Aspen gets extreme during Winter X Games 15
Fifty-one weeks out of the year, Aspen is an affluent ski town world known for its million-dollar mansions, fur coats and celebrity scandals. However, for one week every winter, the town transforms into the extreme sports headquarters of the world for the Winter X Games.
Brightly colored snow gear and flabbergasted facial expressions helped identify the thousands of freestyle skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling enthusiasts that swarmed over Aspen's Buttermilk Mountain. More than 200 freestyle athletes competed for the coveted X Games gold medals in front a record-breaking size crowd (more than 114,000 people over four nights). Athletes attempted gravity-defying tricks in signature events such as the Superpipe, Motorcross, Slopestyle and the Big Air event, featuring a massive 84-foot gap jump.
There were many surprises at this year's X Games including snowboarder Kelly Clark becoming the first ever female to land a 1080 and skier T.J. Schiller pulling a never-before-seen 1620 (four and a half rotations), which would make most people dizzy just thinking about it. However, few were surprised when superstar snowboarder Shaun White commandingly won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the men's Superpipe. — Steven Stoker