Australian Snowboarders Aiming High at X Games in Aspen This Weekend

January 21st, 2022


Scotty James, competing in last year’s X Games Superpipe in Aspen where he took second place. Photo: X Games

Mountainwatch | News

It may only by two weeks until the start of the Winter Beijing Winter Olympics, but Australian snowboarders Scotty James, Tess Coady and Valentino Guseli will be competing this weekend in the next biggest event on snow – the X Games in Aspen.

For many park and pipe athletes, the X Games is the pinnacle of the sport and receiving an invitation is a huge honour.  While Scotty James is an X Games veteran and 6-times X Games medal winner in the halfpipe, including gold in 2017, 2019 and 2020, it is the first time Tess and Valentino have been invited to compete.

James was the dominant halfpipe rider for 2018-20, winning 10 straight major events, but has had a very quiet pre-Olympic season, competing in only one event so far this winter, last week’s World Cup in Laax, Switzerland. However, he was in red-hot form early, qualifying for the finals with the highest score of , but made a couple of uncharacteristic errors in his two runs in the final, finishing in 11thplace. No doubt Scotty will be looking to redeem himself in Aspen this weekend.


Tess Coady, on her way to bronze at the World Champs in Aspen last year.

Tess Coady is coming in hot for the slopestyle after winning the slopestyle World Cup in Laax and the world number 3 is confident of repeating that form in Aspen this weekend. A medal in the X Games will be the perfect prelude for next month’s Olympics, Coady set to take it to established stars like Jamie Anderson and Anna Gasser.

For 16-year-old Valentino Guseli, the X Games invite caps a great year which started 12 months ago when he competed in his first snowboard halfpipe World Cup, qualifying first for the finals before finishing in eighth spot.


Valentino Guseli, free riding in Thredbo. Photo:Andrew Fawcett

Val then announced himself to the international snowsports world by breaking Shaun White’s long-standing world record for the highest air out of a half pipe, setting a massive 7.3 metres – and on the day before his 16thbirthday. Valentino qualified for the Olympics after his 11thplace in the Mammoth World Cup earlier this month before cementing his standing with a fifth last week in Laax.

For more information and to find out where you can watch the X games visit: and