Torin Yater-Wallace will ski in the new Knuckle Huck event at X Games 2020, just 13 months after missing his jump during the Breckenridge Dew Tour finals and landing flat from 40 feet in the air.
The Ski Knuckle Huck final is Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. New this year, it’s following in the tracks of the Snowboard Knuckle Huck which debuted in 2019. On Jan. 23, the eight-skier field takes as many runs as they can in a 20-minute, jam-session format.
Torin’s father Ron Wallace confirmed his son “was registered for the event,” as the athlete could not be reached for comment.
X Games spokesman Danny Chi confirmed late Wednesday that Torin was on the Ski Knuckle Huck list of athletes.
“We tried the snowboard Knuckle Huck last year and it seemed to be received well not only by the spectators but the athletes themselves who seemed to enjoy the new element added to the program,” Chi added.
According to the Knuckle Huck event description from ESPN: “Skiers utilize the deck, rollover (knuckle) and landing of the Big Air Jump. Athletes perform their maneuvers leaving the knuckle of the feature and finish in the landing area.”
It continued, “Knuckle Huck is judged on execution of maneuvers, degree of difficulty, amplitude, originality and style.”
Back to life, again
In the 2018 Dew Tour crash,Yater-Wallace overcompensated on the trajectory after coming in switch (backwards) and completely missed his landing in the pipe. He was left with two shattered heels, a knee to the nose and a long recovery road through most of last year.
As recently as September, Yater-Wallace was planning to attend the 2020 X Games as a spectator. He also said his days competing in the halfpipe were over. The Knuckle Huck takes place on the Big Air Jump.
A five-time X Games medalist and prodigy — while an Aspen High School freshman in 2011 he won a silver medal and became the youngest medalist in Winter X Games history — Yater-Wallace would go on to overcome several health scares beyond the December 2018 crash, as well as some significant family life events that were shared in the documentary “Back to Life.” It aired on ABC before the 2018 Olympics and subsequently.
Perhaps part of Torin’s successful rehabilitation has been the powder-skiing segments he’s been filming in Japan with fellow X Games medalists Jossi Wells of New Zealand (who won SlopeStyle gold here in 2016) and McRae Williams, who has three medals in eight X Games, according to his biography.
Practice for the X Games “superpipe” begins Monday under the lights. As the younger Yater-Wallace was due back from Japan this week, his dad joked in an email that he was “Cutting it close (ha-ha).”