2012 Winter X Games 16 Recap: See photos and videos of the action
Last week marked the sixteenth iteration of the Winter X Games, held annually in Aspen, CO. The X Games are freeskiing's biggest stage, for park and pipe competitors to strut their stuff on a global stage, in hopes of winning lifetime glory. Some of the sport's most iconic moments have been witnessed at this event: Candide Thovex and CR Johnson's superpipe battle, the Dumont v. Hall yearly competition, France's recent domination of the superpipe, Peter Olenick's high-air world record, and countless others. So, in case you missed WXG16, here's what went down:
The world lost an icon in Sarah Burke just prior to the X Games. A candlelight vigil and moment of silence for Sarah's family and friends was held in the Superpipe, Thursday. Here is that tribute.
Tom Wallisch extended his 2012 slopestyle wins streak to three as he overtook Nick Goepper for the top spot. Slopestyle was held under the lights for the first time in Winter X history. For the full story, check out the recap.
Kaya Turski became the first skier to three-peat slopestyle gold, which she did in exciting fashion. Sitting in the bronze medal spot after two runs, Turski pulled out the first switch 1080 to be landed by a female skier in Winter X history, and in doing so, she took off with the golden hardware. For the full story, check out the recap here.
For the first time in three years, someone other than a French national won men's superpipe. Reno's David Wise took the top qualifiying spot and never looked back, putting down an exceptional run that held up to take gold. Two-time defending gold medalist Kevin Rolland ended up taking fourth. For the full story, check out the recap here.
To check out David and the rest of the field in the Superpipe qualifiers, visit the story here.
In an emotionally charged Women's Superpipe final, Canadian—and Sarah Burke's teammate—Rosalind Groenewoud won gold. In a final that featured some of the finest women's superpipe riding to date, Roz dedicated her win to the late Burke. "It means so much," she said emotionally. "After the tribute on Thursday, I am so proud to be a skier. The outpouring of support has been amazing. I felt like I had Sarah with me. She has been a teammate for so long. This is for Sarah." For the full story, check out the recap here.
After winning Big Air gold in 2010, the world was all over Bobby Brown. And while he didn't disappoint with a silver medal performance in 2011, Brown was hungry to return to gold, which he did in convincing fashion in 2012. Brown steamrolled his heat in qualifiers and continued his highlight reel night throughout the 15-minute finals. Newcomer Kai Mahler took silver and a rejuvenated Jossi Wells took bronze. For the full story, check out the recap here.
Don't miss our giant photo gallery, showcasing some of the best moments of WXG16:
Want to see how Freeskier Magazine closes down X Games? See our party recap:
The X Games is a major lynchpin in the AFP calendar. For what happened to all the athletes world rankings, visit the Association of Freeskiing Professionals site.
Fantasy Freeride standings shifted majorly, yet the top spot still belongs to Joss Christensen. Get the low down on Fantasy Freeride over here.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com, offering insights re: the lives of his Monster athletes.