Top 25 moments from Winter X Games
Top 25 moments of Winter X Games
In 1997, the X Games expanded to included winter sports such as snowboarding, freeskiing, snowmobiling, and for a time, freestyle motocross, forging new paths for young athletes such as Shaun White, Kaya Turski and many more. What follows is a collection of the top 25 moments from the early days of the Winter X Games in 1997 to X Games Aspen 2013.
1997, First Winter X Games
In 1997, Southern California's Snow Summit Resort hosted the inaugural Winter X Games, which featured snow mountain bike racing, super-modified shovel racing, ice climbing and more.
1999, First Winter X three-peat
When Shaun Palmer won Snowboarder X in 1999, he completed the first three-peat in Winter X history. Palmer also competed in Snowmobile, Skier X and Snow Mountain Biking, making him one of X Games' first multi-sport superstars.
2000, Supersized Pipe
The term "SuperPipe" debuted in 2000, when the halfpipe walls were upped from 11 1/2 feet to 15 feet. The pipe grew even bigger, to its current 22 feet, in 2009.
2000, Tucker Hibbert
At 15, SnoCross racer Tucker Hibbert becomes the youngest gold medalist in X Games winter event history, a mark that still stands. Hibbert, who now has seven X Games SnoCross gold medals and the past six in a row, was only a semi-pro racer at the time.
2000, Enter White and Clark
In 2000, 13-year-old Shaun White and 16-year-old Kelly Clark made their X Games debuts. It would take the duo two years to win their first X medals (White: two silver, in SuperPipe and Slopestyle; Clark, gold in Superpipe) before later becoming the most dominant halfpipe competitors in the history of the sport.
2002, Travis Rice
In 2002, then 19-year-old Travis Rice earned his first invitation to the X Games and landed on top of the podium in Snowboard Slopestyle -- the first rookie ever to do so in that event. He'd hold that distinction until 2011, when Sebastien Toutant took rookie Slopestyle gold.
2003, Lindsey Jacobellis
Stratton, Vermont's Lindsey Jacobellis is synonymous with dominating the race course. She's earned seven gold medals in Snowboarder X, more than any other competitor in that discipline, male or female: a three-peat that began with this win in Aspen in 2003, then a four-peat from 2008 to 2011. That also leaves her with more gold than any other female winter X athlete.
2004, Caleb Wyatt
Caleb Wyatt, Nate Adams and Mike Metzger do huck flips over the 90-foot gap, the longest distance ever flipped in competition. In the final, Wyatt [pictured] threw a no-handed flip over the gap to grab gold.
2004, Brian Deegan
Brian Deegan, attempting the first FMX 360 on snow, bails from his motorcycle during the Moto X Best Trick preliminaries in 2004 during Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo. Deegan broke his femur and both wrists, but returned later in the year to land the first the FMX 360 in competition. His earliest attempts paved the way for FMX 360s.
2005, Women Welcome
The first female freeskiers were invited to compete at Winter X in Ski SuperPipe in 2005. Grete Eliassen won gold and earned the title of Female Innovator of the Games. Eliassen returned to win gold again in 2006.
2006, Janna Meyen
Though she'd long been a major force to be reckoned with, routinely edging out much younger competitors with her technical finesse, Janna Meyen made X Games history in 2006 by becoming the first winter athlete ever to four-peat, grabbing gold in Women's Slopestyle. Shaun White became the second to four-peat, also in 2006 and also in Slopestyle.
2006, Jeremy Stenberg
Jeremy Stenberg won gold in Moto X Best Trick at Winter X Games 2006 with a crazy, no-handed backflip to side saddle landing.
2007, Mono Skier X
In 2007, the X Games included its first-ever disabled discipline, Mono Skier X at Winter X Aspen.
2008, Gretchen Bleiler
in 2008, Gretchen Bleiler scored her third SuperPipe gold in what was likely the best women's pipe comp ever. Bleiler threw a frontside 900 and a pair of tough 720 variations to top Torah Bright's super-tech switch backside 720 Indy. Kelly Clark became the first woman to attempt a 1080 in a SuperPipe contest, nabbing bronze.
2008, Tanner Hall, Simon Dumont
In the late 2000s, Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont swapped places on the top of the Ski SuperPipe podium in a heated quest for Ski SuperPipe gold. In 2008, Tanner became the only person to three-peat in two Winter X disciplines, adding three straight Ski SuperPipe wins to his Slopestyle victories.
2010, Shaun White
White won his third straight Men's Snowboard SuperPipe gold in 2010 with a McTwist 1260 to become the first athlete to three-peat in Snowboard SuperPipe and the second X Games competitor to three-peat in two separate disciplines (Snowboard SuperPipe and Snowboard Slopestyle).
2010, Bobby Brown
In 2010, X Games rookie Bobby Brown became the first skier to win two gold medals at one event, in Ski Big Air and Slopestyle. It was a breakthrough performance that set the stage for Brown's career.
2011, Method Man
In 2011, Scotty Lago won the first-ever Snowboard Best Method competition. The grab's one of the oldest in the book and has served as a barometer of true style for decades.
2011, Tandem Backflip
Caleb Moore told ESPN that his tandem backflip during Best Trick with brother Colten at Aspen in 2011 was his favorite X Games memory. "Everyone went nuts over it," Caleb said. Colten, who did an Indian Air, received a score of zero.
2011, Torin Yater-Wallace
Aspen native Torin Yater-Wallace had a breakout performance at X Games Aspen in 2011. At age 15, he became the youngest winter athlete to medal at an X Games event. He earned a silver in Aspen in 2011, and then, the following year, cemented his place in history with a gold medal in Tignes in 2012.
2012, Heath Frisby
Heath Frisby won gold in Snowmobile Best Trick at X Games Aspen 2012 with the first frontflip on a snowmobile.
2012, Celebrate Sarah
A celebration of life for X Games champion Sarah Burke was held at X Games Aspen in 2012. Burke died just a week before X Games from injuries sustained in a crash in the halfpipe. "Sarah loved the X Games," said Mike Douglas, X Games TV analyst and fellow Canadian freeskiing pioneer. "This is the family that she loved to surround herself with. This is where she was happiest."
2012, Kaya Turski Three-Peat
Kaya Turski became the first skier to three-peat in Women's Ski Slopestyle, with three-in-a-row golds in Aspen (2010-2012) and three golds in Tignes (2010-201). In spring 2012, Turski became the first female skier to land a switch 1080 in a slope contest.
2012, Shaun White's 100
Shaun White scored the first perfect score in Winter X Games history in Men's Snowboard SuperPipe at Winter X Games Aspen 2012. "It's unreal," White said, after scoring 100 out of a possible 100 points on his final run. "I've been wanting that 100 forever," he added.
2013, Year of the triple
X Games Aspen 2013 not only saw the first triple corks thrown in competition, in Big Air finals two snowboarders (Sandbech and Smits) landed the trick for the first time, and Torstein Horgmo and Mark McMorris landed two brand new triple variations. Freeskiers also landed their first triples in X Games history during the Ski Big Air finals. Henrik Harlaut won gold with a perfect-scoring nose butter triple cork 1620.