ESPN 2 – X Games feature: US confirms skiing and snowboarding events for this winter


The world of extreme sports has received good news in recent weeks, with the United States confirming the schedule for World Cup freestyle skiing and snowboarding events this (Northern Hemisphere) winter, although the Alpine Skiing World Cup will not have its usual North American events.

Viewers on DStv can enjoy even greater sporting action, with ESPN 2 having exclusive rights to the X Games the extreme sports festivals hosted, produced and broadcast by ESPN. The International Ski Federation (FIS) confirmed World Cup schedules for freestyle skiing and snowboarding for the 2020-21 season, the year before the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The U.S. will see three venues Copper Mountain in Colorado, Mammoth Mountain in California, and Deer Valley, Utah host 22 skiing and snowboarding events. These will be pending state and local approvals, with Copper Mountain and Deer Valley not allowing any spectators.

The first halfpipe snowboarding World Cup is scheduled for Copper Mountain from December 16-19, with the likes of Olympic champions Shaun White, Chloe Kim and Jamie Anderson likely to be involved after their recent training time in Europe.

The second Visa Big Air contest featuring skiing and snowboarding is also scheduled for Copper Mountain on December 16-19. Last year’s inaugural Visa Big Air contest, held at the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park, was won by U.S. Olympians Alex Hall and Chris Corning.

In 2021, the weekend of February 3-6 sees Mammoth Mountain host the U.S. Grand Prix for halfpipe and slopestyle skiing and snowboarding, while Deer Valley holds a freestyle skiing World Cup for aerials and moguls.

The scheduling of these events is a promising sign for the resurgence of extreme sports, but the pandemic continues to impact other winter sports events. For example, the Alpine skiing World Cup will not make its usual North American stops in Killington, Beaver Creek and Lake Louise due to coronavirus pandemic-related travel concerns.

Figure skating’s autumn Grand Prix Series is going ahead, but with skaters limited to one start rather than two and, for the most part, in their home nations. December’s Grand Prix Final, a 2022 Winter Olympic test event in Beijing, has been postponed. The first Grand Prix is Skate America in Las Vegas in two weeks, without ticketed spectators.

Bobsled, skeleton and luge World Cups will not have their usual stops in North America, keeping their circuits in Europe and China for Winter Olympic test events. Their seasons start in late November. World Cups for short- and long-track speed skating in November and December were also cancelled.

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