Ten athletes to watch at X Games Oslo
Welcome to Oslo
ESPN and TV2, the leading commercial broadcaster in Norway, will bring X Games Oslo to the Norwegian capitol from Feb. 24-28, 2016. This is the first time both summer and winter sports will be contested internationally at the same X Games event, with disciplines including Snowboard and Ski Big Air (men and women), Snowboard and Ski SuperPipe (men and women) and Skateboard Street (men and women). Here's an inside look at some of the top athletes competing across multiple disciplines at X Games Oslo.
Women's Snowboard Big Air: Jamie Anderson
Jamie Anderson has been competing at X Games since 2004, when she was just 13. In 2006, she entered Slopestyle, and she has yet to miss the podium in 11 Slopestyle starts (four gold, five silver, two bronze). She is the most decorated Slopestyle athlete in X Games history (snowboard or ski, man or woman) and has a deep bag of tricks that will likely land her on top of the XG Oslo Big Air podium again.
Women's Ski SuperPipe: Maddie Bowman
The dominant women's halfpipe skier Maddie Bowman netted her fourth SuperPipe gold at X Games Aspen 2016. Her key to success was a variety of 900s, including the switch 900; it was the first time a woman had landed a 900 switch in competition. Bowman's trip to Oslo, however, is just the beginning of an extended European adventure. Following X Games Oslo, Bowman will travel to Chamonix and Tignes in France. "I'm so excited, I can't sleep," Bowman said.
Men's Ski Big Air: Bobby Brown
Two-time Ski Big Air gold medalist Bobby Brown earned the highest single score of the evening (45) for a left triple 1440 high mute at X Games Aspen 2016, which helped to net Brown a silver medal, bringing his medal count up to six. He now has the most medals in the discipline. Big Air has perhaps the shortest longevity window at X Games, and Brown is still going strong after six years; his first Big Air medal came back in 2010. And he's not done yet. Brown is traveling to Oslo to compete in Men's Ski Big Air.
Women's Skateboard Street: Leticia Bufoni
Leticia Bufoni, 22, finished just off the podium at X Games Austin 2015, in fourth place, but competitions are the tip of the iceberg for her contributions within skateboarding. She's the first woman pro on the Nike SB team, the first woman skateboarder to grace the cover of The Skateboard Mag and the first woman skateboarder to appear in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue. And if that's not enough, she recently completed filming for a Brazilian lifestyle television series entitled "Leticia Let's Go." Bufoni will skate in Women's Skateboard Street at X Games Oslo.
Women's Ski Big Air: Tiril Christiansen
Women's Ski Big Air competitor Tiril Christiansen isn't traveling to Oslo to compete: She already has an apartment that she calls home in the city, although she prefers the mountains. Christiansen earned Slopestyle silver in her second X Games Aspen appearance at the end of January and took third at the Big Air at Fenway Park on Feb. 12, the scaffolding jump providing a great warm-up for X Games Oslo. "I think it's going to be a crazy event," Christiansen said. "My friends and sister live in Oslo. My whole family is definitely going to come, including my grandparents, who have never seen me compete."
Men's Snowboard SuperPipe: Danny Davis
Heading into X Games Aspen 2016, Danny Davis was the two-time gold medalist in Men's Snowboard SuperPipe. During a McTwist crash in practice one day before the competition, Davis sprained his left ankle. He was in obvious pain and popped too hard on his McTwist in his competition run. He landed flat and the pain was apparent, then he lost speed going into his next hit, all while heavy snow fell, which ultimately brought the competition to a halt. After the athletes took only one run each, the competition was called off. Davis finished in ninth place, but he is looking to reclaim gold in Oslo.
Men's Skateboard Street: Nyjah Huston
Nyjah Huston is without a doubt one of the most dominant and consistent competitive street skateboarders in the world, but he's just as comfortable in front of the camera producing video parts. Huston has won more prize money than any other skateboarder in history, and he swept the year's events in 2014, winning Tampa Pro, X Games and Street League. After a win in Austin last year, Huston released another groundbreaking video part and made the switch to the Nike SB team. Now 21, he's ready to dominate 2016. Huston will skate in Men's Skateboard Street at X Games Oslo.
Women's Snowboard SuperPipe: Chloe Kim
Snowboarder Chloe Kim is the first athlete younger than 16 to win two X Games golds and the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s in a contest. She's also the first woman to score a perfect 100 in a major pipe or slopestyle competition. "I know that a lot of people have been expecting doubles from me for a very long time," Kim said. "Right when people saw me, they said that." Already in Norway and coming off a double gold medal win at the Youth Olympics, all eyes are on Kim to claim the gold medal in Women's Snowboard SuperPipe. "I can't wait for X Games in Oslo," she said.
Men's Ski SuperPipe: Kevin Rolland
France's Kevin Rolland is a fierce Men's Ski SuperPipe competitor, and he proved it once again at X Games Aspen 2016. After scrubbing his first two runs, Rolland -- who was sitting in 10th place -- was the last rider to drop in the competition. Boosting the highest amplitude of the night (he averaged 16'10" per hit), Rolland used a rightside double cork 1260 on the skier's left wall to bump Gus Kenworthy from the top spot and take home another gold medal. A progressive risk taker, the Frenchman's tremendous work ethic helps with consistency, and he maintains speed by landing difficult tricks high up on the wall. Rolland is one of the most accomplished riders in the history of the discipline, and he delivers under high-pressure situations again and again.
Men's Snowboard Big Air: Ståle Sandbech
X Games Aspen 2015 Snowboard Slopestyle silver medalist Stale Sandbech doesn't have an X Games Big Air medal, but don't count Norway's favorite son out just yet. Sandbech is the Air + Style 2015 tour champion and will be competing in front of a hometown crowd in Oslo, so expect him to turn on the afterburner on Saturday in Toyen. Fun fact: The 2014 Olympic Slopestyle silver medalist will also be competing in SuperPipe in Oslo. While not expected to medal, Sandbech has previously made the pipe finals at the Burton U.S. Open, so it's likely that he will make a decent showing here.