Shaun White, Russ Henshaw, Levi LaVallee and Daron Rahlves will be among the star attractions when Winter X Games 14 takes over Aspen, Colorado from January 28-31, 2010.
More than 200 competitors from around the world will be at Buttermilk Mountain for the world’s premier action sports event, which includes skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. Skiing Superpipe High Air and Snowmobile Knock Out will also be making their debuts as new events this year.
The first round of invites has been announced; let’s take a look at the Red Bull athletes who are sure to put on a show...
Shaun White – Snowboard Superpipe
Shaun is the defending Winter X Games Snowboard Superpipe champion. He defeated Kevin Pearce amid some controversy last January to equal Tanner Hall’s record of winning the Superpipe in consecutive years. The 23-year-old has already won nine gold medals in all in the Winter X Games (as well as three silvers and two bronzes) and will be expected to add to his total medal tally of 14. He has been a medallist each year since 2002 and became the first four-peat Winter X Games winner by a male athlete in one discipline in 2006.
Travis Rice – Snowboard Big Air & Slopestyle
Travis has one Winter X Games gold; he won the Snowboard Big Air Final 12 months ago, and the 28-year-old will be out to defend his title as well as win Slopestyle this time around.
Spencer O’Brien – Snowboard Slopestyle
After turning bronze into silver in successive Winter X Games, Spencer is hoping that it will be third time lucky as she goes for gold in Aspen. With the Dew Tour Slopestyle Champion and Female Athlete of the Year titles to her name, Canada’s SKO is expected to have a great campaign.
Russ Henshaw – Skiing Big Air
After stealing the show recently in both London and Barcelona, Russell is on form and will be out for similar domination in Aspen.
Grete Eliassen – Skiing Slopestyle
Four-time Winter X Games medalist (including back-to-back golds in Superpipe) Grete picked up a silver medal in the inaugural Ski Slopestyle event for the women last year, and the Minnesota-born Norwegian will be looking to use every ounce of the exceptional versatility in her skiing to turn that into gold in 2010.
Levi LaVallee – Snowmobile Best Trick, Freestyle, Snocross & Knock Out
Levi is the reigning Snowmobile champion, and he is looking forward to taking part in the inaugural Knock Out. The 27-year-old American is always keen to push the boundaries. "I'm really excited about the new event," he said. "It gives snocross a similar event to Moto Step Up, which is always a crowd favorite. With my snocross and freestyle background, I'm hoping to be one of the front runners."
Daniel Bodin – Snowmobile Freestyle
Daniel is still chasing his first podium at Winter X Games, and the 25-year-old Swedish trickster is determined to go for gold. Heath Frisby has been his nemesis for each of the last three years, as have nerves. "Of course, you get nervous," he says. "It's not that I'm nervous about the jumps or anything like that. I just get nervous about [messing] up."
Daron Rahlves – Skiing, Skier X – Men
Daron struck Winter X Games Skier X gold in 2008 . And with 28 World Cup podiums and three World Championship podiums, the 36-year-old Californian is widely regarded as the most accomplished speed skier in US history.
Keep up to date with the Winter X Games at the ESPN Action Sports website.