Winter X Games 16: Late Start Will Add Excitement to Men's Ski Slopestyle

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterJanuary 26, 2012

ASPEN, CO - JANUARY 30:  Casey Puckett (yellow) of Aspen, Colorado leads Brian Bennett (white) of Canada, Nik Zoricic (black) of Canada and Stan Rey (red) of Canada to the finish line in their semifinal heat of the Men's Skier X at Winter X Games 15 at Buttermilk Mountain on January 30, 2011 in Aspen, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It's only fitting that the Winter X Games would put arguably its best event during primetime, on Day One of the 16th edition no less.

The Men's Ski Slopestyle is set to go down at 9:45 p.m. EST, 7:45 p.m. local time in Aspen, Colorado, with perhaps the deepest collection of talent of any single showcase at the 16th edition of the Winter X Games.

This particular field of freeskiers includes the last two gold medalists in the event—Sammy Carlson and Bobby Brown—and at least one more—Tom Wallisch—with serious bling aspirations.

Carlson, the progenitor of the Switch Triple Rodeo, is the defending champion at the Slopestyle. He'll be out for his sixth X Games medal and his fifth in the last four years.

Brown won the event in 2010—as an 18-year-old no less—before registering a perfect score of 100 to claim the Big Air event later on in the very same week. The now 20-year-old prodigy failed to place last year amidst a debilitating lower back injury, but can still proudly claim to be the only person to have ever landed a Switch Double Misty 1440.

As for Wallisch, he's practically the elder statesman among the American favorites, even at the tender age of 24. Wallisch has yet to win an X Games medal in the U.S., but is fresh off of first-place Slopestyle finishes on the Dew Tour at Killington and Breckenridge in 2011. He was forced to sit out last year's X Games with a broken shoulder blade.

Don't miss the excitement under the lights when these skiers take to the slopes in Aspen on Thursday night on ESPN.