Ski Premiere: Few Words @ Rice Eccles Stadium 11.30

Posted December 3, 2012 in ,
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High atop the foothills of SLC, a raucous crowd of tall-tees and flat brim wearing youngsters gathers for what is likely the final ski movie premiere of the season. They are all here to witness the highly anticipated film from legendary skier Candide Thovex. Thanks to the store manager at Bodeen Ski Shop, we scored front row seats for this historic viewing.

The flying Frenchman has long been a staple in the freeskiing scene and possesses an impressive resume to back him up. This documentary-style flick chronicles Thovex’s ascension from a jubilant youth to iconoclast. Growing up in France, Thovex had countless opportunities to practice his craft in the world’s most incredible mountains. He quickly took to mogul skiing and became a proficient freestyler. His ability to bounce down a course and execute complex tricks gained him notoriety and eventually victories. Throughout the movie, a host of individuals from Thovex’s life comment on his talent. Filmmakers, fellow skiers, coaches and even his parents reminisce on how he has come of age through skiing. Speakers use their native language to address the camera and it adds an exotic element to the film.

One scene in the movie shows Thovex hitting the infamous Chad’s Gap in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Despite the name, Thovex was actually the first person to stomp the landing on this 100-foot plus backcountry gap. Other highlights from the film include footage from various X-Games where Thovex dominated the fields of half-pipe, slopestyle and big-air. He is truly a multi-disciplined machine capable of transitioning from one aspect to the other with flawless style and skill.

In addition to his accomplishments, the audience bears witness to one of his lowest points. During a photo shoot on a massive gap jump, Thovex comes up short and cases it hard. The sickening crunch as he hits the ground draws a collective gasp from the crowd. We find out that the crash leaves him with a broken back that requires major surgery. It seems unlikely that he will be able to ski at the level he once did. However, this life-changing event led him to switch disciplines and turn to powder.

With the same vigor he attacked the jumps, Thovex dives into the big-mountain realm headfirst. The comeback he exhibits is inspiring and shows what is possible through hard word and determination. For the remainder of the film, pillow lines and steep faces dominate his focus. Fluidity and creative line selection entice the viewer as he throws down epic descents across the globe.

Following the life of someone who loves skiing as much as Thovex is compelling and it shows where his heart truly lies. His raw talent has led him to the pinnacle of the sport and inspired a new generation of riders capable of building on a solid foundation of excellence.