By Jeremy Batka
Who are the best athletes in the world? The basketball players who can do windmill dunks while breaking the laws of gravity, or the baseball players who defy logic by crushing a ball 450 feet with nothing more than a piece of wood and a fundamental swing? What about the hockey players who exert so much energy and oh yeah, they do it on ice?
The answer for me, is none of the above, it’s the men and women of the X Games, more specifically the men who participate in the snow mobile big air competition. That’s right, the men crazy enough to attempt a double back flip.
Chances are, if you’ve seen any sports highlight show this week, you know what I’m talking about. Justin Hoyer attempted this feat in one of the last events of the 2012 winter X Games, and while just the thought of flipping a snow mobile over your head twice seems crazy to most people, he knew it was his chance to win gold.
So I gathered with my housemates Sunday to watch this event, mostly because we as the viewers were promised that we would see a double back flip and a first ever front flip, the promise was kept, almost entirely. Hoyer used many practice runs to the top of the ramp to get a good feel of where exactly he may be landing; it was almost like he was over thinking it. Finally after much preparation time he went for it. Sadly, as he took off from the ramp, you got a sense that his speed wasn’t enough, “He’s not going to make it!” I screamed at the TV, hoping I was wrong, but unfortunately I was right, he came up about 3 feet short as he nosedived into the ground. His fiancé watched in disbelief–if Hoyer lands that move, he may not just win gold, his life would probably have changed forever. If you were watching the event life you witnessed a bone break as gruesome as Joe Theisman getting hit by Lawrence Taylor, or Willis McGahee’s knee injury where it seemed his knee was on backwards, Hoyer’s arm, was simply dangling. Out of what seemed like adrenaline, Hoyer stood up and started to jog, dangling arm in all, he made it about 40 yards before the EMT’s finally were able to convince him to stay still.
The event was won by the very next contestant who despite seeing his friend crushed, was able to land the first ever front flip on a snow mobile, Heath Frisby walked away with gold. Hoyer wasn’t able to walk away, but I’d like to see an overpaid athlete from the NBA, MLB, or NFL even think about attempting a trick like that. I guess that’s why they call them the eXtreme Games.Tweet