Winter X Games 2015 under way in Aspen, Colorado

IN THE RESORT of Aspen (Snowmass) Colorado this week the world’s finest extreme winter sport athletes come together to compete in a variety of snow-based disciplines. The Winter X Games has been held since 1997,  with a trial of Winter X Games Europe in Tignes, France for a few years and it is winter sports biggest annual event with athletes from across the world having been invited to compete. Winter_X_Games_logo2

It all started on Wednesday [21st] with Women’s Superpipe Final, not having any elimination stages unlike any other competition, which was won by American freeskier Maddie Bowman. Last night [22nd] saw Danny Davis win the gold medal in the Men’s Snowboard Superpipe Final for the second year coming, Japanese boarder Taku Hiraoka taking silver and Iouri Podlatchikov from Switzerland claiming the bronze medal, whilst Shaun White who was won 23 X Games medals in 13 years could only manage fourth spot.

The big events to look forward to are the Snowboard Big Air on Friday [23rd] and then on Saturday [24th] the Men’s Ski Slopestyle Final (from 6pm onwards) which James Woods, from Sheffield will look to add to the bronze medal he won last year to his ever-improving resume, especially for a British freestyle skier. On Sunday we see the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final and then the Men’s Ski Superpipe Final. Athletes like Lindsay Jacobellis, Silje Norendal, Torin Yalter-Wallace and Nate Holland will all be looking to boost their profile with big performances in Aspen.

The X Games is a huge event, probably bigger across the Atlantic than over here, with being broadcast on ESPN and ABC in the States but you can catch some action on ESPN UK too. On a negative sidenote, especially for ski fans, the FIS (International Ski Federation) have organised their World Championship at the same time as the X Games, but in Austria, with athletes having to decide over competing at the X Games which has given a profile and platform for winter sports across the globe for almost 20 years or to compete at the FIS-organised World Championships, which receives less global coverage and less sponsorship deals, which are key for the athletes to be professional.