Day two of X Games Aspen 2023 blasted off on Saturday (January 28) at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado with a stacked list of ski and snowboard finals and music performances from Alexandar Smash, MOD SUN, and Yung Gravy.
Despite heavy snowfall, action sports’ premier contest was one of the most progressive X Games competitions to date.
The first competition of the day was Jeep Men’s Ski Slopestyle, where Colby Stevenson adapted to the evolving conditions and triumphed his way to the win. During his second run, Stevenson landed a backside 360 switch up continuing 270, rightside 450 pretzel 270, switch leftside 270 backslide to switch, switch rightside 270 backside continuing 270, rightside double 900 Japan, switch leftside double 1080 safety, switch rightside double 1260 safety, left double 1620 stalefish.
“After not getting a medal the last couple of years, I was hungry for one and skied as hard as I could,” said Stevenson. This gold joins the bronze he won in Men’s Ski Knuckle Huck on Day 1 of X Games 2023 and the two gold medals he won as a rookie in 2020, bringing his total medal count to three golds and one bronze. Mac Forehand and Ferdinand Dahl took silver and bronze, respectively.
The action cranked on with history made by the youngest winner in X Games Aspen history. At the ripe age of 14 years and two months old, South Korea’s Gaon Choi won gold at Monster Energy Snowboard Women’s SuperPipe, which marked not only her first X Games appearance but also her first-ever pro-level contest.
On Choi’s fourth run, she landed a clean run with plenty of amplitude, despite the slow conditions. Young Choi delivered a run that included; switch backside 720 melon, backside 540 Weddle, frontside 1080 melon, and Cab 720 truck driver. With this run, Choi surpassed her idol and mentor, Chloe Kim, who was 14 and eight months old when she won gold in SuperPipe at X Games Aspen 2015.
Kim, often regarded as the reigning queen of women’s SuperPipe, took note of Choi’s big win by commenting on her Instagram, “She’s not so little anymore,” said Kim. “I’ve known her for almost a decade, and now she’s doing big things. I feel like a proud MOM. The future of snowboarding is in good hands,” Kim continued.
Following the event, Choi commented through a translator that she was too ‘overwhelmed with happiness’ to talk about her winning run.
Taking silver in the event was Maddie Mastro, who dropped a huge Frontside double crippler Indy, method air, frontside 720 Indy, Haakon flip melon (inverted 720), frontside 540 stalefish skyhook, backside 540 Weddle.
Rounding out this history-making women’s podium was China’s Xuetong Cai. She took bronze with her third run, which kicked off with a Method air that measured at 9’3″ (the highest air of the contest), a frontside 900 Indy, backside 540 Weddle, pop tart melon (air to fakie), Cab 720 tailgrab.
Following this historical performance, X Fest Snow was the place to be. First, the DJ crew, Alexandar Smash, had the crowd waving their hands. Then MOD SUN took to the stage and amped fans with their punk-rock vibes and rowdy show.
As the sun settled for the night and the bright lights of the SuperPipe beamed on, Monster Energy Women’s Ski SuperPipe went off. Zoe Atkin took the win by surprise, earning gold for her fourth and final run, marking her first medal from her last for X Games performances.
“OMG, this is like the stuff you dream about but never really think will happen,” said a stunned Atkins. “Then coming down and seeing my name light up in green was just insane – I still can’t believe I actually won! This is the biggest event in action sports, and to compete against all these amazing ladies and take the win is such an honor,” she continued.
Rachael Karker claimed silver with a run that went left flair Weddle grab, right 900 Japan grab, left 900 Japan grab, right flair safety, left cork 720 safety, switch left alley-oop 360. Closing out the podium was Irving Svea who took bronze by stomping her fourth run.
History was made yet again at the Pacifico Women’s Snowboard Big Air. On Saturday night, less than 24 hours after skier Megan Oldham became the first person to land a triple in any women’s ski or snowboard contest, Reira Iwabuchi stomped the first triple in a women’s snowboard contest—a frontside triple underflip frontside grab.
Just a few moments later, Laurie Blouin landed a triple of her own—a Cab triple underflip Indy grab. With that marks three females landing triples in a contest in the span of two days when zero had been landed before X Games Aspen 2023. Progression at its pinnacle!
So how did these triples stack up? Reira Iwabuchi from Japan took gold (her first!) by landing a frontside triple underflip frontside grab (first-ever in competition), and a backside 1260 melon for a total of 87, to win it for the ladies.
Then Zoi Sadowski-Synnott scooped up her second medal of the weekend by putting down a backside 1260 melon, and a switch backside 1260 Weddle. Rounding that the female progression train was Blouin, who put down the first Cab triple underflip and a frontside double cork 1080 Weddle down for third.
“The level of competition tonight was absolutely insane, there hasn’t been a level like this ever!” said Sadowski-Synnott. “I’m proud to be a part of it and honored to be behind Reira because she is such an insane rider and it’s been a long-time coming,” said Sadowski-Synnott.
Closing out the X Fest Snow stage was the highly-anticipated performance by the one and only Yung Gravy. The 26-year-old rapper had the crowd going wild with his songs like “Gravy Train,” and “Betty (Get Money).”
As if there could be any more action packed into the schedule of Day 2, X Games wrapped with Pacifico Men’s Snowboard Big Air.
Marcus Kleveland took home gold for the third year in a row by scoring a 49 out of 50 on his first run. Takeru Otsuka was hot on his heels and scored a total of 90 to take silver.
In his X Games debut, China’s Yiming Su earned a high score of 48 in his final run and won the bronze medal. Saturday’s gold medal brings Kleveland’s X Games medal count up to 11, with seven of them gold.
X Games Aspen 2023 closes tomorrow (January 29) with action-packed events including: Jeep Women’s Ski Slopestyle, Jeep Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle, Men’s Ski Big Air, Chipotle Snowboard Knuckle Huck, Monster Energy Men’s Ski SuperPipe and musical performances by MADDS and girlfriends.
For more coverage from X Games Aspen 2023, click here.