As far as extreme sports go, the year is getting off to a hell of a start with the 2019 X Games in Aspen.
Taking place Thursday, January 24th through Sunday, January 27th, the competition culminates with the men’s and women’s Jeep Snowboard Slopestyle Final on Saturday alongside The Real Cost Men's Ski Big Air Final. Although if skiing’s more your thing, you’ll want to stick around until Sunday for the Jeep Men’s Ski Slopestyle Final.
Honestly, you’d be forgiven if you were so caught up with the wicked music lineup--Kygo, The Chainsmokers, and many more—that you haven’t actually kept up with the storylines of the athletes coming into this event. That’s why we’re here!
Anna Gasser is inarguably leading the way for the women in Big Air, and she just landed the first triple underflip a female’s ever performed—a Cab 1260 Triple Underflip. Will she stomp it in this competition?
Meanwhile, in Big Air Men’s, there’s a lot more parity. Who might it be? Mark McMorris? Chris Corning? It’s totally up for grabs, but the big story in this one is that, tragically, Max Parrot will be forgoing the X Games and this season of competition altogether. The 24-year-old Olympic medalist and five-time X Games champ announced on Thursday that he’s been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. (The prognosis is very good, however!)
Men’s Slopestyle looks to be similarly competitive—if not lining up to be the most competitive of all the events—meaning there’s plenty to be stoked about. (One intriguing name, in particular, to look out for here: The young fella, Redmond Gerard, coming off his gold medal performance in the 2018 Winter Olympics. He’s only 18!
Fortunately for us here at Blenders, the X Games hosts have done a bang-up job of previewing all the action for us. Check the video roundup below as Brandon Graham and Jack Mitrani preview all snowboarding events:
In the men’s pipe event, will David Wise continue his torrid run? (He’s fresh off defending his 2017 Olympic gold medal in the ski halfpipe with another gold) On the flip, the women’s side of the event can go one of several ways, but commentators Tom Wallisch and Jen Hudak (see below) are super high on uber young Kelly Sildaru and what she may bring to the competition—she’s full of intrigue at only 16 and massively talented. And with Kelly prepared to compete in the Halfpipe, Slopestyle AND Big Air, she has the chance to do something historic.
Then there’s Men’s Slopestyle—what the crew at the X Games are calling “a juggernaut of a field.” You’ve got a real roll of the dice here. Who will it be? Henrik “Mr. Big Air” Harlaut? Gus Kenworthy? Nick Goepper? It’s a crapshoot but damn if that doesn’t make it all the more fun.
Snowmobile/Snow Bike Competitions
Boarding and skiing not your fav? Check out this thorough preview of the snowmobile/snow bike action.
We’ll have a full wrap-up of event results following the 27th!