The votes have been tallied and the best skiers around the world have spoken: Dane Tudor and Rachael Burks have been named Best Overall Men’s and Women’s skiers at the peer-judged 2012 Red Bull Cold Rush in Silverton.
Pep Fujas and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa received second and third place while Jackie Paaso and Michelle Parker received the runner-up prizes in the women’s competition, respectively.
Tudor proved his dominance over the rest of the best, putting down the “healthiest” run in the big mountain competition on Monday afternoon. Tudor dropped into Silverton Mountain’s Pequeño chute, quickly dropped off a small cliff and went into the hourglass section of the course — the most dangerous way down — only to shock the small media crowd by going off a 25-plus foot rock chute nicknamed “The Broom Closet” and making it look easy.
On Tuesday, in the backcountry slopestyle competition, Tudor showed even more superiority over the rest of the Cold Rush skiers. He pulled the gnarliest trick off of the original Mining cart (railroad track) rail, then performed a super-steezy 720 and switch 540 off of the next two features that made the Cold Rush’s slopestyle course the most daunting in all of professional freestyle skiing competition.
Tudor’s performance earned him the respect of his peers and easily made the competition his when the athletes got together to decide the winners on Wednesday night.
“I’m just super stoked,” Tudor said following his win. “Everyone out here just kills it, so to be on top at Red Bull Cold Rush is just awesome. A lot of events are panel-judged, and a lot of times you’re like, ‘This person shouldn’t have gotten this score or this person should have gotten that score’, so when I heard we’re judging ourselves I was hyped as the athletes we want there are making the decisions.”
To some, that’s exactly what has made the Red Bull Cold Rush the best competition in action sports in recent years: the best will win with no questions asked.
Nineteen-year-old phenom Sean Pettit, the former two-time returning champion, knows how it feels to win this competition. This year though, he ended in 10th place. With no cliffs competition this year due to avalanche conditions, Pettit really couldn’t set himself apart from the others in his most favorable field of skiing.
It simply wasn’t Pettit’s year, but being so young and talented will give him plenty of chances to redeem himself in future competitions.
Burks, the women’s competition winner, got her first victory at this year’s Cold Rush and couldn’t have been more excited.
“It’s the biggest honor and I’m so stoked that I don’t really have words,” Burks said. “I’ve never been on a No. 1 podium but to be on the podium at Red Bull Cold Rush is the biggest deal in the whole world and I’m just elated.”
Now that the actual competition is over, the fun is just beginning. On March 24, NBC is covering the Red Bull Cold Rush at 11 a.m. MST as part of the new Red Bull Signature Series. It will be an intense film that includes three helicopter cameras and dozens of ground cameras. This year’s Cold Rush is the first to be aired on television, bringing the competition to new heights of popularity.
Viewers can go online to www.rebullusa.com/coldrush and vote for the athlete that they felt put down the sickest lines, threw the most bad ass tricks and stomped the biggest landings in the competition. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will win an additional $1,000. Voting is now open and viewers can witness the action online until March 26 when the winner will be announced online.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Joseph Wirth at Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org.