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Aspen, CO, Jan. 17, 2002–ESPN’s Winter X Games, the signature winter action sports event, will be held in Aspen, Colorado, beginning today through Jan. 20, 2002. Under the terms of a two-year agreement, the Winter X Games will be held in Aspen, Colorado in 2002 and 2003. The Winter X Games features the talents of more than 350 of the world’s best athletes competing in snowboarding, snowmobile snocross, moto x and skiing. The event will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports January 31-February 2, 2002.
The January dates mark a return to Martin Luther King Day Weekend for the Winter X Games, which for the last two years were held at Mount Snow, VT the first weekend in February.
“Aspen is one of the world’s most well-known resort destinations,” said Bodenheimer. “It is a wonderfully unique opportunity to bring our cutting-edge Winter X Games to Aspen’s world-class venues. We look forward to working with the Aspen Skiing Company to bring global attention to this great resort during our event.”
Here’s what to look for in the skiing events:
SuperPipe 12 Competitors
This discipline of skiing will be one of the events to debut at the 2002 Winter X Games. Skiers in the SuperPipe represent the progression of winter action sports that the Winter X Games is proud to embrace. Each competitor will have three runs, and the skier with the best score out of the three runs will be crowned skiing king of the SuperPipe. Last season there was a ski superpipe event, The U.S. Freeskiing Open, in Vail. Phil Larose won that event by completing big runs with some huge airs and nice 540’s. Vincent Dorion was close and so was Phil Bellanger; both will have a chance at winning the SuperPipe premier during the 2002 Winter X Games.
Slopestyle 20 Competitors
Skiers will use the same course as the snowboarders to show their skills on a variety of obstacles including rails, kickers and picnic tables. The competition will have the same format as snowboarding Slopestyle with each athlete taking three runs and being judged on creativity, trick completion and style. Making its debut at the Winter X Games, there have been few competitions similar to this in the history of skiing. Last season, one event was held that incorporated some of the same elements: The U.S. Freeskiing Open. Veteran Jonny Moseley won the event with Vincent Dorion and Marc Andre Belliveau finishing second and third respectively.
Skier X 30 men and 18 women
In a fast and furious race to the bottom of a course filled with tabletop jumps, rollers and gaps, Skier X represents the future of the sport. In this fusion of motocross and downhill racing, scoring is simple: the first one to the bottom in the final takes home the gold. Last year that person was Zach Crist in the men’s category (racing past his brother Reggie who finished sixth) and Aleisha Cline in the women’s.
UltraCross top 16 men from Skier X and Snowboarder X
The UltraCross teams the top men’s 16 Skier X finishers with the top 16 men’s Snowboarder X finishers in the Winter X Games’ only team-based event. Randomly paired skiers and riders race through the Skier X/Snowboarder X course, led first by the Snowboarder X rider. When he crosses the finish line, the Skier X partner’s gate is released for the fast and furious finish. Bad Boy Shaun Palmer and ski partner Hiroomi Takaawa of Japan grabbed a narrow first place finish, followed by silver and gold medallists Jason Evans (SNB)/Isidor Gruener (SKI) and Pontus Staahlkloo (SNB)/Matt Murphy (SKI), respectively.
Look for Mike Nick, Skogan Sprang, and C.R. Johnson will be key athletes to watch in Slopestyle as they all bring amazing big air skills to the competition. The Crist brothers are always top contenders in the Skier X competition, but will face a strong field including medallists from last year.