It’snowheaven – Xtra Special – By Jess Softley

Since its launch in 1997, the Winter X Games has documented the making and breaking, of many snowboarders and skiers.

After its summer equivalent (The Extreme Games) began to bring an increasing amount of spectators, growing in popularity and publicity, they agreed that it was time to bring the same to the slopes.

The very first home of the event was the Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, attracting a crowd of 38,000 and with snowboarding being one of the few sports that have been part of the X Games since the start; it’s certainly seen the level of technicality change massively.

Throughout the years, the Winter X Games has achieved the status of being the biggest event of the season, and after coming to Tignes in Europe, its success has flourished with France remaining as the second leg of this event, even to this day.

This year Aspen will host the first leg of the X Games, despite talk last year about moving the event to a different venue, Aspen still managed to keep the games in Colorado for the 11th year in a row.

This Thursday, riders will be competing in the Slopestyle, Superpipe, Big Air and Snowmobile events.

Those lucky enough to have been invited include many such as; Bobby Brown, who was the first skier to win two gold medals in the same X Games in 2010, Kelly Clark, the first female snowboarder to land a 1080 in the competition and the first female to repeat gold in the Snowboard Superpipe.

As many would say, the Winter X Games could quite easily be renamed as the Shaun White event, with so many magazine and write-ups being dominated by Mr White himself.

However, 2013 could see the dominance overthrown in the Slopestyle by none other than Mark McMorris, the first snowboarder to land the triple cork in competition and the gold medallist in Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air at X Games Aspen 2012.

At first glance you would expect the most challenging event to be the men’s Superpipe, but looking at the line up for the Slopestyle, this could quite possibly be the most competitive final that snowboarding has seen in a long while!

Not only will White and McMorris be competing against each other, but they will have to get past the likes of US Grand Prix Slopestyle winner, Chas Guldemond, Air & Style competitors Sage Kotsenburg, Peetu Piiroionen, Seppe Smits, Roope Tonteri, Ulrik Badertscher and Torstein Horgmo.

The same could be said for the women’s Slopestyle as Britain’s Aimee Fuller will be going toe to toe with US Grand Prix Slopestyle winner Jamie Anderson, Kjersti Buass and Sarka Pancochova.

With the who’s who of snowboarding competing in this competition, you should definitely check in and watch this!

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