ASPEN, Colo. -- Texan brothers Colten and Caleb Moore shared the Snowmobile Freestyle podium at Winter X Games 2012 on Thursday night, with Colten winning the gold, Joe Parsons taking silver and Caleb claiming bronze.
"I knew I had to come bring everything I have, plus some," Colten said moments after securing gold. "For a few months I've been training as hard as I could, and I knew I had to come out here and stomp the best run of my life, and that's just what I did. I've never rode so good in my life. I'm so pumped right now I can't even breathe."
Many fans at Buttermilk in Aspen were surprised to see Colten competing in the finals at all after a big fall in his second run during Heat 1 of the elimination round. Colten let go of a double grab in midair and came crashing into the landing away from his sled, ducking his head and flipping onto his back just in time to prevent serious injury -- a testament to the aerial awareness he's developed while training over a foam pit and in more than a decade of experience as an ATV quad rider. He walked away from the crash and came riding into finals as if it had never happened.
His winning run featured huge FMX-inspired tricks, including a cordova backflip and a superflip Indian air. After his Run 2 score of 93.66 posted, Colten celebrated by "Tebowing" on the course in a nod to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's now-famous prayer pose.
The night's other big surprise, it should go without saying: having two brothers from Krum, Texas, of all places, on the podium in a snowmobile event. Neither of the Moore brothers had ever been on snowmobiles before deciding to get into the sport three years ago.
"It's been a quick road in the snowmobile world, but a lot of people don't know we've been on quads for about 10 years now," Moore said after securing his first Winter X Games gold. Colten finished in eighth place as a rookie in 2010 and in fifth place in 2011. "It gave us a lot of background and made it to where we could hop on a sled and do the same stuff."
Six athletes have now topped the podium in the six-year history of Snowmobile Freestyle at Winter X Games. This year's competition saw some shakeups as a result of injuries in the lead-up to Winter X Games. 2011 Snowmobile Freestyle and Best Trick gold medalist Daniel Bodin is out after fracturing a vertebra during training earlier this month, and 2008 gold medalist Levi LaVallee is out after breaking his left tibia while training over a foam pit less than two weeks after pushing the distance, jumping record to 412 feet, 6 inches on New Year's Eve at Red Bull: New Year. No Limits event.
Heath Frisby, the fourth rider in Thursday's finals showdown, finished off the podium in fourth place with a fun run full of throwback tricks, seemingly content to focus on Sunday's Snowmobile Best Trick competition. He's a favorite to win it and rumors abound about what he has planned, but he and the other riders say they are trying to keep it under wraps.
"It's going to be the sickest thing you've ever seen if he pulls it," Parsons said, leaving it at that for the time being. The Snowmobile Best Trick contest will take place at 7 p.m. MT.
Check out full results from the Snowmobile Freestyle finals.