With the conclusion of 2012 coming up, everybody is reflecting on the year. It was an awesome year for sports. LeBron James finally got his ring. Michael Phelps became the most decorated olympian ever. Novak Djokovic won the Austrailian Open in an epic 5 hour and 53 minute match. Miguel Cabrerra won the Triple Crown of baseball. Lionel Messi became the greatest goal scorer ever. Memorable moments are happening all the time in sports, and that is no different in action sports. So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite action sports moments from 2012:
Red Bull Welcomed 2012 with World Records
When you hear the name Red Bull, you know you’re going to experience something ridiculous. With athletes like Travis Pastrana, Louie Vito and others, it is no surprise that Red Bull is involved in epic moments. And although their New Year No Limits event was not something new to 2012, it definitely was a sign that we should have already expected an amazing year in sports. Levi LaVallee broke his own world record for distance jumped on a snowmobile by launching 412 feet. LaVallee jumped alongside Robbie Maddison, who unofficially broke the world record for distance jumped on a motorcycle during practice. Two records going down in one night? Epic.
Sarah’s Smile Still Shines
While this year started with a bang in San Diego with the Red Bull No Limits stunt, it also started with a great deal of sadness when freeskier Sarah Burke’s life was taken. Not only was she a pioneer in her sport, but she was also an amazing human being. She has been gone for almost a year, but her spirit is still with us. Her memory is not one of sadness, but one that remembers how positive she always was. That is what she will be remembered for.
She may be gone, but she is still inspiring athletes every day to fight the fear and live out their dreams. I can’t really describe to you how cool it was to see all of the “Sarah” stickers and support at Breckenridge. As her coach Trennon Paynter(@TrennonPaynter) once tweeted, “She’s in every snowflake, every ray of sunshine, every breeze, more than ever, now and always, we #BelieveInSarah.” She will continue to inspire everyday.
Felix Baumgartner. Enough Said.
Like I said, enough said.
Danny Mayer, The Human Lawn Dart.
Before Felix Baumgartner took his freefall from the stratosphere, Danny Mayer took a pretty gnarly freefall from the megaramp.
While this is probably a memory that Mayer wishes he didn’t have to remember, it did make for a pretty good picture.
Hot Wheels. No, really!
Being a girl, I can’t say that I was ever a huge fan of Hot Wheels. Being a girl with 4 brothers, I can say that my brothers all loved them for a little bit. They had the tracks, the cars, the whole nine yards. And while Hot Wheels was cool for them, I definitely remember them going through a phase where like most kids they dreamt of the day that their Hot Wheel tracks could be real life. Well, in 2012, X-Games turned those dreams of all the kids who ever played with Hot Wheels into reality.
Bestwick is the BMX Vert Bomb
Excuse the semi-cheesy alliteration, but it’s true! At the 2012 Summer X-Games, Jamie Bestwick proved BMX Vert dominance when he completed the six-peat. At just the tender age of 40, not only did Bestwick send it higher than just about any other athlete on the ramp, he also put together a very technical run that included some old familiar tricks like the the downside tailwhip to turndown. With his win, he was able to complete just the second six-peat in X-Games history. Only 2 six-peats in 17 years? I doubt anybody will forget this.
Warden Wins.. wait, what?
I’ve never been one to say “_____ got robbed.” In fact, part of me gets super irritated when people do blame the judging/reffing for the outcome. Truth of the matter is that there is typically ALWAYS something else an athlete or team could have done to make up for the bad calls or “unfair” judgement. But in the case of Zack Warden, I can honestly say that homie got robbed! Now let me start this with a disclaimer: I have nothing against Steve McCann. But, I definitely think Warden should have won gold.
I mean we’ve seen double frontflip no handers and double tail whips before. But I can’t recall ever seeing flip bikeflips and triple whips before. Warden should have won gold. Period.
Parko’s Pipe Performance Seals 2012 World Title
With the final showdown of the surfing season, the 2012 ASP World Title was on the line. Throughout the whole season, Joel Parkinson proved that this year was going to be his year. He sealed it with a win on the waves of Hawaii’s North Shore.
It was definitely a long time coming…
Maddog’s Making a Comeback
The whole BMX community has really rallied around Brett Banasiewicz. For those of you who aren’t familar with him, he is an 18-year-old BMX phenom. He is a beast on a bike and a picture of what the future of BMX talent looks like. In late August, Banasiewicz went down really hard at a competition in Virginia Beach. After a medically induced coma, Brett was finally able to regain consciousness and was eventually released from the hospital. He is now on the road to recovery.
Although he may still be a long way from getting back on his bike, Banasiewicz is proving everyday how incredible the human spirit really is.
White for Wigs
Shaun White made headlines this year for some bad behavior and his return to the half pipe. But more recently, he made headlines for something that may have surprised the world. Known for his ginger flow, White decided it was time to shed his long locks and donate them to Locks of Love. As White titled his video, “It’s only hair,” but I doubt anybody would say they expected him to be cutting his hair.
Is it weird to think that this was a highlight of 2012? Maybe. Sure it may be just hair, but the meaning of his gesture was so much more. Yes, people donate their hair to locks of love all the time, but that does not diminish the gesture when it happens, no matter who does it. In my opinion, I think it was refreshing to see a different side of Shaun White. People know him is this larger than life action sports athlete who is extremely competitive, definitely goofy, and a rockstar. This reminded us that maybe there is more to White than just snowboarding, skateboarding and partying.
Like any year, it has definitely been an interesting one. With ups, downs, and everything in between, I can confidently say that this year was not short of memorable moments. It’s inspiring to witness athletes achieve greatness on a regular basis, whether it is something as monumental as winning a championship 6 times or donating their hair to charity. It is all amazing. And I for one can’t wait to see what takes place in 2013.
(Photocredit: Instagram mayerinated, salmass; Sarah Burke Foundation)