Ten of the world's top action sports athletes took part in the official news conference before Winter X Games Tignes 2012 on Tuesday at the Hotel Diva at Tignes Ski Resort in Tignes, France.
French skier Kevin Rolland, a four-time Winter X Games gold medalist who is unable to defend his SuperPipe title because of a torn ACL in his left knee, introduced the athletes.
Athletes who attended the news conference included:
- Jamie Anderson (South Lake Tahoe, Calif.) -- The defending gold medalist at Winter X Games Tignes, Anderson recently became the defending gold medalist at Winter X Games Aspen as well. The most consistent woman in the Slopestyle field, Anderson is a six-time Snowboard Slopestyle medalist and has won the past two Winter Dew Tour snowboard slopestyle titles.
- Xavier Bertoni (Tignes, France) -- He has spearheaded the burgeoning halfpipe movement in France, with his best friend and fellow Winter X Games gold medalist Rolland. He won a gold medal at Winter X Games Aspen 2009, in SuperPipe. One year later, he earned silver in front of the hometown crowd at the inaugural Winter X Games Tignes in 2010.
- Kelly Clark (West Dover, Vt.) -- Easily one of the most dominant female snowboarders today, Clark won every competition she entered last season and so far this season, including back-to-back gold medals at Winter X Games Aspen. She says her most prized achievement is the respect of her female snowboarding peers, and the well-earned reputation of pushing women's halfpipe riding further than any other, including the first 1080 in a pipe contest in 2011.
- Mathieu Crepel (La Mongie, France) -- The strongest French rider on the Men's SuperPipe roster, Mathieu earned a silver medal at the inaugural Winter X Games Tignes event. Competing in SuperPipe once again, Mathieu also added Real Snow Backcountry to his résumé, submitting a video to the first Winter X Games backcountry video competition.
- Heath Frisby (Middleton, Idaho) -- One of the best snowmobile freestyle riders in history, Frisby cemented that status at Winter X Games Aspen 2012 when he became the first and only snowmobile rider to land a front flip in competition. Having taken home his second Best Trick gold medal with the front flip, Frisby is now a seven-time Winter X Games gold medalist.
- Mark McMorris (Regina, Saskatchewan) -- Heading into Winter X Games Aspen 2012 as the defending Snowboard Slopestyle silver medalist, McMorris more than defended his title when he earned gold in Slopestyle and Big Air. His Big Air gold came in historic fashion, as he threw the first triple cork landed in competition.
- Iouri Podladtchikov (Zurich, Switzerland) -- The biggest threat to Shaun White's SuperPipe throne, Podladtchikov finished just behind White at Winter X Games Aspen to win his second silver medal in the Snowboard SuperPipe event. After winning the inaugural Snowboard SuperPipe competition at Winter X Games Tignes 2010, I-Pod returned in 2011 to win silver. Podladtchikov has added another trick to his bag for Winter X Games, the switch double McTwist 1260, which might help him return to the top of the podium.
- Kaya Turski (Montreal) -- The first female skier to complete the three-peat in Women's Skiing Slopestyle in Aspen, Turski also will go for a three-peat at Winter X Games Tignes this year. Turski proved her dominance of the sport when she became the first female skier to land a switch 1080 in competition during her Slopestyle run at Winter X Games Aspen.
- Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh) -- Enjoying a banner 2012 season, Wallisch already has the overall Winter Dew Tour ski slopestyle title and Winter X Games Aspen Ski Slopestyle gold medal under his belt. Winner of the inaugural Winter X Games Tignes Ski Slopestyle gold, Wallisch is a student at the University of Utah and a favorite to win gold at this year's event.
- David Wise (Reno, Nevada) -- The No. 1 qualifier in Men's Ski SuperPipe at Winter X Games Aspen, Wise rode that momentum to his first Winter X Games gold medal. A surprise gold medalist, Wise also finished last season in third place overall in the Winter Dew Tour standings and recently took first place at the Winter Dew Tour Utah stop. In Tignes, he is the favorite for the gold medal.
In addition to the athletes, ESPN vice president Chris Stiepock, COO for CANAL+ events Samir Boudjemaa and Tignes resort director Sebastien Merignargues took part in the news conference.