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.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has put a major question mark as to the where and when for upcoming X Games events, though the Aspen Skiing Company is hopeful of staging a Winter X Games in early 2021.
The event was originally slated for January 28 to 31, but there’s no confirmation at this stage as to whether those dates still stand. The Winter X Games have been staged in Aspen, Colorado every year since 2002.
“We think it would be powerful to pull off an event of this caliber in this, our 20th year, but only if it can be done safely and thoughtfully,” said John Rigney, Aspen Skiing Co. senior vice president on the chance of seeing Winter X Games 24 successfully staged.
“Right now we are focused on putting together the essentials of an incredible athletic event, and we’ll address other potential additions as the situation evolves,” he continued, referencing additions such as the concerts which often accompany the athletic events and serve as a major draw card to bring spectators to the venue.
“We are working with ESPN and Pitkin County, looking into options to provide a safe event that provides elite winter sports athletes the typical world-class competition venues at Buttermilk and gives skiing and snowboarding fans worldwide an amazing viewing experience. We will be flexible and fluid with our new reality as the safety of the athletes, staff, spectators and the community will remain our top priority,” Rigney further explained.
Asked if the organisers considered outright cancelling X Games this year, he said: “We’ve been lucky, as for two decades X Games has played a pivotal role in globally marketing Aspen Snowmass to a highly sought-after younger demographic. X is an integral part of our brand, fills the resort each January and always provides tons of vitality and excitement in the sports we love.”
The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club is also uncertain as to how the winter will play out for them.
“As with much of the world, we are unsure of what the next few months will bring,” said Katie Houser, AVSC’s director of communications and marketing. “We will make the most of the direction we receive from Aspen Skiing Co. and our sports’ governing bodies in regards to both hosting and travelling to events.
“As always, our priority is the health and safety of our athletes. We feel incredibly fortunate to have the resources that we do right here at home to provide world-class training regardless of potential travel limitations.”
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