Sydney snowboarder Jarryd Hughes won the Boardercross event at the Winter X Games in the U.S. ski resort of Aspen this weekend. And he was so happy about it, he had himself a little Winter X-rated moment.
The Winter X Games is the biggest winter sports event outside of the Winter Olympics. Many winter athletes actually rate it as more important, though few will say so publicly. Either way, the enormous prestige of the X Games explains why immediately after winning a tight, typically chaotic race, 20-year-old Hughes turned to the camera and said:
Which wasn't particularly eloquent, but it did adequately convey the elation of winning a gold medal, a feeling Hughes later explained in slightly less blue terms when he said "I am just soooo psyched". Which apparently is the new "stoked".
So who is this guy and what did he do again?
Jarryd Hughes is a good young bloke who learned to snowboard in the NSW Snowy Mountains and who is getting better each year at his chosen event, the Boardercross.
If you can recall the Sochi Winter Olympics at all, Boardercross is that mad event where six snowboarders take to a turny course with huge banked edges and jumps galore. First down wins. Falls are common. Chaos is always a moment away.
Chaos duly ensued in the race Hughes won this weekend. He led early, but was overtaken by compatriot and dual Boardercross World Champ Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, who you may recall was Australia's flagbearer at the Sochi Olympics.
In Sochi, Pullin and Hughes were disappointingly both eliminated in the quarter finals. But on the weekend, they swapped the lead throughout a tense final which took place in difficult conditions with heavy snow falling.
Coming to the final jump, Pullin led. But Hughes took an inside line and seemed to get less air. That made all the difference. Everyone tumbled over the line in big balls of snow and gear and limbs, but Hughes was a clear victor. And then he swore. For which we forgive him. (All the same, it might pay to keep the headphones on if you watch this video at the office.)
Anyway, there's your snowboarding news for the week. The story in a sentence? Yet another Australian athlete with the first name Jarryd and a surname starting with H has captured America's imagination.
We can all be pretty psyched about that.Suggest a correction