X-Games Global Championships set to rev up Whistler 

If past winter X-Games are anything to go by Whistler is in for a rocking party next week when the first-ever global championships come to Whistler Mountain.

Not only is it the first X-Games to be run as a team event, it is the first one to come to Canada.

"We are really, really psyched to be up in Whistler, said Chris Stiepock, general manager of ESPN Original Entertainment Events which created and organizes the games.

"Whistler is just a slice of heaven so we are very psyched to get up there."

At the last Winter X-Games in Aspen in February about 36,700 fans showed up in the first three days.

The resort known more for its celebrities drew youths with pierced everythings, wacky hair and baggy clothing to watch athletes as they searched for ways to get higher and complete more dangerous tricks.

Some of the tricks done in past years which took athletes to the medal podium wouldn’t even get riders into the finals now.

In the last year more women have landed 900s than ever before.

That’s certainly the goal of local rider Maelle Ricker who will represent Canada in the women’s snowboard superpipe.

"I’d really like to be able to land this new trick I have been trying to do – the Frontside 900," said 24-year-old Ricker, a member of Canadian National Snowboard Team, Olympian, and former X-Games gold medal winner.

"It’s a trick where I take off on my toe-edge and spin two and a half rotations around. It’s something I am working on."

The event, which runs May 16-18, is the first-ever multi-sport, multi-nation, multi-venue team competition in action sports history.

Whistler will host the ski superpipe and the snowboard superpipe while simultaneously in San Antonio, Texas athletes will compete in aggressive in-line skate, bike stunt, Moto X Freestyle and skateboard.

Teams come from the U.S. Europe, Canada, South America, Asia and Australia.

The regions will be represented by two athletes for each competition except women’s ski superpipe, which will only have one competitor from each region.

Each athlete receives 12 points for their team based on the final leader board position within their sport discipline. Results from each competition at both venues will be combined for an overall team score.

At the end of the games one of the six teams will be crowned X Games Global Champion.

The team focus is a new idea for ESPN, which will broadcast 12 original hours of coverage between May 17 and 21 with a one-hour special on ABC May 24. TSN will also broadcast the event at a later date.

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