The courageous Colten Moore competed in the 2014 Winter X Games Snowmobile Freestyle on Thursday and captured the gold medal. The 24-year-old's score of 91.33 on the opening run was enough to garner the top prize in Aspen, Colo.
But this victory meant so much more than the hardware Moore collected.
He produced a winning effort at the site of his brother Caleb's fatal accident last year, which marked the first death in X Games history. Moore was able to honor his late brother's memory by emerging as a champion.
SportsCenter's official Twitter account had the highlights of what was an emotional scene, as Moore pointed skyward afterwards:
An impressive duo of backflip tricks kicked off the run, with Moore getting as much extension as possible and landing cleanly for the most part. Even though his planned finale trick didn't count as part of his score, the work he'd done beforehand had already shot him to first.
Moore dedicated the gold medal to his brother in his moving comments when the competition was finished, per ESPN.com's Colin Bane:
This is the greatest moment ever, to be able to come back and ride for my brother. And not just for him, but with him, because I know he was out here with me all night. To be able to come out here and get gold is unbelievable. I just give it all to him. I know he was the one helping me do everything I was doing...It's what me and Caleb grew up doing, pushing each other to go for it. I just knew that he'd be riding with me.
This outcome was certainly what many fans had hoped for. A tribute was held in Caleb's honor to celebrate his life earlier in the day, per Jason Blevins of The Denver Post, and Colten was able to use his brother's passing as a source of strength.
Flipping a snowmobile is dangerous—just the type of extreme sport in which adrenaline seekers thrive. The Moore brothers were always challenging each other to test their limits.
While last year's tragedy was a reminder of the perils this sport presents, Moore's triumph highlights the extraordinary feats that can be achieved in such a unique winter spectacle.
Nothing will overshadow this touching tribute by Moore, though, and his father, Wade Moore, could sense that the two brothers were still united and going for the gold together, per Bane:
"It means everything," said Wade. "He just wanted to ride, that's what he likes doing, he has fun doing it. That's all he and his brother did, and they're still doing it together, I promise they are."
Reassurance isn't necessary, because the magic was on full display in one of the greatest stories of the young new sporting year.
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