Monday, January 28, 2008

Two Out of Three Works for Me! Aspen, CO

Our adventure began in the truck as we drove from Yellowstone Montana to Carbondale (Neighboring town of Aspen) to meet Todd Welch from Colorado Sledstyle . We drove all afternoon and into the night arriving at our hotel at 1:00 a.m. and crashed out in a hurry for two reasons – one is obvious driving all day, the second we had to be up and at 8 am to meet up with Todd to go to his facility with kicker ramps and snow hits to practice some freestyle before X Games. We meet up and he takes us to his set up which was killer and jumped all afternoon. Things were coming around pretty good so I felt I was ready as I could be going into the three events I was going to be competing in at X Games. Wednesday we had Speed and Style practice which is a new event that is a combination of freestyle and racing, pretty sweet combo if you ask me! Being it was new it took a lot of course changes etc. to get it right for TV and so that the racing was closer. Thursday was game time, speed and style kicked the X games off so I was all pumped up about that. I won my first round against Cory Davis then moved on to my teammate Joe Parsons. Joe was running really well so I was a bit nervous facing him. I was able to put a gap on him through the racing portion of the course and that was enough to edge him out. That put me in the final against Sam Rogers who was running strong all day. Being he is a freestyler I was able to get a pretty decent lead on him in the racing portion and my tricks were good enough to beat him for the gold!! I was freaking out after I saw I won. It was the coolest feeling. No celebrating for me though I had to get some food and head back to the hotel because I had a big day of snocross coming up on Friday.

After winning my qualifier for snocross, on Friday I was feeling pretty good about the Final. Green flag flies and I don’t get the best of starts. I came out mid pack but I knew I had time to work my way up with the Final being 25 laps long, then shortly after thinking that, things went down hill. I made contact with another rider coming out of the whoops and ended up on my side during the second lap. A pile of guys got by so I had my work cut out for me. I was able to get back to sixth, which was actually pretty fun being Ross Martin, Robbie Malinoski, and myself battle for like 10 laps for it.

Sunday was gonna be my fun day, I had the freestyle comp going on and I knew I didn’t have the big tricks that Frisby, Hoyer , Bodine, and some of the other riders had so I decided I was gonna use my racing back ground and sprint the course and just have as much fun as I could out there. I honestly didn’t expect to make it in the top four so when I made it to the head to head competition with the top four riders I felt like I had exceeded my expectations. Then Bodine bobbled and I made it past him and into the final against once again my teammate Joe. Joe brought his A game to X games and it was amazing to watch him. I went first and put down what I thought was my best run all day and was able to race the course and get 2 extra jumps in which helped a ton. Joe came out swinging throwing down some insane tricks. We both sat after his run waiting to see what his score was. I think it was 86.33 and I had a 86.67 or something, I can’t remember all I know is it was super close. I had won and all my friends and family rushed over to me and it was unreal. I couldn’t believe I had won, it was so unexpected. After the medal presentation I went back to the trailer and while I was changing I got a call from the X Games general Manager Chris and he had some crazy news for me. He told me that they voted me male athlete of the X Games and for that I win a new Jeep!!! YEAH BUDDY!!!! I won a new car!!

I still can’t believe how things worked out but I know I never could have won one medal let alone 2 Golds with out the crew of people that work so hard behind the scenes. I have to give thanks to all the people from Red Bull, Polaris, Hentges Racing, Etnies, Ogio, Dragon, Parts Unlimited, 32 boots, Fah Q, Digital Ink, Nitro Circus, Fox Shox, my friends and family, and everyone else I forgot thank you so much for all that you do to make this possible. I appreciate it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Winter X Games Twelve: Aspen, CO

Levi came into this years Winter X Games knowing he had a lot on his plate. Not only was he coming back for Snocross, but he also had two other disciplines to worry about; Speed and Style and Freestyle. Thursday night was the opening night for Winter X Games 12, where Speed and Style was making its first debut. Levi had the skill and speed for the freestyle course and was confident enough in his freestyle tricks to land himself a GOLD medal. Friday and Saturday were consumed by Snocross. 32 athletes, all competing to make it into a 12 guy final. Qualifying for Levi was Friday night where he fought his way to the top and ended up winning his heat round and securing a spot for the final. Saturday’s final was here, Levi started out mid-pack having a rough start and getting tossed off his sled by another rider. He stayed tough through all 25 laps and ended up in a notable 6th place. Sunday was Freestyle day. Levi was going up against the best of the best in the Freestyle world and new he had his work cut out for him. Levi ended up making the top 4 out of 10 guys and went on to the Finals. He was blown away that he even made it into the finals and what’s crazier is that Levi took home another Gold in the Freestyle event. His run was clean and because of his snocross background he was able to squeeze out another trick or two more than any other freestyle athlete. It was an unbelievable X Games – where Levi was able to show off his many talents in all three snowmobile events. Congratulations Levi on TWO Winter X Games Gold Medals and being named Winter X Games Jeep Athlete 2008, where he got to take home a brand new Jeep Liberty.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Canterbury National: Shakopee, MN

Canterbury National was a double header, which means twice the races, twice the fun, and twice the finals. Levi has always enjoyed racing at Canterbury. The facility itself is cool, but Levi likes it because of the track and the fans that come and show their support. Levi had a great run at last year's Canterbury National where he picked up his first National win of the season. Too bad things couldn't go as well this year, as it did last year. It seemed as though Levi hit a streak of bad luck by getting run over; not once but two times over the weekend. Levi takes everything in strides and regardless of how good or bad he does, he believes there is always room for improvements. Levi now is off to West Yellowstone for the next national race this coming weekend. Then from there be sure to check out WINTER X GAMES TWELVE live from Aspen, CO - January 24-28th, where Levi will compete in all three snowmobile events; Snocross, Speed & Style and Freestyley.