Parkite stars in Disney sports series |

Parkite stars in Disney sports series

by Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

Twelve-year-old Parkite Colby Stevenson went to Aspen, Colo., to train with a pro skier before the X Games and found himself in the middle of a Disney sports series instead.

An action-packed reality sports series, "Winter Next X," featuring star athletes Simon Dumont, Andreas Wiig, Sammy Carlson and Chas Guldemond mentoring young amateur competitors in their chosen sport, is set to premiere Monday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. MST, according to a press release from Disney. Sponsored by SEGA’s Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, "Winter Next X" will air multiple times, with new episodes daily, through Saturday, Feb. 13. Developed by Disney XD in association with ESPN, it marks the second iteration of "Next X," according to the press release.

Colby – who placed first in the 2009 U.S. Open Junior Division Halfpipe, fourth place in aerials and placed first overall in the USSA White Pine Skier Cross event – had the opportunity to work with Sammy Carlson to perfect his trick, a double change up with 270 out.

"It was pretty easy," Colby said. "It wasn’t really a new trick but it was one I don’t normally use."

Colby said he prefers a switch cork 720 or rodeo 540.

"Those are pretty hard," he said.

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Colby parents, Bobby Stevenson and Carol Stevenson, taught Colby to ski when he was 14 months old by making a luge run in their backyard. Several months prior to Colby stepping out in skis, they had him scoot along on the carpet in their living room in ski boots so he would be comfortable in them.

Colby has come a long way since then. He is now sponsored by The Canyons, Cole Sport, Davanza’s Pizza, Skullcandy, Armada Ski, Oakley and "mother and father," Carol said.

"(He) has a passion for something that is unique to (him)," Carol said. "You want (your child) to excel. It wasn’t what I decided, it’s what he has a talent for."

Carol gives a lot of credit to the community for supporting local athletes in their dreams, saying sponsors like Scott Ford and coaches like Axis Freeride coach Chris Haslock have been really supportive and helpful. She said their dedication to the kids will pay off in the future as many of the young children will later participate in the X Games and future Olympic Games.

Colby said he hopes to go to the Olympics someday, but right now he’s focusing on the upcoming Aspen Open Feb. 8-12 in Colorado and the Junior Olympics March 8 in New Hampshire. This summer he will train at the Utah Olympic Park.

Other young amateurs participating in the Disney series include 10-year-old Cody Warble, a snowboarder from Aspen, Colo., who placed first overall in the 2009 USASA National Championship at Copper Mountain; 12-year-old Ty Walker, a snowboarder from Vermont who is a three-time USASA Nationals Menehune Freestyle Gold Medalist on slope and pipe, and the only female to ride the Red Bull Skyscrapers Ramp in New York City for the Future of Snowboarding Invitational; and 10-year-old Bridger Gile, a skier from Aspen, Colo., who is a three-time National NASTAR champion and the J-5 winner of the 43rd Annual Loveland Derby.

Originating from the Winter X Games 14 in Aspen, the series features pro skiers Simon Dumont and Sammy Carlson and pro snowboarders Chas Guldemond and Andreas Wiig as they pair up with four talented amateurs. Throughout the series, they’ll help the young athletes sharpen their technical skills to perform new tricks and try to become the next generation’s action-sports superstars.