March 13, 2013

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

X Games Drop Snowmobile Best Trick Competition

Follows Caleb Moore's death

The X Games will discontinue its snowmobile and motocross best trick competitions following the death of athlete Caleb Moore at this year's winter games. Moore, a 25-year-old snowmobiler from Texas, became the first athlete to die in the X Games when he botched an attempted backflip during a separate freestyle competition.

"Progression in these sports obviously comes with more risk," X Games organizer ESPN said in a statement. "Nobody can eliminate risk in its entirety, but what we can do is focus on providing world-class events that are as safe and organized as possible."

The snowmobile events in this January's X Games were fraught with crashes and other incidents. Half an hour after Moore's accident, his brother, Colten, crashed at the same spot on the course, separating his pelvis and sending him to the hospital. Australian motorcyclist and snowmobiler Jackson Strong experienced one of the scarier mishaps of the competition when his throttle stuck open after a crash, sending his snowmobile speeding toward spectators and injuring one boy.

Via ESPN

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Escaped Attack Dolphin Story a Hoax

Fake Russian news report believed in U.S.

Everyone just relax, OK? As it turns out, the report about a cadre of weaponized Ukrainian military dolphins escaping their human captors is a hoax. People really started to lose it on Tuesday after dolphin scientist and blogger Justin Gregg posted a story about dolphins with special knives and pistols affixed to their heads that had escaped the bonds of captivity and were freely roaming European waters in search of a fight.

As it turns out, the story originated with a fake Onion-style report by a Russian museum director. The fake report was picked up by European news outlet Ria Novosti and things just snowballed from there, as Internet stories about deadly yet adorable animals are wont to do.

Those of you disappointed by the hoax, take heart. Dolphins are still used in the military to attack enemy combat swimmers and detect mines, and have been since the early 1970s. The possibility of a tragic-yet-kinda-cute dolphin war remains.

In the meantime, placate your bloodlust with this video about the history of military dolphins:

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World champion skier Tina Maze.     Photo: Viviana Coloma/Flickr

Vonn Wins Downhill Title Due to Fog

Maze unable to sweep all disciplines

Lindsey Vonn won her sixth straight World Cup downhill title earlier today. But—How? you ask. Vonn suffered a season-ending knee injury five weeks ago and hasn’t raced since. Heading into the final downhill race of the World Cup season in Switzerland, Vonn was just one point ahead of Slovenian Tina Maze in the standings, which meant that Maze only needed to finish in the top 14 to clinch the title.

Except that the race was canceled due to fog, so Maze gets no points and Vonn wins.

Maze has already set the record for overall points in a World Cup season, and, as the leader in all the other disciplines, she appeared set to become the first woman to win every discipline in a single World Cup.

Maze’s season, barring any final-race catastrophes, will go down as arguably the greatest single season in skiing history, even without the downhill title. Still, it's a bit of a bummer that she'll miss out on a little piece of history because of some low-lying clouds.

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"Florida Rush Hour" as seen from Alvarez's kayak     Photo: Daniel Alvarez

Kayaker Completes 4,000-Mile Expedition

Outside Adventure Grant winner paddles into Key West

In early 2012, a former corporate lawyer named Daniel Alvarez pitched Outside a back-of-the-napkin plan to kayak 4,000 miles from Minnesota to Florida that was so awesomely deranged, the magazine announced it would pay his way. On March 9, he completed his eight-month journey. Daniel Alvarez paddled his 17-foot yellow sea kayak onto a Key West beach crowded with revelers and celebrated his arrival with a breakfast of Key Lime Pie.

With a $10,000 grant from Outside, Alvarez put in on the shore of Lake Superior in September and started paddling south—sort of. From the start, he took detours. He visited Isle Royale and the Apostle Islands at the start of his trip. Near the end of his trip, he stopped in Fort Myers to eat a bowl of ice cream promised to him by a man he never met. In between, he blogged about a whole lot more meandering on his website, predictablylost.com. There were an awful lot of excursions during his journey, and an awful lot of people who said they were envious as he strolled into their towns.

“A lot of them say, ‘I wish I could do that,’” Alvarez told the Duluth News Tribune. He told those people: “If you make it a priority, you can. If you don’t make it a priority, there are a thousand excuses not to do it. Eventually, you just have to get in the boat and start paddling.”

Outside will have more on the next Outside Adventure Grant soon. Until then, visit our "What Trip Are You?" Facebook app to register to one to win one of the Best Trips of 2013.

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Kelly Slater in firing Kirra barrels at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast     Photo: ASP

Kelly Slater Wins Quiksilver Pro

Defeats 2012 ASP champ Joel Parkinson

Surfer Kelly Slater took out the two most recent ASP champs not named Slater on the way to nabbing his 52nd ASP tour win on Australia's Gold Coast in pumping three-to-five-foot waves. The 41-year-old American defeated Australian Mick Fanning in his semifinal heat and Australian Joel Parkinson in the final of the first event on the 2013 tour.

"It’s probably the most talented field that has ever been on tour and there are nine more events," said Slater. "I’m committed to the tour this season.”

Fanning, the ASP champ in 2007 and 2009, took the early lead in his semifinal heat against Slater, but was edged out near the end when Slater put on a show. "Kelly just did his ‘Kelly thing’ and got that incredible 10 and really put himself back in the hunt," said Fanning. "Shame I couldn’t get to the final with Joel, but it’s a good start to the year so I’ll refocus and get ready for Bells.”

Parkinson, the 2012 champ, received a perfect score in his semifinal heat against Michel Bourez before losing to Slater, an 11-time ASP World Champion, in the final—17.47 to 18.56. "I appreciate all the local support out here today and runner-up is a good start to the season," said the 31-year-old Australian.

After his victory, Slater dedicated the win to a seven-year-old girl who recently died of cancer and a legendary Austrialian surfer who died of a heart attack one year ago. "I want to dedicate this Daisy Merrick and the Merrick family, and also Michael Peterson," Slater said.

For more on Daisy Merrick's fight with cancer, go to PrayforDaisy.com. For more on Peterson, read R.I.P. Michael Peterson.

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Sled dogs race through the snow.     Photo: Marcel Jancovic/Shutterstock

Iditarod Champ Is Oldest in History

Mitch Seavey is 53

The 2013 Iditarod crowned the oldest champion in the race's history Tuesday night. Mitch Seavey, 53, nabbed his second victory in the 1,000-mile Iditarod in a time of of 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds.

Seavey and his son Dallas are now the oldest and youngest Iditarod champions in history. Dallas won the race last year at the age of 25.

"This is for all of the gentlemen of a certain age," said Seavey on a livestream on the race site. His win earned him $50,400 and a 2013 pickup truck.

Above-freezing temperatures on the Yukon River led to overflow that created hazardous, weak ice conditions. Granted, Seavey's a badass, but the lately retired 101-year-old marathoner still might give him a run for his money.

Via Los Angeles Times

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