GOT THE GUTS? WANT THE GLORY?
The Red Bull Rampage should be a Survivor episode. A rough, rocky patch of desert in Virgin, Utah, is where the "Evolution" freeride contest will take place. There's a $10,000 purse for the winner, and the Utah Sports Commission will award $5,000 for the best trick. Riders will be judged on amplitude, difficulty of line, and style.
The Red Bull web site warns spectators to come ready for rough camping, there will be no support services except water, and it's a big hike to the start, because motor vehicles are not allowed within four miles of the course. They warn spectators to only come if you're healthy. You can even see a photo of a rider on the course, and it's awesome!
SCHLOPY OUTSKIS LIGETY
The world's ski teams all meet up in the southern hemisphere in late August to train on the best possible snow. Somehow, a FIS race always breaks out. This one was in New Zealand, where the snow was terrific, and the U. S. skiers won for both the men and the women.
Stacy Cook took the women's podium. But the big surprise was in the men's field. Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety only came in third. Jimmy Cochran was second. And the winner? It was Erik Schlopy, who may finally get a year without injury and reveal that he is, and has always been, one of the best skiers in the world.
STOCK MARKET CRASH AFFECTS RESORTS
You may have ho-hummed about news that the big insurance company A.I.G. is collapsing and has had to be rescued by the government. But it may make your season pass and lift tickets cost more next year. The reason? A.I.G. is the insurance company for about 70 percent of all the resorts in the U. S. Even more startling, the company owns the resort of Stowe, in Vermont. No one is quite sure what may happen to this luxury asset as the government cracks down on bad spending by good companies.
GUESS WHO WENT SKIING IN ARABIA?
One of the richest, and quickly getting richer, cities in the world is Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It takes wealth to unheard-of levels; for example, in this part of the Middle East, where temperatures routinely hit 120 degrees, an indoor ski area has been built. Not a few runs, mind you, like the indoor ski park in Japan, but a real ski area, with steep expert runs and powder runs (new man-made snow falls every night), lots of lifts---a whole indoor mountain.
They wanted to import a terrific, world famous skier to teach the rich locals how to ski. the one they chose was skicross and downhill champion Daron Rahlves. Rahlves held a ski camp, then set gates and conducted a race. His new motto? "I skied Dubai."