White wins season-opening Grand Prix
Vail, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” Saturday’s Snowboard Grand Prix at Breckenridge was quite reminiscent of January’s X Games ” in the end, it came down to Shaun White vs. Steve Fisher.
Fisher claimed X Games gold in Aspen, but White had the upper hand on Saturday, where he won the event with a first-run score of 48.4 (out of 50).
Fisher, was the oh-so-close runner-up with a second-run score of 47.8 and Elijah Teter was third with 44.5.
Two of the hottest snowboarders on the planet both downplayed their naturally competitive relationship.
“People put the rivalry thing on,” Fisher said. “But there really isn’t one.”
“I honestly come out and compete against myself,” White said. “As long as in my head, I land the best run I can do, than I just don’t really care after that. … It just makes me want to practice more if I don’t do so well.”
White and Fisher may not lose sleep while pondering how to beat one another, but they do exchange occasional banter before big comps.
“We were giving each other a hard time at the top (of the halfpipe),” White confessed. “I told him, ‘Yeah, it’s a little windy out there.'”
Heavy winds (and cold temperatures) were indeed a factor, according to several competitors, but that didn’t stop Fisher from accomplishing his goal before a large home crowd.
“It’s great,” Fisher said. “I landed the run I wanted to.”
Fisher’s back was against the wall on the second run after White (the final rider in each heat by virtue of his top qualifying score on Friday) posted a 48.4 on his opening run, but it didn’t seem to phase him.
“I don’t try to change my game at all,” said Fisher, whose 47.8 with the competition hanging in the balance was respectable to say the least. “I just do my thing.”
Fisher, a longtime local like J.J. Thomas (10th overall), is clearly familiar with Breck’s renowned halfpipe, but White’s no stranger to it either.
“I think this is the halfpipe where J.J. beat me to go to the Olympics when I was 15,” said White, referring to 2002. “I was in first place, but he dropped in and got it. I’m pretty familiar with this halfpipe ” I’ve been coming here all the time since I was young.”
White and Fisher snagged most of Saturday’s media attention, but it didn’t keep the scruffy-faced Teter from smiling ear to ear during the brief interim preceding the awards ceremony.
“The judges like to see a little variety,” Teter said when asked what set him apart from 13 other finalists. “I did some switch airs and a switch method. … That’s pretty much what you want to do is be innovative.”
Teter claiming bronze was extra special because his sister, Hannah, did the same thing on the women’s side.
“It’s so sweet,” Elijah Teter said. “The family vibe we just try to keep it good. We support each other and if we fall, whatever, who cares?”
Keir Dillon (44.3) and Kevin Pearce (44.29) rounded out the top five.
Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at email@example.com.
Grand Prix Men’s Results
1. Shaun White 48.4
2. Steve Fisher 47.8
3. Elijah Teter 44.5
4. Keir Dillon 44.3
5. Kevin Pearce 44.2
6. Brad Martin 43.4
7. Luke Mitrani 40.9
8. Ryoh Aono 40.1
9. Gary Zebrowski 39.7
10. J.J. Thomas 39.0
11. Dolf Wal Van Der 37.6
12. Tore Holvik 36.6
13. Justin Lamoureux 34.7
14. Crispin Lispscomb 33.5
15. Kohdai Watanabe 20.8
16. Jack Mitrani 17.2