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GoPro Mountain Games Kicks Off with Bud Light Steep Creek Championships

GoPro Mountain Games Kicks Off with Bud Light Steep Creek Championships

Competitors prepare to launch into Vail's Homestake Creek to kick off this summer's GoPro Mountain Games, running through Sunday.

Mike Dawson and Martina Wegman both claim repeat victories day one of MountainGames

The newly minted GoPro Mountain Games got off to a wild start Thursday as almost 50 kayakers from around the world plunged down Homestake Creek outside of Vail--racing for the fastest time in the Bud Light Steep Creek Championships.

Mike Dawson from New Zealand claimed his third straight victory in the men's race, while Martina Wegman of the Netherlands defended her title against a strong field of women. Dane Jackson--who stands to win today's freestyle competition--took a swim in the creek but was unhurt.

Dawson, a 2012 Olympic slalom kayaker, demonstrated his precise paddling skills and navigated the highly technical creek with the three fastest times of the day, finishing his third and fastest run in 1:45.82. Bryan Kirk of Charlottesville, Va., finished in second place and Nick Troutman of Rock Island, Tenn., took third in the finals.

In the women's race, returning champion Martina Wegman from Schoorl, Netherlands, had a tough first run, but then dialed in her lines and scored the fastest women's run of the day, 1.58.91, on her second time down the creek. In the finals, Wegman's time of 2:00.11 beat out Natalie Anderson of Fort Collins, Colo., who finished in second, and third-place finisher Adrienne Levknecht of Greenville, S.C.

A full list of results is available here.

The GoPro Mountain Games are the nation's largest celebration of mountain sport, lifestyle and music, featuring top professional and amateur athletes from around the world. The environmentally-friendly adventure sporting event hosts approximately 3,000 outdoor athletes, along with an estimated 45,000 spectators. Athletes converge on Vail's mountains and rivers to compete in eight sports and 24 disciplines for over $100,000 in prize money.

The GoPro Mountain Games are a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Games, check out www.gopromountaingames.com. For more information on the Foundation, visit www.vvf.org.

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