Three Superpipe riders and four slopestyle competitors battled their way through a slew of freeskiingâ€™s best up-and-coming riders at the Paul Mitchell X-Qualifiers last weekend in Breckenridge, CO. The lucky seven earned tickets to the final spots in the X-Games, to be held Jan. 24-27, 2004 in Aspen, CO.
Dan Marion, representing the Carabasset Valley Academy, nailed down the first-place finish in slopestyle, while Pete Olenick and Silas Miller filled in the rest of the podium. Sweden's Niklas Karlstrom beat out such competition as Heath Ordway, Jon McMurray, Rex Thomas, Mike Wilson, and Rory Bushfield for the fourth ticket to the Games.
In the U-ditch, Phil Belanger picked up first place, but because he'd already received a wild card entry, an X Games spot was also given to the fourth-place finisher. Chris Turpinâ€™s switch antics helped him lock down second place, while Olenick picked up a third-place finish and another X-Games spot. Niklas Karlstrom's fourth-place effort gave him his second X Games event.
These qualifiers will join the other qualified skiers (20 total for slopestyle, 16 for halfpipe) in Aspen for more insanity. Slopestyle competitors will face off in the prelims and finals on Sunday, Jan. 25, while the halfpipe competition will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 27, culminating in a nighttime final.
Slopestyle will be aired on ESPN from 3-6pm Jan. 25 (EST), and halfpipe on Jan. 27 from 9-11pm (EST).
For more information, check out http://www.expn.com