The ESPN X Games just announced big news last night, the launch of another X Games in Oslo, Norway, which will feature now only men’s and women’s events in Snowboarding and Skiing, but also Skateboarding with a street course that will be built as a permanent structure for the city once the X Games leaves.
X Games Oslo is a collaboration with ESPN and TV2, the leading commercial broadcaster in Norway, and will take place next winter, February 24-28, 2016. The agreement to bring X Games to Oslo was made possible by support from the government of the City of Oslo. ESPN and TV2 will work with local organizer SAHR Concepts in staging the multi-sport event.
X Games Oslo will be the first time both summer and winter sports will be contested in the same city at an X Games event. The disciplines will include Snowboard and Ski Big Air (Men and Women), Snowboard and Ski SuperPipe (Men and Women) and Skateboard Street (Men and Women).
ESPN and TV2 will each distribute 21 hours of live coverage. TV2 will air the competitions live in Norway, while ESPN’s coverage will be distributed live on ESPN3 and as part of its World of X Games series on ABC. In addition to the content on ESPN’s U.S. media platforms, X Games Oslo will be televised globally on ESPN International networks and distributed to other international media outlets and television broadcasters via ESPN’s media distribution business.
In addition to world-class action sports competition, X Games Oslo will – like all X Games events – showcase a world-class headline musical performance on Saturday night at the Toyen venue as well as local musicians throughout the weekend.
“Oslo is going to be the winter sport capitol of the world, and we look forward to having the world’s elite in Oslo in February,” said Hallstein Bjercke, vice mayor of cultural affairs and business development, City of Oslo. “I´m confident this will inspire young Norwegians to strap into skis and boards and get out to the hill. We support X Game Oslo to show new aspects of the sport city Oslo, and we would like to present Oslo as the world’s best compact arena for culture and sports.”
Tim Reed, ESPN X Games vice president, added: “We’re very excited to team up with TV2 and SAHR Concepts, and commend the Oslo city government for its support in helping make X Games Oslo a reality. We look forward to showcasing some of the world’s best athletes in one of the most unique and dynamic cities with a rich history in winter sports and impressive list of top homegrown athletes.”
“We really appreciate the enthusiasm and engagement from the athletes,” said Jan Ove Årsaether, TV2 director of news and sports. “We are going to create a sports celebration in Oslo in order to draw young people to both the arenas and the TV screen. Now it´s time to look forward to a top- class event.
The Skateboard Street competitions will be held Thursday, February 25 in the Skur 13 warehouse at Filipstad Harbor along the picturesque Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen areas, marking the first time an international-level skateboarding competition will be held in Norway. The Skateboard Street course will be built as a permanent structure and left open to the public following X Games Oslo. Snowboard SuperPipe competitions will be held on Friday, February 26 at the Oslo Winter Park, while Snowboard and Ski Big Air will take place on Saturday, February 27 at Toyen. X Games Oslo will conclude Sunday, February 28 with the Ski SuperPipe competitions at Oslo Winter Park.
Twenty-two invited athletes were also announced, including Norwegian X Games medalists Staale Sandbech, Tiril Sjaastad Christiansen and Kjersti Buaas as well as Olympic and X Games gold medalist Kelly Clark, who won the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships in Oslo. For the full list of the first-wave invited athletes, please visit http://xgames.espn.go.com/xgames/events/2016/oslo/invitedathletes/. The second wave of athlete invites will be announced on December 1. Additionally, eight Norwegian skateboarders will have an opportunity to compete for one wildcard invite to X Games Oslo at a separate Norwegian qualifier event.
“We have a lot of great snowboarders in Norway, so it is really important to have a big event like the X Games in Oslo,” said Staale Sandbech, X Games and Olympic snowboard medalist. “To be able to compete in my sport in my country in front of all my friends and family is huge.”
X Games and Olympic snowboard gold medalist, Kelly Clark, said, “I am looking forward to X Games Oslo this year. They hosted a great event for World Championships in 2012, so it will be fun to compete in that pipe again.”