Updated: January 12, 2011, 1:14 PM ET

WX15: New events and invited athletes

The return of SMB Speed & Style and debut of SNB Best Method for 2011 WX.

ESPN Action Sports

Shazamm/ESPN ImagesTucker Hibbert (left) will be going for the first Snowmobile five-peat in SnoCross at Winter X 15, while Bobby Brown (center) and Gretchen Bleiler (right) will both look to defend their gold medals from 2010's Winter X.

Winter X Games will celebrate its 15th anniversary in Aspen, Colo., Jan. 27-30, 2011. This year will mark the 10th consecutive year Winter X will be held in Aspen and will feature new events, 200-plus athletes and primetime coverage Sunday. One new discipline makes its debut and one discipline returns with a new format. In addition to 24 hours of live HD programming on ESPN and ESPN2, ESPN 3D will televise 18 hours of original Winter X Games coverage. Programming will also be available on ESPN International, XGames.com, ESPN360.com, SportsCenter and ESPN2's X Center.

Snowboard Best Method will feature six snowboarders in a final-only 10-minute jam for best method. The final will be fan judged and voted on via text messaging and online. Snowmobile Speed & Style made its Winter X debut in 2008 and will return this year with a format that proved to be successful at X Games 16 this summer for motocross. It will feature eight athletes competing in a single elimination format with two riders competing head-to-head. Both riders will receive a Freestyle "style" score. The first rider across the finish line receives "speed" margin of victory bonus points which will be added to the Freestyle score.

With the announcement of new events comes the first round of invited athletes in the skiing, snowboarding and snowmobile events. The athlete list is constantly being updated and is subject to change.

Athlete selection committees are made up of professionals in the respective sports including media experts, X Games athletes and industry elite. They vote on invites based on competition results, media exposure and legendary status. Gold medal winners from 2010 Winter X 14 receive automatic invites to compete.

The first wave of invites include athletes from the following categories:

Skiing
-- Big Air (Men)
-- Slopestyle (Men and Women)
-- SuperPipe (Men and Women)

Snowboard
-- Slopestyle (Men and Women)
-- SuperPipe (Men and Women)

X Course
-- Snowboarder X (Men and Women)
-- Skier X (Men and Women)
-- Mono Skier X

Snowmobile
-- Adaptive SnoCross
-- Best Trick
-- Freestyle
-- SnoCross
-- Speed & Style

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