The 2014 Winter X Games will be held in Aspen, Colo. from Jan. 23 to Jan. 26. The popularity of the games has grown exponentially since its inception back in 1998. However, the action begins Jan. 22 with the Men’s Ski SuperPipe Elimination. The next day will feature multiple preliminary rounds for Men’s Snowboard SlopeStyle Elimination and Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe Elimination, along with the SnowMobile Freestyle Final. Subsequent days of the Games include various preliminary and final rounds of sports such as men and womens’ snowboarding and skiing. The last day of the X Games will be an exciting day, featuring the best of the Aspen X Games.
Aside from the various events that will take place throughout the week, the X Games also features an X Games MUSIC component, which hosts an impressive lineup. Matt and Kim will open for Phoenix on Jan. 25, followed by Tiesto who is set to perform the next day on Jan. 26.
Although many talented athletes will return to compete in the Games, one noteworthy name will be absent from the list of competitors. Shaun White, a multiple X Games titlist snowboarder, made the final decision not to participate in this year’s Games. Due to the start date of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, White felt the two events were too close. After going back and forth regarding his participation, White decided to remove himself from the X Games to focus on the Olympics.
“It’s an incredibly tough decision for me and it’s not something I take lightly,” White said, according to ABC News. “But I have to make sure I’m prepared for the Olympics.”
One thing that will make the 2014 Winter X Games different from any previous X Games is a newly-implemented, additional level of protection for players. Competitors participating in the snowmobiling freestyle event will have to wear body vests, following the first ever X Games fatality last January when a snowmobile crushed participant Caleb Moore. Moore’s snowmobile was attempting a backflip in the freestyle event in Aspen when the skis on his 450-pound snowmobile caught the lip of the landing area, sending him flying over the handlebars. Moore landed face first into the snow with his snowmobile rolling over him. He later developed bleeding around his heart and eventually passed away. As many people are still reeling from this horrific occurrence, the X Games organizers made sure to take extra precautions this year.
Many Palo Alto High School students look forward to the upcoming X Games. Junior Alex Dees is one of these students. He is an avid X Games fan and believes that the X Games will be a nice build up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“It’s super fun to watch because you don’t see it very often and the things the athletes do are extreme,” Dees said.
The X Games will air on ESPN beginning Jan. 22.