The X Games, a yearly action sports event arranged by U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN, are set to begin on Thursday, January 24th and will conclude Sunday, the 27th in Aspen Colorado. With the Winter games being conducted for the 17th year, the event is beginning to develop some of its all-time greats.
Shaun White, arguably the best snowboarder in the world, is tied at 14 for most gold medals in X-Games history with BMX athlete Dave Mirra. White has won five consecutive superpipe golds and will likely win gold again this year. A two-time Winter Olympic gold medalist in the halfpipe event and a dual athlete–having competed and gold medaled twice in the Summer X Games skateboarding events–White seems to be the favorite to win gold again this year in multiple events. However, competition might have finally arrived for White. A 19-year-old Canadian snowboarder, Mark McMorris, is coming off his first two X Games gold medals in 2012 and seems to be a threat to the 26-year-old White for some top snowboarding bragging rights.
While McMorris isn’t known for his superpipe skills, leaving White with virtually no competition in the event, the 19-year-old certainly could stake his claim on the slopestyle event for the second straight year. White, who has recently ditched the skateboard in favor of focusing on the snow, is also coming off knee surgery. The two snowboarders might be far apart in career achievements, but for four days, they will be on a level playing field with the highest of expectations.