Truckee’s Danny Davis wins X Games gold
ASPEN, Colo. — The past week must rank among Danny Davis’ favorites in his 25 years.
Seven days after learning that he had would represent his country in the Sochi Olympics, the Truckee resident earned a gold medal in his first-ever halfpipe snowboarding final at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.
“Danny Davis was well-deserved,” said fellow U.S. Olympian Louie Vito, who earned silver, two points behind Davis. “It was his first final at X Games and first gold medal at X Games. It was amazing.”
Davis, who scored a 95.00 on his second run, and Vito (93.00) led a U.S. sweep of the podium, with Olympic teammate Greg Bretz of Mammoth finishing third with a score of 89.33.
The strong American showing came without two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, who took a break from the X Games to focus on Sochi.
“It’s bittersweet when Shaun (White) is not here,” Davis said. “He’s the one to beat. But forget it; I’ll take it.”
Davis is known for his signature switch method, which he tweaks out at the beginning of his run, claiming that it sets him apart from many top riders who perform huge spins on every hit.
“I can’t believe it, really. I’m going to ride this switch method train as long as it will last,” Davis said.
Another top competitor, Iouri Podladtchikov, couldn’t land his four-twist “yolo” trick cleanly and placed sixth. Scotty James was fourth and Ben Ferguson fifth.
Olympic halfpipe snowboarding is scheduled for Feb. 11 for the men and Feb. 12 for the women at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.
CLARK PILING UP X GAMES GOLD
Kelly Clark won her fourth straight Winter X Games gold Saturday night ahead of 13-year-old Chloe Kim.
Clark, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist, scored a 95.00 to edge Kim, who scored a 94.33.
Kaitlyn Farrington finished third and was followed by Arielle Gold, Queralt Castellet and Gretchen Bleiler. Northstar-sponsored rider Elena Hight of South Lake Tahoe finished eighth.
ANDERSON SECOND, GULDEMOND FIFTH IN SLOPESTYLE
Olympian Jamie Anderson of South Lake Tahoe earned silver in the slopestyle snowboard final on Saturday after Norway’s Silje Norendal stomped a smooth run and pushed her out of the top spot.
Anderson was the only U.S. woman to advance to Saturday’s final, while Olympian Chas Guldemond of Truckee was the only U.S. man, finishing fifth.
Canadian Max Parrot won gold for the men while his teammate Mark McMorris followed with silver and Norway’s Ståle Sandbech earned bronze.
Anderson and Norendal will meet again when slopestyle snowboarding makes its Olympic debut in Sochi on Feb. 6.
“I hope everyone enjoys slopestyle at the Olympics,” Anderson said. “It’s so fun and creative and everyone has something else to bring to the table. I think it’ll be a good showing.”
Shaun White, who will compete in slopestyle at the Olympics, decided to skip the X Games to train.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.