Day one of ESPN’s Extreme Games kicked off in Aspen, Colorado, on Thursday with men’s ski superpipe elimination, men’s snowboard slopestyle elimination, and men’s snowboard superpipe eliminations.
Anything is possible at X, and often the best moments don’t make it on TV. Here’s a look at what you may have missed:
Men’s ski superpipe eliminations kicked off early Thursday morning with David Wise qualifying first with his smooth, slick style and ultra-technical tricks. Wise will face the top seven men on Friday during pipe finals, where he is expected to throw four doubles. This photo of Wise is from professional freeskier Jen Hudak, and it shows she’s not only a star skier, but also a highly skilled Instagrammer,
Photo: @jenhudak Great day for the @usfreeskiing team @xgames #ski #superpipe qualifiers today! 5 men to tomorrow night’s finals! This is @mrdavidwise boosting an alley-oop flat 5 tail.
Tom Wallisch throws up a peace sign and snaps a “selfie” as he sails through the air on the X Games slopestyle course. Wallisch is known for his lofty airs, and progressive spins, which make him a favorite for gold in ski slopestyle finals taking place on Sunday.
Photo: @gopro Photo of the Day! Tom Wallisch throws up the deuces mid air for the start of #XGames! #GoProX @Twallisch
Sebastien Toutant won his first X Games gold in 2011 at the ripe age of 19. He hoped to repeat that performance this year, but was unable to land a clean run in Thursday’s eliminations. Seb Toots, as he’s known, isn’t getting down on himself and shifted his attention to taking gold in Big Air on Friday night. This picture is of Seb just before he dropped in for a practice lap on the massive big air jump. The French Canadian rider earned bronze in the event last year and has a triple cork in his bag of tricks, which could be the deciding factor.
Photo @sebtoots Slopestyle didn’t go how i want it.. Now i’m focus on the Big Air tomorrow night! #letsdothis #XGames #timetogoham
Snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg failed to make the cut for slopestyle finals, but he’s still getting extreme all weekend by rocking purple hair. After earning second place in the Big Air event at last month’s Dew Tour, Kotsenburg hoped to earn gold in the same event at the X Games but was denied an invite. Rumor has it the purple hair is Sage’s way of jeering at X Games officials for not giving him the green light to compete. It’s a bummer for Sage and all the viewers that he’s not competing, as his charisma coupled with his insane snowboard skills could have produced a more thrilling event.
Photo: @shay_will Larry Malibu (@sagekotsenburg) peepin’ and creepin’ at ski pipe prelims.
Eight of the world’s best urban snowboarders submitted 60-second video parts for their shot at X Games gold in the Real Street video contest. Each video featured rowdy rail segments, but only the top three earned medals. This picture shows Louis Paradis, Dan Brisse, and Bode Merrill earning podium honors.
Photo: @dyesnow Congrats to @danbrisse and his #realsnow crew earning their third #Xgames medal.
The Snowmobile Freestyle Finals went down on the first day of the X Games with high intensity aerobatic antics from the world’s best sledheads. Levi LaVallee earned gold in the evening event, with Joe Parsons and Justin Hoyer taking second and third.
Photo: @AspenSnowmass Snowmobiles, flying fun.
Mr. Shaun White, a most talked about athlete in the X Games, competed in Slopestyle Eliminations for the first time since 2009 on day one of X. He placed seventh, which was good enough for him to move into Saturday’s finals, but his performance showed his skills aren’t quite up to par with the rest of young field. Later that night, White qualified second to Louri Podladtchikov in superpipe eliminations, which was very uncharacteristic of White, who’s won the past five X Games superpipe events. The pressure is definitely on the White Wonder, but if we had a million dollars, we’d still bet it all on White to take gold in Sunday’s finals.
Photo: @bobridges All cameras pointed on this guy. #ShaunWhite #xgames #pipe
Stay tuned for more behind the scenes action at the X Games in Aspen, and follow @GrindTVSnow on both Twitter and Instagram for breaking updates all weekend.