ASPEN, Colo., Jan. 24, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — X Games Aspen 2022 is officially a wrap! Monster Energy congratulates its freeski and snowboard athletes on a dominant performance at X Games Aspen 2022. During the three-day event, the world-class team claimed a total of 23 X Games medals (5 gold, 7 silver, 11 bronze) and made history with never-been-done tricks. Visit monsterenergy.com for exclusive content on all the team’s highlights.
Presented by Monster Energy as the long-time energy drink partner, X Games Aspen 2022 brought premium action sports to Buttermilk Mountain in the heart of the Rocky Mountains for the 21st consecutive year. As the pinnacle of winter action sports, the event featured 87 of the world’s best action sports athletes competing for a total of 42 medals across 14 disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard competitions in the disciplines of Slopestyle, Big Air, SuperPipe, and the innovative Knuckle Huck, alongside Special Olympics Unified competitions.
The diverse field of competitors represented 15 countries, including strong contingents from the United States, Canada, and Japan. The field was also younger than ever: A whopping 50 athletes competing at Aspen 2022 athletes were born after the very first X Games winter event was held at Big Bear, California, in January 1997. This weekend, the Winter X Games celebrated 25 years of showcasing the latest progression in snow sports.
X Games Aspen 2022 welcomed spectators back to competition viewing and X Fest areas amid stringent COVID-19 safety protocols. This weekend featured fan activations, a festival village and DJ performances. ESPN and ABC broadcast 13.5 hours of live competition, with 7.5 additional hours streamed live on @XGames digital channels, and all 21 hours were live via the ESPN App. X Games Aspen 2022 was televised globally in 192 countries and territories to more than 500 million homes.
Here’s how the action unfolded for team Monster Energy at X Games Aspen 2022:
The Monster Energy team’s medal run started in the Jeep Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle final. On the Snowpark Technologies-designed course, 20-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnott from Wanaka, New Zealand, improved on last year’s silver medal and clinched the victory with a history-making run featuring double cork 1080 rotations in both directions. Her closest competitor was no other than the most decorated woman in snow sports: 31-year-old snowboard icon Jamie Anderson from South Lake Tahoe, California, took silver by stomping a frontside double cork 1080 mute, backside rodeo 540 melon, and Caballerial double cork 1080 Indy on the final hit. Plus, both riders revisited their rivalry in Saturday’s Big Air final!
The focus remained on elite female athletes in the heavily contested Women’s Ski Big Air final. This is where newly minted Monster Energy athlete Megan Oldham from Parry Sound, Canada, proved her strong nerves and diverse trick selection. In an elite field, the 20-year-old landed a leftside double cork 1260 safety grab and clean rightside double cork 1260 safety grab (44 points) for a strong silver-medal finish.
Also on Friday, Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding returned for its seventh year at X Games Aspen. In the downhill racing event, ten teams were each composed of one professional action sports athlete, including X Games and Olympic medalists, and one Special Olympics action sports athlete. When all was said and done, 22-year-old Rene Rinnekangas from Iisalmi, Finland, teamed up with Cody Field to claim the silver medal. They were joined by Germany’s Annika Morgan and Catherine Darrow in bronze-medal position.
The Special Olympics Unified Skiing racing contest was back for the second year at Winter X Games. The fastest team of the day consisted of Monster Energy rider and UK freeski icon James Woods paired with Palmer Lyons for the gold medal. Also making the podium, two-time Olympic gold medalist David Wise from Reno, Nevada and Tanner Jadwin took home bronze.
As the sun set over Buttermilk Mountain on Friday night, the fans came out in full force for the creative Wendy’s Snowboard Knuckle Huck event. The 30-minute jam session saw riders ‘hucking’ their most progressive freestyle moves off the Big Air ramp’s roll-over, also called the ‘knuckle’. When the dust settled, 18-year-old Dusty Henricksen from Mammoth Lakes, California, walked away with bronze for tricks like Half Cab tail press into a double front flip that had the crowd on its feet.
When the floodlight action continued in the Women’s Ski SuperPipe final, the crowd was treated to another down-to-the-wire battle. On her final attempt of the night, 32-year-old Brita Sigourney from Carmel, California, clinched the silver medal in her twelfth X Games performance. She was joined on the podium by a rookie and fan favorite: Seventeen-year-old Monster Army rider Hanna Faulhaber literally soared above the competition by pulling the highest airs of the night at over 18-feet altitude to take bronze in her X Games debut.
Ending the day on a high note, the legendary Aspen snow pipe hosted the Monster Energy Men’s Snowboard SuperPipe final. In an epic battle against Australia’s Scotty James, 23-year-old Ayumu Hirano from Murakami, Japan, landed a trick never done before in X Games competition: frontside triple cork 1440. Despite the historic feat, the current 2021/22 FIS World Cup Champion had to settle for silver but wants to revisit the rivalry in the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
In a major upset, Hirano was joined on the podium by a rookie: No other than his 19-year-old brother Kaishu Hirano. In his X Games debut, the young ripper blasted massive method airs at 19’4″ and finessed back-to-back double cork 1080 and Cab 1080 for the bronze medal. What a night!
The second day of X Games Aspen 2022 brought more medals for team Monster Energy, starting with Jeep Women’s Ski Slopestyle. Under blue skies, the world’s best freeski athletes went to work on the stacked obstacle course. Rising to the occasion, Ontario’s Megan Oldham found a perfect run on her last attempt to claim bronze, bringing her record to five X Games medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).
The Jeep Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle event started with a shock when Swedish Monster Energy athlete Sven Thorgren from Stockholm suffered a heavy slam on his first run. After it remained unclear whether the 27-year-old could return to competition, he put down a perfect run featuring Cab 1260 double nose grab, frontside triple cork 1440 mute, and backside 1620 stalefish for the bronze medal.
The Monster Energy team continued winning in the spectacular Pacifico Women’s Snowboard Big Air final. Facing the world elite and defending champion Jamie Anderson, Kiwi ripper Zoi Sadowski-Synnott asserted her dominance by claiming the second gold medal of the weekend. She punched her ticket to the top spot by landing a perfect frontside 1080 double cork melon and a fast-spinning backside 1260 mute. Despite her young age, Sadowski-Synnott now owns seven X Games medals (4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze).
Finishing her performance on a strong note, Jamie Anderson earned silver by spinning a perfect Cab backside double cork 1080 mute and huge frontside double cork 1080. With this medal, Anderson reigns as the most decorated woman in snow sports. She now officially ties Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris for most Winter X Games medals in history at 21 medals (8 gold, 9 silver, and 4 bronze).
The history-making milestones kept coming in the Men’s Ski Big Air final under the floodlights. In a party atmosphere, the crowd celebrated a showcase of freeski progression that came down to the wire. On his last attempt of the night, 23-year-old Alex Hall from Park City put down a never-been-done trick: A switch leftside 2160 Buick – that’s six full rotations – earned Hall first place and a place in the X Games history books. As ESPN broadcast commentator Tom Wallisch concluded: “The game has been changed!”
A big night at X Games Aspen 2022 ended with another thriller in the Men’s Snowboard Big Air contest. As the world elite of freestyle snowboarders went blow for blow on the 70-feet jump, 27-year-old Max Parrot from Bromont, Canada rose to the podium with signature style and consistency. On his last run of the night, Parrot put down a perfect frontside triple cork 1800 mute for the silver medal, bringing his career count to 14 X Games medals (8 gold, 6 silver). Also rising to the podium, crowd favorite Rene Rinnekangas earned his career-first medal in the discipline with bronze. The ‘Flying Finn’ earned third place by blasting huge backside 1980 melon and frontside 1800 melon grab that stoked the crowd.
On Sunday, the last day of X Games Aspen 2022 was dedicated to contesting all ski, all day. Kicking things off with an epic battle, the Men’s Ski Slopestyle contest came down to final attempts. After struggling to put down a perfect line, Alex Hall barged onto the podium in bronze-medal position by posting a full pull that included a difficult rightside double cork 900 pullback and switch leftside 1800 in his signature Buick grab.
But Hall was far from done: In the Wendy’s Ski Knuckle Huck under the floodlights, he joined the world’s best freeskiers in ‘hucking’ the most technical and stylish moves off the Big Air jump ramp’s roll-over, also called the ‘knuckle’. When all was said and done, Hall earned the bronze medal with tricks like a backward belly slide to late pretzel. This podium finish also made him the very first male winter sports athlete to earn medals in three contest events at the same X Games. Heavy!
Best of all, the gold medal in Knuckle Huck – in the shape of a Golden Knuckle medal – went to 24-year-old Monster Energy rider Quinn Wolferman from Missoula, Montana. After back-to-back finishes in third place at X Games Aspen 2021 and 2020, Wolferman finally rose all the way to the top to claim the gold medal in the discipline. How? By going bigger than the rest of the pack with moves like a face-melting huge double cork 1080 out of a nose butter! Knuckle Huck gold marks Wolferman’s first medal at an X Games (Knuckle Huck did not award silver or bronze medals in previous years).
For the grand finale, the lively crowd on Buttermilk Mountain witnessed state-of-the-art riding in Men’s Ski SuperPipe. The elite field of ten riders included five previous gold medal winners in the discipline. Most notably, four-time champion and Monster Energy athlete David Wise from Reno, Nevada. Although dropping in as the oldest rider at 31 years, Wise put down a high-caliber run featuring double-cork 1260s both ways to claim the bronze medal. Plus, the two-time Olympic gold medalist made history as the first male athlete over the age of 28 to earn a podium spot in SuperPipe. Watch out for Wise at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, he’s officially on a roll!
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And that’s a wrap! Thanks to all athletes, everyone who attended, and all who watched X Games Aspen 2022. Also, thanks to the crew at ESPN and Buttermilk Mountain for putting on a world-class action sports showcase despite the adversities of the ongoing pandemic.
X Games fans in the United States who missed the action at X Games Aspen 2022 can re-watch all live broadcasts on the official X Games YouTube channel. All highlights from X Games Aspen 2022 will be broadcast on ESPN in a two-piece anthology: X Games Aspen Anthology: Part 1 will air on Sunday, January 30, at 12 a.m. ET, followed by Part 2 on Monday, January 3 at 1 a.m. ET.
Also visit http://www.monsterenergy.com for exclusive content from X Games Aspen 2022 including photos, videos, and contest results as they happen. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok for exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at Buttermilk Mountain.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.
Kimberly P. Dresser, Indie Agency, Inc., (949) 300-5546, [email protected]
SOURCE Monster Energy