The Winter X Games have been held annually since 1995, with the event taking place at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colo., every year since 2002. That's not going to change this year, even though the coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted the sports world.
There will be some changes, though. The 2021 iteration is going to be held without fans in attendance and will be "produced with comprehensive COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols in place for participants and staff," per the X Games site.
Still, this weekend will feature all the Winter X Games events that fans have come to enjoy every year, with men's and women's skiing and snowboarding competitions such as superpipe, slopestyle, big air and more. And there are a few notable athletes who will be competing in Aspen.
Here's everything you need to know about this year's Winter X Games, which get underway Friday.
2021 Winter X Games Information
Dates: January 29-31
TV Coverage: ESPN, ESPN2, ABC
Live Stream: X Games' YouTube channel, ESPN online
One Winter X Games legend is going to miss out on this year's event, while another is making a return.
Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, who has won nine career X Games gold medals and a pair of Olympic medals, won't be participating this year after testing positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk.
Last year, the 27-year-old took the silver medal in the big air event in Aspen, then won gold in big air and silver in slopestyle at X Games Norway.
"I'm definitely going to miss competing at my favorite event," McMorris said in a statement to ESPN, per Roenigk. "I'm sending good vibes to all the riders and to the organizers who worked so hard to create a safe environment for everyone to compete under such difficult circumstances."
However, snowboarding fans will get to see the return of Shaun White, who last competed at an X Games event in 2017, when he placed 11th in the superpipe in Aspen. He has won 15 gold medals in his X Games career, with his last coming in the superpipe in 2013.
The 34-year-old has been posting updates from Aspen on his Instagram, as he shared that he pulled out of the Laax Open in Switzerland last week to stay in the U.S. and prepare for the Winter X Games. He last competed in a snowboarding event in the 2018 Winter Olympics, when he won gold in the men's halfpipe.
White will be one of eight snowboarders competing in the men's superpipe event this weekend. Taylor Gold, a 27-year-old from Steamboat Springs, Colo., won his first X Games gold medal in the event in Aspen last year and will be in the field again this weekend. He will be joined by last year's bronze medalist, Toby Miller, a 20-year-old from Truckee, Calif.
The women's snowboard slopestyle will be another to watch closely this weekend. Last year, Jamie Anderson won her sixth X Games gold medal, all of which have come in the same discipline. She has won 17 career X Games medals, the most by a woman in event history.
Last weekend, the 30-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, Calif. won the women's slopestyle event at the Laax Open, edging Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Kokomo Murase, both of whom will also be in the field this weekend.
Alex Ferreira, who is an Aspen native, will be looking to win the gold medal in the men's ski superpipe for the third consecutive year. His victories the past two years marked the first two gold medals of the 26-year-old's X Games career.
Another competitor to watch is snowboarder Chloe Kim from Long Beach, Calif. She's a five-time gold medalist, all of which came in the women's superpipe, including four in Aspen between 2015-19. The 20-year-old didn't compete in 2020, as she took a year off from competition while beginning her freshman year at Princeton University.
Last weekend, she won the women's halfpipe at the Laax Open, so it appears she's ready for her X Games return.