10 athletes get first Winter X Games invites
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado ” The first wave of athletes invited to compete at Winter X Games 12 next month at Buttermilk in Aspen should come as no surprise. Most are repeat medalists with X Games gold to their credit already.
A second round of invites will be announced in early January, according to organizer ESPN.
Athletes who’ve already secured an invite to the Jan. 24-27 games include:
– Shaun White, six-time snowboard Winter X Games gold medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist.
– Hannah Teter, three-time snowboard X Games medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist.
– Tanner Hall, defending ski superpipe champ and six-time X Games gold medalist.
– Chris Burandt, winner of the first-ever Winter X Games snowmobile freestyle gold medal, in 2007.
– Tyler Walker, winner of the first-ever Winter X Games mono skiercross gold medal, in 2007.
– Lindsey Jacobellis, three-time snowboard X Games gold medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic silver medalist.
– Torah Bright, defending X Games snowboard superpipe gold medalist.
– Travis Rice, three-time X Games snowboard medalist.
– Sarah Burke, three-time X Games medalist and defending ski superpipe gold medalist.
– Daron Rahlves, former U.S. ski team member with 28 World Cup podiums and three World Championship podiums.
More than 250 athletes will compete in skiing, snowboard and snowmobile competitions at the upcoming games, according to ESPN.
Athletes who receive invitations to compete are chosen by a sport-specific selection committee. The criteria and timing of invitations varies by sport and discipline and is based on the state and event schedules of that particular sport, though gold medalists from the 2007 X Games receive an automatic invitation to return.