Soldotna snowmachiner earns X Games silver

Beth Bragg

Soldotna snowmachiner Cory Davis pulled off a semifinal upset on his way to an X Games silver medal Saturday in Aspen, Colo.

Davis, 25, beat defending champion Joe Parsons in the speed and style semifinals before losing the gold-medal match to Levi LaVallee, who won his second gold medal of the games.

"Man, I couldn't be happier," Davis said via Twitter.

It's the third X Games medal for Davis, the son of top Iron Dog racer Scott Davis. In 2010, father and son teamed up for a third-place finish in the Iron Dog, a 2,000-mile race across Alaska.

That race represented a major detour for the younger Davis, who makes his living with quick-burst performances, not the days-long endurance test that is the Iron Dog.

Saturday's gold medal match lasted less than three minutes and featured three laps around a course set up with ramps and jumps. The objective, as is implied by the event's name, is to be both speedy and stylish. As they race for the finish line, riders perform flips and other tricks, often dangling in mid-air while grasping the handlebars of their 450-pound upside-down machines.

Davis adds the silver medal to a pair of speed-and-style bronzes at previous Games in 2011 and 2009.

Davis posted the fastest qualifying time and knocked off two-time champion Parsons in the semifinals, getting a boost when Parsons hit a berm and dumped his sled on a high-speed corner. Parsons, a Yakima, Wash., rider who Davis sometimes trains with, bounced back to win the bronze-medal match for his 11th X Games medal.

Though Davis was expected to set the pace in the finals based on his fast qualifying time, LaVallee took the lead on the first corner and landed harder tricks en route to a 90.95-85.66 win. Davis never fell too far back and finished seconds after LaVallee, who is from Longville, Minn.

"Cory was all over me. Hats off to Cory for just charging the whole time," LaVallee told ESPN. "I just tried to get on the course as fast as I could and just (remembered) to do my tricks big, and it worked out."

Davis had posted the fastest qualifying time and was expected to score heavily in that respect, but LaVallee took the lead through the first corner and never looked back.



Reach Beth Bragg at or 257-4335.