th win in a row. They were trying to brake the 33 Game win streak from the 71-72 Los Angeles Lakers during the Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West era. The struggling Chicago Bulls had other plans. They were trying to end the mighty Heat streak by playing hard nosed 70s smash mouth basketball. And that they did, and Bulls Point guard Kirk Hinrich Slammed Lebron James to the ground when James was on a fast break. Lebron was furious with the refs and thought Hinrich should have been ejected but for the fans of Chicago they absolutely loved it. I also loved it. The Bulls play tough Basketball and would never let the Miami show boats do trick dunks against them. Many of the Heat players said that because of the awful fouls is the reason they lost, but that should be how all N.B.A teams play against them because they do not like to get fouled. All in all it was a great win for Chicago and I personally loved the game.

Steven’s Pass Avalanche

The very thing that the skiers and snowboarders had waited for — fresh, soft snow — instantly became the enemy. Somewhere above, a  meadow cracked in the shape of a lightning bolt, slicing a slab of snow nearly 200 feet across and 3 feet deep. Gravity did the rest.

Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, traveled into Devil’s Fiddle back country terrain, located at Stevens Pass resort of the Washington Cascade Range. She was there with 15 friends seeking only one thing – fresh powder snow. She wore a backpack with an air bag, a relatively new and expensive part of the back country gear arsenal designed to increase a skiers chance of survival.

Elyse dropped in. She was skiing fast and smooth, until suddenly snow shattered and spilled down the slope. The slab of snow was a dangerous avalanche the size of a thousand cars. The snow weighed millions of pounds, moving at 70 miles per hour. It snapped the limbs of trees and shredded the bark from their trunks.  About to be overtaken by the snow, Elyse  pulled a cord near her chest. She was knocked down before she knew if the canister of compressed air inflated winged pillows behind her head. The avalanche caught up to her. She had no control of her body as she tumbled downhill. She did not know up from down. She was caught in the snow. At heights of 20 feet and weighing millions, the snow was unbearable. Elyse waited for 20 minutes. She was suffocating. Knowing she could be dead any minute now. Suddenly, she saw a light. It was the sun peeking out at her, as she was being pulled out by her friends.

She lived to tell her story. The average person can last only 8 minutes under that much pressure. Elyse lasted 20 minutes and 30 seconds. Steven’s Pass’s terrain is known for it’s great snow and dangerous lines. An avalanche is not forgiving. It will swallow it’s victims and will not spit them out. Elyse was fortunate enough to survive one of the most dangerous avalanche’s in the past 15 years.

Sunday River

 

No, Sunday River is not a river, it is a ski mountain. Sunday River is a large mountain with eight peaks. It ranges from very difficult to fairly easy trails on one of its 132 trails and glades. This mountain is a great place to ski with friends and families. Sunday River is located in Maine and it takes a good three hours to get to it from Massachusetts.

Photo Credit: None

The whole mountain consists of White Cap, Locke Mountain, Barker Mountain, Spruce Peak, North Peak, Auropa Peak, Oz, and Jordan Bowl these are the eight peaks that make up Sunday River. The mountain is covered with black and double black diamonds, but my favorite parts are the Jordan Bowl and Oz peaks. This area is mostly the more difficult trails such as Wizard’s Gulch and Flying Monkey which are my two favorite trails at Sunday River. On the opposite side of Sunday River is White Cap peak. White Cap is the home of the famous White Heat trail. White Heat is a trail that goes in one direction down it has no turns on it just down. White Cap also has Chutzpah, this trail is an alpine trail and you must be careful. A little ways down on Chutzpah is a cliff drop about six feet high it is all ice and rock so be careful not to wreck your skis or board.

 

The trail infrastructure was designed for easy access to Lodges and resort services. The great accessibility at Sunday River makes it a very enjoyable stay.

Links

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Mount Snow Review

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Photo Credit: Justin Keppler

Mount Snow can be found in West Dover, Vermont, and is a mountain with a lot of great trails and very nice people.  It takes about 2 and a half hours from Central Mass and it was great day trip destination for skiing.  When I went to Mount Snow over the weekend with my middle school, I hadn’t skied in years, so I was going to take a lesson.  I was expecting to just get the lesson over with and then do some fun skiing, but the instructor was very nice and we got to do some full trails in the morning.  We got along great and her son and I shared the same name, age, and height!  After my lesson,  I went to the Sundance Base Lodge for lunch.  That was very well organized and it was quick and easy to get my meal.  In a lot of places, that isn’t the case because I eat gluten free and that can take longer or confuse the servers.  When I finished my lunch, I was very excited to get out on the lift and really ski for the first time in years.  The trails were very well groomed and the park, Carinthia, was exhilarating.  The park trails ranged from first time skier to Nitro, which has been home to the X-Games!  Other factors like safety were very well taken care of at Mount Snow.  The ski patrol wore bright red jackets and could be found all over the mountain.  They were always at the ready to help anybody who got injured.  Overall, I really liked Mount Snow and can’t wait to go again.  

Cannon Mountain

Located in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, with terrain like no other in the east, Cannon Mountain is a real skiers mountain.

Cannon Mountain has over 300 acres of terrain. Cannon has a summit elevation of 4,080 feet and vertical drop of 2,180 feet. Cannon is the longest and highest mountain in NH. There are 15 lifts, including a 70 passenger aerial tramway running to the top of the mountain. They also have an area of their mountain called Mittersill. This is basically lift-accessed backcountry. There are over 100 acres of terrain at Mitersill, which can be a backcountry skier’s paradise. Your Mittersill run could be an hour or it could be 3 minutes. There is so much terrain that you will never get bored. There is also a wide variety of terrain at Cannon. In the morning you could do some beginner runs on the lower mountain, and then later you could take the tram and ski some of the hardest terrain in the east. Cannon also attracts many park skiers. Their terrain park is huge. There are over 30 features in their park for all skill levels. They have 40’ jumps and 10’ jumps. They have double down – flat – down rails, and they have flat boxes too. Cannon’s season is generally November – Late April, and the best part about Cannon is that there are no crowds.

Cannon may not be as big as Killington or Sugar bush, but you will definitely have just as much fun, for half the price and half the crowds.

 

 

Struggling Stanley cup champs

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The Stanley cup champions Los Angeles Kings who happen to be my favorite team have had a little bit of what the call “a Stanley cup Hangover” as the have come out this season in last place in the pacific division. There top players Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty have not been playing up to there ability and it is one pretty obvious reason why they are not doing great.

The team has only 10 points in 12 games and is second to last in the western conference. “Were simply not scoring” said Kings head coach Daryl Suter. And he is right. They only have 26 goals and first place Chicago Blackhawks have 44 goals and are soaring this year atop the western conference. With there only being 48 games this year it will be very difficult for the Kings to get out of this and get a playoff spot. Personally I think that they will overcome this drought  just like they did last year and possibly make it right back to the Stanley cup playoffs. It is a hard task but if there best players start to perform like the normally do they will be Stanley cup champs yet again.

The team has about 35 games left and with each game being 2% of there season the will need to start winning very fast. A lot of there losses have been in over time or last second goals in the third period. If they can start winning these close games the Kings would probably have a winning record and be soaring in there conference. All in all, the Kings have not had a very successful start to the short 48 game season.

Why Diving is a Great Sport

What does your coach tell you? Make a perfect spiral, keep the ball in bounds, pass, or go for the free throw? How about try and keep a minimal splash, and keep your form straight? Chances are, you answered “no” … Continue reading