First Wave of Athletes Invited to Winter X Games 13

Shaun White leads the list of athletes invited to compete at ESPN's Winter X Games 13, to be held for its eighth consecutive year at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen/Snowmass, Colo., January 22-25, 2009. The event will air live on ESPN and ABC.

The 13th annual winter action sports competition will feature more than 160 men and women from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in the following sports: Skiing, Snowboard and Snowmobile. The event includes day and evening competitions and is free to the public.

For the complete, updated list of Winter X Games 13 athletes, log on to *PLEASE NOTE: The invited athlete list is constantly being updated and is subject to change.

Among the first wave of invited athletes:

-Shaun White: Seven-time Snowboard Winter X Games gold medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist
-Gretchen Bleiler: Three-time Winter X Games Snowboard SuperPipe gold medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic silver medalist
-Tanner Hall:  Defending Skiing SuperPipe champion and seven-time Winter X Games gold medalist
-Tucker Hibbert:  Three-time Winter X Games Snowmobile SnoCross gold medalist
-Kees-Jan van de Klooster:  Winter X Games 12 Mono Skier X gold medalist -Lindsey Jacobellis: Four-time Winter X Games Snowboarder X gold medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic silver medalist
-Travis Rice: Three-time Winter X Games snowboard medalist
-Sarah Burke: Two-time Winter X Games and defending Skiing SuperPipe gold medalist
-Daron Rahlves: Winter X Games 12 Skier X gold medalist and widely considered as the most accomplished speed skier in American history with 28 World Cup podiums and three World Championship podiums over the course of the last decade

All athletes receiving invitations to compete at Winter X Games 13 are chosen by a sport-specific selection committee. Criteria and timing of invitations varies by sport and discipline as it is based on the state and event schedules of that particular sport. The only exception is each gold medalist from Winter X Games 12 (2008) receives an automatic invitation to compete.

ESPN and ABC will televise 15 hours of live high-definition programming January 22 - January 25. ESPN2 will present daily late-night highlight programs in HD January 22 - January 25, an additional eight hours of coverage.   Additionally, the Winter X Games will also be televised on ESPN's International networks to 122 countries and territories in Latin America, the Pacific Rim, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Israel, and Canada.

Information on all X Games events can be found on for fans or on for media only.