They came, they shredded, they partied. For the six winners of Dragon's Mystery Tour Web Game, one week in Whistler with legendary snowboarder Gigi Ruf has been nothing short of life changing.
Shannon Rosser (Canada), Chad Payne (USA), Trym Haatuft (Norway) Sebestian Reategui (Peru) Jason Shepard (New Zealand) and Ben Griffiths (Australia) beat over 19,000 users worldwide to win the trip to Whistler by logging on and playing Dragon's now infamous Web Game.
For the eight weeks the competition ran users all over the world virtually snowboarded and free skied, with Gigi Rüf and TJ Schiller, earning points for tricks and maneuvers executed. For the winners, all of the hard work was worth it even though TJ Schiller missed the trip after a recent Volcano eruption in Iceland left him stranded in Sweden. TJ, who was in Sweden competing at the Jon Ollson Super Session, which his team went on to win had already heard stories about the winner's antics with Gigi. "I was so bummed I missed it," TJ said. "I've seen pics, they looked like they had a wild time."
Trym Haatuft's ( Norway) trip to Whistler also looked in jeopardy earlier in the week, but luckily he managed to get on one of the few planes leaving Europe. "I was freaked out that I would miss the whole thing, I was really happy when I got the word from the airline that I could go, it was the best day ever," Trym said. "It was a roller coaster of emotions."
For Australia and New Zealand winners Ben Grifiths and Jason Shepard, Whistler was a surreal experience. "I had heard about Whistler but to actually be there and to party the way we did, it was crazy," said Jason. "I've never experienced anything like it". "Gigi was so cool, he partied harder than anyone," said Ben, "Snowboarding with him during the day was a dream come true." Shannon said, leaving Whistler has been difficult for her. "Normal life sucks! I miss shredding and partying with the craziest crew of people from all over the world that share the same love of shredding." "Thanks to Dragon for the amazing trip."
Chad's said, "His first trip out of America had been beyond what he could have imagined."
"Holly sh*t last week I didn't even have a passport. Then one week later I am hanging with Gigi in Whistler, getting f'd- up. Rad. So rad." Sebastian was also awestruck by the experience. "Whistler is so beautiful, I love having the opportunity to meet the people from all over the world especially Gigi." "It was also pretty cool being followed around by a filmer all the time, I can wait to see the movie."
Dragon's Snow Marketing Manager, Alex Pashley had this to say, "I felt lucky to get out of there alive." "We thought we would shred and then have a few drinks at night, but these kids took it to another level." Dragon International Director, JC Clenet is pleased to see a growing success of the DMT webgame concept, adding more and more players from all other the world. In 2009, the DMT web game was a surf contest inviting 5 winners from around the world to spend a week in Southern California with pro surf legend Rob Machado.