Olympic gold medalist snowboards down the ‘Rocky’ steps

Olympic Gold medalist and snowboarder Sebastien Toutant went from slaying the slopes to channeling his inner Rocky Balboa in January 2019. Toutant partnered with Red Bull to tackle Philadelphia’s “Rocky” steps, AKA the Philadelphia Musem of Art’s 72 stairs. 

“I’ve known about ‘Rocky,’ Philadelphia and the steps, but I had actually never been to the stairs before,” Toutant told Teton Gravity. “Red Bull came up with the idea and picked me to be the rider.”

Now naturally, a seasoned snowboarder like Toutant isn’t just going to run up the staircase. No, Toutant managed to pull off a 50-50 slide (a type of grind where the board is parallel to the surface it’s on) down the Philadelphia fixture. While there isn’t usually railing on the steps, kinked rails and ramps were installed for the project. Red Bull also had 20 tons of ice imported to cover the steps.

However, it didn’t go off without a hitch. Toutant tweeted out a blooper reel of him attempting the feat and pretty much eating it. It took the gold medalist several tries before being able to land a jump between railings, then many more to get the shot he wanted. 

“We had all day, but in the first two hours, I got it. It wasn’t the shot we wanted, so we kept going and going,” Toutant told Teton Gravity. “Probably four or five hours later I stomped it and I felt like it was the better shot. I’m really picky, which kept me going all day. I pretty much hit that rail from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.”

If you liked this story, check out these athletes turn their best tricks into optical illusions.

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