Near-death experience for Sivertzen

January, 19, 2010
Jan 19
04:25
PM ET
By Michelle Hurni
Roger HjelmstadstuenSivertzen recovers in the hospital. The 2009 Snowboarder X bronze medalist almost died after a crash in Canada.
Stian Sivertzen achieved a career highlight by earning bronze in the 2009 Winter X Snowboarder X event. He nearly died just weeks later.

After Winter X, the 20-year-old traveled to Cypress, CAN, for an FIS World Cup event held on the 2010 Olympic course. He got the holeshot in his first heat but lost speed and positions. While trying to catch the pack, he overshot a landing, crashed and landed on his chest.

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Ted Piccard battles health, heritage

January, 18, 2010
Jan 18
01:24
PM ET
By Lynn Keillor
Courtesy of Ted PiccardPiccard calls his skiercross addiction "fast food."
French skier Ted Piccard comes from a family of world-class alpine skiers, but the 31-year-old skiercross racer must battle persistent injuries to accomplish his dream of medaling at Winter X and the Winter Olympics.

"I want to win the [Winter] X Games because that's really a race for me," Piccard says. "But the Olympic Games are my destiny. My older brother, Franck, was an Olympic champion in Calgary and it's been itching me. I want to win the Olympics."

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Chanelle Sladics keeps moving

January, 12, 2010
Jan 12
01:05
PM ET
Zac HooperDon't think she's distracted: Sladics won the Asian Open slopestyle event in 2009.
Chanelle Sladics is never bored.

The six-time Winter X competitor and 2008 Slopestyle bronze medalist from Newport Beach, Calif., turned pro in 2004 and hasn't looked back. She's competed in oodles of contests, landed on a ton of podiums and competed in two separate Winter X Games disciplines over the course of seven years.

But snowboarding is just one facet of the petite, blond ripper's always-active life. Take the fall of 2008. Between snowboarding forays, Sladics partnered with her best friend, professional surfer Rochelle Ballard, to produce a yoga DVD called "Surf into Yoga with Rochelle Ballard." The DVD was a hit, selling out internationally.

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Justin Hoyer on the rebound

January, 14, 2010
Jan 14
04:17
PM ET
By Eric Skogman
Brian Balsaitis/Shazamm/ESPN ImagesHoyer dropped the crazy-difficult Kiss of Death at WX13.
You might have to excuse Justin Hoyer if he seems overly excited.

The 26-year-old sled and dirtbike freestyle specialist from Ellsworth, Wisc., had the best stable of sled tricks in the early days of the snowmobile freestyle movement (2003-04). But after two years of disappointment at Winter X, Hoyer finally harnessed his substantial talent in 2009 and claimed the silver medal. It seemed like a long time coming.

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Tyler Walker slows down

January, 13, 2010
Jan 13
03:17
PM ET
By Lynn Keillor
Craig Stein/Shazamm/ESPN Images Walker, with gold at WX13, has medaled every year Mono Skier X has been an official WX sport.
Twenty three-year-old Tyler Walker owns two of the three gold medals that have been awarded at Mono Skier X (2007 and 2009), and one of the three silvers (2008). His success in adaptive racing has kept the New Hampshire native plenty busy -- he's skiing the World Cup circuit, Winter X, and, barring injury, will compete in the Paralympics. But that schedule is nothing new for Walker, who had to travel halfway around the world just to get to WX13 last year. He arrived in Aspen from Italy with almost no time to spare.

We caught up with Walker as he was about to board a flight to Austria for World Cup races where he went on to place 21st in Slalom and eighth in Giant Slalom.

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The Simon Dumont Show

January, 13, 2010
Jan 13
02:27
PM ET
By Nicole Dreon
CHRISTIAN PONDELLA/SHAZAMM/ESPN IMAGES Simon is known for his amplitude in the SuperPipe, but will it be enough to beat the likes of Xavier Bertoni, Justin Dorey and Mike Riddle?
Simon Dumont has brought an unprecedented excitement to Winter X for the past several years. The man goes big. Very big. Dumont aims to please whether blasting 20 feet above the SuperPipe deck or stoking the crowd with double frontflips.

Though he now has seven total Winter X medals, Dumont's WX career started modestly back in 2002 when he finished 16th in Slopestyle. A year later, Dumont's "put-me-in-coach" attitude promoted him off the alternate list and into the SuperPipe comp. While he lacked consistency, he turned heads with his amplitude. He made the final and finished 8th.

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Isaac Sherbine gets schooled

January, 12, 2010
Jan 12
12:37
PM ET
By Eric Skogman
Denis Klero/Red Bull PhotofilesSherbine flaunts what he's learned in the Russian Federation. February, 2009.
When sled freestyler Heath Frisby retires from hucking sled in comps and demos, he might make a living as an action sports coach/mentor. The 25-year-old Idahoan has an eye for talent.

Frisby has already shepherded one of his students to the top: A few years ago, he helped Joe Parsons get his start in sled freestyle. Just a few months later as a rookie at Winter X12, Parsons scored a silver medal in Snowmobile Freestyle. He returned in 2009 and snared gold. Parsons even used Heath's signature Frisby Air as a key component in his runs.

Now, Frisby has a new project: 20-year-old Isaac Sherbine from Bellevue, Idaho, one of the top up-and-coming sled freestylers who, like Parsons, has learned much from Frisby.

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Wallisch Readies For Winter X Debut

January, 11, 2010
Jan 11
05:45
PM ET
By Nicole Dreon
Nicole DreonWallisch scored a second-place finish at the first stop of the 09/10 Dew Tour.
Tom Wallisch might be new to the Winter X Games, but he's known plenty well by his competitors in Ski Slopestyle. He finished first in the 2009 AFP rankings, winning the last stop of the Winter Dew Tour at Northstar, California and The Dumont Cup in Sunday River, Maine in the process. He also took second place at the European Open in Laax, SUI, making him one of the most dominant slopestyle competitors on the planet last year.

Wallisch earned his first invite to Winter X in 2010 based on his 2009 results. He also started the 2009/10 campaign hot; he captured second in Slopestyle at the season-opening Winter Dew Tour Breckenridge stop in December.

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Snowboarder X Preview

January, 11, 2010
Jan 11
04:45
PM ET
By Michelle Hurni
Shem Roose/Shazamm/ESPNRoss was the boss of the pipe before he turned to Snowboarder X. WX8, January, 2004.
Four-time defending Winter X Snowboarder X gold medalist Nate Holland and 2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott are top talents for the U.S. But you knew that. The rest of the skilled U.S. rippers are relatively unknown. They shouldn't be. Here's a breakdown:

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Travis Rice knows double corks

January, 07, 2010
Jan 07
11:31
PM ET
By Michelle Hurni
(c)Johan Ståhlberg/Red Bull PhotofilesRice plays his cards close to his chest and saves his aces for the snow.
One week after easily taking Big Air gold at Winter X13, Travis Rice dominated the 2009 TransWorld Snowboarding awards. Backed by the strength of his ground-breaking movie "That's It, That's All," Rice won in four categories: Men's Video Part of the Year, Men's Rider of the Year, Standout of the Year and the Reader's Choice award.

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