High fives and 540s for Roy | SierraSun.com

High fives and 540s for Roy

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunSean Collin, winner of Saturday's Charitysmith High Fives 540 contest at Sugar Bowl, lofts a stylish double-grab 540. The event featured 15 skiers and two snowboarders competing in honor of Roy Tuscany, a 26-year-old skier who is recovering from a ski accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Tuscany has skied five times since the injury.

With plenty of buffalo wings, sunshine and high fives to go around Saturday ” not to mention top-notch skiers and supportive friends ” Roy Tuscany couldn’t have asked for a better return-to-skiing party.

Nearly two years to the day after a skiing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, Tuscany and Wally Balls Productions pulled off a festive Charitysmith High Fives 540 contest at Sugar Bowl.

The 26-year-old Tuscany, a former Sugar Bowl Freeride Team coach who has skied on five occasions since the accident, served as a judge for the invite-only contest, which went off in blue bird conditions in the Switching Yard Terrain Park.

“This is my dream,” Tuscany said at the start of the contest. “We started a company to do this, Wally Balls Productions. Not being able to compete, I want to stay involved by putting on events to promote other local athletes.”

In total, 17 local athletes ” 15 skiers and two snowboarders ” competed in honor of Tuscany and his return to the slopes.

The “high five” part of the event title was a must, as it holds special meaning to Tuscany and his friends.

“The greeting became a symbol of brotherhood and friendship to me,” Tuscany said. “Incorporating the theme in the contest brings that positivity to life and helps emphasize style over hucking.”

That’s where the “540” part of the contest title comes into play, as Tuscany ” a former pro with a dozen sponsors ” prefers the stylish spin-and-a-half trick over the busier-looking hucks that earn top points in most competitions.

Contest participant KC Wry, Tuscany’s childhood friend and roommate, explained the reasoning behind the idea.

“Focusing on smooth 540s is perfect,” said Wry, who placed second overall. “A lot of guys get caught up trying to huck bigger spins and forget about the most important thing ” style.”

In addition to the focus on 540s, the open-format contest awarded the following categories: tandem high fives, worst crash, best unsponsored skier and most thugged.

JP Martin built the features for the contest. They included a massive tabletop with a 60-foot right takeoff and a 65-foot middle takeoff with a teardrop landing, an up-box, a 16-foot chimney box and a 12-foot barrel.

Cash prizes included $500 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third, with an additional $200 up for grabs. Tuscany, Oman Otte, Skogan Sprang, Jimeel Ferris and Mike Hanley judged. Every time an air horn from the judging station went off, some of the $200 was rained down on the athletes ” each of whom received a bag filled with sponsor prizes.

As the final horn sounded at 3:05 p.m., Mountain Forge was there to award the trophies, which were made on the spot.

“I think this was a great contest,” Wry said. “Roy deserves it. He’s got an amazing positive attitude that has made the day and the comp.”

Check out the following link for a full story on Tuscany’s accident and recovery:


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