STUDENT VIEW: 2016 Winter X-Games in Aspen

Written by Vanessa Taylor

On January 26th, I started my journey to the 2016 Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado. It was a memorable experience, something I will never forget. I met a lot of awesome people, ate really good food and I saw some epic tricks. This experience was like no other and going to a place I had never been before and going by myself was the crazy part. Luckily, I had help from Johnson and Wales University (JWU) Denver Campus. They came with open arms and that really help me get through this trip, especially with my altitude sickness.

The first day of the X-Games started on birthday, January 28th. My role at the games was being an Event Development Festival Worker. I was so stoked to see the area I would be working! There were so many different activation areas but my area was the playground. The playground included different inflatables like mini basketball hoops, target football, target hockey and Snowskate. Snowskate is where I got to work the most with my new friends Bri Delmont and Tori Hunt. It was spot was a mini snowboard park and included rails for participants to use. This activation allowed kids and adults to learn what it takes to be a snowboarder. On the last day I ran all the inflatables area, which was pretty cool. The hardest part of my time in Aspen was staying warm with all the snow coming down along with the wind. It made it hard to see what I was doing, but I survived. We also had to break down the whole playground on the last day, under the direction of an awesome lady, Maria Topmkins.  Miss Tompkins is a Venue Operations Coordinator for ESPN.

I did have a couple highlights during my trip. My number one highlight was running into Nyjah Houston. He is my all-time favorite skateboarder!  The second would be seeing these two little awesome dudes getting interviewed at my Snowskate area.  It is just so cool seeing five and seven-year-olds getting interviewed because shredding so hard along with crowds of people hyping them up!

Overall, I can truly say that I am blessed to have experience the Winter X-Games. Seeing all the pieces that go together to put on big event like this has really opened my eyes. Working this event is only the beginning of my journey! Now, that I have completed a part of my goal I will start working on the other, which is to help plan a portion of the Summer X-Games. As of right now, I am ready to go even harder at the Summer X-Games! I believe Mark McMorris, a professional snowboarder said it best on how I feel, “Passion overcomes everything because when you truthfully love something, it’s hard to stop you from doing it and it’s hard to stop you from doing your best at it.”

Special Thanks:

Thanks for being such astonishing mentor Corinne Milien and making my dream come true!

Miss Amy Wiggins, thank you for the opportunity to work with the iDesign team!

Professor Daly, thanks for lending a helping hand and being so amazing! The JWU Denver Campus is lucky to have you!

Thank you to all JWU Denver students; Camille Kolick, Bri Delmont, Tori Hunt, Anthony Espinoza, Ashlie Adamscheck, Raven Rodriguez, Daigo Kameoka, Mandy Golic, Nicole Lingenfelder, Nicole Scott, and Mike Pasquarella! All of you awesome! You made feel very welcome to your group! I will never forget how you guys sung happy birthday to me at bus and how you didn’t know if you were going to call me Charlotte or Vanessa!:) That made my day epic!

Jessa, thank you for all your hospitality and recommending Zane’s! The Westin is lucky to have you a part of their team!

Kareem Wilson, thank you for helping secure my housing arrangement and being such a great big brother!

Thank you to all my family and friends for all of your love and support!

Vanessa Taylor