ESPN and TV2, the leading commercial broadcaster in Norway, will bring X Games Oslo to the Norwegian capitol this winter, Feb. 24-28, 2016. This is the first time both summer and winter sports will be contested internationally at the same X Games event, with disciplines including 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 air 21 hours of live coverage. TV2 will air the competitions live in Norway, while ESPN’s coverage will be shown live on ESPN3 and as part of its “World of X Games” series on ABC.
Like all X Games events, in addition to world-class action sports competition, X Games Oslo will showcase a world-class headlining musical performance on Saturday night at the Tøyen 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, Oslo’s vice mayor of cultural affairs and business development. “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, Feb. 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, Feb. 26, at the Oslo Winter Park, while Snowboard and Ski Big Air will take place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Tøyen. X Games Oslo will conclude Sunday, Feb. 28, with the Ski SuperPipe competitions at Oslo Winter Park.
The first 22 invited athletes include Norwegian X Games medalists Ståle Sandbech, Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen and Kjersti Buaas, as well as Olympic and X Games gold medalist Kelly Clark, who also won the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships in Oslo. The second wave of athlete invites will be announced on Dec. 1. Additionally, eight Norwegian skateboarders will have an opportunity to compete for one wild-card invite to X Games Oslo at a separate Norwegian qualifier event. The full invite list can be viewed here.
“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 Ståle 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.”
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. 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.
Tickets for X Games Oslo will be available for purchase on Dec. 1.