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Behind-the-scenes at the X Games Aspen

Posted at 7:45 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 01:26:46-05

ASPEN, Colo. -- The 2017 X Games Aspen have begun and while you've seen the big air and the big names, behind the scenes there is a small army making Colorado's extreme event happen.

"So, right now, we've got the Superpipe behind us and that is the Zog in there," said Vanessa Anthes, pointing at the view from the five-story Platinum Lounge. "This is probably the best view of the big events. You can really see them all standing in one place." 

Anthes, the X Games associate director of operations, is a Carbondale native, who oversees building the temporary village around the event.

"So, we build this every year, we tear it down every year and then [we ask], how can we fix it? How can we weatherize it? Fix all the leaks and then build it all again next year?" said Anthes.

All eyes are on Colorado during this event, which is broadcast in 215 countries, putting Colorado on a global stage.

"I quite liked the -- what are they called -- the jet ski things? Snowmobiles!" said Ellie Kierath, who is visiting Aspen from Australia. She said the X Games were a bonus for her family vacation. "It has really livened the mountain. There weren't many people here before."

Last year, more than 115,000 people attended the event, coming to watch the competition, the music or take part in other activities.

"A double backflip on a snowmobile will be a first (in competition) right here at X Games," said Anthes.

Also new this year, the SnowBike, a cross between a dirt bike and a snowmobile, will make its X Games debut, and the athletes have something to prove.

"It's pretty cool to switch sports and go head-first into SnowBiking," said Brock Hoyer, who won the Gold.

A motocross racer, Hoyer said SnowBiking is now his main sport and the X Games gives it legitimacy.

"I've watched this on TV year after year," said Hoyer. "Never in my wildest dreams thought that I would actually be here, and we're here."

Of course, many of the rising X Game stars come from Colorado.

"Just growing up in Steamboat, which is only a few hours away from here, all I ever heard about growing up was X Games," said Arielle Gold, a 2013 World Champion snowboardrer who hopes to get her first X Games gold this year.

The X Games go through Sunday, and it is free to get in and watch events.

For more information, click here.

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