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Vito among a loaded field in X Games superpipe

Bellefontaine native Louie Vito begins his seventh ESPN Winter X Games tonight against a world-class group of superpipe riders.

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Louie Vito, shown competing Jan. 12 at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Copper Mountain, Colo., will compete in the qualifying round of the ESPN Winter X Games tonight. (AP FILE PHOTO | TRIPP FAY)

Among those in the field are Shaun White, Luke Mitrani, Iouri Podladtchikov, Greg Bretz and Ryo Aono.

The superpipe elimination will be televised on ESPN at 9 p.m. tonight. The finals will be shown live Sunday at 9 p.m.

White is the man to beat. He has won five straight gold medals in the X Games superpipe and recorded a perfect score in last year’s competition.

Vito, the reigning overall champion in the Dew Cup and U.S. Grand Prix, placed sixth at Winter X last year. That followed a third-place finish in 2011.

He was in Copper Mountain, Colo., last week preparing for X Games. He practiced in a halfpipe there that was reserved for him each morning by Red Bull, one of Vito’s sponsors.

Vito has been going through a vigorous training regime in an effort to continue to step up his game.

“I pretty much took it to the next level in terms of off-hill training,” Vito said in a recent Denver Post story. “I’m a big believer that the will has got to be greater than the skill. It might not pay off today. It might not pay off tomorrow. But at some point it’s going to pay off.”

Vito recently discussed his extensive training workouts in Men’s Fitness. That interview can be seen by going to http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/qa-with-halfpipe-snowboarder-louie-vito.

 

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