The quest for snowmobile gold at this year’s Winter X Games just got a bit more wide open as news broke that the top two contenders heading into competition are forced to withdraw due to injuries sustained while training.
Levi LaVallee who just made snowmobile history on New Years Eve with a record setting 412 foot jump broke his left tibia preparing for the Winter X Games 2012 freestyle and best trick snowmobile competitions.
Daniel Bodin was the favorite heading into X Games where he looked to defend his golds in SMB Best Trick and SMB Freestyle. Bodin suffered fractured vertebra but did not sustain any spinal cord damage and has full movement. Earlier this year outside the iconic Wrigley Field during Red Bull Fuel + Fury, Bodin unleashed the first ever Shaolin Backflip, the tricked he hoped to win X Games with. Bodin was on top of his game as he recently became the first snowmobile athlete to sign with Metal Mulisha.
Daniel Bodin clinched the victory with the Shaolin Backflip, the first time this trick has ever been performed in any competition. -Photo courtesy of Red Bull.
LaVallee released a statement through the Team LaVallee website, “I’m super bummed about Daniel and I getting hurt,” said LaVallee. “I was riding on a high after my record distance jump on New Year’s Eve and was pumped for Winter X. And Daniel was working hard to defend his gold medals from last year. I love our sport but it can be cruel sometimes.”
This has been a difficult year for the snowmobile discipline, first the news that SnoCross racing would no longer be a part of the Winter X program, now the news of the sports most notable names withdrawing due to injury. Snowmobile fans fear the worst as the end may be near for freestyles snomobile’s time in the spotlight.