ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Colten Moore reached toward the sky and stuck three fingers into the air on one hand and his index finger up on the other.
That number — "31" — belonged to his brother, Caleb. As far as Colten is concerned, No. 31 picked up another victory Thursday night.
Returning to Aspen a year after his older brother's death, Moore rode to victory during a touching, emotional evening at what used to be one of the Winter X Games' most raucous events.
"This is the greatest moment ever, to be able to come back here and ride for my brother," Moore said. "Not just for him, but with him, because I know he was out here with me all night."
About 60 family and friends were on hand to watch Moore perform on a clear, crisp winter night in Colorado.
Caleb died last Jan. 31 from injuries he sustained in a crash during the snowmobile competition. Safety measures were tightened, and ESPN, which runs the X Games, decided to stick with the event.
After some soul searching, Moore also decided he'd return.
"I just knew he'd be riding with me every time I go ride," Moore said. "He's there with me and, if I tried to quit and he could, he would smack me."
Moore's father, Wade, watched with tears streaming down his face.
"It's tough. Harder to watch this year," Wade Moore said. "But his confidence is up. He just gets better and better. He just wanted to ride. That's what he likes doing. He has fun doing it. That's what him and his brother did. They're still doing it together. I promise they are."