X Games Aspen 2016 -- Women of Ski SuperPipe
The Women of Ski Pipe
Eight skiers will be competing Friday in the women's Ski SuperPipe field at X Games Aspen 2016. With a stacked and highly accomplished field, the gold is anyone's for the taking. The competitors hail from Canada, the U.S, France, New Zealand and Japan. Here is a selection of the contenders vying for gold.
Annalisa Drew, who hails from Massachusetts, is one of the most promising up-and-comers on the U.S. Freeskiing Team. She's not afraid to push the limits: At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, she fell while attempting a 1260, a trick few women in her field are doing. She competed at X Games in 2015 and finished in sixth place, despite being fresh off a collar bone injury. Drew, 22, is back this year, and eager to prove she belongs among the best.
Canadian Roz Groenewoud, who goes by "Roz G," won gold in Ski SuperPipe in Aspen in 2012 and silver in 2013 and 2014. Always a podium contender, Groenewoud was forced to withdraw from last year's competition due to injury. The 26-year-old is a seasoned competitor, and she says X Games is her favorite event of the year. At 5-foot-9, Groenewoud stands above most of her competitors, and she's known for getting the most amplitude out of the pipe.
American Brita Sigourney won silver at her X Games debut in Aspen in 2011 and bronze in 2012. A couple of season-ending injuries have plagued her in the years since, but she still made the inaugural U.S. Olympic team in 2014. The 26-year-old is a former competitive water polo player, and she's always a contender to watch in the halfpipe. In 2015, she claimed the bronze medal in SuperPipe at X Games Aspen.
At 23 years of age, British Columbia's Cassie Sharpe drops into the X Games SuperPipe for the first time. As a a rookie member of the Canadian national team, Sharpe is a consistent podium threat on the strength of her signature cork nine.
Japan's Ayana Onozuka, 27, has become a regular top-five finisher at X Games the past couple of years. She won a bronze medal at her sport's Olympic debut in Sochi, and claimed a silver medal in SuperPipe at X Games Aspen 2015. Onozuka got her start as a ski racer in Japan, but she switched to freeskiing in 2011 and has been on a steady rise since.
Maddie Bowman arrives in Aspen as the three-time defending champion in women's Ski SuperPipe and the Olympic gold medalist at ski halfpipe's Olympic debut in 2014. Essentially, she is the one to beat. The 22-year-old native of South Lake Tahoe, California says she's feeling as strong and ready as ever.
Janina Kuzma, of New Zealand, is one of the field's most diverse skiers. She also competes in big-mountain competitions on the Freeride World Tour and in slopestyle, and is returning for her second X Games. At 30, she is the field's only competitor from New Zealand. "My background in skiing is definitely big mountain, but I think it has helped me in the pipe," Kuzma says.
A double podium threat as the only athlete competing in both Womens Ski Pipe and Ski Slopestyle, defending AFP Overall Champion Devin Logan returns to the Aspen SuperPipe for the first time since 2012.