It's hard to believe, but just about a year ago, the world's top winter athletes were gathering halfway across the globe for the 22nd Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The country's massive Olympic bill was the key storyline, as was the addition of seven new disciplines to the Olympic docket, including slopestyle skiing and snowboarding. The U.S. dominated the new events, even sweeping the podium in men's slopestyle skiing as the sports took center stage.
Fast-forward 11 months and the flame has been extinguished, and the Olympic village is kind of a creepy ghost town. But what about the athletes who immortalized the 2014 Winter Games? What have they been doing since? In a nod to the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, that start on January 22, here is what a few of our favorite action sports athletes have been up to since Sochi.
Sport: Men's Halfpipe Skiing
David Wise, a.k.a. "the Wiseman," has been the dominant force in men's halfpipe skiing for the past four years. In Sochi, Wise soared to gold in the inaugural Olympic men's halfpipe skiing competition with his flawless array of high-flying double corks. Since the Games, Wise welcomed his second child (son Malachi), into the world and is happily busy playing "Dad" around his Lake Tahoe home. Wise also skied and filmed his first backcountry segment with sponsor 4FRNT and hit the mountain bike track hard over the offseason.
Sport: Women's Halfpipe Skiing
Just like her male Tahoe counterpart, Maddie Bowman has become the girl to beat in women's halfpipe skiing, winning the last two X Games Superpipe competitions in addition to topping the podium at the Sochi Games. Unfortunately for the self-proclaimed "outdoorsy type," much of Bowman's offseason was dedicated to recovering from knee surgery. She made her competitive comeback at December's Breckenridge Dew Tour stop, where she once again took the top spot.
Sport: Women's Halfpipe Snowboarding
Mention women's halfpipe snowboarding, and it's hard for the conversation to not turn to Kelly Clark. That's probably because the Vermont native has won just about everything in the sport, including five X Games titles and a 2002 Olympic gold. Clark took bronze in Sochi, but shared the podium with countrywoman Kaitlyn Farrington, who took home the gold. Since Sochi, Clark has taken some “vacation time” to heli board at Baldface Lodge in British Columbia and visit the troops stationed near Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Back on the competitive trail, she has maintained her form this summer wake surfing, running, and mountain biking.
Sport: Men's Slopestyle Skiing
Joss Christensen has been known in the competitive slopestyle skiing circle for years, but Sochi 2014 was his international coming out party. The Park City, Utah, native went from barely qualifying for the U.S. Team to winning his sport's first Olympic gold medal in a matter of days, writing his name into the history books in the process. Since then, Christensen has put his fame to good use, starting a popular freeskiing website and traveling to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to film with Teton Gravity Research for their Powder-Award-winning release “Almost Ablaze.” He also purchased land near his Utah home, and is building his first log cabin.
Sport: Men's Slopestyle Snowboarding
Sage Kotsenburg has been a staple on the Park City terrain park scene since he was a grom, but he surprised everyone (including himself, perhaps) by translating that prowess into an Olympic gold medal in the inaugural men's slopestyle snowboarding competition. The big-smiling Utahan didn't stop shredding after the flame went dark, releasing a slew of edits and filming for the rest of the season. Over the summer Kotsenburg took a well-deserved break from the snow world, renting a house in San Clemente, California, and hitting the surf and skate park for a few months before returning to training.
Catch the action at X Games Aspen, Jan. 22-25 on ESPN and ABC.
More from GrindTV