Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the best videos from the week that was—like mountain bike magician Danny MacAskill’s recent edit—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
Downhill Mountain Biker Steve Smith Dies at 26
Sad news out of Canada this week. 26-year-old downhill mountain bike racer Steve Smith died after suffering massive head trauma in a motorcycle accident in Nanaimo, British Columbia. A fearless racer who grew up on Vancouver Island, Smith notched three wins on the World Cup tour in 2013 on his way to the overall title. While he battled injuries lately, stories of his work ethic are pretty epic in the industry: his mother would shuttle him up his local downhill course some six times a day as he trained for the World Cup tour. “At home, in his close-knit Vancouver Island community, Smith was known as a consummate outdoorsman,” read a statement from one of his main sponsors, Devinci Cycles. “This is where he spent time fishing, camping and sinking birdie putts on the golf course. His spirit was infectious and inspirational. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his close family.”
Surfers Witness Shooting in Streets of Brazil
It seems that safety concerns will be a real issue for the upcoming Olympics in Brazil. While waiting for the World Surf League’s Oi Rio Pro to start last week, pro surfers Conner Coffin and Carissa Moore witnessed a shooting in the streets of Postinho. Apparently Moore and Coffin were getting lunch when they heard popping noises that sounded like firecrackers. But they were gunshots. According to reports, a man rode up to a gas station on a motorcycle and tried to rob another man filling up his tank. But the man wasn’t to be a victim, shooting the assailant who lay on the street before climbing back on his motorcycle and riding away. “The guy zoomed away on his motorcycle just bleeding,” Coffin said. “We were trying to hide behind this tree because the other guy was still wielding the pistol, almost pointing at us. But luckily, we think he was out of bullets because he would probably have been still shooting at the guy.”
Stephanie Gilmore In a Chase for Seven
After a year in which she suffered through injury, Steph Gilmore is definitely back and looking as sharp as ever. Australia’s favorite daughter advanced directly to the first quarterfinal of the season at the Oi Rio Pro—meaning she didn’t have to fight through the loser’s bracket after a round 3 loss. And her round 3 was a doozy as she was matched up with defending World Champion Carissa Moore and Laura Enever. In sloppy beach break Gilmore used her precise, stylish approach to send Enever and Moore into Round 4. She joins Sally Fitzgibbons, Courtney Conlogue and Tyler Wright in the quarterfinals as well. Gilmore is sitting at No. 5 in the world. She needs one more title to join Layne Beachley with seven. But it’ll be a long road with Conlogue—who’s looked completely in control the last two years and hungry for her first title—leading the ratings.
Danny MacAskill is Magic
There are a few athletes in the world that are so smooth and unique in the way they move, you have to stop and watch. Steph Curry comes to mind. Kelly Slater. And certainly, Danny MacAskill qualifies. The trials mountain biker—stalling the bike on different features—recently released an edit where he explores Aviemore, Scotland, wowing tourists in the mountain town with his incredible skill. His vides regularly garner hundreds of thousands (even millions) of views as I’m definitely not the only one that appreciates his skills.
What’s On Tap
Oi Rio Pro
Wordsurfleague.com | Saturday, 6 a.m. EST
In a contest in which Kelly Slater withdrew for “personal reasons,” the World Surf League will try to make the best of tough beachbreak conditions and finish up both the men’s and women’s contest.
Red Bull Hart Lines
Redbull.com | Sunday, 2 p.m. EST
The Red Bull Hart Lines is on for year two in Detroit, MI at the Hart Plaza, a famous skate spot in the Motor City. An invite-only cast of skaters—like Curren Caples and Ryan Sheckler (who created the contest)—will highlight the street course spectacle.