As temperatures drop, the excitement heats up in Aspen, which is hosting the Winter X Games for the ninth consecutive year. Most of the action will take place over the next four days – and the invited rider list reads like a who’s who of winter sports. This year’s Games should prove to be a showcase for the progress female action sports athletes have made in the genre.
You’ll also see a lot of halfpipe queen Gretchen Bleiler. The only woman to win WX SuperPipe 3 times, Gretchen also has silver from WX ’07, silver from the 2006 Torino Olympics Halfpipe and an ESPY as 2008’s Best Female Action Sports Athlete.
In boardercross, 24-year-old Lindsey Jacobellis is considered royalty and ranked #1 in the FIS World Cup for 2009. She is an Olympic silver medalist from 2006 and five-time WX Games gold medalist.
Two years ago , Jamie Anderson became the youngest X Game gold winner when she won the women’s snowboard slopestyle. The Two-time WX Slopestyle gold medalist Anderson fractured her hip two weeks before WX ’09. At the U.S. Open two months later, she ruptured her spleen, bringing a cruel end to the roughest season of her young career. But she kicked off the 2009/10 season right: winning the Billabong BroDown in Aug., Burton New Zealand Open in Nov. and Dew Tour Breck last month.
Also not to be overlooked is Kelly Clark, 26, who is competing in her tenth Winter X Games. One of the most decorated women in competitive snowboarding; Kelly has collected 6 WX SuperPipe medals, Olympic gold from the ’02 Games, an ESPY for 2002 Action Sport Athlete of the Year and has won the Grand Prix Halfpipe title each of the past three years.
As one of the most X-treme winter sports events in the world, Winter X attracts an international array of gravity-defying athletes. Money (record purses this year), medals and worldwide fame are all up for grabs as athletes compete in skiing, snowboard and snocross so catch all the action today through Sunday.
Get ready to be X-cited for X-cellent performances. Some of the weekend’s highlights include:
Sat. Jan. 30: 2:00 – 3:30 pm Snowboard Snowboarder X Women’s Final
Sat. Jan. 30: 7:30 – 8:30 pm Snowboard SuperPipe Women’s Final
Sun. Jan. 31: 10:00 – 12:15 pm Skiier X Women’s Final
Sun. Jan. 31: 12:00 – 1:00 pm Snowboard Slopestyle Women’s Final
Winter X Games 14 is on in Aspen, Colo., from Thursday, Jan. 28 to Sunday, Jan. 31. Much of the event will air live on ESPN and ESPN2.
Pretty Tough Trivia: “Superman” is not the man of steel; it’s when a rider lays flat in the air, both hands reach under the board to grab the toe side and or the shin of each boot, both legs are bent and the board is pulled up behind the rider.