X Games Aspen 2021 | Highlights And Recap

All the highlights from this year's Winter X Games at Buttermilk

The Winter X Games in Aspen is always one of the highlights of the year, despite the 2021 iteration taking on a slightly different tone, with several big names out for Covid and all events closed to the public. Nevertheless, the riders put on a huge show for the cameras at Buttermilk and kicked off this season’s X Games with a bang.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott | Photo by Matt Morning / ESPN Images

On Friday Women’s Slopestyle was the first event to go down, with Jamie Anderson continuing her winning streak to capture her seventh X Games gold. With a deep bag of tricks and smoother than sin style, it’s clear to see that Jamie is absolutely untouchable at the moment, with young gun Zoi Sadowski-Synnott nipping at her heels for second place, and Canadian Laurie Blouin rounding out the podium in third.

Everyone’s favourite event is the Knuckle Huck, right? It’s the ultimate showdown in style and creativity, now in its third year, Jamie Anderson broke another record and was the first woman to drop in for the Huck. With reigning champ Zeb Powell out injured the top spot was anyone’s for the taking, Marcus Kleveland threw down some hugely technical runs, but it was 17-year-old rookie Dusty Henricksen who took home the coveted Golden Knuckles. His cab 180 tail press front flip out was insane, we’re expecting to see big things from this kid in the future.

Check out the Full Knuckle Huck Stream here.

Women’s Superpipe was a huge showdown on Saturday, with Maddie Mastro battling Chloe Kim for the top spot. Although Kim was the favourite to win, if Mastro could throw her iconic Double Crippler it might just edge things in her favour. But, even after her absence from competition to attend University Chloe Kim was just too strong and topped the podium once again with her super technical runs, including a giant 13-foot method and a frontside 1080 tailgrab. Japanese powerhouse Haruna Matsumoto took home the bronze to finish out the podium.

Thanks to consistent snowfall the Men’s Slopestyle and Women’s Big Air were both postponed until Sunday. Men’s Slopestyle is always one of the most contested events thanks to the hugely stacked field. But with a few top seed riders out for Covid, including Mark McMorris, there was no clear winner before drop-in. Riding high off of his Knuckle Huck gold, Dusty Henricksen went toe to toe with the big dogs and came out on top with his high octane runs. Mons Roisland went big but could only manage a Silver, and Finnish ball of energy Rene Rinnekangas took the Bronze.

Women’s riding has seen some huge progression over the last few years, and it was really highlighted in the Big Air at Aspen. Jamie Anderson is probably best known for her Slopestyle domination but stomped both her runs to take the Gold medal once again. Miyabi Onitsuka threw down a world’s first with her cab double cork 1260 Weddle for Silver, and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott took home the Bronze.

Sunday’s Men’s Superpipe was a podium repeat from last week’s Laax Open, with Japanese Yuto Totsuka toppling Scotty James from the top spot once again and Ruka Hirano taking the bronze. Notably missing once more was Shaun White, who withdrew from the competition at the last minute with a knee injury. Is White’s time up? At 34 he’s almost twice the age of some of the younger competitors vying for podium spots, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the run up to Beijing…

It was Scandi domination for the Men’s Big Air, with Marcus Kleveland, Sven Thorgren and Mons Roisland taking the three top spots. It was hammer after hammer with every rider throwing bezerko runs including a few world firsts and a handful of quads. There were only a few points between the top 5 riders, with all of them scoring above 90 points for their top combined runs.

So, that’s it for X Games Aspen 2021, a bunch of medals, a handful of NBD’s and more than enough stoke to tide us over until next time. Congrats to all the riders and crew, that was one helluva show.

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