This article was originally published on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association's website.
The Winter X Games are back in Aspen, Colorado from January 21-25. The annual event, dating back to 1999, has become one of the premier events in the world.
Many of Canada’s best slopestyle and halfpipe athlete will be making their way to Aspen this week to test themselves against the world’s best. For someone like Olympic silver medallist Mike Riddle, the event is the one that he’s had his eyes set on since making it to the podium in Sochi.
“The X Games has been the biggest event in action sports for a number of years,” said Riddle. “That may have changed a little bit with the sport debuting in the Olympics last year, but it’s one of the premier events out there and definitely the biggest one for us this year. I always love going to Aspen. It’s a blast. I have four fourth place finishes there, so I want to fix that. It’s a sore spot for me and I want to get on that podium. I’m really excited to be there and compete.”
The location is one of the favourites for the athletes. The courses are always done to perfection and maintained to their liking.
“I really love the X Games,” said Groenewoud, who will be competing in her eighth X Games. “I’ve had several good experiences there over the years and I know Aspen really well. There are many things that make X Games comfortable. The pipe is always perfect and I know everyone there. I can tell you where all the best places are in town. It feels like home.”
The women’s superpipe final takes place on Wednesday, January 21 and is followed on Thursday by the men’s slopestyle qualification. On Friday, January 23, the men’s superpipe competition gets underway in the form of qualifiers.
Saturday will showcase the slopestyle final for both men and women. The men’s superpipe final concludes the Winter X Games on Sunday.
A full schedule can be found here.
The following Canadian halfpipe athletes will be competing at X Games:
Men – Mike Riddle (Sherwood Park, AB), Justin Dorey (Vernon, BC), Simon d’Artois (Whistler, BC), Noah Bowman (Calgary, AB)
Women – Roz Groenewoud (Calgary, AB)
The following Canadian slopestyle athletes will be competing at X Games:
Men – Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (Quebec City, QC), Alex Bellemare (Saint-Boniface, QC), Evan McEachran (Oakville, ON)
Women –Dara Howell (Huntsville, ON), Anouk Purnell-Faniel (Quebec City, QC), Nikki Blackall (Barrie, ON)