Levi LaVallee needs little introduction to those who follow snowmobile competition. He's one of the most well-rounded athletes riding sleds today, with nine medals in six snowmobile disciplines at X Games alone.
At X Games Aspen later this week, LaVallee will compete in Snowmobile SnoCross and Snowmobile Long Jump. LaVallee won gold at the last Long Jump competition held at X Games (then called Knock Out) and is the world-record holder in a distance jump on a snowmobile.
XGames.com talked with LaVallee about what it takes to jump a snowmobile farther than anyone else and how he'll prepare for the return of the event at X Games Aspen.
XGames.com: Seeing as how this will be very similar to the Knock Out competition, do you plan on going in with the same mindset when the event was introduced at X Games 14?
LaVallee: Yeah, I am going to go in with a similar mindset, except now I know a little more about it having already competed once in Knock Out. Same mindset with the goal of doing the best I can. And if I do that, I feel like I will be able to win a medal.
Is there even a strategy you can bring to an event like this? Or is it more about "feeling it" on the ramp that particular day and holding it wide-open?
That's about all there is. Hitting the ramp as fast as you can and hoping you can fly that puppy as far as possible.
Being as unique as this event is, is there a training program you have planned out to prepare?
There is not a lot of of training. All you can really work on is your holeshot and your preload off the ramp.
Will you be being bringing a dedicated setup for Long Jump, or will you just jump your race sled?
When I did Knock Out, I used my freestyle sled. This year it's yet to be determined which sled I will use.
You have the world record for distance on a snowmobile. Is this your event?
I like jumping. I don't think that this is "my event," but winning Knock Out before and having the distance jump record ... I'd have to say, I am pretty good at jumping far.
I know it's hard to say until you see the setup, but have you spoken with anybody from X Games about an idea on how far you might be able to go in Aspen?
I haven't heard anything, but when we did Knock Out, we went around 160-plus feet, which is pretty dang far.
You have a busy schedule with your commitment to the Amsoil Championship Snocross season. Will you be able to train properly for X Games, or is it like riding a bike for you in the sense that when the cameras go live, you have no problem going upside-down?
I have had this busy schedule for many years. It's definitely hard and a lot of hard work. And it takes a good group of people to help me train and prepare for snocross and X Games. Hats off to my crew for the endless support.