Bidez takes fifth in first World Cup
CALGARY, ALBERTA – Some people dip their toes in the pool to test the water. Others do double backflips off the diving board. Dylan Bidez would fit into the latter category.Friday night, Bidez, the 16-year old Minturn snowboarder, took fifth in his first World Cup appearance – a halfpipe in Calgary, Alberta.”I’m just amazed,” Bidez said shortly after the awards ceremony.Earlier in the day, Bidez, who is a rookie member of the U.S. Snowboarding Team, had the eighth-best qualifying time, which pushed him into the 12-rider finals.
After he went back to the hotel and grabbed some food, Bidez hit the pipe again for some training.”During the finals practice, I fell on every single one of my tricks,” Bidez said. “On my first finals run, I fell on the first hit and came up with one of the lowest scores of the day.”Bidez, was then slotted as the first rider for the second run.”I decided there wasn’t anything to lose,” Bidez said.
On his first hit, Bidez pulled a frontside 900.”That was the one I was having the least trouble with all day,” Bidez said.Bidez’s next trick was a backside 540.”That was the one I was most worried about,” Bidez said. “When I landed that, I was feeling good.”After a frontside 720 with a tail grab, Bidez launched a cab 720 and finished with an air to fakie. The judges gave Bidez a 39.2, which at the time, put him in second place.”I couldn’t stand the thought of waiting,” Bidez said. “So Broc (Waring) and I took some runs. We did some backflips.”When Bidez got back to the top of the hill, he was in fourth, and then after a few backflips in the park, he found out he finished fifth, only 0.3 points off third. For Bidez, who was the top American finisher, the result was the biggest of his career.”This boosts my confidence,” Bidez said. “All year I really haven’t been able to do put together a run, and today I finally put one together.”
Waring, 14, of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, took 23rd in his first World Cup appearance. Bidez, Waring and Ross Baker (a 16-year old rider out of Squaw Valley who was 29th), ride together a lot, and all made their World Cup debuts Friday.”I have so much fun when I’m with those guys,” Bidez said. “We love pushing each other and don’t really think too much about the pressure as much as having fun.”The three young riders, along with U.S. Freestyle coach Mike Jankowski call themselves the “Mellow Backie Crew,” referring to their affinity to backflips.Today, Bidez and company will be back in action for another World Cup pipe event. The riders then head to Lake Placid, N.Y. for another World Cup next week, before the U.S. Open in Vermont.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.