Caleb Moore was a top sportsman in one of the most bold contests ever developed for television: freestyle snowmobiling. But his loss of life on Friday from injuries continual in last week's Winter X Activities used his game – and the participating scene – into a severe new light.
The 25-year-old passed away in a Denver medical center from medical problems impacting his mind, loved ones members representative said.
"He will be truly skipped and never neglected," close relatives members said in a declaration. "The close relatives desires to show their deep appreciation for all the desires and support they have obtained from all the lovers, friends and close relatives around the world that Caleb has motivated."
Caleb Moore gone down a minute into a schedule in which he handled his 450-pound snow vehicles like a broomstick, rotating around it in midair as he went from slam from slam. He had been trying a backflip with his machine, a technique he had conducted many times. The X Activities, which are created by ESPN, are built on such enjoyment – and risk.
Moore's loss of life was straight beat by alerts that X Activities sportsmen were taking life-threatening threats in the desire of success – and the popularity and possibly profitable support deals that could follow.
Under the title "It's only a matter of time before someone passes away at the X-Games", Brent Increased, a author for the sports site Deadspin, described his surprise at the several injuries – such as Moore's – he experienced at this seasons games, organised in Aspen. Rose's review was already released Friday early morning, before news propagate of Moore's loss of life.
"As I viewed these sportsmen fly over my head, it really hit home just how amazing the zero-casualty rate was," Increased had written. "'Maybe it's more secure than it looks,' I thought for a brief moment. And then they started losing like aircraft over Halfway."
The X Games have been a huge success for sponsors and broadcasters – and a huge treat for fans – since their inception 18 years ago. With a focus on sports such as skateboarding and BMX that once lived on the commercial margins, the games gave athletes new professional avenues and fans new access to the excitement. The advent of the Winter X Games in 1997 shed a lucrative spotlight on snowboarding and snowmobiling.
For ESPN, the games have been a big success. This year's winter competition broke all records for viewership, drawing 35.4 million US viewers, including all live and repeat telecasts, according to official figures. Viewership among the key demographic, men aged 18-34, was up 16%.
With the global television audience for the games growing, ESPN plans to produce competitions at sites outside the United States for the first time next year. As with the Olympics, potential host cities will participate in a formal bidding process to host the games. Unlike the Olympics, the process will be arbitrated not by an international committee but by the games' for-profit broadcaster: ESPN.
In a statement Thursday, X Games officials expressed condolences and said Moore would be remembered "for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends".
Moore's agent, BC Vaught, told the Associated Press that Moore didn't believe his sport was too extreme, but rather "it was a lifestyle". He was good at it – along with ATV racing – and had accumulated a garage full of trophies.
Fellow snowmobile rider Levi LaVallee recently described Moore as a "fierce competitor".
"A very creative mind," LaVallee said. "I've watched him try some crazy, crazy tricks, and some of them were successful, some of them not so much. But he was first guy to get back on a sled and go try it again. It shows a lot of heart."