Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TBT - Lyons Outdoor Games

Generally when a disaster hits a town the community comes together to help everyone through and the Lyons festival was a true testament to this. Set in the heart of Colorado on what is left of the awesome freestyle feature, amidst an array of construction developments, the town of Lyons is recovering from massive floods only a year or so ago. But regardless of the struggles the community have faced as a result of the river over the last 12 months, the whole vibe of the event was unreal as the whole community came out to support all the athletes who had come in to compete in their small town for the weekend.

The 2015 Colorado Floods
The clean up is still going on
Huge amounts of damage to the local area

The current feature a cool but little hole is still pretty good but definitely suits the smaller paddlers. It was a battle for us bigger athletes, difficult for us to just to stay in the feature on landing the big tricks. But it really allowing the kids at this event to shine. One of my highlights of the weekend had to be watching the young ones throw big air trick after trick, showcasing how good the next generation of our sport is and how multi generational this sport can be.

Young Maddy Kellogg prepares for her run

It was also great to paddle for the first time in along time with my good friend and fellow competitor Maria Lindgren from Sweden, and too meet her husband and baby daughter Miranda, and to compete for the first time since the world championships finals with the awesome Emily Jackson, who was pregnant once again. 

Nailing an entry move

Linking some cartwheel ends

I arrived the day before the event and got in some practice before passing out early. I had every intention of entering the slalom the morning before the freestyle but the joys of jet lag saw me sleep through my heats walking up just in time to compete in the freestyle. Luckily my training session and new energy payed off as I managed to put together and land enough tricks to make a good ride and finish the event in first place. A super fun competition and start to my 2016 US tour.

Taking the podium with these awesome ladies

A huge thanks you to Kevin Parker for organising the event, to Amy and Tegan for hosting me at last minute and helping me overcome my jet lag and to Scott Shipley for lending me a slalom boat although I didn't use it as I slept through the whole event.

Scott showing his years of training and experience to win the Slalom