WX15: Facts & Feats

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Facts & Feats

1997 -- Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif., hosts the inaugural Winter X Games competitions in snowboarding, ice climbing, snow mountain bike racing, super-modified shovel racing and a crossover multi-sport event. Snowboarding stole the show: Barrett Christy earned gold in both women's Slopestyle and Big Air, bad boy Shaun Palmer counted Snowboarder X among his two victories and Daniel Franck -- Norway's "Slippery Hotdog" -- took gold in men's Slopestyle and silver in Half Pipe. The record-setter, was Sweden's Jennie Waara, who collected Snowboarder X gold, Half Pipe silver and Slopestyle bronze. She's still the only athlete in Winter X Games history to win three medals in the same year.

1998 -- Approximately 25,000 spectators gathered over four days in January, at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colo., for Winter X Games Two. New sports included Freeskiing, Snowmobile SnoCross and Skiboarding. The new events proved popular, with Denis Rey besting Americans Kent Kreitler and Chris Davenport for Skier X gold and Toni "the Flying Finn" Haikonen claiming SnoCross. Shaun Palmer and current Winter X announcer Tina Dixon split the Snowboarder X titles, while Jennie Waara earned the last of her four Winter X medals with a Slopestyle victory. Cara-Beth Burnside -- who would later collect three X Games Skateboard Vert gold medals -- won women's Snowboard Half Pipe. But Ross Powers owned 1998, using frontside and backside 720s and a McTwist to take home gold medals in both Half Pipe and Slopestyle. He also scored Half Pipe bronze at the 1998 Winter Olympics, which was the discipline's Olympic debut.

1999 -- Crested Butte was once again the site for Winter X Games Three. More than 30,000 attended the event in Jan., which featured more disciplines, including women's Freeskiing. Shaun Palmer completed the first three-peat in Winter X history, sporting a sneer and gold suit atop the Snowboarder X podium. He also competed in four separate sports: Snowboard, Snowmobile, Skiing and Snow Mountain Biking. It was the only time that feat had been done at Winter X. J.F. Cusson edged 1998 Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley in Ski Big Air's debut. Enak Gavaggio earned his only Skier X gold to date, in his first attempt, by beating late legend Shane McConkey. Blair Morgan settled for SnoCross silver behind Chris Vincent; it was the first of Morgan's eight straight SnoCross medals. Tara Dakides collected the first two of her seven Winter X medals by winning gold in Snowboard Slopestyle and the silver medal in Big Air.

2000 -- Winter X Games Four was held Feb. 3-6 in Mount Snow, Vt. The first Winter X of the millennium featured the largest crowds to date - 83,500 - and the debut of Winter X on the East Coast. The new Snowboard SuperPipe competition was added. Fifteen-year-old Winter X rookie Tucker Hibbert set a still-standing record for youngest Winter X gold medalist by besting Blair Morgan in SnoCross. Hibbert was hardly the only talented teen rookie: 13-year-old Shaun White and 16-year-old Kelly Clark also debuted at the Winter X Games that year. While Winter X got younger, the Half Pipe grew up -- literally. Wall heights increased to 15 feet from 11 1/2 and the discipline's name changed to SuperPipe. Todd Richards took advantage of the increased size, linking 900s for his second Winter X gold. Shaun Palmer won Skier X; it was the third Winter X sport in which he topped the podium. Tara Dakides repeated in Slopestyle on the strength of her signature grabbed backflip and added gold in Big Air.

2001 -- Winter X Games Five was held Feb. 1-4 for the second straight year in Mount Snow. Moto X Big Air at the Winter X Games maked its debut. A pair of precocious teens burst onto the Winter X scene: 18-year-old rookie Danny Kass grabbed SuperPipe gold and Tanner Hall, 17, took Skiing Big Air. Blair Morgan captured his overdue first Winter X SnoCross gold. Kevin Jones successfully defended his Slopestyle title, killing the down-kink rail with a backside 450 to 270 out. Jones' fourth Winter X medal highlighted the progressive rail moves that were brought to the park. Current Winter X announcer Zach Crist scored men's Skier X gold, while Canadian Aleisha Cline earned her second Winter X victory in the women's event. Shaun Palmer claimed his sixth and final Winter X title, this one coming in UltraCross. Mad Mike Jones threw a Kiss of Death to win the debut of Winter X Moto X Best Trick.

2002 -- Winter X Games Six was held in Aspen, Colo. Jan. 17-20 at the resort's Buttermilk Mountain. Two new skiing disciplines were added: Ski Slopestyle and Ski SuperPipe. The event drew 36,300 spectators, as well as the entire 2002 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Freestyle team, all of whom competed in Winter X Snowboard SuperPipe just weeks prior to the Salt Lake City Olympics. Skiing SuperPipe and Slopestyle debuted, with Jon Olsson and Tanner Hall earning gold, respectively. Snowboard SuperPipe gold medalist J.J. Thomas' McTwists topped out at about 15 feet above the deck, Travis Rice featured a rodeo 540 and 900 in his winning Slopestyle run, but it was 15-year-old Shaun White who captured imaginations by taking silver in both disciplines. Tara Dakides collected her third Slopestyle title, while Barrett Christy also got a podium. It was Christy's 10th and final Winter X medal; she remains the most decorated female in Winter X history. Kelly Clark crushed women's SuperPipe, airing 10 feet above the deck and finished first with an enormous 12-point margin over second place. She then went on to win the Winter Olympic gold medal that year as well. Reggie Crist took Skier X gold a year after brother Zach did. Soon after Winter X, Ross Powers, Danny Kass and JJ Thomas swept the Winter Olympics Half Pipe competition, the first all-American Winter Olympics podium since men's figure skating in 1956.

2003 -- Winter X Games Seven was held in Aspen, Colo. for its second year featuring the sports of Moto X, Ski, Snowboard and Snowmobile. Attendance over the four-day event increased by more than 12,000 from 2002, with a total of 48,700 spectators. Average viewership for Winter X Games Seven across the three networks that carried coverage - ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports - set an all-time record for the signature winter action sports championship event. Shaun White linked a frontside 720 to a Cab 720 in SuperPipe and flashed a Cab 900 melon grab in Slopestyle to win the gold medal in both competitions. Hometown Aspen favorite Gretchen Bleiler rode her signature crippler 540 to her first SuperPipe title, while Blair Morgan (SnoCross) and Aleisha Cline (Skier X) both completed three-peats. Just 17, Lindsey Jacobellis nipped Tanja Frieden in a Snowboarder X photo finish for her first Winter X gold. After a disappointing debut in 2002, Skiing SuperPipe became a fan favorite as Candide Thovex used lofty 900s and an inverted 720 to best Tanner Hall. Hall did however go on to claim Slopestyle gold.

2004 -- Winter X Games Eight was held Jan. 24-27 for an unprecedented third year in Aspen/Snowmass,
Colo. The on-site spectator total of 66,500 was the highest in the event's three-year history. For the first time in X Games history, the event was telecast live on ESPN and ABC. Additionally, ESPN's flagship sports news show, SportsCenter, reported live from the event. The show, hosted by Linda Cohn, featured live event coverage. Average viewership for Winter X set an all-time record by exceeding the previous year's household average by 30 percent. With defending Snowboard SuperPipe champs Shaun White and Gretchen Bleiler out with injury, Steve Fisher and Hannah Teter took advantage. Fisher landed a 1080 for his win while Teter linked a McTwist to a 900 and then took a victory lap wearing a bib and sports bra. Ueli Kestenholz and Lindsey Jacobellis defended their Snowboarder X gold, while Karin Huttary blocked Aleisha Cline's four-peat bid and Aspen hero Casey Puckett won in Skier X. Simon Dumont blasted 22 feet above the deck for Skiing SuperPipe gold while Tanner Hall three-peated in Slopestyle. Relatively unheralded Canadian Michael Island confidently predicted in practice that he would foil Blair Morgan's bid for a SnoCross four-peat -- and he did just that, besting Tucker Hibbert as well. Morgan settled for bronze, his worst Winter X finish in an eight-year stretched that spanned from 1999 through 2006.

2005 -- Winter X Games Nine is held for its fourth consecutive year in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. Jan. 29 -- Feb. 1, and was aired live on ESPN and ABC. Mono Skier X is introduced as a demo event. ESPN's four primetime telecasts earned a 0.8 average rating in 2005, up 33 percent from last year, and reached an average of 677,000 households. On-site attendance also reached a record high with a total of 69,750. Three-peat was the theme, as Shaun White and Janna Meyen both turned the trick in Snowboard Slopestyle and Lindsey Jacobellis got it done in Snowboarder X. Lindsey's was the most difficult; she passed Erin Simmons on the final hit, winning by less than a second and saddling Simmons with her third Snowboarder X silver. A four-peat was thwarted in Skiing Slopestyle when French-Canadian Charles Gagnier upset Tanner Hall, nipping Hall with the final run of the comp. Hall was stuck with silver in SuperPipe, too, when Simon Dumont's massive amplitude trumped Tanner's technical mastery. Finland's Antti Autti used back-to-back 1080s for Snowboard SuperPipe gold; he became the first non-American to take the discipline. Siblings finished 1-2 for the only time in Winter X history when Reggie Crist claimed his second Skier X gold and Zach Crist won the silver medal.

2006 -- On Jan. 27, ESPN and the Aspen Skiing Company reach an agreement that would keep the Winter X Games in Aspen/Snowmass through Winter X Games 14 in 2010.

Winter X Games 10 was held Jan. 28-31 in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. The on-site spectator total of 69,650 was the second-highest in the event's five-year history in Aspen and a 92 percent increase from 2002 (the first Winter X Games in Aspen). Average television viewership across the three networks that carried coverage -- ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 -- set an all-time record with 747,130 households, exceeding the year prior's household average by 45, percent according to Nielsen Media Research.

On Nov. 7, the addition of Snowmobile Freestyle was announced. Complementing the existing sport of Snowmobile SnoCross, Snowmobile Freestyle featured 10 riders competing on the inaugural Winter X Games freestyle course.

On Dec. 7, it was announced that Winter X Games 11 would include its first ever disabled discipline, Mono Skier X, featuring the top 16 disabled men and women racing in individual sit-skis. Additionally, Snowboarding would add the discipline of Snowboard Best Trick Showdown.

Janna Meyen made Winter X history, and became the first athlete to four-peat. Shaun White joined Meyen almost immediately when he also won Slopestyle gold. White used three 1080s to add another SuperPipe title and then exploded into superstar status weeks later when he won the Winter Olympic gold. Winter X legend Blair Morgan tallied his fifth gold and eighth overall SnoCross medal when upstart Levi LaVallee -- who had an enormous lead -- crashed at the start of the final lap. LaVallee recovered for silver, his second Winter X top-three. Morgan's medal set several marks unmatched until 2009, among them most gold and most medals in a single discipline and most consecutive years at Winter X with a medal. It was Morgan's final Winter X podium. Tanner Hall gained his first Skiing SuperPipe gold and Grete Eliassen successfully defended her crown in the second year of the women's event. When bad weather turned Skiing Slopestyle into Best Trick, TJ Schiller landed the best 1080 variation of the 15 competitors who attempted one.

2007 -- Winter X Games 11 returnd to Aspen/Snowmass Jan. 25-28. The four-day event attracted 76,150 spectators, breaking the attendance record in the event's six-year history in Aspen. ESPN averaged 734,000 households in prime time -- its most-viewed Winter X average ever. Men 18-24 displayed the biggest growth in impressions among all demos from 2006, up 64 percent. On the final day of Winter X Games 11, the Sunday primetime telecast was ESPN's most-viewed telecast in Winter X Games history with 925,377 households and the highest-rated Winter X Games telecast since 1997.

On Nov. 21, ESPN announced that Winter X Games 12 would feature new events, a new stage and enhanced coverage across ESPN platforms. Three new disciplines made their debut -- Snowmobile Speed & Style, Skiing Big Air, and Snowboard Big Air.

Lindsey Jacobellis crashed yards from the finish while leading Snowboarder X, just as she had done at the '06 Winter Olympics. Jacobellis' crash allowed Joanie Anderson to take the win. Joanie's sister, Jamie Anderson, won Slopestyle gold, making them the only siblings to both win gold medals at the same Winter X Games. Torah Bright earned Australia's first Winter X Snowboard gold medal, after winning the SuperPipe competition. Torah's switch skills bested Aspen favorite and fellow Olympian Gretchen Bleiler. In Skiing SuperPipe, Tanner Hall again triumphed in his annual duel with Simon Dumont; Hall's initial hit -- a switch 1080 that was a first -- topped Dumont's 1260, another skiing SuperPipe first. Tucker Hibbert scored his first gold since his Winter X debut in 2000. The seven years between titles tied him for the longest stretch between gold with Maelle Ricker, who won the '99 and '06 Snowboarder X competitions. Ophelie David led a French podium sweep in women's Skier X, while Casey Puckett captured his second gold on the men's side. Chris Burandt used a 92-foot backflip to wing gold in the debut of Snowmobile Freestyle.

2008 -- Winter X Games 12 returned to Aspen, Colo., with 72,500 fans in attendance. The event was televised in high-definition for the first time on ESPN HD and ABC HD, and was ESPN's most-watched in history with eight telecasts averaging 863,000 homes, up 17 percent from 2007. Six out of eight telecasts were among the top ten most-viewed in Winter X history. The telecast on the final night became the most-viewed Winter X telecast ever -- Sunday night in 1,117,000 households. Overall, ABC was up across the board among all people and male demos, with Men 18+ up 29 percent from 2007.

On Nov. 19, ESPN announced that Winter X Games 13 would for the first time feature a new 22-foot SuperPipe for both ski and snowboard disciplines and two new disciplines would make their debut -- Women's Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Next Trick.

Tanner Hall became the only person to three-peat in two Winter X disciplines, adding three straight Skiing SuperPipe wins to his Slopestyle victories. Shaun White reclaimed Snowboard SuperPipe supremacy, using a giant 1260 to tie Hall for the most gold medals in Winter X history (7). White had equipment trouble in Slopestyle, which allowed for an easy title defense for Andreas Wiig. Gretchen Bleiler scored her third SuperPipe gold in what was likely the best women's pipe comp ever. Bleiler threw a frontside 900 and a pair of tough 720 variations to top Torah Bright's super tech switch backside 720 indy. Kelly Clark became the first woman to attempt a 1080 in a superpipe comp. Burying his shocking '06 crash in which he inexplicably fell off his sled with SnoCross gold in sight, Levi LaVallee cemented himself as a star with gold medal victories in Freestyle and Speed & Style. U.S. Alpine fixture Daron Rahlves came from behind in every Skier X heat to take his only skiercross win to date.

2009 -- Winter X Games 13 returned to Aspen, Colo., where ESPN and Aspen Skiing Company announced an agreement that will keep the Winter X Games in Aspen/Snowmass through Winter X Games 16 in 2012. The viewers at home and 68,100 spectators in attendance witnessed the world's top winter action sports athletes compete in a new 22-foot SuperPipe, and the addition of two new disciplines making their debut -- Women's Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Nex Trick. The Winter X Games 13 telecasts were ESPN's highest-rated and most viewed Winter X Games in history. The eight telecasts averaged 942,000 homes, up nine percent from 2008.

Tucker Hibbert (SnoCross), Ophelie David (Skier X) and Sarah Burke (Skiing SuperPipe) all completed three-peats. It was Hibbert's eighth medal, matching Blair Morgan for most in the Snowmobile disciplines. But Nate Holland stole the "peat" show when he became the third person in Winter X history to win four straight in a single discipline, doing so in Snowboarder X. Shaun White won the gold medal in both Snowboard SuperPipe and Slopestyle, giving him nine Winter X wins and 14 medals, both most in Winter X history. Torah Bright flashed the most technical riding ever witnessed in a women's SuperPipe competition, beating Kelly Clark, for her second Winter X gold. Jenny Jones' Snowboard Slopestyle win made her the first female Winter X medalist from Great Britain. Twenty-year-old Frenchman Xavier Bertoni surprised everyone by upsetting Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont for the Skiing SuperPipe title. While Joe Parsons collected gold medals in Freestyle and Speed & Style, Levi LaVallee provided the most memorable Snowmobile moment (and one of the top scenes in Winter X history) when he nearly landed a double backflip.

2010 -- Winter X Games 14 returned to Aspen, Colo. for the ninth consecutive year where a record number of fans experienced many record-breaking performances. For the third straight year, the Winter X Games was ESPN's highest-rated and most-viewed Winter X Games, with over 43 million viewers on ESPN and ESPN2. Winter X Games 14 also set a new attendance record in Aspen with a total of 84,100 spectators over four days -- an increase of nine percent from the 2007 record. Winter X Games 14 debuted two new disciplines -- Snowmobile Adaptive SnoCross and Ski SuperPipe High Air.

In the year of the peat, five atheltes earned record-breaking performances at Winter X Games 15. Taking home the first-ever five-peat in Winter X Games history, Nate Holland edged out soon-to-be Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott in the Men's Snowboarder X final. Tucker Hibbert and Ophelie David earned four-peats and both became the first athletes to four-peat in their respective sports (SMB SnoCross and Women's Skier X). Lindsey Jacobellis defended her back-to-back gold medals in Women's Snowboarder X, becoming the first athlete to three-peat twice in the same discipline. Not to be left out of the history books, Shaun White won his third straight Men's Snowboard SuperPipe gold with the McTwist 1260 to become the first athelte to three-peat in Snowboard SuperPipe and the second person to thee-peat in two separate divisions. Rookie Bobby Brown surprised competitiors and spectators by winning gold in Ski Big Air and Men's Ski Slopestyle in his first Winter X Games appearance. Not only did he win Big Air, he earned a perfect score on two of his runs, giving Brown an unprecedented perfect score of 100. The next evening, Halldor Helgason became the second athlete to recieve a perfect score on his way to winning Iceland's first gold in Snowboard Big Air. In the Men's Skier X final, Chris Del Bosco headlined the Canadian podium sweep. In the inaugural Adaptive SnoCross event, Mike Schultz won the gold medal in his first appearance back at Winter X since having his leg amputated.