FEB 02, 2016
This week is one of the largest in freesking as the Winter X Games Aspen, was once again held at Buttermilk Mountain, in Colorado.
The 20th edition of the Winter X Games had it's fair share of weather issues, but did not lack in excitement. The Atomic athletes invited to this year's event saw a number of medals, including gold from a rookie competitor, and a freeski icon that has never won the prestigious first place.
The week started off with very nice weather for the Men's Superpipe, a monstrous 560 foot long pipe, with 22 foot high walls. Gus Kenworthy, who would be the only male athlete to compete in Slopestyle and Superpipe, was in search of his first Winter X Games medal. The Teluride native, Kenworthy showed the judges, and a huge crowd that had gathered, his skills and especially amplitude in his three runs. His highest trick in the superpipe, a 20.6 foot high alley-oop double flat 900 helped him claim Silver– his first X Games medal.
The superpipe would be the scene for the next Atomic podium, as the Women's Superpipe competition would test the athletes on prime time TV. Japan's Ayana Onozuka, coming into Aspen after claiming first at the Dew Tour, and US Freeskiing Grand Prix, would continue her success by winning the Winter X Games Silver medal. The 26 year old ex-racer put down a final score of 85, which unfortunately wasn't enough to stop the red-hot Maddie Bowman, and her 4th consecutive Winter X Games Gold.
A massive big air jump would be the next sight for the Atomic Team to place two members on the podium. Despite the very challenging weather conditions, all the athletes were put to the test on the 80 plus foot jump. However, the night would be owned by the Atomic riders, specifically two young athletes from Switzerland. Elias Ambühl, had taken the early lead, then unfortunately crashed and injured his knee. Although Elias is probably going to be out for a while, his triple corked jumps scored high enough to place him third, and his forth Winter X Games Bronze medal. The night would belong to his teammate, Fabian Bösch, as the young X Games rookie would overcome the weather and speed issues to win his first Gold medal. The young Swiss talent would be the first ever to land a competition triple cork 1600, and along with his other run, a triple cork 1440 to claim the podium. Atomic wishes Elias a speedy recovery.
If that wasn't enough excitement for the week, the last freesking event, the coveted Slope-style event would find two more medals to add to the Atomic Team collection. Gus Kenworthy had not only competed earlier in the Superpipe, but also injured his ankle while getting his Silver medal. That injury would not slow him and the versatile Atomic "Punx" skis however, as Gus would be the only skier to medal twice, adding another Silver medal in the Slopestyle competition. But the day belonged to the style boss, Jossi Wells. The young Kiwi, was com-peting in his tenth straight Winter X Games, but never had won the Gold. That would change on Sunday, in the live TV event, as Wells fended off a very talented group of skiers, including all three Olympic Medalists in the Slopestyle event in Sochi. His last run score of 90 displayed Well's rail skills, and his Atomic "Infamous" skis allowed him enough speed and stability to land the very large jump section.
Atomic congratulates the Athletes and everyone involved in making this week a very special moment in the sport of Freesking, and the most successful medal count (2 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze) in Atomic company's history.