The X Games come to Aspen
Olympic athlete Louie Vito sits down with the Advocate
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 13:02
On Jan. 24 Aspen/Snowmass hosted the 17th annual “ESPN Winter X Games.” Two hundred of the world’s best athletes hit the slopes for a chance to compete for medals and prize money, and the chance to say, they won big at the X Games.
For four days, Buttermilk Mountain played host to Ski Big Air, Ski Slopestyle, Ski SuperPipe, Snowboard SuperPipe, and Snowboard Street competitions. As well as five disciplines of snowmobiling competitions that included, Adaptive, Best Trick, Freestyle, SnoCross, and Speed and Style.
Before the competitions got on their way, the Advocatehad an opportunity to sit down with 2010 Olympic competitor, Louie Vito, in Copper Mountain.
Advocate: How long have you been snowboarding?
Louie Vito: Since I was about five or six, and I’m 24 now, so a long time.
A: How did you get started?
LV: I started skiing when I was two, then my dad and I saw snowboarding. I thought it looked cool so I tried it out, fell in love with it, found the right path and kept it moving.
A: Now that you compete all over the world, how do you clear your mind while you’re practicing?
LV: It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m doing contest runs then you focus on the main things like landing high, not edging too hard, and being patient. If it’s one trick then I focus on the things I need to do to execute that trick whether it’s weighting, snapping, grabbing, whatever it is.
A: Besides the Olympics, what is your most memorable competition?
LV: Probably my first X Games because I grew up watching X Games Summer, Winter, every sport, taped it on VHS. Then to be there is a pretty surreal feeling because you look around and are like, wow, I’m really at the X Games. It’s crazy.
A: As far as snowboarding goes, what is your number one goal right now?
LV: Land runs, progress., and stay healthy. Those are the three things I want to do every year.
A: How do you like practicing at the award-winning Superpipe here at Copper Mountain?
LV: I think it’s great. Copper does a great job. And it’s fun being able to go to a mountain and their pipe is good, and not only for a contest, but on a regular basis.
A: What’s something people probably don’t know about you.
LV: I have a dog that I rescued back in 2009 when I was down in Los Angeles. She’s a pitbull, she’s a service animal so I can take her with me everywhere, but she stays home most of the time. She pretty much love/hates me because I travel so much.
A: What’s her name?
LV: Gucci. I named her after Gucci Mane the rapper. She’s spoiled like no other, and she’s a princess, like she’ll push you off the couch if she needs more space. But people love her when they meet her, which is nice because people have such a bad image of pitbulls. But she’s mellow, so that’s really cool.
A: What advice would you give anyone that wants to pursue competitive snowboarding?
LV: It’s so easy to get caught up in contest hype, media hype, pressure, sponsorship and stuff like that. You control what you want to do, it’s snowboarding, you don’t have to do what people tell you. Just have fun with it, and everything else will come. That’s the best advice I’ve gotten, just have fun with it.
The X Games competitions concluded on Jan. 27 where Vito captured 6th place in the Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Final, finishing behind Shaun White who won gold.