There’s always buzz in the weeks leading up to the X Games about what insane, unprecedented maneuvers you might see. Max Parrot might try the quadruple underflip. Marcus Kleveland may go for the first quad cork. The 1620 is the new 1440. These promises, of things we’ve never seen before, are the reason we watch. They’re what people tune in for at home and stand outside in 2-degree weather in Aspen to witness firsthand. In contrast, when I heard that Colten Moore was going to attempt a double backflip on his snowmobile, all I could think was, “God, no man, please don’t do that.”
If the name “Moore” and snowmobiles ring a bell, it’s likely for sad reasons. In 2013, Colten’s older brother Caleb became the first, and still the only athlete to die at the X Games. Caleb was going for a “routine” backflip at this end of his snowmobile freestyle run when he under-rotated and caught the nose of his sled on the landing. Caleb was flipped over the front hood of the machine and was slammed violently to the ground, and then the 450 pound snowmobile landed on his chest. He walked away, but his heart was bleeding and he went into cardiopulmonary arrest which deprived his brain of oxygen. He became unresponsive and died a few days later. Younger brother Colten (who was 23 at the time) crashed on the exact same jump just moments after his brother and was sent to the hospital with a separated pelvis.