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Winter X Games 11 Begins Today In Aspen
LOOKING GOOD: Total prize money for Winter X Games 11 is $726,100, with an individual top purse of $20,000 (L.A. TIMES, 1/25). Total attendance for the event has increased 92% since it was first held in Aspen in ’02. The 69,650 spectators in ’06 were the second-most in five years and ESPN’s broadcasts reached a record 747,130 HHs. Winter X Games host Sal Masekela said the event has received a “huge continued shot in the arm” from the participation of Olympic snowboarders like Shaun White, Gretchen Bleiler and Hannah Teter (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 1/25). Moses Swope said that 45 of the 250 competitors this year are Olympians (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/25). Twenty-eight Winter X Games 10 athletes competed at the Turin Games (ASPEN TIMES, 1/22).
GREEN LIGHT: Also in Aspen, Scott Condon reported Aspen Skiing Co. which owns Buttermilk the city of Aspen and environmental group MaroonCorps are teaming with the X Games “to inspire those in attendance to learn about global warming.” They “hope several thousand people will be inspired enough to call the White House and leave a message for President Bush to take action on climate change.” The coalition is also “trying to enlist some athletes to wear a green ‘savesnow’ armband while competing and giving interviews” (ASPEN TIMES, 1/23).