GBS Media
23 January 2020

X GAMES, ASPEN: GUS KENWORTHY SET FOR COMEBACK AND ZOE ATKIN TO DEBUT

X Games, Aspen – 23/01/2020

Sochi 2014 Olympic silver medallist Gus Kenworthy will make his return to competitive ski competitions tomorrow (January 24) when he takes part in the Slopestyle and SuperPipe events in X Games, Aspen.

Kenworthy, 28, made a change of nation to become a GB Snowsport athlete in early December 2019 and has worked hard with the coaching and support team to return to action in Aspen.

Gus Kenworthy competes in men's superpipe skiing at the Winter X Games Aspen on Jan. 28, 2016 in Aspen, Colo.

Although Kenworthy is a five time medallist at X Games the event will be his first competition of any kind since March of last year and will be only the second event Gus has competed in since PyeongChang 2018 – a games that Gus admits pushed his body to extremes:

“I was just destroyed. My body was completely wrecked,” Kenworthy said. “I was kind of thinking that was going to be my last Olympics and that was maybe going to be the end of me competing and ultimately just decided I have more in the tank.”

Kenworthy has a renewed energy and a determination to make the winter games in Beijing his best. Ahead of his return to competitive action Gus said:

“I am super excited to be back in X Games and especially competing as a GB Snowsport athlete.  It makes this event feel new again and happy to put my best down and see what happens"

Kenworthy won’t be up against compatriot and five time X Games medallist James Woods who is out with a knee injury but he will be joined by GB Snowsport athletes Zoe and Izzy Atkin in Aspen.

Zoe Atkin will be making her first appearance at the X Games when she takes part in the SuperPipe event on Saturday (January 25). After a string of top five Nor-Am Cup results across halfpipe and slopestyle in 2017/18, Atkin finished seventh in halfpipe at the Junior World Championships in New Zealand in August 2018, and went on to make her World Cup debut in December 2018 where she finished 14th in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

That was the start of a breakthrough season for Zoe where she accumulated three more Nor-Am victories, 13th place at the World Championships and a fifth-place finish at just her second ever World Cup. In just her third World Cup event and 12 months on from finishing 14th on debut in the same competition, Zoe won halfpipe gold at Copper Mountain in Colorado – only the second time a Briton had won a World Cup halfpipe event since Rowan Cheshire in 2014.

Zoe Atkin takes Gold in Copper Mountain 

Ahead of her debut at this year’s X Games the Utah Park City based athlete said:

"I am really excited to be competing in ski halfpipe event at my first X Games Aspen, which is a dream come true.   Training under the lights in the Superpipe feels awesome.  I can’t wait to compete this coming Saturday night.  Having Izzy here at X Games--hopefully she gets to compete-- is so cool!"

PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallist Izzy Atkin was an alternate pick for the games in both the slopestyle and big air but has now secured a place after two athlets pulled out of the competitions:

"This is my 4th year at X Games Aspen, but it always feel as though its my first X Games.  I am always excited to come here, and it is probably the best event of the season.  The courses are very well built, and the organizers look after the athletes well.  Hopefully I get to compete in either ski big air or slopestyle or both.  Having Zoe here with me at X Games is awesome. I think we are the only sisters here competing in different disciplines at the X Games"

Izzy took the silver medal in the Slopestyle event at the X Games in Aspen in 2018 and will be hoping she gets the chance to build on that this weekend.

Izzy Atkin takes silver in X Games, Aspen 2018

ENDS

For more information contact: Michael.Gibson@gbsnowsport.com

 

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