Thirty two. That's how many days brothers Caleb and Colten Moore had between their first sled ride on snow and their first major snowmobile competition. That means that 33 days ago, the brothers from Krum, Texas (average annual snowfall 1.9 inches), had never sat on a sleigh in the white stuff. Yesterday, the X Games rookies competed in the Snowmobile Freestyle event and wowed the crowd by besting even some of the most seasoned veteran slednecks. In true Cinderella story form, Caleb even managed to net the bronze medal.
And the legend continues. Friday night, Caleb, 22, and Colten, 20, will compete in the Snowmobile Best Trick contest under the lights in Aspen, Colo. By now, if you're not dying to know how two Texas boys were fast-tracked from the prairies to the Rockies, then you might want to flip over to the Knitting Channel.
Truth be told, the brothers are no strangers to flips and tricks, as they are esteemed veteran ATV riders. In December, their pal, WX veteran snowmobile freestyler Sam Rogers, told them that they should think about putting their toes where it snows. With a simple phone call to Polaris (who was already a Moore brothers sponsor), Caleb and Colten were in business. "They just shipped us some sleds," Colten said.
After a few days of riding their first snowmobiles on synthetics and into their pit, they were itching to get their diesel on the pow. They packed up and road tripped to the Yoop -- Michigan's Upper Peninsula, home of the Evolution Sled Park -- to test out their snow legs. Long story short, the brothers were naturals. Their pals shot a few minutes of footage and sent the tapes to X Games brass. As fate would have it, in about the time it takes for a gallon of milk to go bad in the back of your fridge, the Moore brothers had earned an official invite to Winter X Games 14 and are out competing against the best in the biz.
"I can't really believe it," said elder brother, Caleb. "Nobody can. It's definitely stirred up a little bit of a fuss, I think. There's the people that believe it and give us respect, then we've got the people that think we're total liars. We've heard both out here in the pits but we really did start December 15. That's the first time ever even riding a sled and December 28 -- one month ago yesterday -- the first time we ever jumped in the snow."
Here's what else the Winter X rookies making a splash the size of Texas had to say ...
ESPN: What's Krum, Texas, like?
Colten Moore: Umm, exactly how it sounds. It's a real small town, not too far out in the country. Small school. Our mom worked at the school so we couldn't get in too much trouble. Pretty much knew everybody at your school by first and last name and you wave at everybody as you drive by, it's kind of one of those towns.
Do you both own cowboy hats and drive trucks, or what?
Caleb Moore: Actually, neither one of us own cowboy hats, but our dad and our granddad do. And we both do have trucks and have definitely participated in some Texas 'backwoods shenanigans,' you might say.
What really made you decide to go from ATVs in Krum, Texas, to snowmobiles in Aspen, Colorado?
Colten: Well, there's no X Games for quads so we just decided to move on to something with an X Games.
The average U.S. city gets 25 inches of snow per year. Krum, Texas, gets less than two. How'd you manage that little detail?
Colten: We started jumping [snowmobiles] in our pit -- you know, because there's no snow there. We did that for a few days, then decided to travel somewhere where we could get in some snow. That was that. The rest just kind of happened so fast.
No one believes how fast it happened because Caleb already has a Winter X medal on his mantle from Freestyle.
Colten: Yeah, Caleb won bronze last night. No one believes it. I wish I could have been up there right with him but I ended up having a spill. We push each other and ride hard as we practice together. That's the main thing for us is beating each other. We're our stiffest competition. I had no doubt that he would finish up top. I didn't fully expect it because I didn't want to get my hopes up, but in the back of my mind I did.
Quads, sleds -- is there anything you guys can't ride? Can you ride a horse?
Caleb: Yeah, I've been on a horse before, not many times but yeah, a little bit.
How about a bull -- ever done a Texas rodeo?
Colten: I rode a calf, like a baby bull. Does that count?
Sure, if you've eaten veal we'll give you cowboy status.
Colten: We've worked some cattle in our day, for sure.
Caleb: Hey we still help our granddad out on the ranch. He has a huge ranch out in north Texas. We're still country boys.
If you say 'granddad' you have instant country cred. You pass the Texas test.
Caleb: Yeah, here we are, bringing the Texas lifestyle to the Winter X Games. We like to keep it laid-back and just have fun. I'm looking forward to getting back to Texas to celebrate with all our buddies, though. We'll throw a nice little shindig. I just want to invite everybody over and relax because the last month has been pretty stressful and down-to-business. I think there will be a nice little homecoming for us in Krum.
And when you leave Winter X, when's the next time you'll see a snowflake?
Colten: I don't even have a clue! Hopefully we can come back and actually enjoy a little backwoods riding because we've gone through a little powder so far and we got stuck so we need to come back and practice so we're not getting stuck all the time.