Extreme Exposure: Nash dominates BC Bike Race, WSL's wild card, more
Welcome back to Extreme Exposure, a weekly column bringing you the best photography and news from the world of action and outdoor sports. As the summer gets into full swing the Olympic Training Center gets a facelift, Brandon Westgate shows us how to ollie a station wagon, Katerina Nash dominates the BC Bike Race and much more.
Freeriding Gets a Lift
Last week, the Utah Olympic Park in Park City, a summer training facility for skiers and snowboarders, unveiled a serious facelift as the summer jump pool was revamped in what was dubbed, “Project Big Air.” The previous jumps—ones that allow riders to simulate winter conditions and practice aerial maneuvers into a water landing—were 20 years old, warped from the sun and worn down from use.
Spence Eccles, 80, a Utah resident and longtime supporter, donated a million dollars towards the redesign of the training pool, which will now be called the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool. And for the first time, the summer jumping program won’t just be aimed at aerial and mogul skiers. Slopestyle athletes will have access to an off-season training jump specific to their competitive needs. According to the Deseret News, the “freeride” ramp is twice as wide at 16 feet and the slope it’s on was re-graded to more closely resemble a jump on a slopestyle course.
The sun sets on an incredible night for the Grand Opening of the Spence Eccles Olympic Freestyle Pool. Thank you to all who came out to support and watch all of the amazing athletes! Here's to many more summer days spent up at UOP. #ThankYouSpence #UtahOlympicPark @skiutah @usfreeskiing @usskiteam @ussnowboarding @flyingaceallstars
Over the Top
This from the “did he just do that” file. To promote his new shoe with Emerica, Brandon Westgate released a pretty ridiculous video part this week where he ollies a Honda station wagon. The 26-year-old Massachusetts native is known for his pop, but this is pretty next level. Westgate is always thinking outside the box. Aside from being a pro skater, he lives on, and runs, an organic cranberry farm with his wife.
This One Was Epic
We're seven stages and 200 miles through and around British Columbia on some of the best single track in the world. The BC Bike race—more tour than actual competitive event that I reported in last week's column. And while the decade-old race with nearly 700 riders was mostly about fun, winning this mammoth event definitely doesn’t hurt one's resume. And Katerina Nash left little doubt, riding to victory in all seven stages on her way to the overall title. As you can tell from the gritty-looking shot below, she earned it.
“The entire race went really well for me,” says Nash, a Czech native who’s also a professional cross-country skier (she competed in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics). “No flats or other mechanical (mishaps), no crashes. It’s time for a swim and a few beers.”
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A Wild Card
Fans of stylish, progressive surfing are jubilant in the run up to the World Surf League’s J-Bay Open as the WSL has announced it will award Dane Reynolds his third wildcard of the year. Reynolds, whose transcendent surfing has influenced a generation of wave riding enthusiasts, made a splash at the Fiji Pro last month as he took down No. 1 ranked (at the time) Adriano De Souza and finished a strong ninth at the event. But here’s where the WSL’s call could become really intriguing: based on a new rule enacted this year by the surfing organization that allows wildcards to retain points towards re-qualification, Reynolds has collected enough based off his finish at Snapper Rocks and Fiji to put him at No. 34 in the world rankings. Another good finish and he could end up 22 or higher, which would re-qualify him for full-time competition in 2016. And from all indications, it looks as though he'll make the cut. Reynolds hasn’t competed full-time since 2010 but at just 29, is still in his surfing prime. The J-Bay Open runs from July 8-19.