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    X Games Aspen 2016 Recap: Snowmobile Freestyle

    Posted by Emily Hare
    on Monday, February 01, 2016

     After a one year hiatus, the Snowmobile Freestyle competition returned to X Games this year, and the riders from the Monster Energy team swept the podium on Friday night in Aspen, Colo. Joe Parsons earned his fourth career gold medal, Heath Frisby took the silver, and Brett Turcotte got the bronze. (For a recap of the SnoCross and SnoCross Adaptive events from Day 1 of the X Games, click here.)

    Parsons had not won gold since 2011, settling for silver five times. Throughout his career, Parsons has been known as an extremely consistent competitor. With 15 total medals, he is the most decorated snowmobiler in X Games history.

    In the finals, each of the eight riders made two runs, with the top score counting. The judges looked for variation in both right-side-up and upside-down tricks, as well as extension — the more tweaked out and stretched the trick, the higher the score.

    Both of Parsons' runs were chock full of both technical and dangerous tricks as well as variety. In run one, the 28-year old ex-racer threw down his trademark Gator Wrestler, a switch flip, and a super late “Parsby” flip (a backflip in which Parsons reversed his body position before landing and rode away facing backwards). Parsons' run earned him a first-place score of 90.00.

    Here's a video of Parsons' gold medal run:

    “I didn’t play it safe, and put down the run I wanted to. Always being consistent is my game plan, and tonight it paid off," said Parsons after the final. "Tonight was crazy. I didn’t expect to get the gold, but sometimes things just fall into place, and they did tonight."
     
    Frisby, a consistent podium threat, brought his trademark amplitude to the event to secure silver, the 11th X Games medal of his career. Known for his massive tricks, the 31-year old showed great variation both right-side-up and on backflip variations. Tricks included a tweaked-out Kiss of Death backflip to earn a big score of 87.66, a testament to the fact that the judges appreciate the big tricks.
     

    Heath Frisby during practice for the Snowmobile Freestyle competition in X Games Aspen 2016. Photo by Joe Wiegele / ESPN Images
    Excited that he and his good friend Parsons took the top two spots, Frisby said, “Joe and I knew there were a lot of gnarly guys, but we rode smart and did what we could best. People just made mistakes and Joe and I fell right into gold and silver, the two amigos. So pumped!”

    Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was Turcotte, a former racer competing in his first ever X Games freestyle competition. His inexperience didn't show, however, as he looked calm and cool on his way to a best score of 86.66 and a bronze medal. After an impressive practice, the 27-year old took a unique approach of keeping the sled pinned while jumping and racing around the course. He went fast and fit in a lot of tricks, and his second run was full of combination maneuvers, including heel clicker to superman flips, super flips, and big one-footed whips.
     
    “It was a pretty eventful night," said Turcotte. "I put together a run I knew how to do and it got me a medal. We got a bunch of Monster athletes on the podium, so I’m stoked. I’m ready to go home and shred some trees and pow, and film some backcountry segments.”

    Photos by Joe Wiegele / ESPN Images

    Run 1  Run 2 Best
    1 Joe Parsons 90.00 79.33 90.00
    2 Heath Frisby 87.00 87.66 87.66
    3 Brett Turcotte 86.00 86.66 86.66
    4 Cory Davis 83.33 83.66 83.66
    5 Willie Elam 81.00 82.66 82.66
    6 Rasmus Johansson 80.00 80.00 80.00
    7 Josh Penner 42.00 75.33 75.33
    8 Colten Moore 69.66 58.66 69.66


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