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Most Metal Athlete nominees

The legendary Mike Vallely in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Marc Falkenstien

When the word metal makes the alchemical leap from boring material noun to shredding, epic adjective, it implies a certain kind of person. To be metal means to be as hard, fast and aggressive as the storied legends of the musical genre itself. But what makes someone the most metal? And what does it have to do with skateboarding? When the Revolver Magazine Golden God Awards go off live at Club Nokia in L.A. on April 20, 2011 they'll attempt to determine just that.

The only hard rock and heavy metal awards in the United States, the Golden Gods storm into their third annual black carpet event this year featuring headliners Avenged Sevenfold and a re-united Alice Cooper Band with the original lineup, plus plenty of other hard rock royalty. But tucked amongst categories like Best Guitarist, Best New Band and Comeback of the Year sits a curious crossover category reserved for the Most Metal Athlete. This year's nominees include members of the NHL, NFL, WWE, MMA and notably, two pro skaters: Chris Cole and Mike Vallely.

But what does "Most Metal Athlete" mean? Executive Producer of the Golden Gods, Josh Bernstein said, "Athletes who are metal fans, who support the scene and who also excel at their sport ..."

He explained that nominees are selected by the writers and editors of Revolver and the voting is done entirely online by fans at revolvermag.com until April 1. At the inaugural ceremony in 2009, Shaun White took the award for the action sports community. Last year, the Nitro Circus's Jolene Van Vugt and skateboarder Jason Ellis were nominated, but the award went to three members of the Dallas Cowboys football team that comprise the metal band, Free Reign. Go figure.

Vallely, for one, feels honored by the nomination. "I think [it] says I capture a certain spirit that other people can appreciate as far as where sports and music collide," he explained. "Contests have never really been my forte, so I've based my skate career around expression and this [recognizes] that. I'm honored [by] the nomination."

Cole was equally, if not more directly stoked, "It's just awesome! I love metal and just to go and see some of the attendees is such a great time, let alone be nominated for something."

When asked about their plans should they win the Stonehenge statuette, Vallely was characteristically un-phased, "I'll just keep doing my thing."

Cole countered with "That would be a totally brutal moment. I would be so proud, not in just winning but that people took notice of my love for all things metal." He'd also like to share it with his son, "It would be a testament to all the days we listen to 'Viking songs' ... as [he] puts it."

Tickets are still available for the live event, but if you can't make the show the awards will air on VH1 Classic on April 28. Tune in, rock out and throw some horns for the unholy alliance of metal and skate. Oh, and go vote for Mike V and Chris Cole at www.revolvermag.com while you're at it.