They’re preparing themselves for the X Games up in Tignes. Last weekend some of the world’s best freeskiers and boarders were in Switzerland at the Laax Freeski Open. Local Swiss, Elias Ambühl, took first place in the men’s finals and Emma Dahlstrom from Sweden took first in the women’s. A very nice place to be at the lead-up to the big one… the X Games.
Ambühl’s first run saw him do a left double 1080 mute, right 900 reverse mute and a switch 1260 mute double grab. “Fortunately, I had a great first run, because in the second I fell at the last jump,” Ambühl, 18, said. “I’m very glad to be at the top at such a great event.”
photo courtesy of Stadler/LAAX
I’ll bet he is … with the X Games starting tomorrow he’s put himself in a comfortable position – confidence wise anyway.
Superpipe finals, American David Wise and defending champ Virginie Faivre from Switzerland topped the men’s and women’s podiums. “I gave it my all in my second run and I am happy that it worked out so well,” said Wise, 20. “The conditions today were so great, so I could show all my big tricks.”
“It’s so great to compete here today in a perfectly shaped pipe and perfect weather-conditions,” said Faivre, whose win marks her fifth victory in a row in Laax. “To win again makes me super happy.”
What exactly are the X Games? They’re the Olympic Games of Freestyle competition. Launched in Rhode Island in 1995, X Games have quickly become THE reference in terms of extreme sports. The principle? To bring together the best of alternative practices, such as skateboarding, mountain bike or rollerblading in summer, and snowboarding, slopestyle or snowmobile in winter, for top-level competitions.
Although officially the Games begin tomorrow, late this afternoon, starting at 17.00 ( 5p.m.) sees the men’s elimination Ski SuperPipe event. Wednesday has a lot more on offer, the schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, 16th March
- 10.00 Ski Slopestyle Men’s elimination
- 13.00 Ski Slopestyle Women’s FINAL
- 18.00 Ski SuperPipe Men’s FINAL
Thursday, 17th March
- 10.00 SBD Slopestyle Men’s elimination
- 13.30 Ski Slopestyle men’s FINAL
- 16.00 SBD SuperPipe Women’s FINAL
- 18.30 SBD SuperPipe Men’s elimination
Friday, 18th March
- 11.00 SBD Slopestyle Women’s FINAL
- 13.30 SBD Slopestyle Men’s FINAL
- 16.00 Ski SuperPipe Women’s FINAL
- 18.00 SBD SuperPipe Men’s FINAL
Each day – apart from tomorrow (Tuesday), at midday, there will be a snowmobile demo.
Tignes is the natural choice for an event of this kind. Already firmly on the world map for its innovation and expertise as a pioneer of new and alternative sports, it already has huge credibility with the freestyle and free-riding community. Espace Killy, well known in the region, has an X-tra large domain renowned for its exceptional off-piste terrain. This region has already successfully hosted many international events.
And it is devoted to staging the perfect event. As far back as July last year they began work on the new king-size SuperPipe out of a classic half-pipe. Three weeks of excavation, one week of drainage, one more week to finalize the shape (50 more meters uphill and 20 more meters downhill), the moving of electric wires trenches … and so on and so on… Tignes’ commitment to staging the perfect event and its attention to detail is its strength. It is the reason why it is once again the venue for the X Games.
Best of luck to all participants and we hope the sun will shine…