ESPN X Games Announces the First Wave of Invited Athletes to Winter XGames 12Snowboard Superstar Shaun White among Those Invited to Compete in theWorld's Premier Action Sports Event Along with Hannah Teter, TannerHall, Tyler Walker, Lindsey Jacobellis, Torah Bright, Travis Rice, SarahBurke and Daron RahlvesLOS ANGELES - ESPN Winter X Games announces the first wave of athleteswho have been invited to compete at Winter X Games 12, to be held forits seventh year at Buttermilk Mountain at Aspen/Snowmass, ColoradoJanuary 24-27, 2008. The event will air live on ESPN and ABC.The 12th annual winter action sports competition will feature more than250 athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize moneyin the following sports: Skiing, Snowboard and Snowmobile. The eventincludes day and evening competitions and is free to the public.For the complete, updated list of Winter X Games 12 athletes, log on tohttp://www.expn.com. The second wave of invitations is scheduled to beannounced in early January. *PLEASE NOTE: The invited athlete list isconstantly being updated and is subject to change. Among the first wave of invited athletes include:* Shaun White: Six-time snowboard Winter X Games gold medalist and2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist* Hannah Teter: Three-time snowboard Winter X Games medalist and2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist* Tanner Hall: Defending Skiing SuperPipe champ and six-timeWinter X Games gold medalist * Chris Burandt: Winner of the first-ever Winter X GamesSnowmobile Freestyle gold medal in 2007* Tyler Walker: Winner of the first-ever Winter X Games Mono SkierX gold medal in 2007* Lindsey Jacobellis: Three-time snowboard Winter X Games goldmedalist and 2006 Winter Olympic silver medalist * Torah Bright: Defending Winter X Games Snowboard SuperPipe goldmedalist * Travis Rice: Three-time Winter X Games snowboard medalist * Sarah Burke: Three-time Winter X Games and defending SkiingSuperPipe gold medalist* Daron Rahlves: Widely considered the most accomplished speedskier in American history with 28 World Cup podiums and three WorldChampionship podiums over the course of the last decadeAll athletes receiving invitations to compete at Winter X Games 12 arechosen by a sport-specific selection committee. Criteria and timing ofinvitations varies by sport and discipline as it is based on the stateand event schedules of that particular sport. The only exception is eachgold medalist from Winter X Games 11 (2007) receives an automaticinvitation to compete.ESPN and ABC will feature 15 hours of live high-definition programmingJanuary 24 - January 27. ESPN2 will present daily late-night highlightprograms in HD from January 25 - January 28, resulting in 19 total hoursof original HD programming for Winter X Games 12. Additionally, theWinter X Games will also be televised on ESPN's International networksto more than 121 countries and territories in Latin America, the PacificRim, Middle East, Africa and Israel.Information on all X Games events can be found on http://www.expn.com for fansor on http://www.espneventmedia.com for media only.About ESPN's X Games FranchiseESPN first developed its X Games franchise in 1995. As part of ESPNContent Development, the X Games, Winter X Games and All Access are justsome of the original action sports programming currently shown on ESPNand ESPN2. In addition to the two U.S.-based events, ESPN has held XGames competitions and demonstration events around the world, includingDubai, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Malaysia, China and Spain. Theglobal franchise has also expanded its reach to EXPN.com, the definitivesite for action sports fans, and to consumer products such as X Gamesbikes, protective gear, skateboards and DVDs.