Kamloops local wins gold at X-Games

 | March 2, 2020
Brett Turcotte practicing his famous Tsunami flip ahead of the X Games. Photo Brett Turcotte and Monster Energy

Local snow bike and snowmobile legend, Brett Turcotte, competed at his tenth X Games in Aspen, Colo., on Jan. 22 to 26, coming home with his third gold medal—and 8th podium finish—at the competition.

Thirty-two ear old Turcotte grew up in Clearwater, B.C., and now lives in Kamloops. He’s been competing in extreme sports competitions since 2008 (he won the Yeah Bro! Bike Race in Sun Peaks in 2008 and 2009) but described this year’s X Games as one of the most emotionally draining.

While Turcotte snared gold in the Snow Bike Best Trick category with a gravity-defying aerial maneuver—a superman backflip—he crashed on both of his attempts in the Snowmobile Freestyle category, in which he had won gold and silver in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“That was really hard on my body, but also on my mind. It was a trick that I’ve landed numerous times in training, which was frustrating for me because I knew that I had it,” Turcotte said.

Nevertheless, it didn’t stop the good-natured rider—who placed 6th in the category—from celebrating when his teammate, and X Games rookie, Brandon Cormier, successfully landed the same trick that Turcotte attempted and won the event.

“It turned out actually quite good for my teammate and this young protégé that I’ve been training with, so, in the agony of defeat, I was thoroughly impressed and happy for Brandon,” Turcotte said. “I was just happy to be a part of that.”

Turcotte’s preparation for events like the X Games is intensive. He uses airbags, foam pits and video review to train for his aerial tricks.

Often on the sidelines is Turcotte’s other protégé-in-the-making and biggest supporter, his three-year-old daughter, Hudson.

“She’s begging to ride the snowmobile around and saying, ‘I wanna backflip,’” Turcotte said. “She’s got a little Strider bike that we put skis on and she’s riding that thing steady…of the four kids, she’s the wildest one for sure!”

So when he’s not training or spending time with his family, what does this extreme athlete like to do?

“I actually really, really enjoy fly fishing,” Turcotte laughed, acknowledging the irony of his preference. “It’s like yin and yang, from the most extreme sports and athleticism to possibly the most relaxing and calming thing of all time, so that’s why it works so well for me.”

No chance of Turcotte slowing down any more than that. He intends to get back into dirt biking once the snow melts.

“I would really like to get a Summer X Games medal,” Turcotte reasoned. “I eat, sleep and breathe action sports now, and that’s a really cool thing. I’m really grateful that I get to do backflips and pay bills.”

Turcotte’s recent X Games success came after the announcement that Calgary has pulled out of hosting the event in 2021 and 2022, due to financial restraints. It would have been the first time Canada hosted the event and the first since 2002 to be hosted outside of Aspen.