Denver Big Air Competition
Imagine walking up 14 flights of stairs in ski boots, carrying your ski or snowboard equipment. Then at the top of your climb, you look straight down a 300-foot-long ramp that ends—not on the side of a snowy mountain—but in front of a state capitol building.
For the first time in the United States, a 106-foot-tall, man-made mountain was built right in the heart of a major city for the country's first Big Air competition. Big Air was previously been held in Moscow, Russia; Barcelona, Spain; Quebec, Canada; Seoul, Korea; and London, England.
In Denver, Colorado, 28 of the world's best male skiers and snowboarders took part in the two-day competition before tens of thousands of fans. On January 25, skiers ruled the air, while the next day, snowboarders took over with the LG FIS World Cup.
Competitors flew down the ramp reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour. The jump sent them high into the air where they performed their best ski stunts.
I was there for the snowboarding competition and I know you are wondering: Who won?
Michael Macho ended up in 3rd place and a total of 48.5 points. Zachary Stone achieved 50.8 points and finished in 2nd place. Rocco Van Straten, from the Netherlands, won with 53 total points and was rocketed 27.9 feet into the air. He had thrilled the judges by completing a backside double cork 1080.
Big Air is certainly the right name for this extreme competion.
PHOTO: Denver Big Air, a 106-foot high, 600,000 pound ski ramp, was built in the center of downtown Denver, Colorado, for a ski and snowboard competition. This is the view from the top. (CREDIT: PRNewsFoto/VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau/NewsCom)