Winter X Games 2012: What To Watch For
In the year since Kevin Rolland's 2011 WX win, the Frenchman has won three Winter Dew Tour stops and Winter X Europe, and finished atop the 2011 AFP standings. With a pipe win this week, Rolland would join Tanner Hall as a Winter X pipe three-peater.
Men's Snowboard Slopestyle
Men's Slopestyle is really anyone's game, but Eric Willett, right, is fresh off a Dew Tour win, while WX 15's Slopestyle silver medalist Mark McMorris is leading in TTR World Tour slopestyle points. Any one of the athletes in this event could win, though.
Alex Schlopy was an alternate for 2011 Ski Big Air. Then a picture perfect double cork 1620 made the 19-year-old today's reigning Big Air champ. Schlopy is now on the A-list for both Slopestyle and Big Air and he's ready to spin like "The Price is Right."
Iouri Podladtchikov is the only snowboarder who can do Shaun White's Olympic halfpipe run. Not only that, he can do White's double McTwist 1260 switch. I-Pod has yet to try it in a contest, but if he can land it, we may have a new No. 1.
Elias Ambhl won several of the urban big air contests this fall and he'll compete in Winter X 2012's Big Air and Slopestyle as one of few skiers with a triple. "Elias can literally spin faster than anyone I know," says Bobby Brown.
Chris Del Bosco
The 2010 Skier X champion, Chris Del Bosco was narrowly edged into second place by John Teller at last year's Winter X. This year, expect the Vail, Colo., resident to come hungry to regain that gold.
Torah Bright won an Olympic medal in Vancouver in 2010 and then promptly stepped out of the competition scene. She's back for this Winter X. The question is: Can she put a stop to Kelly Clark's reign?
Devin Logan is the only female skier competing in both Slopestyle and SuperPipe at Winter X 2012. And with two silver medals at the most recent Dew Tour, Logan, 18, has a good chance of landing on the podium in either event.
Despite equipment malfunctions and a mild heart attack in past X years, Mono Skier X athlete Kevin Bramble, who has been favored to win in years past, returns to Aspen in search of his first X Games gold medal.
Torin Yater-Wallace has spent the year since his 2011 silver medal performance proving that the win wasn't a one-off. The 16-year-old kicked off this season with a silver at the Grand Prix and a win last weekend at the Winter Dew Tour, Killington.
Spencer O'Brien hasn't made the WX podium since 2009, but she's riding strong this year, reaching the podium in five of the last six contests she's entered. She's coming in hot after back-to-back Winter Dew Tour Breckenridge and O'Neill Evolution wins.
Kaya Turski is gunning for the first-ever three-peat in Women's Ski Slopestyle. Last March, the Canadian skier became the first female skier to land a switch 1080.
From 2006 to 2010, Nate Holland won Snowboarder X gold at Winter X. In 2011, Holland was bumped back to the bronze position, but is looking to reclaim the gold in Aspen this week.
Slated to ride in both Snowmobile Freestyle and Snowmobile Best Trick, Wisconsin native Justin Hoyer returns to the Winter X Games focused on reclaiming the gold he won in Freestyle in 2010.
Do we really need to tell you why you should watch for this guy? Really? How about where to watch: Somewhere about 20-plus feet out of the pipe.