Winter X Games 17: Top Competitors and Video Highlights

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2013

Winter X Games 17: Top Competitors and Video Highlights

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    The 2013 Winter X Games will be the 16th edition of these events, and this year’s top competitors promise to put on a show the fans in attendance and the viewers at home will never forget.

    After so much success with the 2012 Winter X Games, the top athletes in all events have congregated this year on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen to do their best to top last year’s performances.

    With the anticipation growing for these events each year and the fact that these games are the precursor to the 2014 Winter Olympics, the magnitude of the situation is growing. Expect the top stars to step up their game on such a big stage.

    There is so much excitement in store for the action sports fans that love the X Games, and all of the following stars will be at the center of all the frenzy with their stellar performances.

Forest Bailey, Snowboarding

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    While Forest Bailey was already an underground snowboarding sensation, it wasn’t until last year’s Snowboard Street event at X Games 15 that the young star was able to show off his moves.

    The skateboard infusion into his style made the competition one of the coolest of the 2012 X Games, and Bailey’s gold-medal performance proved that Snowboard Street and Bailey were here to stay.

    Look for the second-year participant to try to make it 2-of-2.

Jamie Anderson, Snowboarding

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    Many snowboarding fans know the entertaining Jamie Anderson from her appearances in magazines and on television, but she is also one of the best snowboarders in the world and is a favorite to win her second straight gold medal in Slopestyle.

    Anderson has medaled in six straight Slopestyle events at the Winter X Games—three gold, one silver and two bronze—and there is no reason to believe the veteran doesn’t have another gold-medal performance in her.

Heath Frisby, Snowmobiling

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    Snowmobiling may not get the mainstream respect it deserves, but veteran Heath Frisby is one of the greatest performers the sport has ever seen. With seven medals over his career—including the gold medal in the Best Trick competition last year—Frisby is a legend.

    He will have serious competition from Colten Moore in both Best Trick and Freestyle, but this could be the veteran’s year for a clean sweep.

Roz Groenewoud, Skiing

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    Skiing is another event at the X Games that doesn’t get enough mainstream support, but the success of a bright young star like Roz Groenewoud is exactly what the sport needs.

    While it wasn’t until last year that Groenewoud broke into the upper echelon with a gold-medal performance in the Superpipe, the Canadian star has gotten consistently better each year and looks to be at her best in 2013.

    The competition has been put on notice.

Iouri Podladtchikov, Snowboarding

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    Just as it is with every sport, when a great star—like Shaun White in snowboarding—is dominating the sport, there is always another top-tier athlete being buried by that success.

    That describes Iouri Podladtchikov to perfection.

    Podladtchikov has finished second to White in the last two Superpipe events he has participated in (2010 and 2012 Winter X Games), but he looks to bring the best he has to Aspen and shock the world by winning gold.

Bobby Brown, Skiing

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    Since becoming the first skier in history to win two gold medals during the same Winter X Games in 2010, American Bobby Brown has not been able to reach the same level of greatness.

    While Brown returned to elite form in 2012 by winning gold in Big Air, he stumbled to a seventh-place finish in Slopestyle.

    Still, whether Brown succeeds or fails in 2013, it will be undoubtedly be fun to watch.

Mark McMorris, Snowboarding

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    At only 19 years old, Canadian standout Mark McMorris is already making a serious splash in the sport of snowboarding. With Shaun White likely heading into the twilight of his career, there are many fans who feel that McMorris could be the heir to the X Games throne.

    As the defending Big Air and Slopestyle gold medalist from 2012, it will be White who is chasing McMorris in Aspen.

    This is a battle fans will have to keep an eye on throughout the event.

Tucker Hibbert, Snowmobiling

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    The SnoCross event is one of the most exciting of the Winter X Games each year, and Tucker Hibbert has become the Michael Jordan of snowmobiling.

    Going for his sixth gold medal in a row, the legend looks to further his domination of the sport and by being the first-ever six-time champion in any Winter X Games history.

    All eyes will be on Hibbert when the 2013 SnoCross event commences.

Kelly Clark, Snowboarding

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    The biggest female star to watch during the 2013 Winter X Games is American Kelly Clark, who will be looking for her third straight gold medal in Superpipe. Kelly is already the first-ever back-to-back gold medalist in the event, and she will look to keep her winning ways going.

    With nine medals over the years participating in the Winter X Games, Kelly looks to add one more crowning achievement to what has been a legendary snowboarding career.

Shaun White, Snowboarding

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    Shaun White is the greatest men’s snowboarder in X Games history, and he will not only further cement his legacy with an amazing performance at the 2013 Winter X Games, but he will also win his sixth straight gold medal in the Superpipe event.

    As the five-time defending champion, White has unleashed an era of dominance in this event that includes the only perfect 100 score in the history of Superpipe.

    While White has looked indestructible over the last five years, a young star and two-time runner-up like Iouri Podladtchikov will be looking to dethrone the champion and make a name for himself.

    This is going to be an exciting 2013 X Games.