Big cash prizes for Aspen X Games
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” Athletes will compete for shares of the biggest X Games purse in history ” $1 million ” when Winter X Games 12 convenes Thursday, Jan. 24 at Buttermilk in Aspen.
More than 250 athletes from around the world will compete for the cash in various skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling events. Medalists will reap 50 percent more than they did last year, X Games sponsor ESPN announced last week, though the network did not specify how much medalists will take home in individual events.
The overall prize purse is up 38 percent from last year’s, and the total purse for all X Games competitions to be held in 2008 exceeds $3 million. This year, X Games events will be held in Aspen, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Dubai and two other international markets yet to be announced.
“ESPN is committed to ensuring that the best action sports athletes in the world compete on action sports’ grandest stage – the X Games,” said Rick Alessandri, senior vice president and managing director, X Games franchise.
Winter X Games 12 is scheduled for Jan. 24-27. The event includes day and evening competitions and is free to the public.
The second and final wave of invited athletes was also announced last week. For the complete, updated list of Winter X Games 12 athletes, log on to http://www.expn.com.
Looking for a piece of the prize money will be a number of Colorado athletes. Competitors who have been invited to Winter X Games 12 include:
Clair Bidez of Minturn, snowboard halfpipe
Gretchen Bleiler of Snowmass Village, snowboard halfpipe
Brett Buckles of Steamboat Springs, skiercross
Chris Burandt of Kremmling, snowmobile freestyle, snowmobile speed and style
Carl Burnett of Winter Park, mono skiercross
Tricia Byrnes of Aspen, snowboard halfpipe
Chris Del Bosco of Vail, skiercross
Sam Ferguson of Aspen, mono skiercross
Jake Fiala of Frisco, skiercross
Steve Fisher of Breckenridge, snowboard halfpipe
Marc Frank Montoya of Denver, snowboard slopestyle
Gerald Hayden of Winter Park, mono skiercross
Jordan Karlinski of Snowmass Village, boardercross
Scott Meyer of Frisco, mono skiercross
Peter Olenick of Aspen, skiing slopestyle, halfpipe
Casey Puckett of Aspen, skiercross
Jason Smith of Basalt, boardercross
John Spriggs of Vail, skiing slopestyle
J.J. Thomas of Golden, snowboard halfpipe
Ross Trulove of Carbondale, boardercross
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.