Crashes raise concerns at Winter X Games
‘‘That’s kind of the same thing we think when we’re competing. Hopefully, the preparation and countless hours of training and practicing will prevent the worst-case scenario from happening.’’
Tucker Hibbert — the Shaun White of snowmobiling after winning his sixth straight SnoCross title — just hopes casual fans understand that what they see on television is not true snowmobiling.
‘‘You’re seeing the most extreme side of what we do,’’ Hibbert said. ‘‘That’s a lot different than what the average person does on a snowmobile.’’
Hibbert doesn’t participate in events such as best trick because, ‘‘I just wasn’t born with those skills. I sit back and watch those guys, enjoy what they do.’’
‘‘You just hate to see anyone crash, anyone get hurt,’’ Hibbert said.
Moore was in the middle of an impressive run in the freestyle event when he caught the top of the hill that was serving as a landing area. He initially walked away with help and went to a hospital with a concussion.
Moore later developed bleeding around his heart and had surgery. His family said that Moore, of Krum, Texas, also had a complication involving his brain.
Colten Moore, Caleb’s younger brother and defending champion in the event, separated his pelvis in a crash later that same night.
LaVallee is no stranger to horrific wipeouts.
While training for the ‘‘Red Bull: New Year. No Limits’’ daredevil series two years ago in Southern California, LaVallee lost control of his snowmobile high in the air and landed violently on his side, bouncing down the landing ramp. He broke ribs, cracked his pelvis, collapsed one lung and punctured the other.
But he returned the next year and jumped a record 412 feet, 6 inches.
‘‘We’re passionate about the sport that we’re in,’’ LaVallee said.
‘‘Anyone who competes has that drive to succeed, to go bigger than the next person or be the first one to do it.’’
The mentality is similar throughout action sports, even if the bar keeps getting raised.
‘‘There are going to be benchmarks set and people trying to exceed that benchmark,’’ Lebowitz said. ‘‘That’s just the essence of our society and our social culture.’’