Iouri Podladtchikov

United StatesUnited States

His name alone is enough to tangle the tongues of TV broadcasters and contest MCs, but what really baffles everyone are the pipe runs this Russian-Swiss badass has been putting together for the past few seasons. And after having his name butchered thousands of times, Iouri goes by the nickname I-Pod; much easier. Ascending the ranks of the Swiss competition scene, I-Pod went global in 2006 when he competed for Russia at the Olympics in Turin at just 17. A year later, he won the World Cup halfpipe title. In 2010 he narrowly missed a medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, taking home 4th place honors. I-Pod also managed to finish that season with a silver at Winter X Games, a gold at Winter X Europe, and an impressive number two spot on the TTR World Snowboard Tour. One of only two riders in the world to do Double McTwist 1260s—and the first and only one to do it switch, I-Pod’s bag of tricks rivals that of David Copperfield and he’s only getting better—fast. Earning pipe victories at both the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships and the 2012 Burton European Open, plus yet another Silver medal at X Games kept I-Pod charged up for this season and the long road to the Olympics in Sochi 2014. All the contests and podium placings aside, I-Pod is one of those rare riders whose technical ability and solid style make the art of halfpipe riding look not just unbelievable but unbelievably easy. I-Pod has the focus, the drive, and all the right weaponry. His sights are set on absolute supremacy and nothing less will suffice.

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