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Friday, August 24, 2012

ESPN Discontinues Mono Skier X

I am a big fan of the winter X Games. Obviously my favorite event is Mono Skier X. The best mono skiers compete head to head.  ESPN had a serious commitment to the event and it was a flat out cool event to watch.  You could see big air, big crashes, close finishes and best of all it appealed to all people not just those with a disability that ski. I saw this first hand. I watched more than a few mono ski races in bars and found it amazing to see able bodied people not only get excited about the mono ski race but cheer wildly. I was also delighted to know mono skiers earned the same amount of money as other athletes at the X Games. 

The Mono Skier X was not the only event to get cut. Snowboarder X and Skier X were cancelled. ESPN has been vague at best as to why the events were cancelled. No single factor was sited.  One mono skier stated:

It's definitely perplexing," 2011 Mono Skier X gold medalist Josh Dueck said. "It's not the only mono skiercross race, but in my eyes it is because it does it on a level no other event matches. There's no better exposure we can get for our sport. And right now we're young and growing exponentially. This is a huge, huge hit to the evolution we're seeing. It's hard to digest.
The loss of the Mono Skier X is particularly unfortunate as the event was gaining serious traction. There was what I like to call a serious cool factor associated with the mono skiers. This interest was important in that those that watched the event were likely to be supportive of average adaptive skiers--ordinary weekend warriors like me. This in turn would benefit adaptive ski programs in a myriad of different ways. IN short, this is bad news and I hope mono skiers will not be disproportionately affected. 

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