Best moments from X Games Aspen 2014
X Games Aspen 2014
X Games Aspen 2014 wrapped up Sunday after an action-packed five days of victories, upsets and new records. We saw the end of some competitive careers and the dawn of new ones. We saw new tricks and glorious triumphs, deep heartbreak and devastating loss. Here's a glimpse back.
Greg Bretz, Snowboard SuperPipe
"Going into this season I just feel healthier and stronger than ever," said Greg Bretz, who won a bronze medal in SuperPipe on Sunday night, and is now on his way to Sochi with the U.S. Olympic team. "I broke my back in February last year and I used that as a positive note to get my drive going. I just had a lot of confidence going into this season is what it boils down to."
Danny Davis, Snowboard SuperPipe
"I can't believe it really," said SuperPipe gold medalist Danny Davis, who has set himself apart from his halfpipe peers with unique and stylish technical tricks like a huge switch method and tweaked-out McTwist. "I'm going to ride this switch method train as long as it will last."
Andreas Håtveit, Ski Slopestyle
Norwegian Andreas Htveit has been a staple in X Games Ski Slopestyle competition for years, but he recently announced that this was his final X Games, as he'll be retiring from competitive skiing. He went out with a bang, earning the top qualifier score on Saturday and then a bronze medal in Sunday's finals.
Nick Goepper, Ski Slopestyle
"It's going to be crazy," Nick Goepper said about freeskiing's Olympic debut. "Definitely keep your eyes open and wake up at 2 in the morning to watch the show."
Yuki Tsubota, Ski Slopestyle
Canadian Yuki Tsubota took eighth in the women's Ski Slopestyle finals on Sunday, which were won by fellow Canadian Kaya Turski. X Games rookie Maggie Voisin, 15, made a splash by landing a switch 1080 for the silver medal, becoming the youngest skier to medal in X Games history.
Kody Kamm and Justin Broberg took silver and bronze, respectively, in Snowmobile SnoCross.
Danny Davis, Snowboard SuperPipe
"There's going to be a lot of flipping and spinning," Danny Davis said about what to expect in Sochi. "There's going to be some air time, and I think you can tell that the Americans are looking pretty darn good."
Nick Goepper, Ski Slopestyle
Nick Goepper not only won the first repeat men's Ski Slopestyle gold since 2004, but he landed one of the first triples in an X Games Ski Slopestyle competition. His rightside triple cork 1440 and an otherwise flawless run secured his victory.
"I was kind of distracted. It's a tough race when you're in the lead and the track was getting pretty gnarly toward the end," Tucker Hibbert said about Sunday's Snowmobile SnoCross.
Tucker Hibbert was the top qualifier in the first heat of Snowmobile SnoCross, then he lapped some of the field in the final on his way to victory.
X Games Aspen ~ Day 3
The drama was high in Aspen on Saturday as two new champions took center stage in Snowboard Slopestyle: A 13-year-old rookie made a stunning debut in pipe while a 30-year-old vet became the most decorated female athlete in X Games history.
Levi LaVallee, Snowmobile Long Jump
Snowmobile Long Jump hasn't been contested at X Games since 2010. But there's one name that's been synonymous with the distance event: Levi LaVallee, who won in 2010 and earned his seventh X Games gold medal in the event's return Saturday at X Games Aspen 2014.
Gretchen Bleiler, Snowboard SuperPipe
Gretchen Bleiler has been competing at X Games Aspen since the event moved to her hometown in 2002. She won gold here in 2003 and 2005, silver in 2007 and gold again in 2008 and 2010. On Saturday, she took the last X Games SuperPipe run of her career. Bleiler will retire from competition after this season. "It definitely makes me sad," Bleiler said of the decision. "I've grown up through the X Games, and it's like a chapter in my life is ending. But I'm so grateful I've had such a long career filled with amazing friends and memories. I still love snowboarding and I'm always going to be a competitive person, but there are other things that I'm ready to focus on."
Max Parrot, Snowboard Slopestyle
"I dont feel like I'm the best," said Max Parrot in an interview after he won back-to-back golds in X Games Big Air and Slopestyle. He's now is looking like a favorite to podium when slopestyle makes its Olympic debut in Sochi. "You dont become the best snowboarder in 24 hours. I still have to prove myself."
Kjersti Buass, W's Snowboard Slopestyle
Norwegian snowboarder Kjersti Buass just missed the podium in slopestyle on Saturday, but big tricks like her frontside 720 could make her a podium threat in Sochi.
Henrik Harlaut, Ski Big Air
Sweden's Henrik Harlaut won Ski Big Air at X Games Aspen 2014 with the same trick he used to win in Aspen last year: a nose butter triple 1620. "It felt like it was time to do it again," Harlaut said.
Caleb Moore tribute
On Sunday at X Games Aspen, fans and fellow athletes celebrated the life and legacy of snowmobile professional Caleb Moore, who died from injuries sustained in last year's competition. Fellow athletes that competed against Moore in past X Games, including Moore's brother, Colten, came to the collective agreement that Moore would want them to continue riding and continue progressing the sport of Snowmobile Freestyle.
Queralt Castellet, Women's SuperPipe
Just five points separated the top five finishers in the women's Snowboard SuperPipe finals on Saturday. Spaniard Queralt Castellet was the top international contender, finishing fifth, and will be a podium threat in Sochi if she can bring her 1080 back into her run to challenge Kelly Clark, Saturday's gold medalist.
X Games Aspen ~ Day 2
Friday at X Games Aspen brought the return of Snowboarder X, the ultimate showdown in Snowboard Big Air and huge airs in Ski SuperPipe. In Ski Slopestyle elims, Tom Wallisch (shown here), who's been skiing all season with a torn ACL, narrowly missed making the finals. Stay tuned here for more images from X Games Aspen.
Torstein Horgmo, Snowboard Big Air
Last year's Big Air battle between triple cork innovators Torstein Horgmo and Mark McMorris that resulted in Horgmo's fifth X Games Big Air gold was arguably one of the best X Games finals to date. This year, McMorris pulled out of the Big Air event in order to save his strength for Slopestyle, making a rematch impossible. Then, to everyone's surprise, every competitor in Big Air qualifiers threw a triple cork, and Horgmo failed to make it to the final round.
Ayana Onozuka, Ski SuperPipe
Ayana Onozuka just missed the podium with a fourth place finish in the women's Ski SuperPipe finals on Friday night. The Japanese rider is known for her amplitude, and she recently scored a second place finish at the Grand Prix in Breckenridge.
Justin Dorey, Ski SuperPipe
Canadian halfpipe skier Justin Dorey had an unlucky night in the men's Ski SuperPipe finals, taking huge hits into the wall of the pipe on multiple crashes. He walked away from the falls and finished in eighth place.
Max Parrot, Snowboard Big Air
When Parrot landed a Cab (switch frontside) triple cork 1440 -- the same trick Mark McMorris used to score silver last year behind Torstein Horgmos switch backside triple cork 1440 -- the other riders and coaches at the top of the tower screamed. Norwegian Stle Sandbech was on his way up the stairs at the time. "Whatd he do?" Sandbech asked. When someone told him, Sandbech threw up his arms and exclaimed, "What is up with the world, man?"
Alex Ferreira, Ski SuperPipe
Aspen, Colo., local Alex Ferreira made his second XG Aspen appearance after finishing 13th in Men's Ski SuperPipe in 2013. This time around, he scored a bronze medal. At 19, Ferreira graduated from Aspen High School just last year.
Alex Schlopy, Ski Slopestyle
Park City, Utah, native Alex Schlopy narrowly missed making the U.S. Olympic team for slopestyle and although he attempted some difficult, new tricks in the slopestyle elims on Friday, he missed getting a spot in finals. "Not in finals but I still think I had the most fun today," Schlopy tweeted afterward.
After a one-year hiatus, Snowboarder X returned to X Games Aspen on Friday. Nate Holland and Lindsey Jacobellis walked away victorious.
Nate Holland, Snowboarder X
Nate Holland won his seventh X Games gold medal in Snowboarder X on Friday. "Another X Games gold?" he said. "I can't believe it."
David Wise, Ski SuperPipe
David Wise is an X Games champion -- he got a three-peat in Ski SuperPipe on Friday night -- but he's also a father and husband. His wife, Lexi, and their daughter, Nayeli, watched Wise compete from the base of the pipe.
Nick Goepper, Ski Slopestyle
Nick Goepper qualified third in the men's Ski Slopestyle elims, behind Henrik Harlaut and Andreas Htveit. The Indiana native said earlier this week that growing up in the Midwest makes him appreciate everything in his career that much more.
X Games Aspen ~ Day 1
X Games Aspen 2014 got off to a strong start on Thursday, with nail-biting competitions in Men's Snowboard Slopestyle elims, Ski and SNB SuperPipe elims and Colten Moore winning Snowmobile Freestyle in honor of his brother, Caleb.
Colten Moore, Snowmobile Freestyle
A year after the death of his brother, Caleb, who suffered injuries following a crash in Snowmobile Freestyle at X Games Aspen 2013, Colten Moore returned to X Games Aspen 2014 and said he was "going to go out there and ride with Caleb." He triumphantly finished his first of two runs in first place and retained the lead throughout the remainder of the competition. "I just knew that Caleb would be riding with me," said Moore.
Colten Moore, Snowmobile Freestyle
Colten Moore's first of two runs in Snowmobile Freestyle was one of the most energetic and dynamic runs of the entire competition. Moore, seen here amid a Hart attack backflip, was riding in front of a crowd that included more than 60 of his friends, family and community members from his hometown of Krum, Texas. His gold medal was not just a victory for himself -- it was a victory for the entire Moore family.
Ben Ferguson, SuperPipe Elims
"I've always just competed because it's fun to be in this environment," said 19-year-old Ben Ferguson, who showed up to his first X Games Aspen SuperPipe event on Thursday and qualified in one of the top spots for Sunday's finals. "I've competed since I was little. I did my first contest at 8, and have been working my way up, and it looks like I'm here now."
Camo Lago, SuperPipe Elims
Scotty Lago's dog, Camo, and his newly minted Miss New Hampshire girlfriend, Bridget Brunet, cheer their man on from the bottom of Thursday's Snowboard SuperPipe elims. Fun Fact: Lago and Camo are featured in the February 2014 issue of Dog Fancy magazine. True story.
Kourtney Hungerford, Snowmobile Freestyle
Although veteran Snowmobile Freestyle competitor Kourtney Hungerford finished in eighth place after the finals were done, his style and ability to throw classic tricks such as this cannonball cannot be undermined. At age 32, Hungerford now holds more than 15 years of professional competition under his belt, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Ståle Sandbech, Slopestyle Elims
Norway represented in full force on Thursday, with Torstein Horgmo topping the Slopestyle eliminations and Stle Sandbech qualifying in the third spot, behind Canadian Mark McMorris. You may remember that Sandbech won bronze in Big Air last year behind Horgmo and McMorris and has a really good shot at nabbing gold when the finals go down on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.
Danny Davis, SuperPipe practice
Danny Davis has been blowing minds in the U.S. Olympic team qualifiers with a run full of switch tricks that he's getting higher and higher out of the pipe every contest he enters. When you watch him ride in the SuperPipe finals on Sunday night, remember: Those are all hard tricks, but he's doing them backward.
Seth Wescott, Snowboarder X
Despite his two Olympic gold medals, 37-year-old Seth Wescott is still looking for his first win in XG Snowboarder X. The nine-time XG medalist has made the Snowboarder X final in 13 of 14 starts.
Nick Goepper, Slopestyle Elims
No athlete has won a repeat gold in Men's Ski Slopestyle since Tanner Hall did so in 2004. Nick Goepper, the X Games Aspen 2013 Slopestyle gold medalist, will be defending his title this week in Aspen.
James Woods, Slopestyle Elims
"I don't concentrate on what it looks like. I concentrate on what it feels like," says Englands James Woods, a favorite in Mens Ski Slopestyle. "I think if it feels good, it'll look good."
Torin Yater-Wallace, SuperPipe Elims
Torin Yater-Wallace suffered a collapsed lung and two broken ribs earlier this winter and he wasnt sure hed be recovered enough to compete at X Games Aspen. But the Aspen native said he was feeling strong when he dropped in for the Ski SuperPipe eliminations on Wednesday night, where he barely edged in for a spot in Fridays finals.