X Games Aspen 2016 Reveals First Wave of Invited Athletes

ESPN returns to Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen Snowmass, January 28-31, 2016, for the 15th consecutive year to televise the world’s premier action sports competition with live coverage on ESPN and ABC. The 2016 event will again feature action sports competitions, world-class musical performances and a festival village.

The first wave of athlete invites will include 83 additional invitations to compete at X Games Aspen 2016. For X Games Aspen 2016, all 2015 medalists with sport disciplines returning in 2016 received an automatic invite to compete in the 2016 event. For a complete list of invited athletes please visit www.xgames.com.

ESPN and ABC will televise a combined 16 hours of live X Games Aspen competition.  Additional competition, music and behind-the-scenes content will be carried on ESPN3 as well as the latest coverage across ESPN digital platforms, including XGames.com, X Games app, X Games pages across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and more.

Rider: Sage Kotsenburg | Photo: Tom Zuccareno/ESPN Images

The first wave of invited athletes includes:

  • Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colorado) – One of the most well-rounded freestyle skiers, Kenworthy is a triple threat in Slopestyle, SuperPipe and Big Air at X Games Aspen. Though he has only an X Games bronze to his name, Kenworthy is one to watch as the five-time consecutive AFP overall champion and Sochi Olympic silver medalist.
  • Torin Yater-Wallace (Aspen, Colorado) – Plagued by injury in 2014 and 2015, Yater-Wallace is healthy and ready to reclaim his spot atop the hometown podium. Earning his first X Games medal with a silver at just 15 years old, Yater-Wallace has since added three more X Games medals to his trophy case.
  • Colten Moore (Krum, Texas) – The defending Freestyle gold medalist, Moore will look to add his third Snowmobile Freestyle gold as the discipline returns to X Games Aspen 2016. After winning his first gold at X Games Aspen in 2012, Moore has earned five additional medals in Freestyle, Best Trick, Speed & Style and Long Jump. Originally a freestyle ATV rider, Moore performs on the Nitro Circus tour riding both his ATV and Snowmobile.
  • Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, Minnesota) – The five-time consecutive SnoCross Adaptive gold medalist, Schultz was injured competing in the Snowboarder X Adaptive discipline at X Games Aspen 2015 and was unable to complete the six-peat. A seven-time medalist, Schultz has competed at X Games in SnoCross Adaptive, Snowboarder X Adaptive and Moto X Racing Adaptive.
  • Yuki Kadono (Tokyo, Japan) – Making his X Games Aspen debut with a silver medal in Snowboard Big Air in 2014, Kadono hasn’t looked back. In 2015 Kadono added X Games Big Air silver, a win at the Los Angeles Air + Style with the first-ever switch backside triple cork 1620 and a win at the Burton U.S. Open with the first ever back-to-back triple cork 1620s.
  • Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen (Geilo, Norway) – In her rookie year, Christiansen topped the podium at X Games Aspen 2013, claiming gold in Ski Slopestyle and went on to secure silver a few months later at X Games Tignes 2013. Raised in a family full of professional skiers and national champions, Christiansen won silver medals at both the Junior World Championships and Youth Olympic Games in 2012. Most recently, she won gold in the Silvaplana Freeski World Cup.
  • Arielle Gold (Breckenridge, Colorado) – A two-time X Games bronze medalist, Gold has finished in the top four at each X Games event in which she has competed. Both she and older brother Taylor earned the chance to compete at the Sochi Olympics, with Arielle being the youngest member of the halfpipe team.

The full initial list of invited athletes can be found on www.xgames.com. The full X Games Aspen 2016 competition schedule will be available on www.xgames.com for fans and www.espnmediazone.com for media in the coming weeks. Follow the X Games on Twitter at http://twitter.com/xgames.

Tickets and full music and competition schedules are now available at XGames.com. As always, general admission to the action sports competitions and festival villages is free to the public.

*PLEASE NOTE: The invited athlete list and competition schedule is constantly being updated and is subject to change. 

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