Best Images from X Games Tignes 2013
X Games Tignes 2013
The X Games took over the French Alps town of Tignes for three days of gold-medal victories, surprising comebacks, never-been-done-before tricks and a snowstorm to remember. Tignes is the second location in a six-stop global X Games tour in 2013. Next up for the X Games? Foz do Iguau, Brazil, taking place April 18-21.
Aimee Fuller, Jenny Jones, Kjersti Oestgaard Buass
Though she didn't podium at X Games Tignes, Fuller threw an underflip tail grab and a double backflip during her run in the Women's Snowboard Slopestyle final. Here, she blows off some steam with Women's Snowboard Slopestyle medal-holders Jones (gold, X Games Aspen 2010) and Buass (bronze, X Games Tignes 2013).
Nineteen-year-old Norendal was the youngest competitor in the Women's Snowboard Slopestyle final field at X Games Tignes 2013, but her tender age didn't keep her from besting much older athletes and taking the gold.
Canadian Roz Groenewoud will be a gold-medal favorite when ski halfpipe makes its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. The gold medalist from last year's X Games Tignes, Groenewoud took home a fourth-place finish in the Women's Pipe contest on Friday night.
Kjersti Oestgaard Buass
Despite the 12-year age difference between she and gold medalist Silje Norendal, Buass still secured Women's Snowboard Slopestyle bronze at X Games Tignes 2013. She began competing at X Games in 2002, in Women's Snowboard SuperPipe.
The Men's Ski SuperPipe finals went off Friday night, with a record-breaking number of spectators in the crowd. The crowd count for Friday was 46,500 people. The total crowd count for X Games Tignes 2013 was 117,000. That is the most people ever to attend an X Games winter event.
Sebastien Toutant showed up to X Games Aspen in 2011 as a rookie and rode away with Slopestyle gold, then followed that with a silver in Tignes the same year. This season went a little less smooth overall, but it ended with a bang, as Toutant nailed the first triple cork of the competition and confidently claimed the top spot over Mark McMorris.
The youngest competitor in the Men's Ski SuperPipe field walked away with the gold medal in Tignes. American Torin Yater-Wallace, 17, earned a repeat gold in Tignes and capped off a season that saw him on the podium of every contest he entered. "It was just such a high-level competition," Yater-Wallace said. "I was so surprised; I couldn't believe I won again."
Birthday boy Louie Vito took first in SuperPipe elims on Wednesday and then came back Thursday, on the first full day of his 25th year, to win X Games gold.
Canadian Mike Riddle qualified in third place for the Men's Ski SuperPipe finals. "Canada is on top of America geographically, so I think we should be on top of them on the podium," Riddle has joked about the Americans versus the Canadians in the pipe field.
Powder Gods Are Good
The untold story of X Games Tignes 2013 is the nightly storms that reset the powder every morning on the mountain. The snow was so good just off the side of the Slopestyle run, people were poaching lines in it all day long. Mark McMorris, photo bombing in the background.
Joffrey Pollet-Villard is a member of the French Ski Federation, which will be a strong medal contender when ski halfpipe makes its Olympic debut in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.
Kevin Rolland, from La Plagne, France, won the gold medal in Men's Ski SuperPipe at X Games Tignes in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, he was out with an ACL injury. On Thursday, was the top qualifier in the Men's Ski SuperPipe eliminations.
Norway's PK Hunder took seventh place in the Men's Ski Slopestyle finals, which took place under clear, sunny skies a day after the eliminations occurred during the middle of a massive French snowstorm.
How can someone be this happy after just barely missing the podium? If you'd landed a trick that no one else had ever done before for the first time ever in front of a rowdy, screaming crowd -- a trick that might help you win the Olympics next year -- you'd be this excited too.
This year's Slopestyle course was located on the bottom of Tignes' Double M trail -- the same location as in 2012. The jumps were smaller than usual due to stormy weather in the forecast. With new snow on the course, speeds were slow and the smaller jumps were safer and easier to clear.
A massive storm nailed Tignes, France, this week, just in time for the X Games' arrival. Before the contest started, many of the athletes got out to enjoy the fresh powder. "Nothing like a pre-practice pow day in the Alps," Elena Hight, who took silver in Women's Snowboard SuperPipe, wrote on Twitter.
X Games Aspen 2013 champ Nick Goepper failed to qualify for Men's Ski Slopestyle finals in Tignes. In his first run, Goepper lost his ski midair on a jump, but still managed to land on one ski. He crashed on his second run as well. "I think it was really the weather," Goepper said. "I kind of misjudged the last jump and came up a little short on my dub 10. The weather rolled in and it got gnarly. I'm still stoked -- I'm healthy and happy."
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen
The Women's Ski Slopestyle finals were postponed a day due to the weather. Here, Aspen gold medalist Tiril Sjstad Christiansen practices on the course. "I'm really content that they postponed the contest," said defending Tignes champ Kaya Turski. "I was one of the ones pushing the organizers to postpone the event. I was thinking about the safety of myself and the other girl competitors and the overall progression of the sport."
The copious amounts of snow that fell in Tignes during the early part of the week made competition difficult, but outside of event windows no one was complaining. Lago demonstrates a properly executed power slash on the side of the SuperPipe during practice Tuesday.
When the thousands of French fans came out to watch the Men's Ski SuperPipe contest, they were cheering for local favorite Kevin Rolland, the X Games Tignes champion from 2010 and 2011. Rolland was out with an ACL injury last year and this year, he returned to the podium with a bronze medal.
American young gun Torin Yater-Wallace, 17, earned a silver medal in Aspen and gold last year here in Tignes in Men's Ski SuperPipe. He has been separating himself from his competitors this season with his double flatspin 900, which he does pointing down the pipe. "You have to pop super hard," says Yater-Wallace, "which makes it scary."
Weather wreaked a little havoc on the Women's Snowboard SuperPipe finals to say the least, but the women still managed to put on a great show.