Winter X Games 2013: Top Athletes and Event Preview

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Winter X Games 2013: Top Athletes and Event Preview
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For fans of extreme winter sports, the Winter X Games represents one of the best times of the year.

Beginning on January 24, some of the most talented snowboarders, skiers and snowmobile riders will face off in Aspen, Colorado in a quest for X Games gold and a chance to prove they are the best of the best.

The powder is fresh and the cameras are ready for what should prove to be the most memorable X Games in recent years. We’ll take a look at the schedule of events and some of the premier athletes who will be taking part in the event this year.

 

Where: Buttermilk Mountain, Aspen, Colorado

When: Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 27

Watch: ESPN and ABC

Live Stream: WatchESPN

 

Shaun White: Snowboarding

The Flying Tomato is back for another year, and he’ll be focusing on going bigger than ever.

According to Alyssa Roenigk of ESPN, White doesn’t plan to skateboard at all in 2013 as he prepares for the Sochi Winter Olympics. With a whole year to dedicate to snowboarding, he'll undoubtedly bring his best performances with him to Apen.

White is an iconic figure for snowboarding, even without his signature long hair. He’s won 12 gold medals at the X Games dating back to 2003, and he’s dominated in both the SlopeStyle and SuperPipe events. With such an impressive track record at the X Games, even those who aren’t fans of the sport know who White is.

The 26-year-old will be expected to do big things this year, especially after reportedly landing a 1440 triple cork in SlopeStyle practice recently. He hasn’t confirmed that it is him in the video, but you can take a look for yourself:

 

Gretchen Bleiler: Snowboarding

Bleiler isn’t a newcomer to the sport. She’s been collecting gold at the X Games since 2003.

Bleiler is a SuperPipe wizard, and she won a gold medal in the event in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010. She’ll set her sights on that prize once again this year.

Bleiler also competed at the Winter Olympics in 2006 and 2010, representing the U.S. Snowboard halfpipe team with a silver medal in 2006 (via ESPN).

Here’s a clip of her gold medal run in the 2010 Winter X Games:

 

Tucker Hibbert: Snowmobile

Hibbert has been at it a long time, and he’ll compete for his sixth straight gold medal in the SnoCross event this year. After 21 years of riding, he has cemented himself as one of sport's premier riders (via FoxRacingShox.com).

If you don’t know much about the SnoCross event (or Hibbert), this video should give you a pretty give idea of what to expect when he takes to the snow this weekend:

 

Bobby Brown: Skiing

Brown is the only skier in Winter X Games history to win two gold medals in the Big Air event, and he returns this year looking to add to his impressive resume.

According to Devon O’Neil of ESPN, Brown is “considered by many to be the most innovative Big Air skier in the world.” He won the Big Air event last year by throwing a switch double misty 1260 and a switch double cork 1440 for a combined score of 88 (via ESPN).

Many thought Brown might attempt a triple cork last year, but it never happened. Perhaps Brown will take the extreme one step further and attempt it this weekend.

Here’s a look at his first-round run from last year:

 

Schedule of Events (all times EST)

Date

Time Event
Jan. 24 12:30 p.m. Men's Ski SuperPipe Elimination
Jan. 24 3 p.m. Men's Snowboard SlopeStyle Elimination and Real Snow Video Awards
Jan. 24 9 p.m. Men's Snowboard SuperPipe Elimination and Snowmobile Freestyle Final
Jan. 25 3 p.m. Men's Ski SlopeStyle Elimination and Snowboard Street Final
Jan. 25 8:30 p.m. Women's Ski SuperPipe Final
Jan. 25 10:30 p.m. America's Navy Snowboard Big Air Final and Men's Ski SuperPipe Final
Jan. 26 2 p.m. Men's Snowboard SlopeStyle Final
Jan. 26 4 p.m. Women's Snowboard SlopeStyle Final and Snowmobile Speed and Style Final
Jan. 26 9 p.m. Ski Big Air Final and Women's Snowboard SuperPipe Final
Jan. 27 2 p.m.

Men's Ski SlopeStyle Final and Snowmobile SnoCross Adaptive Final

Women's Ski SlopeStyle Final and Snowmobile SnoCross Final

Jan. 27 9 p.m. GoPro Snowmobile Best Trick Final and Men's Snowboard SuperPipe Final
     
     

*Full schedule can also be found at ESPN.

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