The Weekender: Action sports make their presence felt at the ESPYs
Every Friday in The Weekender we take a look at the videos and news from the week that was—like Jamie Anderson and Ryan Dungey winning the ESPYs—and give you a preview of some of the most important events in the world of action and outdoor sports coming up this weekend.
Ryan Dungey and Jamie Anderson win ESPYs
During ESPN’s annual version of the Oscars, two action sports stars who had fantastic years took home ESPYs: Ryan Dungey, who won the Supercross Championship for the second year in a row, and Olympic champion Jamie Anderson, who captured X Games Gold in Aspen and Norway, a US Open Title and a World Championship in China. Despite action sports being a bit of a footnote at the ESPYs, Anderson was excited. “Thanks for making my dreams a reality,” she said. “Unbelievably grateful.” Coincidentally, both have now appeared in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue—Dungey this year and Anderson in 2014.
So thankful on so many levels! ✨✨✨ I wouldn't be where I am today without the love, support & encouragement of my family, friends & of course my sponsors! Thanks for making my Dreams a reality! Unbelievably grateful. #espys #4thespy @jovanifashions (dress) @jovani_la @csarite (jewelry) @greymerofficial (shoes) Hair & makeup @tanikaisgangsta
… And Lindsey Vonn won the ESPYs red carpet
Meanwhile, America’s best downhill ski racer made J.J. Watt do something the NFL’s biggest, nastiest offensive linemen haven’t come close to: blush like a schoolboy. Watt apparently missed Vonn’s pool party she hosted during ESPYs week, so the Vail, Colo. local let him have it. ESPN’s Hannah Storm threw Watt a softball on the ESPYs red carpet, asking him how he overcame so many injuries to become the Defensive Player of the Year. Watt credited the usual training staff and such before Vonn answered for him with a zinger: “And lots of massages, in the groin area.” Yeah. Unfortunately, the visibly-flustered Storm didn’t have much of a follow-up question.
J Bay Open still on hold as the WSL waits for waves
The J Bay Open in South Africa has hit a bit of speed bump. After Jordy Smith was knocked out of the contest by John John Florence last week in a forgettable quarterfinal heat, the contest has been on hold since as the swell has disappeared, leaving three heats remaining in the quarters and seven athletes waiting to wrap up the contest. Kelly Slater will match up with Josh Kerr, Julian Wilson will go up against Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning will clash with Filipe Toledo as officials wait for a swell that should fill in tomorrow morning in South Africa with hopes of finishing up the event.
Rodney Mullen releases new skateboarding edit with Vogue
It’s hard to say what was more surprising: Rodney Mullen releasing an edit after 12 years or the outlet he released it through: Vogue. The 49-year-old skateboarding icon teamed up with fashion photographer Steven Sebring and performed in the photog’s 360-degree studio to create this edit which shows Mullen performing some of his signature tricks and a few extras as well, all while the camera moves seamlessly around him. Mullen invented moves that were foundational to the sport including the ollie, which might be the most important trick in modern skateboarding, as it allows riders to get the board up in the air and has led to countless other maneuvers. Modern street skating stars like Nyjah Huston have Mullen to thank for basically helping to create the fundamentals of their sport.
Australia is having a winter to remember
Usually, when one thinks of the land down under and action sports, it has everything to do with surfing. But this year, Australia is having an incredible snow year. Check out this clip from Thredbo Resort in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales (yes, that really is the name of the mountain range). Skiers and snowboarders are reveling in 30 inches of powder that fell in the region in the last week.
What’s On Tap
J Bay Open
Worldsurfleague.com | Saturday 1:30 a.m. EST
Tough start time for viewers on the eastern seaboard, but the World Surf League hopes to finish up its J Bay Open this weekend. Will 44-year-old Kelly Slater win another event?
Nitro World Games
NBC | Saturday 8:00 p.m. EST
Hosted by Todd Richards, Tony Hawk and Travis Pastrana, the Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City will showcase the Nitro Circus take on action sports that includes skating, moto and BMX. Check Nitroworldgames.com for details.