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History of Winter X Games Competition

Written by: Kompster

The X Games have become the most recognized competitions in extreme sports history. Sports television network, ESPN organizes two of these mega-events per year, Summer-X and Winter-X. Athletes travel to the host city from around the world compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals, as well as money, prizes, fame and sponsorship. ESPN televises the event on its cable networks with ABC also featuring select coverage.

The first summer games were a small event held in Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, in 1995 when so-called xtreme sports were just catching on with the mainstream. A winter competition was added two years later, at Big Bear Lake, California. While the host cities have changed over the years, the winter games seem to have settled into a permanent home in Aspen, Colorado, since 2002. The summer games have been held in Los Angeles, California since 2003.

The Winter X-Games

This vimeo video provides a great look at the games and what goes on behind the scenes with a perspective not generally covered by ESPN.

2014 marks the 18th year for the Winter X-Games, featuring winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling. Competitors in those sports face off in a variety of different ways over mixed mountain terrain in both individual timed/style scored events and race style events like Skier-X and Border-X where groups of racers take to a challenging course at the same time in a race to cross the finish line.  ESPN started embarking on a global expansion in 2013 by hosting a second Winter-X event in Tignes, France.   The event was planned to return in 2014 but has been canceled, perhaps due to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Expansion or not, most impressive about Winter X is not how large they’ve become with the Winter Olympics now including fringe sports of Winter-X, but rather how far athletes are pushing it to stay competitive.  Launching 40+ feet off the ground out of a super pipe with 22 foot walls leaves so little room for error that perfection is a requirement instead of an aspiration.

So if you love winter sports or just want to see what humans are physically capable of in the 21st century, tune into Winter-X this January 23-26th on ESPN and ABC.  Tentative schedule is below but check your local listings.


2014 Winter X Games TV Schedule

Date Event TV & Broadcast Time (ET)
Wednesday, January 22 Men’s Ski SuperPipe Elimination ESPN3, 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m
Thursday, January 23 Men’s Snowboard SlopeStyle Elimination ESPN3, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe Elimination ESPN3, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe Elimination
Snowmobile FreeStyle Final (medal)
ESPN, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Friday, January 24 Men’s and Women’s Boarder X Final (medal)
Men’s Ski SlopeStyle Elimination
ESPN3, 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Women’s Ski SuperPipe Final (medal) ESPN3, 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Snowboard Big Air Final (medal)
Men’s Ski SuperPipe Final (medal)
ESPN3, 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Snowboard Big Air Final (medal)
Men’s Ski SuperPipe Final (medal)
ESPN, 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Saturday, January 25 Men’s Snowboard SlopeStyle Final (medal)
Boarder X Finall (medal)
Women’s Snowboard SlopeStyle Finall (medal)
ESPN, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Women’s Snowboard SlopeStyle Final (medal)
Boarder X Final (medal)
Snowmobile Long Jump Final (medal)
ABC, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe Final (medal) ESPN3, 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe Final (medal)
Ski Big Air Final (medal)
ESPN, 9 p.m – 11 p.m.
Sunday, January 26 Men’s Ski SlopeStyle Final (medal)
Snowmobile Adaptive SnoCross Final (medal)
Women’s Ski SlopeStyle Final (medal)
Snowmobile SnoCross Final (medal)
ESPN, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe Final (medal) ESPN, 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET

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