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GB Skiers go for Gold at X Games Aspen

The biggest event in the freestyle calendar kicks off on Friday and four Brits will be flying the flag for Britain. The Canadian, Mark McMorris, is out of the event after testing positive for Covid-19. He is the most decorated Winter X Games athlete of all time.

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It’s invitation only and three of the GB skiers are X Games medallists.

The X Games Aspen is held at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado.

It is the place to see the very best of freestyle.

The X Games brand is owned by ESPN which means there is always plenty of TV coverage of all the events.

Even locals will have to make do with watching on the box this year.  The event is closed to spectators due to Covid-19.

Only the world’s best skiers and snowboarders are guaranteed a place and competition will be fierce.

In 2021, four Brits – all skiers –  are in the line-up.

They are:

  • James ‘Woodsy’ Woods
  • Gus Kenworthy
  • Izzy Atkin
  • Zoe Atkin

Woodsy (29) is returning to X Games action after missing out in 2020.

The 2017 X Games Ski Big Air Champion and four-time bronze medallist was forced to sit out most of last season with a nasty knee injury.

Kenworthy’s X Games haul of two silvers and three bronze medals all came when he was competing under the US flag.

The 29-year-old switched to the GB team in December 2019 and won the final World Cup halfpipe event of the 2020 season in Calgary.

This year will be his 13th appearance at the X Games and his 31st career start.

Izzy Atkin will be making her fifth appearance at the X Games at the age of 22.

She won silver in the Ski Slopestyle in 2018 and followed that up with bronze at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics the following month.

Izzy’s younger sister, Zoe, who competes in the SuperPipe, has been invited back to Aspen after making her X Games debut there in 2020.

Zoe had a breakthrough season in 2018-19.

She competed in the World Cup for the first time in December 2018 and took her first win in the halfpipe at Copper Mountain that season.

It’s the 20th consecutive year that X Games Aspen has taken place.

The 2021 Edition will include:

  • Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard SuperPipe, Slopestyle and Big Air competitions
  • Men’s Knuckle Huck

It takes place from Friday 29th to Sunday 31st January.

The event will not be showcasing its biggest star.

The 27-year old Canadian snowboarder, Mark McMorris, has tested positive for Covid-19.

He is the most decorated Winter X Games athlete of all time.

He tested positive on returning home from the Laax Open in Switzerland.

The World Cup slopestyle contest saw numerous cases of coronavirus.

McMorris won his 19th and 20th medals at X Games Norway in 2020 to break fellow snowboarder Shaun White’s previous record.

Full details of how to watch the X Games and when, according to where you are in the world, can be found here.

New this year is an ‘immersive and interactive’ experience for people watching at home.

Fans will be able to build custom avatars and explore X Games content, play games and win prizes.

X-Games is back

X-Games 2021

There are a lot of other GB Snowsport athletes in action in the week ahead.

Here’s what to look out from this Wednesday 27th January:

Alpine

World Cup Chamonix, France: 30th & 31st January

  • Dave Ryding
  • Laurie Taylor
  • Billy Major

Europa Cup, Meiringen Hasliberg, Switzerland:  1st & 2nd February

  • Laurie Taylor
  • Billy Major
  • Rob Poth

Europa Cup, Folgaria, Italy: 2nd & 3rd February

  • Charlie Raposo
  • Leo Karavasili

Cross Country

World Cup, Falun, Sweden: 28th-31st January

  • Andrew Musgrave
  • Andrew Young

Freestyle Snowboard

Europa Cup, Crans Montana, Switzerland: 29th & 30th

  • Mia Brookes
  • Billy Cockrell
  • Fin Bremner
  • Gabe Adams
  • Ethan Smith
  • Maisie Hill

Ski Cross

World Cup, Feldberg, Germany: 29th-31st January

  • Ollie Davies
  • Emma Peters

Europa Cup, Lenk, Switzerland: 27th & 28th January

  • Alannah Lawrie
  • Claire Winthrop
  • Richard Goldsworthy

FIS Lenk, Switzerland: 30th & 31st January

  • Alannah Lawrie
  • Claire Winthrop
  • Richard Goldsworthy
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