As of the upcoming winter season 2012/2013 ESPN´s X Games events in Aspen (USA) and Tignes (France) will be included in the World Snowboard Tour schedule.
The X Games Aspen event will be listed as a 6Star event on the 2013 World Snowboard Tour. The top 10 rated Male and top 5 Female athletes from the World Snowboard Tour´s ranking list for each discipline will be invited to the event and will have the chance to obtain points for the Tour standings. X Games Tignes will count towards the 2014 Tour rankings as a 6Star event.
With more than 300 contests in six categories (1Star – 6Star) and three disciplines (Slopestyle, Halfpipe, Big Air) all over the world, the World Snowboard Tour is living up to its name. The 2013 season marks the return of the Arctic Challenge in Oslo. This 6Star Halfpipe contest will also be the season finale for Men’s Halfpipe competition. Another highlight will be the two-day celebration of 20 years of Air & Style at the Billabong Air & Style in Innsbruck, Austria. The 11th edition of the Red Bull Nanshan Open will host the first ever women’s 5Star competition in China. The World Snowboard Tour is actively looking to expand into new markets; these include further expansion in Asia and initiatives in Latin America.
The World Snowboard Tour is strengthening its presence in the world´s biggest snowboard market, North America. The Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix will be a true highlight in the North American Market. The contests will be both World Snowboard Tour 5Star events and FIS World Cups. This means that riders can win TTR and FIS World Cup points for the Olympic qualification process at the same events. This test comes as a result of talks between TTR Pro Snowboarding and FIS on how to improve the situation for riders during the Olympic qualification seasons. This follows TTR Pro Snowboarding´s push to improve the Olympic qualification process for the good of the sport and the riders. The test is signifying an important step in trying to alleviate the rider’s increasingly busy schedules and to minimize calendar Issues.
Reto Lamm, President of TTR Pro Snowboarding: “This year´s World Snowboard Tour will be more exciting than ever. We are proud to welcome the X Games to the World Snowboard Tour. This move is in full alignment with TTR Pro Snowboarding´s push towards a unified environment in competitive snowboarding. As we continue to grow and unify the sport, we open more opportunities to riders, allowing them to gain World Snowboard Tour points at the world’s most respected competitions. The inclusion of X Games and the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prixs into the World Snowboard Tour will strengthen our global snowboard community and open the doors for more athletes to take part.“
Tim Reed, ESPN: “X Games is excited to further integrate into the global snowboard community and to provide the world class snowboarders who participate at the X Games in Aspen and Tignes the ability to obtain tour points and support their efforts to be crowned the World Snowboard Tour champion.”
Jeremy Forster, U.S. Snowboarding: “U.S. Snowboarding is proud to continue its long term relationship with TTR and to take part in finding a global solution for competitive snowboarding by testing a co-sanctioning model. We expect this to be highly welcomed by the riders, as it is helping them to better cope with the challenges during the Olympic qualifying season.”