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Winter X Games Aspen 2018 Lineup Announced

The best winter athletes from around the world will gather at Colorado’s Buttermilk Mountain from January 25-28. Aspen was chosen to host the Winter X Games for the seventeenth time in the history of the prestigious event. The crowds and athletes are likely to focus on the Big Air event that is a centerpiece of the competition, and will make its debut in the Olympics a month later.

Athletes Invited To Participate

The United States’ Shaun White is certainly the biggest name on the preliminary docket, but he is unlikely to participate with the Pyeongchang games right around the corner. White is also continuing to recover from an injury he suffered while training. Jamie Anderson, another Olympic athlete, was included on the X Games list of potential participants. She is one of many American hopefuls vying for a medal in Big Air. Other notable international athletes likely coming to Aspen include Canada’s Josh Penner, Sweden’s Oscar Wester, and Cai Xuetong of China. The games will be televised on both ESPN and ABC.

XGames Featured Entertainment

Each night will feature a different musical act, and this year’s lineup is as diverse as ever. Martin Garrix will pump energy into the crowd on Thursday night. The 21-year-old DJ is quickly becoming one of the hottest names in dance music. Rappers Method Man and Redman take the stage the following night. After that, LCD Soundsystem and Marshmello hope to end the four-day event on high notes. Marshmello’s big year has been highlighted by chart-toping hits featuring the likes of Khalid and Selena Gomez.

Schedule Of Events

Thursday, January 25th: Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifying, Women’s Ski SuperPipe, Snowmobile Speed And Style

Friday, January 26th: Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle, Snowmobile Freestyle, Men’s Snowboard Big Air

Saturday, January 27th: Women’s Ski Slopestyle, Men’s Ski Big Air, Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe

Sunday, January 28th: Women’s Ski Big Air, Men’s Ski Slopestyle, Snow Bike Best Trick

 

The Best Snowboards Of The 2017 Season

2017 was a big year for the sport of snowboarding, and 2018 promises to be even more memorable. U.S. snowboarders Shaun White and Jamie Anderson will head to Pyeongchang in hopes of winning gold medals at the upcoming Olympics. A quality snowboard can take a boarders’ skills to the next level. These are some of the best snowboards produced this year.

Capita Kazu Kokubo Pro

Japan has earned a reputation as an innovator in the snowboarding industry. The sleek purple and pink design gives this board the extra flare it deserves. The Kokubo Pro was not the only great board from Capita this year – the Scott Stevens Pro deserves an honorable mention on this list.

DC Comics X Burton Chopper

DC Comics and Burton are a match made in heaven in 2017. This board provides one of the smoothest rides on the mountains today. Whether you want Batman or Superman featured, this board will fit your personal needs. Additionally, the X Burton Chopper is one of the most affordable boards on the market at just $249.

GNU Eco Choice

Seriously, what’s not to love about the brand-new GNU Eco Choice? The environmental-friendly aspect is the obvious calling card of GNU’s marketing plan. But going green has not sacrificed any of the board’s quality. The cost of one of these boards may be high, but it is well worth it.

Slash Spectrum

Unlike many other boards on the market, the Slash Spectrum has a target market. This is the ideal board for riders specializing in freestyle. One of the most flexible boards of 2017 will help boarders slash through the snow with ease.

Ride Berzerker

Simply put, the Ride Berzerker is perfect for every type of snowboarder. The directional shape of this board makes it ideal for either downhill speed or casual laps. The lightweight build is surprisingly strong and powerful. A blue and black color scheme will surely stick out on the mountain as well.

Shaun White Suffers Injury During Olympic Training

American snowboarder, Shaun White, suffered an injury to his forehead during his Olympic training in New Zealand. The 31-year-old reportedly hurt himself while practicing a routine for the halfpipe event he is set to compete in during the upcoming 2018 games in Pyeongchang. It is the second time White has suffered a physical setback recently – the first occurred just last month.

White’s Training Injuries

Back in early September, the two-time gold medalist crashed his snowboard while perfecting his halfpipe moves at the winter games overseas. At the time, White was forced to withdraw from the event. Doctors advised White to stay on the sidelines for several weeks following the damage. This means White had not been back on his board for very long before his misfortune earlier this week.

Following his most recent injury, White took to Instagram to update fans on his condition. He posted a picture of the sizable gash on his forehead with a thumbs up, informing fans that he would return to the slopes soon. White included a caption below the picture of him on the hospital bed. In the post, White promised to come back better than ever. He included the hashtag #NormalIsBoring in reference to his extreme approach to the sport of snowboarding.

White’s Future In Winter Sports

Once again, doctors have told White to take his time healing up as he gets ready for the Olympic qualifiers that begin this December. "The Flying Tomato" has been one of the most talked about athletes heading into the 2018 games. His disappointing fourth-place finish in the past games in Sochi has inspired him to improve his diet and training regimen in preparation for Pyeongchang. White told the media that he will be solely focused on the halfpipe event this time – he was slated to participate on the slopestyle team in 2014. Fans are left to hope that this latest setback only makes White a stronger rider, just as he promised. 

U.S. Women Snowboarders Eye Gold Medals In Big Air

Big Air Snowboarding will make its debut as an Olympic competition this February, and the American women already have their eyes on the top prize. High-profile riders Jamie Anderson, Julia Marino, and Hailey Langland hope to take home gold medals when the upcoming games get underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

U.S. Women Athletes

Anderson is the veteran of the group and the most accomplished of any U.S. female boarder currently on the roster. Winning the brand new Big Air event would be nothing new for the 27-year-old. During the previous Olympic games, Anderson took home gold in the inaugural Slopestyle event. The California native continues to dominate in the Winter X Games, winning eleven medals overall. Her rise to boarding supremacy comes as no surprise as Anderson has been a mainstay on the slopes since the age of ten.

So far in this competition season though, Anderson has played second fiddle to younger boarders, Marino and Langland. The U.S. has high hopes for Marino after her strong showing at the Winter X Games. She collected a silver, two bronze medals, and eventually a gold in SlopeStyle. At only 17-years-old, Langland is already the hottest name in snowboarding. And perhaps Langland represents the country’s biggest hope in Big Air. She won the gold medal in the event at the previous X Games.

Big Air = Big Task

The Big Air competition resembles the finale jump of a normal SlopeStyle course. While the event is open to both skiiers and snowboarders, only snowboarding was added to the Olympics’ docket in 2018. And to date, the Americans have struggled mightily in the event. The country walked away from the world championships with zero medals in Big Air. Marino, Langland, and Anderson all finished in the top five at the Pyeongchang Big Air test run, but none of three was victorious. All three will look to take home gold when they take the ramp in February. 

North Korea Is Hurting Pyeongchang Olympics

The Winter Olympics are right around the corner, and relations with North Korea only seem to be getting worse. Despite the frequent weapons tests that have been conducted by the Kim regime, South Korea, the host nation, has attempted to reassure everyone that there is nothing to be afraid of heading into the 2018 Games. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that is the case. In fact, a few prominent nations have already publicly announced that if the situation with North Korea gets any worse, they will strongly consider withdrawing from the Olympics and keeping their athletes at home. Austria, Germany, and France are among the countries that are hesitant to make the trip to Pyeongchang, which could be devastating for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), considering they are all expected to finish in the top 10 in overall medal count.

Underwhelming Ticket Sales

When ticket sales opened up in February, South Korea was hoping and expecting to sell more than one million before the opening ceremonies. After the results from the first cycle of sales came in, it’s safe to say that they might want to lower expectations. Ticket sales from February to June were underwhelming to say the least. Only 52,000 of the 750,000 tickets that South Korea planned on selling to locals were sold in that time frame. On the other hand, they were able to sell nearly half of the 320,000 tickets that were expected to sell overseas. With less than five months until competition, South Korea has a lot of work to do if they expect to meet expectations, and increasing fear of a potential attack by North Korea is certainly not going to help their case.

South Korea’s Security Plan

While many organizers and IOC members have repeatedly assured people that there is no reason to be concerned just yet, winter sports fans are still fearful of the danger that North Korea could inflict on Pyeongchang. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has tried to convince North Korea to participate in the 2018 Games since being elected into office. He remains confident that they will be able to do so, and that remains their top plan for security. If the North participates, whether it’s their athletes or locations, many believe that will secure the Games, because a country would be much less likely to harm their own people.