The fourth day of the 2014 Winter X Games brings a close the exploits on the Buttermilk Mountain slopes in Aspen, Colo. with five medal rounds. ESPN will be broadcasting it all.
There is a wide variety of action for fans to choose from. We have the men's and women's final in skislope, the snowmobile adaptive snocross and snowmobile snocross, which all lead up to the highlighted show closer of the men's snowboard superpipe.
Check out the viewing vitals, then I'll offer up what I'm looking forward to most on the day.
Where: Buttermilk Mountain, Aspen, Colo.
When: Thursday, Jan. 23, to Sunday, Jan. 26
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Jan. 26||2 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Men's and Women's Ski SlopeStyle Final||ESPN/WatchESPN|
|Jan. 26||2 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Snowmobile Adaptive SnoCross Final||ESPN/WatchESPN|
|Jan. 26||2 p.m. - 6 p.m.||Snowmobile SnoCross Final||ESPN/WatchESPN|
|Jan. 26||9 p.m. - 11 p.m.||Men's Snowboard SuperPipe Final||ESPN/WatchESPN|
What to Watch
Men's Snowboard SuperPipe Final
The superpipe doesn't feature standout Shaun White this year, as the high-flying redhead skipped the event to focus on his Olympic training.
This event is still going to be a crowd pleaser. Iouri Podladtchikov looks primed to take the throne that White has left vacant.
He was nearly flawless in the preliminary round:
The top run in the Men's Snowboard SuperPipe Elims belonged to Iouri Podladtchikov Here's who advanced to the Final. http://t.co/RTcNHn0Obx— X Games (@XGames) January 24, 2014
The 25-year-old, a native of Switzerland, posted a score of 88 in his preliminary run. That was a full eight points better than second-place Ben Ferguson.
If the man nicknamed I-Pod can land all his tricks in the final, he isn't likely to board away with anything less than gold. He's twice won silver in this event, and he was fourth in 2010 in Vancouver. He's been steadily improving over the last couple of years, however.
In fact, with tricks like the Yolo Flip, he has a chance to give White a run for his money at the Olympic gold.
Ski SlopeStyle Finals
This is an event on the rise. It will even make its Olympic debut at Sochi. That is good news for Henrik Harlaut because if there is going to be a breakout star from this discipline, it is likely to be him.
He certainly didn't disappoint in the prelims:
Still, as impressive as his score of 95 was, it was only good enough to give him a two-point lead:
Men’s Ski SlopeStyle Elims are done! Here are the 8 who will compete for gold in the Final! pic.twitter.com/SfWZeyCv9U— X Games (@XGames) January 24, 2014
Harlaut's run left fans wildly impressed, and most notably, a Right Nosebutter Dub 12 had spectators in awe:
Harlaut is in a groove right now. He took gold on Saturday night in the GoPro ski big air. He posted a 93 in that event to beat Vincent Gagnier by a comfortable six points.
The best part about all of this is, this is his last chance to shine at these games, and he will do so in an event where he posted the all-time-highest score in a prelim run. What is he going to have in store with a medal on the line?
In the end, Harlaut could wind up only competing with himself for the gold in this event.
Still, considering how high he raised the bar with his record-setting run in the prelims, that alone is a competition worth watching.