In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—Yuki Kadono wins Air + Style, Lindsey Vonn drops the hammer and much more.
Plenty of Style in Los Angeles
That’s two for Yuki Kadono in Los Angeles as the Japanese snowboarder captured his second Air+Style title in the City of Angels in as many years, winning with a frontside 1440 triple cork, a trick that was attempted by several other riders unsuccessfully. Mark McMorris was actually hurt on an attempt with no word yet on his status (Update: McMorris suffered a broken femur which will require surgery). Kadono is having a solid season thus far, having won the X Games Big Air event as well at the end of January. With his podium finish, Sweden’s Sven Thorgren ended the season as the tour’s champion (Air + Style stopped in Beijing in December and Innsbruck earlier in February).
On Saturday Lindsey Vonn wrapped up her eighth Downhill World Title with a second place finish in the La Thuile, Italy downhill. It was her record 20th crystal globe, which passed Ingemar Stenmark’s total of 19. She also has four overall globes, five in super-G and three in combined. She still holds a slight lead in the overall points race.
Vonn found herself backtracking over the weekend when she had a bit of a social media mishap. After a fall Friday, she posted a video on Facebook of her taking a hammer to her Head skis after her ski detached and she fell. She spent part of Saturday morning writing a public apology to her sponsors.
Vonn addressed the mishap several times over the weekend: "I made a mistake and everyone does that. I am human. I had a lot of emotions yesterday, and I should have just done boxing with my trainer," she joked.
She finished third in the super-G Sunday.
Chloe Kim continues to blow minds in snowboarding—and her own, it seems. Kim won halfpipe gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer this week, which was more than expected as she’s become the most dominant woman in the world in that discipline at just 15. But she even surprised herself when she won the women’s slopestyle event, too.
“I didn’t expect to even podium at all because I didn’t practice at all,” she said. “I was like, ‘All right, maybe I’ll ride by the rollers,’ but no, I showed up, the jumps were pretty mellow, the speed was pretty good; so I was stoked to win.”
She wasn’t the only American to sweep the slopestyle and pipe events at the Youth Olympics, an almost unheard of feat in today’s freeride world where most athletes are specializing in one discipline. Colorado’s Jake Pates also took two golds in Lillehammer.
Three is Better
In what looks to be a bright future for U.S. men’s skiing, Vail, Colo. native River Radamus took home three gold medals at the same Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, instantly making a name for himself in the process. Radamus, whose parents are both ski coaches, won the super-G, super combined and giant slalom.
"It's something that I've become good at, and I wouldn't rather do anything else on a daily basis," Radamus told the Denver Post when asked about his success. "I would love to make ski racing a career and continue doing this thing I love for as long as I possibly can. After this week I've had in the Youth Olympic Games, it's definitely a dream to be able to compete in the real one one day."
You’ll Be Missed
Skaters were allowed one last farewell to their beloved Love Park in Philadelphia this week, an iconic skating locale that has been a hotspot both as a place that has kicked out talent, and a lightning rod for the issue of skateboarding bans by cities across the country. Riders like Ricky Oyola, Josh Kalis, Stevie Williams, and Anthony Pappalardo all made names for themselves in the park that was created in 1965 before anyone thought of skate features. But its fountains and stair sets were a windfall to the movement and skating was banned in the park in 1995 with the restrictions enforced further in 2001. Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney lifted the ban this week so local skaters could bid farewell before the park is closed completely for renovations.