Parkite Colby Stevenson wins X Games gold in Aspen
Park City native Colby Stevenson brought home Team USA’s first gold medal in the 2023 Winter X Games.
In his fourth X Games, Stevenson said he felt prepared and at ease as he rode through the freestyle skiing slopestyle contest Saturday in Aspen, Colorado.
“I wasn't scared to do my run because I've done it so many times,” he said. “It was like the first event I can remember dropping in for [when] I wasn't nervous for my run. I wasn't scared of the tricks, and so I was able to just kind of lock in and just ride with a lot of confidence.”
He landed tricks on three rails and four jumps during the run.
Behind him, Mac Forehand of Connecticut won silver, and Norwegian Ferdinand Dahl came away with bronze. Others competing in the event included Olympic gold medalist Alex Hall of Park City and Olympic gold medalist Birk Ruud from Norway.
Saturday was stormy in Aspen. Stevenson said fresh snow on the ground may have slowed some opponents, but not him because he took a fast, direct line down the course.
During his first X Games in 2020, he won two gold medals. In 2021 and 2022, he said he came up just short of the runs he wanted, which bothered him for months each time.
That made his return to the top of the podium even sweeter in his “favorite event of the year,” a competition that inspired him in his younger days.
“As a kid, when I first fell in love with freeskiing, it was because of the X Games,” he said. “To just go from being that kid that loved watching, and being a super fan of, like, Tanner Hall and Simon Dumont, Sammy Carlson — all these pro skiers you look up to — I am that to the youth now, and it's just a really cool perspective to have. It’s really special.”
He said growing up in Park City gave him access to train during those younger days on courses similar to the Aspen Buttermilk run, where he competed Saturday.
“Park City before Vail bought it, like when I was growing up and stuff, had the huge jumps and the same caliber that I was able to get more familiar with,” he said. “There’s really no large jumps in Utah anymore, which is pretty sad, but that's just how it's evolved.”
He said Woodward is another good spot to train on features that compare to what he competes on now as a pro.
He’s focusing efforts on more than just competing this year and expects to have a movie produced by Park City-based Good Company to show for it in the fall.
“I've been skiing a lot of backcountry this year, just filming off my snowmobile,” he said. “I’ve done like 800 miles on my snowmobile already this season and lots of skiing and lots of filming. I'm just as focused on filming this year as I am competing, just trying to chase the snow and chase the safe snowpack, wherever it is, and go and ski some lines and build some jumps and just have a good time out there.”
This weekend, Stevenson is in Mammoth, California for the 2023 U.S. Grand Prix. After that, he’ll head to the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s event, where competitors take turns throwing tricks off of Jackson Hole’s famous cliff.