The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Feb 2010

Shaun White Tells All in Playboy Interview

Playboy knows how to ask a good question. Check out the 20 they asked snowboarder Shaun White for the March issue. 

The Flying Tomato's response when asked where he keeps his Olympic gold medal: "It's funny, because I've misplaced it a couple of times. I called my agent randomly and said, "Hey, you have my medal, right?" He gasped—he said his heart just dropped. But he found it. It was in a dresser under a book in his house. And then one day I was in my mom's car, and I went to put something in the back pocket of the front seat. I reached in and pulled out my medal. It was in a plastic bag. I was like, What? The ribbon had gotten dirty, so my mom took it to the dry cleaner. She gave them the whole deal, and they gave it back on a hanger. She said, "I can't believe that cost $5 to clean. It was only this much fabric." So I'm stoked to have it again. It's now in a safe place in my house in California." 

Did White cry on the podium at the last Olympics? Did he smoke pot with Michael Phelps? Check out the rest of the goofy snowboard hero's quips at Playboy's site. And here's a Shaun White montage for your viewing pleasure: 

--Kate Siber

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The Five Biggest Olympic Weekend Moments

In case you missed them, here's our list of the most stellar Olympic moments of the past few days:

5. On the snowboard circuit, Seth Wescott won gold for the U.S. in the men's snowboard cross final, beating out Canadian Mike Robertson. 

4. Hannah Kearney bagged the first American gold medal of the Vancouver Games in the women's moguls on Saturday.

3. Bode Miller won bronze in the men's downhill on Monday. While he didn't nab the gold--that went to Switzerland's Didier Defago--he came back much improved from his partying days at Turin. Miller has now become the only U.S. alpine skier to ever win three Olympic medals.

2. Apolo Ohno took silver in speedskating's 1,500-meter final--his sixth Olympic medal overall, making him winner of the most medals by an American male and short-track speedskater in the history of the Winter Olympics. Ohno also has the chance to beat the legendary Bonnie Blair's total: He's one medal away from becoming the most decorated American in the Winter Games' history, and he's got three races left to make it happen.

1. Alexandre Bilodeau won the first gold medal for Canada--and became the first ever Canadian to win a gold medal on home soil--on Sunday night in the men's moguls. It wasn't a smooth victory--he crashed into a fence at the bottom of the run, but he stayed steady enough to take home the top prize. It was an emotional moment for Bilodeau, who credits his brother, stricken with with cerebral palsy, as inspiration. His brother was there to cheer him on all the way. "Even if it's raining, I'll take it, I'll go train," Bilodeau said, according to NBC. "He doesn't have that chance, and he's having a smile every morning hewakes up."

--Aileen Torres

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The Good Route: Oil Sands, Olympic Loser

Oil-sands With all eyes on Vancouver and the Winter Olympics, the Sierra Club is taking an opportunity to call attention to the environmentally destructive practice of oil sands mining. It has launched a campaign called Love Winter, Hate Oil Sands and partnered with three winter athletes--skier (and founder of Save Our Snow Foundation) Alison Gannett, snowboarder (and founder of Protect Our Winters) Jeremy Jones, and former NHL goaltender (and Olympic silver medalist) Mike Richter--to call out the link between oil sands and climate change.

Oil sands (aka tar sands) extraction is more energy and water intensive than conventional oil extraction, but it's also big business in Canada--specifically Alberta.

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L.A. Marathon Nearly Sold Out

The 25th Honda L.A. Marathon has reached 80% capacity with still over a month until the race begins, states "The response to our new Stadium to the Sea route has been tremendous," said marathon president Russ Pillar."We passed the 20,000 registered runner markquickly and have placed a cap of 25,000 entrants on this year's race." The amount of early registrants is unusual. In past years, as many as one-third of actualregistrations for the race have come in the final week. Starting just outside of the centerfield fence at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, March 21, the 26.2-mile race will wind through downtown Los Angeles, then movethrough Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Veterans AdministrationHealthcare Center grounds in West Los Angeles before finishing just north of the Santa Monica Pier.

Check out Where Have All the Wise Men Gone?, an account of the Sahara's Marathon des Sables from our July 1998 issue.

--Stayton Bonner

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Protect Our Winters Snowboard Art Contest

POW_Skye_McNeill_ The top entries from the Venture/Protect Our Winters snowboard art contest have been posted to the Venture Snowboards blog, states Members of the general public are encouraged to cast their votes. A non-profit environmental organizationformed in 2007 by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones, Protect Our Winters (POW) is a mission is to reverse the global warming crisis byuniting and mobilizing the winter sports community to have a direct andpositive impact on climate change. A panel of judges pared the submissions down to the top five, and thewinning design will be incorporated into a run of limited edition POWboards for winter 2010/2011. A portion of the proceeds from the sale ofthese boards will be donated to POW in support of its educationalefforts and the winning artist will receive a POW board emblazoned withtheir artwork.

--Stayton Bonner

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