Monday, March 7, 2011

Olympic Bronze Medalist Donny Robinson Suffered a Concussion Following a Crash at the Olympic Training Center

Olympic bronze medalist Donny Robinson suffered a concussion following a crash at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. last week.

In the 2010 season, Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Donny "dR" Robinson had more time off the track injured than ever before in his career. Robinson's injury streak began with a collapsed lung suffered at the Madrid stop of the UCI Supercross last March. Robinson then re-collapsed his lung while practicing at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif last spring.

The third and final collapse happened last July, just two weeks shy of the UCI Worlds event in South Africa. Following the re-injury, Robinson went in for surgery to fuse his lung to his ribcage, which would make his lung less vulnerable to injury. Unfortunately, the surgery would keep him off of his bike and out of training for the remainder of the 2010 season.

In October of 2010, Robinson started riding again. "It feels the same, but maybe I've just gotten used to not feeling the same," said Robinson regarding his health as he started to train for the 2011 season.

At his first race back in January (the Silver Dollar Nationals in Reno, Nevada) Robinson stood on a podium for the first time in ten months, receiving a solid third place finish. During the Silver Dollar weekend, Robinson even had what he would call a "baby fall," walking away unscathed and regaining confidence in his lung and accompanying surgery.

It seemed that Robinson was getting his career and goal of being on the 2012 Olympic Team back on track. With a few races under his belt, Robinson began training harder at the Olympic Training Center, returning to the Supercross track with fellow 2012 Olympic hopefuls. But on Thursday, March 3, Twitter posts from fellow riders at the center began filtering in. According to the information, Robinson has fallen on his head and "tacoed" his helmet.

Robinson spoke with ESPN on Friday: "At first I thought it was my lung, but after a second, it didn't strike me as the same injury. After sitting down, I got up and started to feel light headed, so the medical staff set me back down. Then I blacked out for a couple seconds, and once that happened, it was mandated that I was going to get checked out at the hospital."

The news was better than Robinson expected: "The concussion test results were better than my the last time i took them in January -- baseline results. That means I get smarter with each crash and concussion," said Robinson shortly after leaving his doctor's office on Friday.

As of now, Donny is laying low for a couple of days, and he has a few weeks time before he hits his next event in Surprise, Arizona at the ABA Speedworld Nationals. Regardless of what has happened, Robinson

remains determined to get back to the top at any cost.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dean Wilson Wins Super Cross From 8th Spot

Dean Wilson is a bad dude to come from as far back as he did to eighth.

James Stewart might be the baddest dude around to come from the crash he had, within a few seconds of being a lap down, and then climb all the way up to ninth place, never going a lap down to Ryan Villopoto.

Andrew Short is riding that 350 like a 250, and it's working. Fourth? Nice. He has matched Mike Fisher's KTM finishes now...

The retro Fox gear was cool, but it did look a little out of place on Ken Roczen, considering he was riding a bright-orange KTM.

Publish Post

Chad Reed is scrappy, and he was gaining on Ryan Villopoto at the end of the main event.

The wrist injury that Justin Barcia has sure does take the spring out of his step after 5-8 laps of racing. Then again, wouldn't it do that to you, at minimum?
Justin Barcia talks to Fox's Chris "Beeker" Onstott about his write wrist after the main. (Photo:

Blake Baggett now not only has all the pieces to the puzzle, but he knows it. Uh oh...

Trey Canard sure is having some horrible luck lately. In Daytona, he crashed early on with Ivan Tedesco, then as he was coming back through the field, Brett Metcalfe crashed in front of him and took Canard down with him. The only guy with worse luck in that incident was Metcalfe, who got hit by Trey.

Malcolm Stewart is fast. He challenged for the lead in his heat race against Blake Baggett, who ended up winning the main. The problem isn't Malcolm's speed, it just seems like he gets too excited and crashes. More racing will be good for the younger Stewart.

Ryan Dungey sure is having some crap luck. He blew a motor while winning his heat race over Ryan Villopoto, who ended up winning the main. He had to go through the LCQ and came from way, way back for third. His time is coming. It has to be. Unless the bad luck this year is simply payback for the good luck from last year...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kelly Clark Wins US Snowboarding Grand Prix @ Mammoth

The U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Mammoth was well into the the finals of its halfpipe event when the Twitter Nation lit up the snowboarding switchboard with Kelly Clark tweets.

@SalMasekela: Kelly Clark did the most mental front 1080 about 15 feet out at Mammoth Grand Prix. #winning

@susiefloros: @kellyclarkfdn is the one with #tigerblood today. 1080s 15ft out = much higher than Charlie Sheen's toxic life.

Clark is no one-trick pony. She's got those 1080s in the bag. And after her win today, she's got her sights set on an even higher goal: total tour domination.

"This is definitely a big win for me," said Clark. "I came away with the Dew Tour title and the Grand Prix title now. I'm looking forward to next week and seeing if I can't step it up in the TTR and the Global Open series."

In a strange twist, instead of counting towards FIS points, as Grand Prix results usually do, today's USSA halfpipe contest was linked up with the TTR, and rated as a 5Star event. With this win Clark has moved into fourth place on the TTR World Tour ranking - a list that slopestyle dominator Jamie Anderson has been sitting on top of all season.

If Clark wins the US Open next weekend, decides to try her hand at slopestyle and places in the top 12 there, she will overtake Jamie Anderson and win not only the TTR Tour Title, but the Burton Global Open title -- effectively claiming every trophy there is to win in competitive snowboarding in a non-Olympic season that there is.

Clark was followed onto the podium by Gretchen Bleiler in second and Sarah Conrad, from Canada, in third.

On the men's side, the competition was anyone's game. Matt Ladley, the ultimate victor won with his first lap through the pipe finals.

"I feel great. It's hard to explain. It's surreal. I got a victory lap up there and I was thinking, 'I already won, this is crazy,'" Ladley said. "I knew I put down a solid first run but I saw a lot of those guys landing their doubles, but it turns out it held up pretty well."

Greg Bretz, who was riding for a hometown crowd was happy to come in second in front of friends and family, and while Louie Vito would have rather come in on top, he was happy to come away with the overall Grand Prix series title.
Nick CollinsIt would have been more shocking if these two hadn't won.

At the slopestyle portion of the USSA Grand Prix of Snowboarding in Mammoth, Chas Guldemond and Jamie Anderson did what they do best: win slopestyle contests. You could almost say it was a little unfair for them to even enter, as the two rode relatively uncontested.

There was a little confusion over the fact that, while the Grand Prix halfpipe event was TTR sanctioned, the slopestyle event only counted towards FIS rankings. Since there have been about seven million slopestyle and big air contests so far this season, give or take, when it was discovered that no TTR tour points on the line many high-level slope riders chose to take a much-deserved competition break before the U.S. Open, which starts in just a couple of days.

Despite Guldemond's apparent advantage over the competition field Spencer Shaw from Stratton, Vermont managed to hold the lead throughout the finals. It was only Guldemond's final run, which was also the last run of the contest, that bumped him into second place. Brett Esser rounded out the podium in third.

TTR 5Star Grand Prix halfpipe: Women
Rank Name
1 Kelly Clark
2 Gretchen Bleiler
3 Sarah Conrad

TTR 5Star Grand Prix halfpipe: Men
Rank Name
1 Matt Ladley
2 Greg Bretz
3 Louie Vito

FIS Grand Prix Slopestyle: Women
Rank Name
1 Jamie Anderson
2 Danielle Adams
3 Jamie Madrid

FIS Grand Prix Slopestyle: Men
Rank Name
1 Chaz Guldemond
2 Spencer Shaw
3 Brett Esse

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shaun White in Hawaii Surfing? Is there anything He Can't do?

It's official, there's nothing he can't do -- pro-snowboarder, pro-skater Shaun White is ALSO a badass wave-crushing machine ... and he rubbed it in everyone's faces last week during a surf trip to Hawaii.

According to sources on the beach, Shaun DOMINATED the north shore of O'ahu on Saturday -- manhandling some mammoth waves alongside his entourage of young proteges like 13-year-old surf prodigy Kalani David.

Gotta say ... he's pretty swell.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Xtreme Heart - Player Collapsed on Court After Layup

Associated Press
FENNVILLE, Mich. -- A western Michigan high school basketball player collapsed on the court and later died after making the game-winning shot to cap his team's perfect season.

Holland Hospital spokeswoman Deb Patterson says 16-year-old Fennville High School basketball player Wes Leonard died Thursday night. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Patterson says paramedics performed CPR on Leonard before he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The Holland Sentinel reported that Leonard had scored the game-winning layup in a 57-55 win over Bridgman in overtime to cap Fennville's 20-0 season. Leonard fell to the ground after teammates and fans rushed the court.

The newspaper says Leonard was also a quarterback on the high school football team.
Fennville is about 200 miles west of Detroit.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Freeskier Ryan Hawk Dies From Injuries in Crash at Kirkwood

By Megan Michelson
Freeskier Ryan Hawks died Tuesday morning from injuries sustained in a crash at the North American Freeskiing Championships at Kirkwood, Calif., which ended Monday. He was 25 years old.

Hawks, who is originally from Vermont but has been living in Utah, threw a backflip off a large cliff on Kirkwood's Cirque on Sunday at the Freeskiing World Tour and crashed upon landing. Ski patrol immediately tended to his injuries and he was taken by helicopter to Reno's Renown Health Center, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

Dan Davis, spokesperson for Renown Health, confirmed Hawks' death Tuesday morning. According to Reno's Washoe County Medical Examiner, Hawks' cause of death is currently pending examination.

Hawks was part of a hard-charging group of Vermont-born skiers called Green Mountain Freeride. On their website, Hawks wrote, "My father always said, 'A skier carries his own skis,' so I learned how to carry my batman skis by the age of two and have been skiing ever since ... I grew up on the slopes and was instilled with a deep passion and respect for my surroundings by those very same mountains. Three years ago, I hitched a ride west and have been here every winter since."

"We'd all agree he was one of the happiest people we'd ever met," said Hawks' close friend Lars Chickering Ayers, also a member of Green Mountain Freeride and a competitor in the Freeskiing World Tour. "He brought that to the ski community. He was loved by everyone he met. He was always positive and that was his way of being."

Hawks' passing marks the third death to a competitor in a big-mountain freeskiing contest in the last few years. In 2008, 27-year-old Aspen local John Nicoletta died from injuries sustained while competing in the Freeskiing World Tour Championships at Alyeska, and in 2007, Swiss skier Neal Valiton passed away after a crash at an International Freeskiers Association competition in Tignes, France.