Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

What To Know and Why You Should Watch The Winter X Games


The upcoming Super Bowl, the heart of the NBA season, and the drama of NCAA Men’s Basketball conference play are stealing the sports headlines right now. But this weekend’s Winter X Games brings some of the most exciting and interesting sports action the year has to offer.

X Games Aspen runs from Jan. 28-31 in Aspen, Colorado, and is broadcasted on the ESPN family of networks. The competitions feature some of the best winter action sport athletes from around the world, squaring off in various events involving skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

The Winter X Games fly under the radar for most sports fans, but can offer incredible excitement to anybody with an athletic background. The athletes, ranging from all ages and nationalities, perform incredible moves and risk serious injury in their attempts for gold medals.

Recapping Previous Events:

Thursday, January 28:

Day One of action in Aspen was as exciting as it has ever been, which promises to make the weekend a memorable one.

Mike Schultz took home gold in the Snowmobile SnoCross Adaptive race in a special feel-good story. Schultz broke his right heel in the Snowboarder X Adaptive race in last year’s competitions, which later required a five-hour surgery and a four-month stint in a wheelchair. It forced him to watch this event from his couch last year, and after winning his fifth gold medal in this event, he simply put “it’s so much fun to be here, and win!”

Like Schultz has dominated his event, Tucker Hibbert continued to dominate the Snowmobile SnoCross race event as he won his ninth-consecutive gold medal. Kevin Rolland later took gold in the Men’s Ski SuperPipe.

The night rounded out with special performances by Run The Jewels and Nas on the music stage.

What to Watch For:

Friday, January 29:

The female athletes get their time to shine here with the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle and Ski Slopestyle events. These two go on earlier in the day, while the Women’s Ski SuperPipe takes place later in the day’s action.

The men also take the stage with two of arguably the most exciting and dangerous actions to take place in all of sports: the Snowmobile Freestyle and the Snowboard Big Air.

The snowmobile events are some of the most exciting of the weekend, due to its high risk for injury. The heavy snowmobiles pose a serious threat to the athlete’s safety if something goes wrong, which poses a fear factor and makes for much more excitement and energy in the Aspen Mountains. Plus, snowmobiles are awesome!

The Snowboard Big Air event is just as exciting as the athlete starts off high in the air and rides down a massive hill to pick up speed. They then go off a huge ramp to give them large amounts of airtime to complete their tricks. While this does not pose as serious of a safety threat, the daunting heights the athletes rise to can make anyone’s heart skip a beat.

Musical performances continue as alternative rock band Twenty One Pilots takes the stage with their hit single “Stressed Out.”

Saturday, January 30:

The exciting X Games continue with Skiing taking center stage, including one of the more interesting events of the weekend with the Mono Skier X. This event has the skiers wear a certain ski that has their two legs forced into one, putting balance as an even trickier challenge for the athletes.

Snowboarding also gets in the action as the Men’s Slopestyle and SuperPipe events take place.

The Men’s and Women’s Skier X events also take place in the afternoon. As the sky turns dark and the lights come on, the Ski Big Air is the last event before deadmau5 comes onto the music stage for a performance to close the night.

Sunday, January 31:

The last day of the X Games weekend starts off early in the morning with the Men’s Ski Slopestyle before switching gears to snowboarding. The Snowboarder X and Adaptive X are races between athletes from various countries, competing for the precious gold medal.

X Games Aspen finally concludes with the Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe and a final musical performance from Kygo.

Important Notes:

  • Shaun White will not be competing in this year’s Winter X Games events. Danny Chi, the spokesman for X Games, simply said “he wasn’t invited” and left it at that. No other comments or developments have been made as to why he is not competing. White is one of the most notable performers from the X Games and one of the best snowboarders to compete, with 23 medals and a record 15 of them as gold medals. He made his debut in 2000 at a stunning age of 13, and has performed every year with the exception of 2014 to prepare for the Olympics.
  • The Snowmobile Freestyle event is back after taking a year off. The event is one of the favorites among all athletes and fans, and everyone is happy to have it back.
  • The first openly gay action sports athlete, Gus Kenworthy, will perform for a medal in the Men’s Ski SuperPipe.
  • Some of the events will not take place on national television for the first time in X Games history. Instead, they will take place on ESPN3, which can be found online or on the WatchESPN app.
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