With less than one week to go until the biggest European meet of freestyle skiers and boarders, preparations in Tignes are well under way for the 2012 Winter X Games. For the third consecutive year Tignes will be broadcast to the world when 150 of the finest athletes in snow sports go head to head to take home the gold.
Originating as a summer event in Rhode Island, the Winter X Games first shot to light in 1997 at Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake. Following increased popularity, bigger names, stiffer competition and larger crowds the Winter X Games has now been resident in Aspen since 2002. Last year the event attracted crowds of over 74,000 on the final day. In 2010, X Games Europe arrived in Tignes which has been hailed as one of the best spectacles on the snow ever seen in Europe.
So, what can you expect to see at the X Games in Tignes? Here is a taster…
The Super Pipe takes centre stage at the Winter X Games. Using an incredible 44,000m3 of snow to build, the pipe measures 220m long, 19m wide and 7m high. Being almost double the size of a normal half pipe, riders get the opportunity to build up maximum speed and amplitude and are judged on the execution of their moves, difficulty of their tricks and overall use of the pipe.
Set to become an event at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Slopestyle is currently one of the X Games most competitive events. The Slopestyle course contains a mixture of rails, kickers and a number of different jumps allowing riders to combine big air with a number of technical tricks. The Slopestyle course measures 800m in length with a vertical drop of 190m. Riders will be judged on trick completion, creativity and style as they manoeuvre the 6 different pads on the way down.
This event is definitely not to be missed! Freestyle snowmobiling was first introduced to the X Games in 2007. Regarded as the most dangerous event in the games, year on year we see competitors pushing their tricks to the limit. During the 2012 Aspen games, the first ever snowmobile front flip was successfully landed.