X Games Aspen 2023 is officially a wrap! On the third and final day of X Games Aspen 2023, the Monster Energy Team claimed 5 medals: 2 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze across four contest events.
The team’s overall haul of medals? Hefty! During three days of competitions, Monster Energy riders claimed a total of 18 X Games Medals: 7 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze at X Games Aspen 2023.
Here’s the rundown of how Monster Energy shut down X Games Aspen 2023 on Sunday:
MEGAN “GOLDHAM”: After landing the first triple in Women’s Big Air and capturing gold, Megan Oldham dropped with extra confidence. Plus, the inclement weather was finally over and under bluebird skies it was time to send it!
SENDING IT BIG: After throwing away her first run, Oldham put down three perfect runs featuring technical rail tricks and double cork rotations in the jumps. Rail highlights included 270 on pretzel, and 270 on the down rail. In the jumps, Oldham put down alley-oop rodeo and left cork 900, switch double cork 900, and a thundering rightside double cork 1260 as the final trick for the undisputed win.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT: Oldham took home two gold medals (Slopestyle and Big Air) at X Games Aspen 2023. Previously, only one woman had won Ski Big Air and Slopestyle at the same X Games, namely Tess Ledeux at Aspen 2022.
Oldham now owns 7 X Games medals: 3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze. The Canadian has medaled in each of her last six X Games starts.
PROGRESSION SESSION: Sunday night kicked off with a showcase of boundless creativity. The 30-minute jam session judged on overall impression saw eight of the world’s best freeskiers ‘hucking’ their most progressive moves off the Big Air jump ramp’s roll-over, also called the ‘knuckle’. With young guns, Olympic medalists, as well as legends of freestyle snowboarding in the mix, the progression was off the charts.
ICELANDIC LEGEND: Not many expected 32-year-old style icon Halldor Helgason from Akureyri, Iceland, to join X Games this year. And even fewer would have predicted the legend rising to the podium. But he did! Helgason’s creative moves like 540 handstand drag and a burly nollie double front flip, plus a frontside millerflip 720 sent deep down the landing earned him the silver medal. Legendary!
Helgason now owns 2 X Games medals: 1 gold, 1 silver. In 2010, he went down in X Games history by winning Snowboard Big Air with a perfect score of 100, making him the first rider from Iceland to medal at X Games.
YOUNG GUN ON THE PODIUM: Riding in a t-shirt, 19-year-old Dusty Henricksen from Mammoth Lakes, California, brought his explosive pop to the session. Moves like 360 butter to 540 cork, and back noseblunt butter to switch rodeo 720 earned the Team USA rider the bronze medal. Must have been the final trick: Henricksen soared through the air upside down trying to high-five his younger brother, splayed on the knuckle. Watch that replay if you can!
Henricksen now owns 4 X Games medals: 2 gold, 2 bronze.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: The session under the floodlights soon evolved into what X Games commentators called the most innovative Big Air final ever showcased at a Winter X Games.
RUUD RETURNS: It’s been almost three years since Birk Ruud from Oslo, Norway competed at X Games. His last medal was Big Air bronze at X Games Norway 2020, before Covid-19 crossed his X Games plans two years in a row. He’s been busy, though: Ruud took gold in Big Air at the 2022 Winter Olympics and has dominated the World Cup Slopestyle and Big Air circuit. But was he ready for the heated final?
ICONIC TRICKS: On Sunday night, the level of tricks rose through the stratosphere as the Top 3 scores crossed the 90-point threshold with their scores. Holding his own, Ruud put down a forward left double bio 1980 on his first attempt for 44 points. When several riders started dropping 2160-degree rotations, it was officially time to ‘go big or go home’. Rising to the occasion, Ruud put down his brand-new switch triple 2160 on his last attempt for 48 points. The fact that 92 points still earned Ruud third place is testament to the insane level in this historic Ski Big Air final. It was wild!
Ruud now owns 5 X Games medals: 2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze. On the FIS World Cup circuit, he has won all recent Big Air and Slopestyle events, amounting to five wins total.
SMOOTH RIDING, AT LAST: After two days of snowfall and slow conditions on the SuperPipe, the stars aligned for perfect conditions on Sunday night. The legendary Aspen halfpipe with its 22-foot-high walls provided the backdrop for sending it big, and the eight finalists lost no time to show the crowd their highest aerials and back-to-back rotations. It was a worthy finale to a history-making weekend.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: Dropping in as the oldest competitor at X Games Aspen 2023, 32-year-old David Wise came into the final as the underdog. Sure, he was the most accomplished rider in the field, owning seven SuperPipe medals including four gold. But Wise had earned his last gold medal at X Games Aspen 2018 and competitors in their late teens and early twenties brought their A-game. They were in for a surprise…
PUTTING IT DOWN: Showing the crowd why he is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Wise put together a flawless run. Catching air at high amplitude well above 15 feet, Wise also spun rotations in all four directions. Dropping into the SuperPipe backwards at full speed, Wise landed switch right 900 lead tail, switch left double cork 1080 taipan, right cork 900 lead tail, left double cork 1260 mute, and right double cork 1260 mute for the gold medal. It’s the fifth X Games gold in SuperPipe for Wise.
David Wise owns 8 X Games medals: 5 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze. He also earned three Olympic medals in the SuperPipe discipline, 2 gold and 1 silver.
This wraps up a history-making edition of Winter X Games in Aspen! Again, congrats to the Monster Energy team for taking home an incredible 18 X Games Medals: 7 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze in the world’s biggest winter action sports showcase!