Aspen, Colorado, January 24, 2017 – Eight Freestyle Canada athletes are headed to Aspen, Colorado, this week where the X Games, the most anticipated show on snow for slopestyle and halfpipe athletes, will be held from January 26 to 29.
X Games veteran and Olympic silver medallist Mike Riddle will be among the numerous athletes who will participate in the superpipe competition. This will be Riddle’s 12th invite to his sport’s flagship event, where he is still in search of his first medal. He will be accompanied by Simon d’Artois of Whistler, BC and the first Canadian male athlete to win gold in the pipe, (2015) and by Noah Bowman, 2012 X Games silver medallist and 5th at the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
On the ladies’ side, Cassie Sharpe, who won gold at the 2016 X Games in Oslo, will be competing for a second time, where she finished 4th last year. Sharpe’s gold was Canada’s first gold medal for the ladies’ superpipe event since Roz Groenewoud’s Aspen victory in 2012.
The slopestyle event will feature the 2015 X Games bronze medallist Alex Bellemare, as well as teammates Alex Beaulieu-Marchand and Evan McEachran. Beaulieu-Marchand finished 5th in the Big Air competition in Aspen in 2014, and 5th in slopestyle in Tignes the previous year. As for McEachran, who won the 2014 AFP World Championship, he will be competing in the X Games for a third time. They are joined by their teammate on the ladies’ side Kaya Turski, who has won a total of eight gold medals at the X Games, of which four won in Aspen, and four others in Tignes, more than any competitor in this sport’s history.
Vincent Gagnier will be representing Canada in the Big Air competition.
For this year’s edition, there will be a final for each event, set up in a “best of two runs” format. In total, 12 men will take part in each of the superpipe and slopestyle competitions. On the ladies’ side, eight athletes will be taking part in each of the events.