The world’s premier winter action sports competition, ESPN X Games, is back in Aspen this weekend, January 24-27. This series of competitions, now in its 13th year at Aspen, has remained the best and most revered of competitions in the action genre of winter sport. This event is a favorite for competitors and spectators alike not only because of the level of competition, but also because Aspen embraces the event and creates an incredible venue for the weekend. It is game-on in 2 short weeks when these daredevil winter athletes vie for the biggest jewel in the crown of action sports: a Winter X Games title.
History of X GamesThe ESPN X Games began in 1995 with a summer “extreme sports” competition aimed at targeting the Generation X market and collecting multiple winter action sports into one grand event. After jumping around from Big Bear to Crested Butte to Mt. Snow in its formative years, the Winter X Games finally landed in its long time happy home of Aspen’s Buttermilk Mountain in 2002. The event draws 200 world-class competitive athletes and over 100,000 spectators each year, and the admission is free for all events making this one of the most popular events of the Aspen season. The Winter X Games is comprised of multiple disciplines in 3 sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. The vibe here is freestyle, and the goal is to go big, really big.
The GamesThe X Games hosts multiple events in each of the 3 sports represented. You can expect the best in freeride action in skiing events, where riders will compete in Superpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air. In snowboarding, competitors ride these 3 events with the addition of a Big Air competition. Snowmobile has 5 events: Freestyle, Speed & Style, Snocross, Best Trick and Adaptive SnoCross. Preliminary events and practices will lead out the schedule beginning on Thursday, January 24, and finals are peppered over the four days giving lots of opportunity to see your favorites go for the gold.
The AthletesThe contest brings the biggest names in the freeride world; these athletes at once have become cultural icons for the X Generation, and have pushed their sports into the limelight with incredible athleticism and marketing prowess. In skiing and snowboarding, look forward to superstars
Kelly Clark, the first snowboarder to land a 1080 in competition and a US Snowboard team Olympic medalist
Gretchen Bleiler, an Aspen original. 2006 Olympic silver medalist in Snowboard Superpipe and multiple X Games medalist
Shaun White, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the first person ever to score a perfect 100 in the men's Snowboard Superpipe in the history of Winter X Games
Bobby Brown, Colorado native freestyle skier - one of the first skiers ever to have landed a Triple Cork 1440.
In snowmobile, witness huge air with the added variable of horsepower and motors as athlete Tucker Hibbert goes for his sixth year of wins at an X Games winter event (he would be the first 6-peat ever at Winter X!)
The FUNThere is lots of fun to be had in town outside the thrill of the games. The Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series is back for the second show of the season with Mutemath on Friday January 25. These fantastic New Orleans rockers spread a contagious beat and dance-worthy modern rock sound that will be sure to have you on your feet. They headline this free concert on the upper gondola plaza in town beginning at 5:30. And of course riding Aspen’s four mountains is a priority….Aspen/ Snowmass is honoring the “X” Generation this weekend with the College X Pass (for eligible college students with valid student ID): 2 days of lift passes for only $82 with additional days available for $52. This is an incredible deal not to be missed with tickets less than half the normal daily rate.
lodging specials or book your room today in Aspen’s finest downtown ski lodgeg and hotel.