Monday, January 27, 2014

Aspen X Games are over, exit to Sochi!

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The Winter XGames from Aspen are wrapped for another year. ESPN has continued the contract to the coveted Ski, Snowboard and Snowmobile Games til 2019! Sweet gig for Aspen's Buttermilk, the smallest of Aspen's four ski mountains including Ajax, Highlands and Snowmass. This season, skiing and snowboarding's best athletes brought big tricks to a boisterous Colorado crowd. For many athletes, this year's XGames were  stepping platform to the performance in the Sochi Olympics February 8 2014. The XGames are like the MTV Awards to winter sports, edgier than the Olympics or the Grammy's -which aired simultaneously with the XGames last night.  We you channel flipping from ESPN in Aspen to ABC's Grammy coverage from Hollywood?

Big winner at Winter X include Kelly Clark, the 30-year old snowboarder from Vermont won her fourth X Games Gold in Snowboard SuperPipe. Clark is going to Sochi to compete in Olympic Halfpipe with teammates Kaitlyn Farrington - who took XGames Silver at Aspen, and Vermont's Hannah Teter.

In Men's Snowboard SuperPipe, Danny Davis won Gold, with Louie Vito earning silver and Greg Bretz bronze. Gold medal winner 6x Shaun White did not ride in the XGames, saving his snowboard strength for Sochi. You will see White compete against his teammates Danny Davis and Greg Betz at Sochi's Rosa Khutor on Feb 11 in Olympic Superpipe. Shaun White will also perform in the first ever Olympic Snowboard Slopestyle on Feb 8.

In Men's Ski Slopestyle, Nick Goepper won his 2nd X Games Gold. He'll compete at Sochi  in the first ever Olympics ski slopestyle, along with teammates Gus Kenworthy, Joss Christensen and Bobby Brown. If you have been to the Dumont Cup at Sunday River, you have seen these guys compete alongside Simon Dumont. Unfortunately, Dumont injured his ACL, sidelining him from both the XGames and Olympics.

In Men's Ski Halfpipe, David Wise won his 3rd XGames Gold, he'll head to Olympic Ski Halfpipe's debut along with Torin Yater-Wallace - the 18 year old super skier from Aspen. In Women's Ski Halfpipe Maddie Bowman won Gold, she is competing in Sochi's first Women's Olympic Ski Halfpipe, along with Andover, Mass. teammate Annalisa Drew.

In Men's Snowboard Cross, Nate Holland won his 6th Gold, beating fellow Olympic bound SBX Alex Diebold and Trevor Jacob. In a surprising twist, Sugarloafer Seth Wescott was eliminated early at Aspen, and unfortunately did not secure a spot on the Olympic Snowboard Cross team to defend his two Gold medals. Nick Baumgartner will go to Sochi as the 4th man instead.

In Women's Snowboard Cross Lindsey Jacobellis won her 8th Winter X Games Gold. Jacobellis is going to Sochi, you may remember she hit a gate and was disqualified at Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and missed Gold at the 2006 Olympics when she led the pack but went for a victory grab on the final jump and fell, grabbing silver instead. Next up Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia...this should be very interesting! I think these USA athletes and the  US Alpine Ski Team should haul some serious medals at Rosa Khutor. Game on Team USA...

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