By Heather Hendricks
Here at Grindtv.com we pressed rewind on 2009 and looked back at all the moments that shook the world of snow. From dancing divas, OMG moments and comeback queens, we sifted through it all and came up with our picks for the 2009 “BEST OF” SNOW AWARDS.
Most Main Stream Media Coverage:
Gretchen Bleiler- Snowboard
The queen of snowboarding wins this award for her numerous TV appearances and print features. From Conan to the Today Show, Snowboarder to TWS. Gretchen and her new husband Chris Hotel even landed a spread in “Brides Magazine” featuring their Costa Rican wedding. See our girl all “glammed” out
Simon Dumont- Ski
Why you ask? Because it’s Simon. The guy is a marketable prodigy. Just check out his list of sponsors, and see how many times he’s been on MTV. He even appeared on the Ellen Show after breaking the world quarterpipe height record.
Sarah Burke- Ski
Ms. Burke (soon to be Mrs.) has appeared in mainstream magazines such as Maxim and FHM. She also won female action athlete of the year at last year’s ESPY’s and is aptly known as skiing’s dominating darling.
Most Hyped Olympians:
Shaun White- Snowboard
This surely comes as no surprise with all of Shaun’s commercials, TV appearances, video games, a second line for Target, and a $500,000 private halfpipe in the Colorado backcountry. All the bells and whistles are well deserved though, Shaun is about 10 steps ahead of the game with his pipe riding and is as close to a sure bet for going to Vancouver as anyone. Stay tuned to the Grand Prix coverage here on GrindTV.com to see if he makes the cut.
This Boardercross powerhouse was favored to win the 2006 Olympics, but her showboating cost her the gold in Torino. (Who can forget the disastrous method and subsequent crash.) The big hype around Lindsay this year is her chance at redemption. With World Cup titles and X Games Golds over the past four years we’re sure she can do it, as long as she doesn’t try this again-
Bode Miller- Ski
Bode Miller is no stranger to stealing the spotlight. People have been hyping this dude for years. What do you think of his chances? Search him, and see what eveyone’s saying on Yahoo Sports.
Jennifer Heil- Ski
Jennifer Heil is a mogul skier who won the gold in Italy in 2006, and she is favored to win again this year. Follow her twits all the way to the gold- twitter.com/JennHeil
“Heart of Gold” Philanthropy Award:
Louie Vito- Snowboard
Our mainstream media pick also wins for having the biggest heart. Louie Vito has used his new stardom to help those in need. This year he hosted the 6th annual Louie Vito Rail Jam at his home resort- Mad River Mountain. With the help of his family and sponsors, Vito raised money for charity and donated all of the proceeds from the comp to those in need. See pics of Vito giving back here-
Hannah Teter- Snowboard
What do maple syrup, snowboarding, and Africa all have in common? Hannah Teter! Teter has pledged to donate all of her contest earnings to the small village of Kiridon, Africa. Teter has also created a maple syrup business and is donating all the profits to the impoverished village. To get involved check out www.hannahsgold.com
JP Auclair- Ski
JP formed the humanitarian organization called Alpine Initiatives and built an orphanage/school in Kenya for kids. He is a super nice guy, with a really big heart, and we love him for it. See what’s he’s all about here- www.alpineinitiatives.com
In 2007, Eliasson donated an entire $25,000 dollar prize purse to charity. Since then Grete continues to help with numerous charities, and plans to donate future winnings to help those in need. Grete also has a sweet blog. Check it out. www.greteeliassen.com
Break out Performances:
Tyler Flanagan- Snowboard
Young gun Tyler Flanagan wins this award for busting-out and breaking-down the competition at the first stop of the Winter Dew Tour in Breck just a few weeks ago. Flanagan stomped his way to 1st place in Slopestyle by getting techy on the rails and staying consistent in the massive triple-line. Big ups to this little guy- and watch out for him in the future. Check his winning run-
Maddie Schaffrick- Snowboard
Miss Maddie Schaffrick is a ripper. At age 15 she’s already proven she can hang with the big dogs. Big ups for winning best trick at the Snow Angels contest in Aspen back in April. Keep your eye out for Maddie on top of many podiums in the future.
Dane Tudor- Ski
Dane won male skier of the year at IF3 for his segment in Poor Boyz‘ film (and could potentially win at the Powder Awards too) and this was his first official year being ‘pro.’ If that’s not breakout, then we don’t know what is.
Anna Segal- Ski
Anna won X-Games Slopestyle last February and is paving a new path for the next generation of Women’s ski slopestyle.
Best Comeback Shredder:
Ross Powers- Snowboard
You may remember Ross “The Boss” Powers winning the gold medal in Salt Lake, City Olympics for Halfpipe back in 2002. Now the solid shredder is looking to represent the US of A in the Vancouver Olympic games in boardercross. Duel sport Olympian? We’re all about it. Here’s his podium performance at the recent Telluride World Cup.
Tara Dakides – Snowboard
Known as the first woman pro snowboarder- Dakides flew to stardom with her flawless style and fearless attitude. Now as the young guns slide into the spotlight for freestyle shredding, Dakides is back in action on the boardercross side of things. (Must be a new trend) And of course, Tara still holds it down and is dominating.
TJ Schiller- Ski
TJ Schiller overcame a blown-out knee to come back and win the 2009 Winter X-Games. Impressive to say the least.
Kaya Turski- Ski
After sitting out of skiing for almost two years with injuries, Kaya Turski came back in 2009 and podiumed at every single Slopestyle competition she entered. She won most of them and is the comeback threat of the year in the world of girls freeskiing.
Mega Movie Part Must See:
Jp Walker in “This Video Sucks”- Snowboard
JP Walker’s part in StepChild’s “This Video Sucks” is super progressive, and really impressive. His entire part is done switch. Crazy, but true- Peep the trailer here.
Jenny Jones in “Stance” -Snowboard
Jenny Jones’ part in “Stance” is epic. It’s a definite must see for 2009. Jenny makes girls snowboarding fun to watch. Get teased here.
Shane McConkey in MSP’s “In Deep”- Ski
It’s his final segment. Its more than a must-see, It’s a tribute.
Ingrid Backstrom in MSP’s “In Deep”- Ski
Ingrid rips big mountain harder than most dudes. Especially in her part in this years “In Deep.”
Friendliest Competitor Award:
Chaz Guldemond- Snowboard
Smiling here, and patting the back of his competitors there, Chaz Guildemon easily won our hearts as he is arguably the nicest guy in snowboarding- Keep smiling bud- We love you for it!
Torah Bright- Snowboard
Torah- competitor and comrade. Photo: www.nateabbott.com
The Australian sweetheart Roxy rider is our women’s snowboard pick for friendliest competitor. If you’ve ever glanced her earnest smile or met her in person than you know why. She is always super nice, at least until you pick a fight with her. See what we’re talking about here
TJ Schiller- Ski
TJ Schiller is the nicest, most approachable pro in skiing. Seems like Schiller is always grinning. Just look at his sweet baby face!
Sarah Burke- Ski
This was an easy pick. Sarah’s been the queen bee of the ski girls for years and all of their biggest inspiration. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand or sign an autograph for a young fan.
Best Overall Shred Flick:
Skeleton Crew’s “Group Effect” – Snowboard
Dirty, Grimy, Raw, & Radical, pretty much sums up this banger video. Check out the whole thing here. Bingo!
Poor Boyz Productions’ “Every Day is a Saturday”- Ski
It’s just dayum good. It speaks for itself- be sure to check it out.
Urban Rail Rippers:
Bursting on the scene with long hair and a beefy beard, Rome’s LNP (Laurent Nicolas Paquin) grabbed our attention with his slick style on and off the rails. Watch and learn with his Trick-tip vid (BS 180 to Rail) here
Laura Hadar- Snowboard
Capita’s only lady Pro shred wins this award for the simple fact that she destroys it. You just can’t deny it. (P.S. She’s back from injury this year and on-fire!)
Phil Casabon- Ski
Phil laid down one of the most impressive urban segments of all time in Level 1′s Refresh.
Kaya Turski- Ski
In the skiing world Kaya is one of the only girls that goes after the Urban. Get some.
Did That Just Happen? Standout Moments of the Year:
Kevin Pearce- Snowboard
Remember back in January when Kevin almost beat Shaun in halfpipe during Winter X? It was super close, but Shaun ended up with the controversial win. We all know KP has the skills to take down Shaun, so will 2010 be his lucky year? Time will only tell. (Ed update: Kevin was seriously hurt on New Years Eve while training pipe in Park City. GrindTV.com will be updating his recovery.)
Gretchen Belier- Snowboard
Aspen’s home town hero was expected to throw down at this year’s X-games, but a buckle on the lip made GB crash to the flats. The fall was brutal and took Gretchen out of the contest- check out the harrowing fall that shocked us all-
Tom Wallisch- Ski
Tom has the best style in skiing. He standouts every run, just because his style makes it look so fun.
Ingrid Backstrom- Ski
Ingrid wins this award for her balls to the walls shredding of big AK lines. Again, check out “In Deep”. The proof is in the pudding.
Well, there you have it. Congrats to the winners and bring on 2010!
Happy New Year everyone. With love, The GrindTV Editorial Crew.