By Pat Graham AP Sports Writer
January 30, 2014
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — The video on the big screen choked up snowmobiler Colten Moore. So, too, did his father’s speech and the row of riders revving their engines.
A touching tribute to his older brother, Caleb, who died almost a year ago from injuries he sustained in a crash during the freestyle competition. Family and friends gathered on the snowmobile course at the Winter X Games on Saturday to remember the rider who helped push the sport to new heights with his tricks.
“This whole year, people have supported us and helped us through this, just shown their support and love for Caleb and my family,” Colten said. “To do this (tribute) at X Games, it’s awesome.”
The ceremony came moments after Colten took third place in the snowmobile long jump competition. Earlier in the week, and racing in his brother’s memory, Colten captured gold in freestyle.
Third and a first — Colten couldn’t help but notice the symbolism. His brother was No. 31 when he was racing.
“This is the one time, I wish his number was 11,” Colten said, smiling. “I’m sure he’s pumped.”
Caleb crashed on Jan. 24, 2013, while attempting a backflip. His machine caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handlebars and the 450-pound sled rolling over him. He died a week later from internal injuries, the first fatality in X Games history.
“We’ve had so much support in the last year, had people contact us from all over the world,” his father, Wade, told a crowd of fans who assembled for the moment. “We love all of you, we really do.”
The riders revving their engines, now that completely caught Colten by surprise.
“Super cool,” Colten said. “I’m sure he loved it, too.”
And no doubt how well his sibling performed all week.
The two brothers used to push each other back home in Krum, Texas, on a course built by their dad that featured artificial turf leading up to the ramp and a foam pit. There was never any question that Colten would return to competing, because that, he said, is how his brother would’ve wanted it.
“He’d want (snowmobiling) to keep getting better and improving, getting bigger and bigger,” Colten said. “That’s what we were about, pushing the sport and making it bigger and better.
“I’m always going to ride for him, keep pushing for him. He wouldn’t want me to do it if I didn’t want to. But I want to. That’s what I’m going to keep doing.”