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Chloe Kim, David Wise among X Games headliners

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The X Games return to Aspen, Colorado, this week at Buttermilk Mountain. A marquee event on the yearly snowboarding and freeskiing calendar, the X Games will feature a handful of Olympic gold medalists and notable names in action sports. Below are a few storylines to watch for this week:

Nearly full field of Olympic gold medalists will compete in Aspen

All four freestyle skiing gold medalists in X Games events (halfpipe, slopestyle) and five of six Olympic snowboarding champions (slopestyle, halfpipe, big air) are expected to compete in Aspen. Among them is Chloe Kim, who has not lost a contest since the Olympics. She finished last season with a win at the US Open, and has three victories already this season, including at the Dew Tour in December. Since the Olympics, Kim’s star has only grown: she’s thrown out the first pitch at a Dodgers game and become an awards show regular, but her ability to crush her competition on the pipe remains unchanged.

In addition to Kim, the three other U.S. gold medalists from 2018 should all contend: in men’s ski halfpipe, two-time defending Olympic gold medalist David Wise has continued to impress this season, but as in previous years, he’ll be challenged by his teammates, Aaron Blunck and Aspen native Alex Ferreira, who would skip school as a kid to watch the X Games in person. Snowboard slopestyle gold medalists Red Gerard and Jamie Anderson are both podium threats as well.

After missing Olympics, can Sildaru sweep in Aspen?

Three years ago, a quiet and unassuming Kelly Sildaru won her first X Games title at 13, becoming the youngest ever winner in a winter event. Pegged early as a star for the PyeongChang Games in both slopestyle and halfpipe, the Estonian teenager missed the Olympics with a torn left ACL. Sildaru, who hails from a country with no mountains, will attempt a rare triple in Aspen: she’ll compete in slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air. No winter sports athlete has ever won three gold medals at the same X Games contest. Sildaru missed last year’s event due to her knee injury and has looked sharp so far this season: she won the U.S. Grand Prix in halfpipe and the Dew Tour in slopestyle. Sildaru has four X Games medals in total: two in slopestyle and two in big air.

White’s protégé awaits his big moment

Toby Miller learned from the best: the 18-year-old was mentored by three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, who brought Miller to PyeongChang as his guest. White hasn’t competed since the Olympics, focusing instead on skateboarding, while Miller is having a notable season of his own: he finished third at the Dew Tour and second at the U.S. Grand Prix. The U.S. halfpipe contingent remains deep: Olympians Jake Pates, Ben Ferguson and Chase Josey are all contenders on any given day, though PyeongChang bronze medalist Scotty James will likely be the favorite.

Big tricks

The X Games are often a staging point for new tricks: in 2017, Norway’s Marcus Kleveland became the first to land a quad in competition, only to be topped by Canadian Max Parrot, who won the event with a quad of his own. Chloe Kim and PyeongChang big air gold medalist Anna Gasser have been at the forefront of innovative tricks this season. Kim, a four-time X Games winner, is still far ahead of the field with back-to-back 1080s, which she used last weekend at a World Cup event in Laax. In October 2018, she became the first woman to land a frontside double cork 1080, though she has yet to execute it in competition. Kim can win easily with the arsenal of tricks she already has – but she’d make a bit of history if she decides to go for it.

In November, Gasser became the first woman to land a cab triple underflip, though like Kim, she has not done so in competition. Known for her progressive approach to the sport and impressive arsenal of difficult tricks, Gasser could attempt the triple at the X Games.

Chloe Kim gets World Cup halfpipe win ahead of X Games

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Possibly foreshadowing what lies ahead next week at the X Games in Aspen, the U.S.’ reigning Olympic halfpipe champion, Chloe Kim returned to World Cup competition today to take home the top prize in Switzerland.

Competing in a two-run halfpipe event, Kim led the field after her first run with a score of 89.00 points. No one was able to unseat Kim from her perch with their second run, so Kim did it herself. Landing back-to-back 1080s, Kim bested her first run, receiving 93.75 points from the judges for her second-run effort.

Spain’s Queralt Castellet finished in second, scoring 80.50 points in her first run, while the U.S.’ Arielle Gold finished third overall with a first-run score of 77.25 points. Full results are here.

Next week Kim will attempt to win her fourth X Games Aspen Superpipe title in five years, which would put her in a tie for second all-time in the X Games record books, just behind her 2018 Olympic teammate, and six-time X Games halfpipe champ, Kelly Clark.  

Kim was coming off a nine-month break from competition before winning the opening World Cup halfpipe event this season at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado back in December. The following weekend, Kim threw down an event-winning first run in the Dew Tour’s Modified Superpipe event.

Australian Olympic bronze medalist Scotty James won the men’s event Saturday, also with his first attempt in the halfpipe, landing an opening switch backside 1080 for a 95.75-point run. Japan’s Yuto Tatsuka was second with 92.00 points and the U.S.’ Jake Pates held on for third with a score of 85.50. It’s Pates’ first time on a World Cup podium. Full results are here.

Chase Josey, also riding for the U.S., was unable to put a run together in Laax, skidding out in each of his two runs.

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How to watch Lindsey Vonn in her season debut

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Lindsey Vonn‘s return to the World Cup circuit headlines a busy week in winter sports. Vonn, a three-time Olympic medalist and the winningest female skier in World Cup history, is expected to make her season debut in Italy on Friday and set to compete in all three speed races in Cortina. The 34-year-old was sidelined in the first part of the season with a knee injury. With 82 World Cup wins to her name, she’s four shy of the all-time record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark. Vonn’s first race on Friday can be streamed live on NBC Sports Gold and will air later on NBCSN.

PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim will compete in a halfpipe World Cup in Laax, Switzerland, on Saturday, which will air live on Olympic Channel. Arielle Gold, who shared the Olympic podium with Kim in 2018, is also expected to compete.

And in Estonia, 2018 Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins will compete at a cross-country skiing World Cup, along with two-time Olympians Sophie Caldwell and Sadie Bjornsen, both of whom have made World Cup podiums this season.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP — Kronplatz & Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy; Wengen, Switzerland

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Tuesday 4:00 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
11:30 p.m. Women’s Giant Slalom (Run 2)* NBCSN
Friday 4:30 a.m. Men’s Combined (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
6:00 a.m. Women’s Downhill NBC Sports Gold
8:00 a.m. Men’s Combined (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. Women’s Downhill* NBCSN
Saturday 4:30 a.m. Women’s Downhill Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
6:30 a.m. Men’s Downhill Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 4:15 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
5:00 a.m. Women’s Super-G Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
7:00 p.m. Men’s Downhill* NBCSN
8:00 p.m. Women’s Downhill* NBCSN
9:00 p.m. Women’s Super-G* NBCSN

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

BIATHLON WORLD CUP — Ruhpolding, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Thursday 5 a.m. Men’s 10km Sprint* OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
8:30 a.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
11 a.m. Men’s 10km Sprint Olympic Channel
Noon Women’s 7.5km Sprint* Olympic Channel
Friday 8:30 a.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
4 p.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay* Olympic Channel
6 p.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay* NBCSN
Saturday 8:30 a.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
5:30 p.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay* Olympic Channel
Sunday 6:15 a.m. Men’s 15km Mass Start OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
8:40 a.m. Women’s 12.5km Mass Start OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
4 p.m. Men’s 15km Mass Start* Olympic Channel
5 p.m. Women’s 12.5km Mass Start* Olympic Channel
6 p.m. Women’s 12.5km Mass Start* NBCSN

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

BOBSLED AND SKELETON WORLD CUP — Innsbruck, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event TV Streaming
Friday 3:15 a.m. Men’s Skeleton (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
5:05 a.m. Men’s Skeleton (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
8:30 a.m. Women’s Skeleton (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
9:00 a.m. Men’s Skeleton* Olympic Channel
10:00 a.m. Women’s Skeleton (Run 2) Olympic Channel OlympicChannel.com
Saturday 3:00 a.m. Women’s Bobsled (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
4:30 a.m. Women’s Bobsled (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
8:00 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
9:30 a.m. Two-Man Bobsled (Run 2) OlympicChannel.com
1:00 p.m. Women’s Bobsled* Olympic Channel
2:00 p.m. Two-Man Bobsled* Olympic Channel
Sunday 8:00 a.m. Four-Man Bobsled (Run 1) OlympicChannel.com
9:30 a.m. Four-Man Bobsled (Run 2) Olympic Channel OlympicChannel.com
10:00 p.m. Women’s Bobsled* NBCSN

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

CROSS-COUNTRY WORLD CUP — Dresden, Germany; Otepaa, Estonia

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Monday 12:00 a.m. M&W Team Sprint NBCSN
Saturday 6:55 a.m. M&W Sprint OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. M&W Sprint* Olympic Channel
Sunday 3:30 a.m. Women’s 10km Interval OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
7:00 a.m. Men’s 15km Interval OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
1:30 p.m. Women’s 10km Interval* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

CYCLO-CROSS WORLD CUP — Pont-Chateau, France

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Sunday 7:30 a.m. Women’s Elite OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
9:30 a.m. Men’s Elite OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
11:00 a.m. Women’s Elite* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Cycling Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

FREESTYLE SKIING WORLD CUP — Lake Placid, NY; Idre Fjall, Sweden

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Friday 11:00 a.m. Moguls – Freestyle Cup NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 5:30 a.m. Ski Cross OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. Moguls – Freestyle Cup* NBC
7:00 p.m. Aerials – Freestyle Cup NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 4:45 a.m. Ski Cross OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. Aerials – Freestyle Cup* NBC

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

MEN’S HANDBALL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Day Time (ET) Event TV Streaming
Saturday 12:00 p.m. Main Round Game OlympicChannel.com
2:30 p.m. Main Round Game OlympicChannel.com
6:30 p.m. Main Round Game* Olympic Channel
7:30 p.m. Main Round Game* Olympic Channel
Sunday 12:00 p.m. Main Round Game Olympic Channel OlympicChannel.com
2:30 p.m. Main Round Game Olympic Channel OlympicChannel.com

*Same-day delay Games stream live on OlympicChannel.com.

NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP — Chaux-Neuve, France

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Friday 5:50 a.m. Men’s HS118 OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
9:50 a.m. Men’s 5km OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 5:20 a.m. Men’s HS118 OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
9:35 a.m. Men’s 10km OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 4:50 a.m. Men’s HS118 OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
7:20 a.m. Men’s 15km OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP — Zao, Japan; Zakopane, Poland

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Friday 3:00 a.m. Women’s Individual OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
12:00 p.m. Men’s Individual (Qual) OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
1:30 p.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
Saturday 3:00 a.m. Women’s Team OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
10:00 a.m. Women’s Team* Olympic Channel
10:15 a.m. Men’s Team OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Men’s Team* Olympic Channel
Sunday 2:00 a.m. Women’s Individual OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
10:00 a.m. Men’s Individual OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
4:00 p.m. Men’s Individual* Olympic Channel
5:00 p.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUP — Laax, Switzerland; Rogla, Slovenia

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Friday 6:00 a.m. Slopestyle OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
3:00 p.m. Slopestyle* Olympic Channel
Saturday 8:00 a.m. Parallel Giant Slalom OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
11:30 a.m. Halfpipe Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

TRACK CYCLING WORLD CUP — Cambridge, New Zealand

Day Time (ET) Event TV/Streaming NBC Sports Gold Streaming
Friday 12:00 a.m. Day 1 OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 12:00 a.m. Day 2 OlympicChannel.com NBC Sports Gold
9:00 p.m. Day 3 Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay All races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Cycling Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.