A Snowmobile Rider From Texas

Joshua Duplechian/ESPN

"To some people, Ill always be the little brother," says Colten Moore, who returns to Snowmobile Freestyle for X Games Aspen 2016.

"I may never be as tough -- or as cool -- as my brother," writes Colten Moore of his late brother, Caleb, in Catching the Sky, a memoir to be released this month. "I acknowledge that. I'll never have his cowboy's swagger or that smile that the girls, and the cameras, always loved. I still don't trust myself to drive the cars that he treasured; his beloved Mustang and Ford Lightning just sit in my garage in Texas most of the time, gathering dust like old trophies. And I know, to some people, I'll always be the little brother, the kid they called Little Amigo, or Little Bud, or Shorty, the one who hardly merited a single mention in the yearbook back in Krum, short and thin, swimming inside my black tuxedo."

Reflecting on his Snowmobile Freestyle gold medal run at X Games Aspen 2014, one year after Caleb died of injuries sustained in a Freestyle crash, Colten continues, "But I also know this: That night in Aspen I started rewriting the script for my own life. As I made the approach for the first ramp, my long hair flying in the wind from beneath my helmet, I was committed -- fully committed -- to whatever was about to happen. I was alone -- and at peace with that idea -- with seventy-five seconds to prove myself. Not just to the world, but to me."

Moore returned to Aspen in 2014 to pay tribute to Caleb from the top step of the podium. "I did it for Caleb," Moore said at the time, pointing to the sky in his moment of triumph. "And with Caleb."

After a surprise Speed & Style gold at Aspen 2015 and including Freestyle in 2012, Moore now has three XG gold and six medals overall, and he says he feels relieved of the weight of expectations.

"In 2014, nothing short of gold would have been enough," says Moore. "It made me miss being the underdog -- 'a snowmobile rider from...Texas?' -- who nobody had ever heard of. This time around I'm just glad Freestyle is back. Everyone's really excited to put on a big show again because we've all missed this competition. Everyone's pretty much been working on their tricks in secret, so who knows what we'll see."

Moore has learned a lot about putting on a big show; he's been touring with Travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus, where he performs tricks like the Ruler flip on his snowmobile and also rides an ATV alongside some of the biggest names in action sports. "Travis has been an incredible mentor and it's awesome being on that tour because I feel like a little kid getting to meet all my idols," Moore says. "Those guys are insanely good at what they do and everyone has good vibes and is super positive. Everyone's pumped for you when you do something huge, so it's a really encouraging environment."

All that inspiration just might lead to another tribute to Caleb.

"Riding with the Nitro Circus guys reminds me that I'd really like to learn body varials, especially since my brother was one of the only ones that's ever done them on a snowmobile. I'm going to be spending a lot of time over the foam pit these next two months trying to figure them out," Moore says, referencing the Volt and Carolla body varials that Caleb Moore brought to X Games. Oh, and he says he does have one other important X Games goal. "I'm single and ready to mingle. Ladies, come say 'Hi.' Don't be shy."

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