Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011 Go Pro Powder Video Awards

It was a packed house at Aspen's Wheeler Opera House on Friday night for the 11th annual Powder Video Awards, which rewards the best performances in ski films. A red carpet was rolled out for the occasion and the biggest names in freeskiing gathered under one roof.

Tom Wallisch and last year's pick Ingrid Backstrom won the 2011 Reader Poll, where fans vote online for their favorite skiers. Wallisch, who had a breakout year in 2009, is clearly the skier of the moment right now -- he also won Freeskier Magazine's 2010 Skier of the Year award. "I just can't believe I beat Seth Morrison," Wallisch said while accepting his award. "Seth has been my idol for years."

Morrison came in second in the men's Reader Poll, followed by Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Erik Roner, Simon Dumont, Bobby Brown, Tanner Hall, Sean Pettit, Sammy Carlson and Jossi Wells. Hall, who's been out for over a season with injuries and whose film Like a Lion won Best Documentary, said, "I can't believe I still made the top 10 after being out for 18 months."

In the women's Reader Poll, after Backstrom came 2011 Winter X Superpipe champ Sarah Burke (who wasn't there to accept her award because apparently she couldn't get into the over-packed theater; her husband, pro skier Rory Bushfield, accepted on her behalf). In third was 2011 Winter X Slopestyle winner Kaya Turski, and other Winter X superstars Jen Hudak and Grete Eliassen in fourth and fifth, respectively. "I'm just honored to be on the same list with all these amazing girls," Backstrom said.
Matchstick Productions' The Way I See It won Movie of the Year. Cattabriga-Alosa won Best Male Performance and Best Natural Air for his segment in TGR's Light the Wick. "I'm totally surprised," Cattabriga-Alosa said, even though nobody in the audience was surprised to see him win. Eliassen won Best Female Performance for her film Say My Name. "I just want to see more women in ski films," Eliassen said on the stage. Level 1 athlete Ahmet Dadali won both The North Face Breakthrough Performer award and Best Jib.

When Ian McIntosh accepted his award for Best Line in TGR's Light the Wick, he gave a shout-out to the heroes the ski industry has lost in the recent past. "Shane McConkey, C.R. Johnson, Arne Backstrom, Jack Hannan," McIntosh said, "I ski for you."

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