"Big air", the distancing of one’s self from the slope, is the goal of Olympic snowboarding. Once upon a time in the not so distant past, Jeremy Waverly did it better than anyone else. Not anymore. Now, with his busted knee and flabby hips, he’s just another has-been who hits the Oxycontin way too hard. One day, however, the clouds part and he sees an opportunity to reclaim his title.
The King of Big Air is a short story by Joseph Babcock and performed in an insouciant, metallic voice by Pat Young. Filled with colloquialisms and slang, this short listen will appeal to those who love the back story of their Olympic heroes.
Jeremy Waverly is a pro snowboarder down on his luck (busted knee, Oxy addiction, abandoned by his girlfriend and sponsors) until a younger rider ends up in a coma during training, freeing up a spot for Jeremy to compete on the U.S. half-pipe team at the Vancouver Olympics. With his estranged father and two closest buddies - the remaining members of his entourage - watching in the stands, this is his last shot: can he stay away from the painkillers - a banned substance at the Olympics - long enough to hold his own with the younger, flashier riders and reclaim his title as the original King of Big Air?