be_ixf;ym_202303 d_20; ct_50
Images of Jamie Anderson winning slopestyle at Winter X games 2020.

X Games Aspen - Day 3

Jan 252020

Saturday was the biggest day of competitions at X Games Aspen 2020. Between noon and well into the night, a total of nine events awarded gold medals at the premiere action sports spectacle on Buttermilk Mountain.

When all was said and done, Monster Energy athletes claimed gold in six of these nine events across a wide range of ski, snowboard, and snow bike disciplines. Plus one silver and three bronze medals, all in a day’s work. Supplemented by musical performances from electronic acts ILLENIUM and Alesso as well as festival events at X Fest, it was an unforgettable day that will go down in X Games history. 

Here’s how the action unfolded on day three of the 19th consecutive Winter X Games in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Monster Energy’s Jamie Anderson came, saw and conquered in the Jeep Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle final. Unfazed by a new generation of riders, the most decorated woman in X Games history dominated the 35-minute jam session that was scored on overall impression.

Anderson combined rail tricks like 50-50 gap to 50-50 backside 180 out, Cab 270 on to 270 out, and switch tailslide 270 with technical aerials such as frontside 720 Indy, backside 540 mute, Cab double under-flip Indy, backside rodeo 720 from sharkfin quarterpipe in the jump section to claim the gold medal.

“I’ve been snowboarding for more than half my life now and am trying to get my stuff together. It gets really hard, everyone is sending it and doing their best. I’m really stoked for all the girls today,” said Jamie Anderson upon winning Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle gold in Aspen on Saturday.

With 17 medals X Games medals to her name (6 Gold, 7 Silver, 4 Bronze), The two-time Olympic Gold medalist is podium-perfect in 15 appearances at X Games and also owns a new record: Anderson has now surpassed Shaun White and Mark McMorris for the record of holding the most SnowboardSlopestyle gold in X Games history at six medals.

Also making the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle podium, 15-year-old Japanese rookie Kokomo Murase stoked the judges with a well-rounded performance. Highlights such as 50-50 transfer to boardslide to tail-tap out, boardslide 270 out, and 50-50 frontside 180 Indy out on the rails, plus aerials like Cab 540 Indy, backside 720 mute, Frontside double cork 900 Indy, and switch backside 180 mute in the jump section earned Murase the bronze medal.


Having already claimed silver in Women’s Snowboard Big Air on Thursday, Murase is the youngest snowboard competitor at X Games Aspen 2020 and now owns four X Games medals (1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze).


In the day’s next medal event, Monster Energy’s Doug Henry from Torrington, Connecticut, came into the Para Snow BikeCross final as the defending gold medalist. “Para” refers to a level of paralysis that prevents the rider from standing. Riders customize their snow bikes with alterations such as hand control and seat modifications.


Although competing as the oldest athlete at X Games Aspen 2020 at age 50, Henry still remains a podium threat. The three-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion grabbed the holeshot right after the start and expanded his lead strategically throughout the six-lap race. Ultimately, Doug Henry charged over the finish line with a 5:22.189 overall time to claim the gold medal, riding on a 15-second lead on silver medalist Brandon Dudley.


“The track changes all the time in snow biking, so we made good changes to the bike today. We ended up with another gold and I couldn’t be happier,” said Doug Henry upon winning Para Snow BikeCross gold in Aspen on Saturday.


The 50-year-old now owns eight X Games medals (3 gold, 2silver, 3 bronze). He competed as a decorated motocross racer until a Supermoto crash in 2007 left him paralyzed from the waist down. Inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005, he continues his passion for racing as a top competitor in adaptive snowmobile and Para Snow BikeCrossevents and the latest gold is once again proof that age is just a number.


And who said rookies can’t win gold in Men’s Ski Slopestyle? The fact that it never happened in 19 years at X Games didn’t stop X Games rookie and Monster Energy teamrider Colby Stevenson. Boosted by taking gold in Ski Knuckle Huck on Thursday night, the 22-year-old from Park City, Utah, faced the world elite of the sport with confidence and a big bag of tricks.


In the 35-minute jam session judged on variety and creativity, Stevenson worked the rail section with risky tricks and sent technical aerials spinning in all four directions over the jumps. Highlights in the rail section included left backside 360 switch up continuing 270, right side 450 backside switch up to 270 out, and a switch 270 pretzel to 630. Stevenson stomped difficult aerials with authority, including a switch left dub 1080 stalefish, double cork 1440 Cuban, and switch left double cork 1440 safety grab that sealed the deal.


“I had no idea that I was going to win this thing. I was just hoping to make it into the finals. Thanks to everyone for coming, what a day!” said Colby Stevenson upon taking gold in Men’s Ski Slopestyle in Aspen on Saturday.


The 22-year-old is a 2015 graduate of the Winter Sports School in Park City and US Ski Team member. Stevenson now owns two gold medals, both earned in his X Games debut this weekend (Knuckle Huck and Slopestyle). Keep an eye on this kid!


Joining Stevenson on the podium, Monster Energy rider Evan McEachran finally took home his very first medal at an X Games. McEachran sent several super technical runs down the course, including trick highlights such as backside 360 switch up pretzel 270 and switch left 450 to backside switch up to 270 out. In the jump section, the rookie put down double cork 1080 Meader grab (named after Ian Meader), switch left double 1260 tail to Japan and switch right side double 1440 for the well-deserved silver medal.


Monster Energy also struck gold in the Jeep Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle final, where an elite field of riders descended on the course to challenge defending gold medalist Mark McMorris for the top spot. As it turned out, the new 35-minute jam session format proved a perfect match for Monster Energy’s Darcy Sharpe.


Known for his technical rail tricks, the 23-year-old from Comox, Canada, had already claimed silver at X Games Aspen 2018. Now he was back to raise the bar: Rail section highlights included a hardway switch 270 bring-back, lipslide270 out, and frontside 270 on to switch backside inverted 450 out. Sharpe also sent aerials like Cab double cork 1080 mute, switch backside 1260 nosegrab, frontside triple cork 1440 Indy, backside triple cork 1440, and a backside 900 mute in the jump section to earn his very first X Games gold.


“I am ridiculously happy!” said a nearly speechless Darcy Sharpe upon claiming Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle gold in Aspen.


Now that he’s had his taste of gold, the brother of Monster Energy freeskier Cassie Sharpe will be back for more: Darcy Sharpe is competing in the Snowboard Rail Jam and Knuckle Huck on Sunday.


Next, the focus shifted from freestyle tricks to raw speed and acceleration in Wendy’s Snow BikeCross. Monster Energy’s Cody Matechuk came into the race as the man to beat after claiming back-to-back gold medals at Aspen 2018 and 2019. Could he pull off a three-peat in the relatively young sport?


But first, Matechuk had to work through a heart-stopping scene in the semifinal. Riding to the finish line in first place, Matechuk aired out the uphill double jump when he noticed a stranded rider on the ground. He ejected from his Yamaha in mid-air to avoid collision, damaging the bike and barely finishing in second place to make the cut.


Just in time before the final twelve-lap race, Matechuk’s team replaced the ski on the front of his bike and the defending gold medalist was back to dominating the field. While challenging light conditions caused several riders to crash, Matechuk charged on undeterred. He finished the final race with an 8:42.768 overall time – a solid 15.641 seconds ahead of Yanick Boucher in second place – and received the gold medal at the finish line.


“What can I say is that I like this color! And I hope this was a good show for you guys,” said Cody Matechuk upon taking first place in Wendy’s Snow BikeCross on Saturday night in Aspen.


Saturday’s win marks Cody Matechuk’s third consecutive Snow BikeCross gold medal and fourth X Games medal overall (3 gold and 1 bronze). He now joins an elite club of motorized winter sports athletes who have earned threepeat gold medals at X Games, including Blair Morgan, Tucker Hibbert, and Mike Schultz.


After the sun went down over Buttermilk Mountain, the crowd packed in closely around the halfpipe area for the Women’s Ski SuperPipe final. All eyes were on the defending gold medalist, Monster Energy’s Cassie Sharpe. The 27-year-old from Comox, Canada, had proven her technical ability and vertical leap in perfect final runs at Aspen 2019.


But how would she fare in the new scoring format, with judges now looking for overall impression in a 30-minute jam session? Adding to the pressure, Sharpe had suffered a concussion in September 2019 and only just returned to competition after having to miss the first two World Cup events of the season.


Rising to the challenge, Sharpe soared higher than her competitors, stringing together right side 900, flair, huge 360 to fakie into a switch 360 and a 10’2” huge left 900 tail-grab on her first run. After combining high-flying 900s both ways and a technical switch 360 in a run, she concluded her last run of the night with an 11’2” high, fully inverted 1080. But Sharpeultimately had to settle for the bronze medal, as the judges named Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru the winner of the jam session.  


Saturday night’s Ski SuperPipe bronze is Cassie Sharpe’s fourth X Games medal (2 gold, 2 bronze). Since December 2017, Sharpe has now reached the podium at ten of twelve halfpipe events. Career milestones include gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics and X Games Aspen 2019, as well as two Crystal Globe titles for halfpipe (2018 and 2019).


Ending an epic day on a high note, Monster Energy athletes claimed two podium spots in The Real Cost Men’s Snowboard Big Air final. With Canada’s Mark McMorris as the defending gold medalist, the eight-rider final marked the return to Aspen of Monster Energy’s Max Parrot.


The 25-year-old from Bromont, Canada, was sidelined from competing at Aspen 2019 due to a battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer. Fully recovered, Parrot made an emotional comeback to competition by clinching gold at X Games Norway in August 2019 and has also claimed first place at Air + Style Beijing in December 2019.


The 30-minute jam session soon escalated, as Parrot went blow-for-blow against McMorris. Choosing his tricks carefully, Parrot rifled off one perfect aerial after the other, including 1620s rotated in three different directions. The Canadian landed his very first frontside triple cork 1620 mute in competition, alongside a Cab triple cork 1620 Indy and backside 1620. Parrot also stomped a Cab triple cork 1800 Indy, a trick that won him gold in 2018 and again sealed the deal in 2020.


“Honestly just to be out here one year later since I wasn’t here last year, that’s already amazing! The jump is so fun and every one of the riders killed it. And to get back the medal this year, the last time I had it was in 2018, makes me really stoked!” said Max Parrot upon winning Men’s Snowboard Big Air gold in Aspen on Saturday.


Max Parrot now single-handedly holds the most medals in the history of X Games Snowboard Big Air (6 gold, 3 silver). Combined with medals in Slopestyle, he now owns 11 X Games medals overall.


Also claiming a podium spot in one of the most epic Big Air finals in X Games history, Parrot’s Monster Energy teammate Sven Thorgren impressed the judges with a barrage of technical bangers. His backside flat spin 1620 stalefish, backside 1620 stalefish, frontside triple cork 1440 mute, backside triple rodeo melon, and Cab 1620 roast beef grab earned Thorgren a strong bronze medal finish.


The 25-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, now owns five X Games medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze) and will be back on the final day of X Games Aspen looking to bolster his medal count. 


Congratulations again to our snow athletes on bringing home six gold medals in a single day. What a run!