St. Cloud Times, Minn., Andy Rennecke column
Jan 21, 2013 (St. Cloud Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
SALT LAKE CITY -- Dan Brisse has never won the fan vote for the Real Snow competition at the Winter X Games.
This year, he's hoping he can come out on top to win $10,000 so he can donate it to the Tom Decker memorial fund. Decker is the police officer who was murdered in Cold Spring in November.
Brisse is a professional snowboarder and a native of Richmond. He graduated from Rocori High School in 2002 and didn't know Decker very well, but they had met a few times.
Brisse was trailing Eero Ettala in the fan voting for the best urban snowboarding video as of Sunday evening at xgames.com/realsnow. Votes can still be cast for Brisse by the end of the day today.
"I just thought this would be an awesome way to give back," said Brisse, 29, who has lived in Salt Lake City for more than a decade. "I was filming part of our video in December in the St. Cloud area and watched the funeral from the side of the road.
"It was incredibly moving. If there was a small way I could help out, I wanted to do it.
"(Decker) was a few years older than me. I didn't know him very well, but I was amazed by how the communities all came together after it happened. It consumed the whole area."
Brisse has won the judges vote for having the best video at the Winter X Games for the past two years. The judges vote is worth $50,000.
Having never won the fan vote is somewhat surprising, but he's hoping he can come through this year.
"It would give me a feeling of satisfaction of knowing I can help," Brisse said. "There's so much bad stuff happening out there. I would want to bring some excitement and hope if I could win. It would mean the world to me."
Brisse shot this year's video throughout the Midwest, including the Cold Spring, St. Cloud and Richmond areas. He also shot in Houghton, Mich., Saskatchewan, Minneapolis and Duluth.
His fan video shows him snowboarding off Schwieters Chevrolet in Cold Spring and around Rocori High School.
"This is still so much fun for me," Brisse said. "It's something you can never really master. You can learn one trick one year and then the next you add another one. You always keep progressing at it.
"I'm going to do it as long as I can."
Brisse started snowboarding out at Powder Ridge when he was in high school. He spent most days after school there perfecting his craft.
"This is my job and I'm complete and comfortable with that," Brisse said. "Snowboarding is a ton of work, especially professional urban snowboarding.
"You have your own video crew and they put in a lot of work to set all of this up. It's harder work for them than it is for me. We go to spot to spot around the country shooting."
Brisse, 29, was back in Salt Lake City this week waiting for the X Games this week in Aspen, Colo. There will be a snowboarding street event that will air on ESPN from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday.
Brisse will take part and will be able to show off his skills to a national television audience. The judges vote will be announced during the week.
"I'm hoping and praying I can win the judges vote for a third year in a row," Brisse said. "I've never won the fan vote -- that would be really cool. Hopefully I can generate some votes by (today)."
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