(If you know who any of these unknowns are, give em credit in the comments section below)
Words: T Bird
Right now, the state of Washington has the two best events in snowboarding. The first is (in no particular order) the Legendary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom and the second is The Holy Oly Revival. A giant Olympia beer can perched above a veritable playground of jibs and transition and a crowd of rowdy Northwesterners makes for one damn fine venue. The Northwest's best turned out this year and the quarterpipe-constructed by Snowboy Productions and Summit-at-Snoqualmie bossman Krush Kulesza-was top notch when the first rider dropped. It was an odd juxtaposition, what with our travel schedule taking us to the Summit right after the Olympics, but it was refreshing to see that snowboarding envelops all genres, from international broadcasts to grassroots sessions.
All day long, the sound of beer cans cracking and crowds erupting filled the air as the riders dropped one after another. Early standouts were last year's champ Monty Hayes, Timmy Carlson, Justin Heath, Manuel Dias and Kurt Jensen but eventually, others would catch up. Patrick McCarthy, Austen Sweetin, Nate Farrell, Danny Garrity, Forest Bailey, Tucker Andrews, Matt Edgers, Blair Habenicht, Jacob Krugmire and a handful of local Summit shreds would trade off tricks as the event went from the quarterpipe to "Tube City," a jib park that Krush and crew added to the event in order to mix things up and allow some quarterpipe maintenance that sat baking in the 50 degree weather. Now, there was a lot going on in Tube City and MC Jesse Burtner did an amazing job of announcing all of the mayhem that was unfolding. Unfortunately, this writer had a hard time keeping up, but I do know that Vermont transplant Forest Bailey absolutely owned the setup. With a plethora of switch-ups and airs, Forest took it to the features with a skate-like style that far exceeds his age. For his efforts, he was awarded the well-deserved "Mayor of Tube City" award at the day's end, but lest we forget Jess Kimura, who nosepicked the hitching post toward the end of the session that got the crowd on their feet again. Forest and Jess ruled Tube City.
After the jib session, the riders were beckoned back to transition, and it was a battle to decide who would take home the half-pallet of beer. Garrity took to the sky while Farrell sent switch McTwists and some local ripper threatened Danny's amplitude with a handful of head-high airs. Underdog Austin Hironaka came out of nowhere toward the beginning of the session and fired off a few double-overhead airs. Add to that his Tube City trick list and it would give him the overall win. Hironaka is a local hero in these parts, and when his name was announced as the "Holiest of the Oly," everyone screamed in unanimous approval. Farrell ended up in second and Danny Garrity won his second "Best Northwest Method" award. Jess Kimura won for the women and Blair Habenicht took home the inaugural "Billygoat Award" for a sketchy transfer from the quarterpipe to the backside mogul field that he somehow powered through.
The Holy Oly, and contests like it, remind us all that snowboarding is not to be taken seriously. Snowboarding is about having fun with friends and pushing yourself to go a little bit faster, and in turn, a little bit bigger. A huge thanks to Krush and his entire crew, the good people at Lib Tech, Cory and his Cobra Dogs and everyone else who helped put on one of the best quarterpipe contests every single year.
We don't need no stinking binders award: Jake Tomlinsin
Hardest Charging Industry Dude: Sean Tedore
Russell Winfield Award: Russell Winfield
Beserker Award: Nate Farrell
Y Chromosome & Best Crash: Jess Kimura
Best Trick: Devin Elliot, Switch Mctwist 720
Tube City/ Jib Central: Forest Bailey
Highest air/ Best Facial Expression: Bryce Neibuhr
Billy Goat's Gruff Award: Blair Habenicht
Northwest Method Award: Danny Garrity
Holiest of the Oly: Austin Hironaka