For those of you who caught the X Games ski big air, you will know what I'm talking about. If not, this is a good summary of the night for skiers.
For the first time ever in the X Games, the judging of the big air, both snowboard and ski, was to be done not by a panel of judges, but by the public viewing the event. The votes would be measured by text messages received from the viewing audience. I'm guessing you can see where this is going...
In the snowboard category, Travis Rice, being the sole American competitor in the event, had little to worry about that night, claiming "America's got my back". And right he was. An entirely American crowd of teenage boys and girls showed little to no compassion for Rice's competition, clearly the better side. This article explains how the prejudiced judging went down.
On the ski side, it was the same. Simon Dumont, the lone American, had little to do but show up in order to get his gold medal. The degree of difficulty and execution of his tricks were nothing compared to that of his competitors. In the Jan 24th episode (Big air practice) of Jon Olsson's videoblog, he predicts Simon will win the contest with a superman double front flip, clearly a crowd pleaser. Sure enough, despite PK Hunder's amazing double 12's, and Jon's switch double 10 (with afterbang thank you), Simon walked away with the gold. Here is another good summary of this debatable topic.
Anyways thought I'd share that with you. Nonetheless, Simon was kind enough to donate his winnings to his injured friend Riley Poor, which in the end was a very thoughtful move. Perhaps a new judging system is to be thought of?
I currently am searching for a petition of some sort showcasing the redundancy of this text-based voting system and will share when found.
Photo: Bennylin0724 on Flickr