X Games spotlight shines on Fisher’s golden medal
ASPEN – As soon as Steve Fisher learned he had won gold at the men’s superpipe competition Monday at the Winter X Games VIII in Aspen, 16-year-old Mason Aguirre mobbed him.
For a moment on national television, Fisher was a blur of gloves, hats and grins as competitors congratulated the man who ended Shaun White’s string of three-straight snowboard wins.
He popped out from the melee a moment later with a kind of wide-eyed, unknowing expression on his face that resembled a man whose feet had just been crushed by a schoolbus.
And, as the Breckenridge Freeride Team member was being escorted to the Holy Grail of snowboard podiums, he could only muster a few words to describe his winning run.
“It was sick,” he said, eyes glued on the podium.
Sick, gi-normous, whatever. His other two runs weren’t so sick.
His second run faltered in the middle and, on the final run, the situation definitely caught up with him.
Billed by ESPN’s live coverage as the new boy, he fell twice in the superpipe and looked like he perfectly fit the billing.
And it was all live on SportsCenter.
As the show’s trademark theme song played, the 1080 that Fisher performed in his gold-medal first run was featured as a highlight, next to the Super Bowl, and next to Lebron James.
While the snowboarding world learned to swallow the impact of Fisher’s official arrival (he had, after all, won the Vans Triple Crown superpipe competition in Breckenridge earlier this season), Fisher began to understand the enormity of his accomplishment.
Newspapers all over the world posted his result. A picture of him even ran front page in Quebec.
“I get a clothing sponsor now,” Fisher said.
He’ll get more than that.
It’s pretty clear his freeride team isn’t letting him go, after recruiting him in October last year.
“He’s kind of an Olympic hopeful,” said Emily Jacob, spokeswoman for Breckenridge.
“He’s definitely on his way to 2006.”
The bar is set that high, now.
In his winning run, he defeated the defending gold and silver Olympic medalists.
Despite the subjective judging, none of the competitors seemed to question the end result.
And, as Aguirre hugged him, Fisher, a native of Minnesota, flashed his snowboard with a bright Breckenridge sticker to every fan on the planet.
Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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