Winter X Games 15 Superpipe Preview
The biggest stage in competitive freeskiing has once again arrived in Aspen, CO. Practice for the Winter Games — now in its 15th year — officially begun tonight, with the Superpipe guys and gals getting their feet wet. The darkness quickly enveloped the Roaring Fork Valley, the lights brightened, the sleds whined and the athletes dropped in for two and a half hours tonight.
Less icy than Killington, and a bit wider to boot, the main comment made about the Superpipe here is that it seems smaller. Whether it is or not, it's certainly different than the pipe that most of the guys skied this last weekend in Vermont.
While most athletes opted for straight airs and staple tricks like 900s, Justin Dorey turned up the heat with an alley-oop double flatspin 720 to switch double flip 1080. If the Bone-Saw progresses at an exponential rate, look out, he'll be on fire for the qualifiers.
Matt Margetts gets inverted.
But the lighting is flawless, as always, the crew at Illumination Dynamics have done it once again. The sleds drivers were plentiful and eager to bring ambitious athletes back. With dedicated ski-only practice tonight (that's different than past years), drop-in lines were nonexistent. Fresh dye and cold conditions made for an all-around epic pipe practice tonight.
Tonight marked the first of many Superpipe practices (including two tomorrow). But the stage is set for Wednesday night's elimination rounds, arguably the most nerve wracking event of the week.
Keep coming back to Freeskier.com for all your Winter X Games 15 coverage and recaps.
Portraits of competitors tonight. All names are clockwise from top left.
Virginie Faivre, Simon Dumont, Mike Riddle, Peter Olenick.
Matt Margetts, Jess Cumming, Byron Wells, Torin Yater-Wallace.
David Wise, Kevin Rolland, Sarah Burke, Keltie Hansen.
Tucker Perkins, Justin Dorey, Xavier Bertoni, Jen Hudak.
Jossi Wells, AJ Kemppainen, Rosalind Groenewoud, Thomas Krief.
Dania Assaly, Taylor Seaton, Anais Caradeux.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.