Monday December 14th, 2015

In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—Lindsey Vonn extends her overall World Cup lead with a Giant Slalom win while Mikaela Shiffrin is injured and the stars shine on the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo.

One win, one big loss

Lindsey Vonn hasn’t won a giant slalom event since 2013. That changed this weekend when Vonn captured the 71st World Cup win of her career and extended her points lead in the Overall over teammate Mikaela Shffrin in Are, Sweden.

At the same time, it was a major downer for Shiffrin, who suffered a serious knee injury in a practice run prior to the event and had to miss the entire World Cup competition, flying home early to have the knee evaluated with a prognosis expected early this week.

The victory marks Vonn’s fourth straight World Cup win and makes it official: she’s the hottest female racer in the sport. Meanwhile, Resi Stiegler was the only American woman to finish the slalom event—Shiffrin’s specialty—when she finished 18th.

Back on top

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Shaun White in competition. And it’s been an especially long time since we’ve seen him on top of the podium (his last major victory was gold at the 2013 Winter XGames). But White, 29, made like it was 2010 this weekend when he captured the Superpipe title at the Dew Tour Breckenridge in Colorado. The state was blanketed with fresh snow, which made conditions in the Superpipe slow and hampered many competitors. But not White, whose return to form created a lot of excitement around the event that featured a stacked field with the 2014 Gold and Silver medalist in the competitor lineup including Iouri Podladtchikov who took gold in Sochi and finished third this weekend. "It was super impressive what Shaun did and how he handled the conditions," Podladtchikov said. "You could again see Shaun's got the most experience out of all of us, and that really gave him a huge advantage."

Coming into form

When Gus Kenworthy announced to the world that he was gay this fall, he also laid down the gauntlet, calling himself out on the carpet for not having won an X Games gold medal due to the pressure he put on himself in the past and not having come out, adding intrigue to this year’s event in Aspen (Jan. 28-31).

He took a major step this weekend toward a solid X Games performance when he won the Dew Tour Slopestyle event, his second in as many years.

It was all the more impressive knowing that Kenworthy was banged up: it was his first event back since knee surgery in March and he was sporting a severely bruised heel that required an injection of local anesthetic so he could compete. “It totally numbed it, so I was able to put my run together,” he said. “With my knee, I tried to wait with the recovery. I wanted to come back really strong, and I felt since I've been back on snow, that my skiing's back on the level it was before I got hurt.”

 

Couldn't be more stoked to take the win in slopestyle at the @dewtour today for the second year in a row! Last year's win felt great but the conditions were less than ideal and a lot of guys struggled to carry speed down the course. This year, the conditions were amazing and almost every guy in the field landed a heavy run so the win feels much more legitimate! Was also really touched to see people holding rainbow flags at the bottom of the course - thank you!!! Big ups to all the boys for killing it today! @Oysteinbraten was the first dude out of the gate and laid down two flawless runs. @Bobby_brown1 and @joss slayed it on their second runs and @jameswoodsy made both of his runs look effortless. Of course major props to @jossiwells for taking home 2nd and @buhsch for snagging 3rd and getting his first Dew podium - congrats boys!!! ❄️#dewtour #longestpostever #sorrynotsorry : @s4ni

A photo posted by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Third time’s a charm

Olympic bronze medalist Mark McMorris had a good week: He turned 22, Burton dropped a classic edit in its Burton Presents series that featured McMorris showcasing his skills in the backcountry and he won his third Dew Tour Slopestyle event in four years, completing one of the cleanest triple corks in the competition.

The most wild of wildcards

Jamie O’Brien, below, is one of the most intriguing wildcards in the Pipeline Masters, which continues this week. He lives right in front of the wave and has been surfing it his entire life. He earned his way into the competition by finishing second at the Pipeline Invitational, a trials event for the WSL’s main Pipeline contest. He’s also been hosting—and tutoring—Adriano de Souza in the ways of Pipeline as de Souza is still very much in the world title hunt and the difficult wave is critical to that quest.

And O’Brien could do de Souza a huge favor if he knocks Mick Fanning out in Round 3, an important upcoming matchup as Fanning—who’s chasing his fourth title—is the major stopgap to de Souza getting his first. “Adriano’s been staying with me and we’ve been surfing together a lot,” O’Brien told Stab magazine. “There’s definitely a big support crew here behind him.”

 

A wave from my round 1 heat at the Pipe Masters ! #GoPro @gopro @wsl

A video posted by Jamie O'Brien (@whoisjob) on


Come back next week for another edition of Extreme Exposure, and if you have any tips or suggestions for entries, you can reach Joe Carberry here.

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