The fans loved Brandon Semenuk a little more than the judges did.
At the Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah on Oct. 16, the 2008 champion and Whistler product won the People's Choice Award, taking a quarter of the ballots.
The judges were not quite as enthusiastic with Semenuk's run, awarding him a score of 94.25 for his second run after he took 94 on his first. He ultimately landed in fourth place.
Kurt Sorge, the 2012 champion, became the second rider to win the event twice with a score of 96.50. Andreu Lacondeguy was second, 0.75 points back, and Graham Agassiz placed third, a point behind Lacondeguy.
On his Instagram page, Semenuk expressed gratitude for earning the fans' vote.
"I wanna say a huge thanks to everyone that voted me in for 'People's Choice Award'! Very appreciated!" he wrote.
The event had its scarier moments as veteran rider Paul Basagoitia suffered a horrifying crash. The two-time Crankworx slopestyle winner was rushed to hospital. On Oct. 20, the event website reported Basagoitia was in stable condition.
"This champion has started a long road to recovery after shattering his T12 vertebrae yesterday and undergoing 9 hours of surgery," fellow rider and friend Cam Zink posted on his Instagram page with a photo of Basagoitia giving the thumbs up the day after the crash.
"After landing a backflip that led into a 360 and a one-handed step-down, Paul crashed on the runout of a large step-down jump further along the course. Paul was immediately attended to by on-site medical staff before being transported to a hospital," the Red Bull release noted.
As of Oct. 20, a crowdfunding initiative on Road2Recovery.com had collected over $17,500 of its $100,000 goal to aid Basagoitia in his recovery.
Rapids relish win
The Pemberton Rapids U13 boys' soccer team had plenty to be thankful for.
The club captured the silver division at the Westburn Thanksgiving tournament earlier this month.
The club defeated the North Vancouver Flames 2-0, the SBM Wildcards 7-0 and the Westburn Revolution 3-0 in round-robin play. The club found itself in a rematch with the Flames in the 1 vs. 2 game, playing to a 1-1 tie by scoring the equalizer in the last minute and taking the overall title on aggregate.
Squash athlete takes bronze
A local squash athlete had a debut to remember over the weekend.
Sage Eberhard posted a third-place showing in the U11 division at the Jr. Jesters Open in Vancouver over the weekend.
Eberhard fell 3-0 to Victoria's Kathryn Herring and 2-1 to Richmond's Amber King, but knocked off Vancouver's Kira Gwadry 3-0 to secure third place in the small division.
Eberhard trains out of the Meadow Park Sports Centre and the Evergreen Squash Club in North Vancouver.
The local youth squash club, which trains Thursdays from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. at Meadow Park, is looking for new members. Those interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Canada Snowboard announces event dates
Snowboard fans will get a chance to check out some great talent this January.
The first Air Nation Canada Cup event of the year will come to Whistler Blackcomb from Jan. 15 to 17. The second, meanwhile, will take place in Alberta's Sunshine Village on Jan. 23 and 24.
Whistler hosted the Air Nation Freestyle Nationals this past spring, and that event will move to Mount St. Louis Moonstone and Horseshoe Resort in Ontario from March 7 to 14. Big air will be on the docket for the first time in the event's history.
Snowboard-cross fans in the province will have to go a little further north, as the first two Speed Nation SBC Noram Cup events of the year will be held at Prince George's Tabor Mountain. The first will run Jan. 29 to 31 while the second will go from Feb. 3 to 5.
The Toronto Ski Club will host the next event on Feb. 17 and 18 while the fourth will come to Quebec's Le Relais on Feb. 27 and 28. The season will wrap with SBX and alpine nationals at Ski Chantecler from March 21 to 26.
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