X Games gold medalist Colten Moore speaks in Edwards about his new book, ‘Catching the Sky’
If you go ...
What: Freestyle snowmobiler Colten Moore discusses his book, “Catching the Sky.”
When: 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18.
Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards.
Cost: $10, includes presentation and appetizers.
More information: Visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.
EDWARDS — When freestyle snowmobile rider Colten Moore lost his older brother Caleb to injuries sustained during the 2013 Winter X Games, many asked why he wanted to keep riding. His answer was simple: “It’s what Caleb would have wanted.”
He not only kept riding, but also returned to the X Games the following winter and took a gold medal in the snowmobile freestyle division. As he later told the media, Caleb was right there riding with him, and he was dedicating the win to his brother.
The story of the daredevil Moore brothers, the accident that led to Caleb’s death (the first ever in the history of ESPN’s X Games) and how Colten and his family found triumph in tragedy is all chronicled in Colten’s new book, “Catching the Sky.”
Colten wrote the first-person account in partnership with journalist Keith O’Brien, and he’ll be talking about his exploits, his brother and his book with Vail Valley audiences today at an event at The Bookworm of Edwards.
Caleb is still very much at the forefront of Colten’s mind, and when he talks about Caleb, he still talks about him as if he’s there, about to walk into the room at any moment. He describes his brother as charming and fearless.
“He was that guy who would put a smile on everyone’s face when he walked into a room. He was fearless, and I learned everything I know from him. He was always pushing to be better and go higher. I always just tried to keep up with him,” Colten said.
Now at 26, the young Texan is back in Colorado for the Winter X Games, Jan. 28-31. Colten is speaking to audiences about his book whenever time allows, but he’s also looking to defend his freestyle title at this year’s Games. The 2015 X Games did not include a freestyle snowmobile division.
The Vail Daily caught up with Colten before his Edwards appearance to talk about life in the air, perseverance and, of course, his brother Caleb.
VAIL DAILY: What prompted you to write “Catching the Sky,” and why was it important for you to tell your family’s story?
COLTEN MOORE: I was excited to get my story — and my brother’s story — out there. A lot of people have followed us for years over social media and the news and have said they’re so inspired by my story — how we came from Texas and got into snowmobiling. With my brother passing away, I wanted to tell the story of how our family dealt with that and what it meant for me to keep going and not give up and not quit. I’d rather tell how it really happened than have people assume or believe something they heard. Hopefully, I’ll inspire people that they can go through the hardest time of your life but get through it and still reach your dreams.
VD: How do two boys from Texas become professional snowmobilers, anyway?
CM: We started off on quads, or ATVs, and we were doing the same thing that we did on snowmobiles — but there’s no event like the X Games for ATVs. One day we were watching the X Games on TV, and said, “Hey, we’re doing all the same things on quads as they are. We should try this.”
So we had Polaris ship us some snowmobiles. They said, “What are you going to do with snowmobiles in Texas?”
We said, “We’re going to try and ride them and get in the X Games.”
We made videos of ourselves to get into the X Games, so they knew we were serious.
VD: You still live in Texas — so how do you train?
CM: We have a foam pit that we practice tricks on. We rigged the snowmobiles so that they can ride on carpet. The thing that keeps a snowmobile from overheating is actually the snow, so we had to outfit the snowmobiles with radiators.
VD: Where were you during your brother’s accident at the X Games? Did you realize what was happening, and how did you react?
CM: He went out and crashed on his last jump. I was standing there and ran over. So Caleb — he’s a badass, and nothing can keep him down. By the time I got there, he had walked away. I wrecked during my run and ended up having to go to the hospital with him. I was thinking that we’d get there and laugh about it together. (The snowmobile had hit Caleb in the chest, and he eventually died of complications from the blunt-force trauma.)
VD: Did you think about quitting after his death?
CM: Since the accident, most people have asked whether I’d keep riding. If my brother was here, and I said I was thinking about quitting, he’d probably hit me.
For me now, I feel really good when I ride. That’s when I’m closest to my brother, and it’s what we loved to do all together. I feel like he’s out there riding with me and helping me out. I like to go out there and push the sport. If I were to quit, then it’d be a waste of everything he taught me.
Assistant Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 and at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @mwongvail.