ESPN Summer & Winter X Games have paved the way for men's and women's action sports worldwide. For the past 20 years, athletes have put it all on the line to win gold and set the bar higher and higher each year. The most legendary action sports athletes in the world have participated in X Games. The history behind this great event and it's athletes is something truly special.
To celebrate it's 20th anniversary, the X Games showcased the 20 most historic first moments, to be then voted upon by the fans, and showcased on ESPN. Our longtime athlete and close friend, Heath Frisby, had the distinct honor of being included in the 20 First Moments by landing the first, and only, snowmobile front-flip in 2012, which netted him his 2nd Gold medal. After the voting was complete, Heath's front-flip was ranked as the 3rd greatest First Moment in X-Games history. The two Moments that were ahead of him are Tony Hawk's first-ever 900 landed on a skateboard in 1999, and Travis Pastrana's double backflip on his dirt bike in 2006. This is such an unbelievable feat for the Idaho native. We could not be happier and more proud of him. He truly has been an innovator in the sport of snowmobiling.
We caught up with Heath to get his take on his recent #3 ranking and how he feels about it.
SCS: Heath, first off, congratulations on your #3 ranking in the 20 Years, 20 Firsts contest with ESPN. This has to be one of your crowning achievements. Can you tell us how you are feeling?
HF: Thanks! This is a special moment for me to be ranked with some of the most legendary action sports athletes on the planet. I am proud, most of all, that I have put a sport that no one thought would go anywhere, on the same level as the greatest action sports stars.
SCS: Coming behind names like Tony Hawk, and Travis Pastrana has got to make you feel so proud and blessed. Did you ever think that your trick would make it this far?
HF: At the time when I was going for it, I was only concerned with winning the event and achieving my goal to be the first to land the front flip. I had not even dreamed, in a million years, that it would have went so viral, and put me where I am today with this #3 ranking.
SCS: After you found out that you came in 3rd, what was your first reaction?
HF: For the most part of the TV show I thought that I didn't make it on the list because I didn't expect it to go that far. I was talking with Cory Davis and he kept going top five, top four, and then number three... damn haha it didn't feel real to be honest. I was unbelievably surprised and so honored.
SCS: Where does this moment rank in terms of your snowmobiling career and time spent building up this great sport?
HF: To me it is really just another trick I have always put everything into and to be able to continue competing at Winter X Games. The biggest thing for me, with the front flip, was that it taught me mental strength beyond what I had ever thought possible.
SCS: Take us back to that evening in Aspen, what was going through your head that day in knowing that you were going to attempt this trick? What gave you the confidence and drive needed to land the front-flip?
HF: I pretended that I was still at the foam pit. Having Joe Parsons stand on the landing was all just for me mentally, so that I somehow felt comfortable. You always hear people say that they just try to put themselves somewhere else. So, I did just that, and when I bashed my face off the handlebars and landed on my skis it all got real haha.
SCS: You are considered one of the sports original athletes. You have paved the way for many other athletes and have had an integral part in bringing snowmobiling into the main stream action sports community. What do you take away from landing the front-flip and your #3 ranking?
HF: It has always meant the world to me that the sport that I have spent my whole life pushing, would continue to grow, and I hope that this helps it do just that.
SCS: What's next for you? Talk to us about your upcoming goals for the rest of 2014, into 2015, and beyond.
HF: I have really been brain storming with Keith Sayers and Steven Haughelstine on new ways to promote myself and the sport. We have a few projects that we will be showing off to the world here real shortly. It's going to be awesome!
SCS: There have been so many amazing moments in snowmobiling and it's inclusion into Winter X Games. What do you see happening next with the sport?
HF: I really see Winter X Games continuing to grow. We have had some new riders step up to the plate this past year and this will really help the creative side of things.
SCS: Who would you like to thank for helping you down this road and getting to where you are now?
HF: My wife Linnae for always standing beside me no matter how crazy the idea. My training partner, and friend Joe Parsons, and his entire family for always lending us a helping hand. The Beddeson family. David Sharp for all of his help every time we go to the foam pit. And lastly, my sponsors, Monster Energy, Ski-Doo, Fly Racing, Keith Sayers, all my boys over at SCS Unlimited of course, Sly Dog Skis, and Steven Haughelstine. Thank all you fans very much for your support and standing behind me all these years!