X Games one step closer to Oslo, Norway
The city of Oslo, Norway, voted this week to approve funding towards hosting a winter X Games event in 2016. If approved, it would be the first time X Games has been held in a Scandinavian country. At a meeting held April 29 at Oslo's City Hall, the City Council declared a majority vote in support of holding the ESPN action sports event, likely to take place in February 2016. (The event would not replace X Games Aspen, which is slated to continue in the Colorado mountain town through at least 2019).
ESPN and TV 2, Norway's largest commercial television station, are now in discussions to reach an official agreement on the event.
"We're very excited with the result of this week's vote and commend the work that the Oslo city government and others have put in to reach this point," said Tim Reed, vice president of X Games. "This week was a big next step. We're now looking forward to getting to work with local organizers and TV 2 to try and reach an agreement. We're optimistic about those discussions and the final push toward a potential X Games event in Oslo."
Representatives from Norway's TV 2 met with the country's ski and snowboard federations to gain their support before coming up with the proposal for Oslo to host X Games, drafting and submitting an application and budget to the city earlier this year. "We are pleased to see that a majority of the City Council voted to support our application and the city government proposal," said Jan Ove Aarsaether, director of sports for TV 2.
X Games destinations, 1995 - 2020
So you think X Games is just a twice a year event that happens in Aspen, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota? Think again. X Games has traveled the world, and brought the world of action sports to Europe, Asia, South America and destinations throughout North America.
"We are optimistic as we work with the X Games to reach a final agreement for an annual, world-class event in Oslo." Although Norway has never hosted an X Games before, many Norwegian athletes have long-since participated in the event, including snowboarders Terje Håkonsen, Ståle Sandbech, and three-time gold medalists Silje Norendal and Torstein Horgmo, plus skiers PK Hunder and gold medalists Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen and Andreas Håtveit.
"It would be absolutely amazing for Oslo to host the X Games next year," says Sjåstad Christiansen. "Norway has so many great athletes, both snowboarders and skiers, but no big international competitions. Plus, we're a country where people love to volunteer, and they show passion and love for their country and especially winter sports."