Local athletes set for X-treme competition | SierraSun.com

Local athletes set for X-treme competition

Seth Lightcap/Sun File PhotoTruckee snowboarder Chas Guldemond, shown during Boreal's Jibassic Pro Rail Invitational this past fall, is one of more than a dozen North Shore athletes competing in Winter X Games 12 from Jan. 24-27.

Come Thursday, more than a dozen athletes from the Tahoe area will compete for coveted hardware in the 12th annual Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.

The North Shore alone is represented by at least 13 athletes, from the fastest speed skier in U.S. history ” Daron Rahlves ” to high-flying rippers who now call Truckee-Tahoe home ” Andy Finch, Chas Guldemond, Danny Davis, Kimmy Fasani, to name a few.

See below for everything you need to know about each competitor before tuning in to Winter X Games 12.

Daron Rahlves

X Games history: 6th Skier-X 2007

Discipline: Skier-X

Residence: Truckee

Age: 34

Height: 5-9

Weight: 180

Occupation: kier

Bio: The most accomplished speed skier in American history, Daron Rahlves will compete at the Winter X Games for the second time next week. Rahlves racked up 28 World Cup podiums (12 victories) and three World Championship podiums over the course of a decade. His most defining moment as a racer was when he won the famous Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel, Austria, in 2003. From 2000-2003, Rahlves competed in five skiercross races, mostly in Tahoe, and won all but one.

Andy Finch

X Games history: 2nd superpipe 2005; 9th superpipe 2004; 7th superpipe 2002.

Discipline: Snowboard superpipe

Nicknames: Finch Airlines, Pitbull, Finch

Residence: Truckee

Age: 26

Height: 5-7

Weight: 170

Occupation: Pro snowboarder

Bio: The high-flying 2005 Winter X Games superpipe silver medalist and 2006 Olympian recently placed first in the O’Neill Evolution superpipe competition in Davos, Switzerland. He is an explosive pipe rider who has a large array of tricks, including a Crippler 1080. Finch was brought up as Shaun Palmer’s protege, but the roles were reversed as Palm learned the new pipe tricks from Andy while training in Europe in the fall of 2001. Finch threatens to dominate any halfpipe competition he enters.

Chas Guldemond

X Games history: 5th Best Trick Showdown 2007; 10th Slopestyle 2007

Discipline: Slopestyle

Nicknames: Chuck G

Residence: Carnelian Bay

Age: 20

Height: 6-1

Weight: 165

Occupation: Construction

Bio: Chas Guldemond is a native East Coast rider who transplanted to Tahoe. In 2006 he took third place in slopestyle at the invitational Vans Cup at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Then, at the U.S. Open, eyes were wide open as Guldemond began to up the ante with Cab 1080 skills next to Shaun White in slopestyle. White won, but Guldemond placed second and earned the title of Best Rookie and a brand new sled. He also was nominated for Transworld Snowboarding’s 2006 Rookie of the Year, although Danny Davis won. Guldemond does not consider himself a professional snowboarder as he earns a living from construction and by making custom camper shell caps for trucks.

Nate Holland

X Games history: 1st Boarder X 2007; 1st Boarder X 2006; 3rd ultracross 2005; 6th Boarder X 2005; 1st ultracross 2004; 7th Boarder X 2004; INC Boarder X 2003; 7th ultracross 2003; 17th Boarder X 2003.

Discipline: Boarder X

Residence: Truckee

Age: 29

Height: 5-10

Weight: 195

Occupation: Pro snowboarder

Bio: Nate Holland took home Boarder X gold in each of the past two Winter X Games. He was a favorite for the Americans at the 2006 Olympics but finished a disappointing 14th. Confident and aggressive with a strong freestyle background, the U.S. Snowboard team veteran is known for his no-holds-barred style of racing. Holland was named U.S. Boardercrosser of the Year in 2004 by Ski Racing Magazine. He also has competed in slopestyle and big air and is an avid wakeboarder during the summer.

Jayson Hale

X Games history: 24th Boarder X 2007; 3rd Boarder-X 2006; 18th Boarder-X 2005; 15th ultracross 2004; 8th Boarder X 2004.

Residence: Sierraville

Nicknames: Jay

Age: 22

Height: 5-9

Weight: 150

Occupation: Snowboarder

Bio: Despite still rehabbing knee and shoulder surgery from the 2006 season, Hale made the Olympic Team. But the stars didn’t line up, as he crashed on an Olympic training run just a few days before the event and tore his right ACL, knocking him out of competition. The injury was aggravated again in February 2007 and doctors removed the ACL completely and set an August 2007 date to build a brand new knee.

Pat Holland

X Games history: 11th Boarder X 2007; 9th Boarder-X 2006; 4th ultracross 2005; 15th Boarder-X 2005

Residence: Tahoe City

Age: 25

Height: 6-0

Weight: 175

Occupation: Pro snowboarder

Bio: Pat Holland went to the 2006 Olympics, but only as a spectator to watch his older brother, 2006 Winter X Games gold medalist Nate Holland. After being a part of the event on the spectator end, Pat is setting his sites for the 2010 Olympics, moving to Tahoe so he can train more. Pat gave up building pipes and parks at Jackson Hole, Wyo., so he could focus on boardercross in 2005.

Ralph Backstrom

X Games history: 27th Boarder-X 2007

Discipline: Boarder X

Residence: Squaw Valley

Age: 23

Height: 5-9

Weight: 175

Occupation: Food service

Bio: “Ralphie,” as friends call Backstrom, has a big-mountain background and has been riding boardercross for five years. Three of those years he barely touched snow after tearing a rotator cuff in 2004, then studying Spanish for a year in Spain. He graduated from Western Washington University in December 2005 and is working at a Squaw Valley restaurant. He got his Winter X invitation by placing second at Jabra X Jam at Sugar Bowl in January of last year.

Kimmy Fasani

X Games history: 14th slopestyle 2007

Discipline: Slopestyle

Residence: Truckee/Mammoth

Age: 23

Height: 5-3

Weight: 115

Occupation: Pro snowboarder/college senior

Bio: Born and raised in Truckee and currently riding out of Mammoth, Fasani was a new rider on the WX’07 slopestyle list. She is a charger on the big jumps and her rail skills are polished and solid. Fasani, who has been nominated by Transworld Snowboarding for Women’s Rookie of the Year, recently made a move from Burton to join the DC team.

Mike Goldschmidt

X Games history: 11th superpipe 2007; 8th superpipe 2006; 8th superpipe 2005

Discipline: Snowboard superpipe

Nickname: Goldy

Residence: Truckee

Age: 20

Height: 6-0

Weight: 170

Occupation: Pro snowboarder

Bio: Mike “Goldy” Goldschmidt, a former Stratton Mountain School student, dropped a bomb on the pro snowboard scene in 2005 when the then 17-year-old rolled into his first X Games and placed eighth in superpipe. Now in his third year on the U.S. Snowboarding Team, Goldschmidt won Best Trick at the 2007 U.S. Open and placed sixth at the 2007 Grand Prix Finals at Tamarack, Idaho.

Kirsten Harris

X Games history: 16th Boarder X 2006

Discipline: Boarder X

Residence: Olympic Valley

Age: 28

Height: 5-7

Weight: 135

Occupation: Owner of All About Kids

Bio: Harris was invited to WX 2006, but didn’t attend because of a stress fracture in her tibia. At the 2007 Jabra X Jam event at Sugar Bowl, she received two black eyes from landing on her face during the final, but still managed to finish second with an invitation to Winter X. The mother of a 2-year-old boy, she runs a baby-sitting service for tourists to the Tahoe area called “All About Kids.”

Danny Davis

X Games history: 4th Best Trick Showdown 2007; 14th superpipe 2007; 6th slopestyle 2007; 15th superpipe 2006

Discipline: Snowboarding superpipe, slopestyle

Residence: Truckee/Highland, Mich.

Age: 19

Height: 5-8

Weight: 150

Occupation: Pro snowboarder

Bio: Davis, who recently moved to Truckee, hit the professional snowboard scene in 2004. He is a skilled rider in superpipe and slopestyle, combining amplitude, technical finesse and a skate influenced-style. Danny was named the 2006 Transworld Snowboarding and Snowboarder Magazine “Rookie of the Year.”

Anik Demers-Wild

X Games history: 6th Skier X 2007; 11th Skier X 2006; 4th Skier X 2005; 7th Skier X 2004; 9th Skier X 2003; 12th Skier X 2002; 11th Skier X 2001; 1st Skier X 2000

Discipline: Snowboarding

Residence: Truckee

Age: 36

Height: 5-1

Weight: 132

Occupation: Pro skier/owner of Tahoe Apex Adventure

Bio: In her second year of skiercross, Demers-Wild won the 2000 Skier X gold with a “for rent” sign on her helmet. She has been a top contender in the Jeep King of the Mountain series the past two years, and placed third in the North American Freeskiing Championship at Kirkwood in 2005.

Tanner Rainville

X Games history: 13th superpipe 2007, 13th slopestyle 2007

Discipline: Skiing superpipe, slopestyle

Residence: Squaw Valley

Age: 21

Height: 5-6

Weight: 150

Occupation: Skier

Bio: Vermonter Tanner Rainville in 2004 finished third in slopestyle at two of the biggest freeski comps of the year, the U.S. Open and the Vermont Freeski Open. He actually even beat the other Tanner, Tanner Hall, at the US Open. Rainville joined the elite group of skiers who film annually with Matchstick productions in 2004, proving that he can hang with the best of them both in front of the camera and during competition.

Sean Field

X Games history: 6th skiing superpipe 2005

Discipline: Skiing superpipe

Residence: Tahoe City

Age: 19

Height: 6-1

Weight: 165

Occupation: Skier

Bio: A 2007 North Tahoe High grad, Field has placed second in the 2005 U.S. Open Superpipe, sixth in the 2005 X Games Superpipe, second in the 2007 Aspen Open Superpipe and fifth in the 2007 Honda Ski Tour Superpipe. Field qualified in the men’s skiing superpipe on Wednesday night.

” Info from http://www.expn.com, http://www.ussnowboarding.com and http://www.ttrworldtour.com.


8-9:45 a.m. ” Snowboard superpipe women’s practice

8:30-11 a.m. ” Boardercross men’s and women’s practice

9 a.m.-noon ” Snowboard slopestyle men’s and women’s practice

10-11:30 a.m. ” Snowmobile speed and style practice

10 a.m.-noon ” Snowboard superpipe women’s elimination

11:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m. ” Skiercross men’s and women’s practice

12:30-2:30 p.m. ” Snocross practice

12:30-4 p.m. ” Ski slopestyle men’s practice

2-4 p.m. ” Monoskiercross qualifier

4-5:30 p.m. ” Ski superpipe women’s practice

5-6 p.m. ” Snowmobile speed and style practice

5:30-7:15 p.m. ” Ski superpipe men’s practice

7-7:45 p.m. ” Snowmobile speed and style final

7-9 p.m. ” Ski/snowboard big air practice

7:30-9 p.m. ” Ski superpipe men’s final


8:30-9:30 a.m. ” Boardercross men’s and women’s practice

8:30-9:45 a.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle women’s practice

9 a.m.-noon ” Snowboard superpipe men’s and women’s practice

10 a.m.-noon ” Snowboard slopestyle women’s elimination

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ” Skiercross men’s and women’s practice

Noon-12:45 p.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle men’s practice

Noon-1 p.m. ” Snocross practice

12:30-2 p.m. ” Skiercross men’s and women’s qualifier

1-3 p.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle men’s elimination

2-4 p.m. ” Monoskiercross semis and consolation

3-4 p.m. ” Ski slopestyle men’s practice

4:30-5:30 p.m. ” Ski superpipe women’s practice

5:30-6:30 p.m. ” Ski superpipe women’s final

6:30-7:30 p.m. ” Snowboard superpipe women’s practice

7-8 p.m. ” Snowboard big air practice

7-8:30 p.m. ” Ski big air practice

7:30-8:45 p.m. ” Snocross round 1

7:45-8:45 p.m. ” Snowboard superpipe women’s final

8:45-9:30 p.m. ” Ski big air final


8 a.m.-noon ” Snowboard superpipe men’s practice

8:30-11:15 a.m. ” Ski slopestyle practice

10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. ” Boardercross men’s and women’s practice

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle women’s practice

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ” Snocross Round 2 practice

12:15-12:45 p.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle women’s final

1-2:30 p.m. ” Boardercross men’s and women’s finals

1:45-2:30 p.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle practice

2:30-3 p.m. ” Snocross Round 2

2:30-4 p.m. ” Monoskiercross practice

2:30-4 p.m. ” Snowboard slopestyle men’s final

4-6 p.m. ” Snowboard superpipe men’s practice

6:15-7:45 p.m. ” Snowboard superpipe men’s elimination

7:45-8:15 p.m. ” Snocross final

8:15-9 p.m. ” Snowboard big air final


9-10:45 a.m. ” Ski slopestyle practice

9-11 a.m. ” Snowmobile freestyle practice

9-11:45 a.m. ” Skiercross men’s and women’s practice

11a.m.-1 p.m. ” Ski slopestyle elimination

Noon-2 p.m. ” Skiercross men’s and women’s finals

12:45-2:30 p.m. ” Snowmobile freestyle elimination

1-2:15 p.m. ” Ski slopestyle practice

2:30-2:45 p.m. ” Monoskiercross final

2:30-4 p.m. ” Ski slopestyle final

5-6 p.m. ” Snowmobile freestyle practice

5-7:15 p.m. ” Snowboard superpipe men’s practice

7-7:45 p.m. ” Snowmobile freestyle final

7:30-9 p.m. ” Snowboard superpipe men’s final

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