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Special Olympics and Pro Athletes Shredded for Inclusion at the X Games Aspen 2023

Hanna Faulhaber and Haldan Pranger stand on the medal podium posing outside with the medals in front of a snowy slope.
Special Olympics athlete Haldan Pranger and Olympic skier Hanna Faulhaber won gold in the Unified Skiing competition.

Fan favorites and newcomers alike hit the slopes for the eighth annual Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding and third annual Unified Skiing competitions on 27 January at the X Games Aspen 2023. Competitors came from across Europe, North America and the Pacific including Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and USA.

Catch up with the live action coverage.

The unified skiing and snowboarding teams consisted of one Special Olympics athlete and one X Games athlete. Each team member took one run on each of the two competition courses, with the professional athletes racing against one another and the Special Olympics athletes racing one another. To determine the final rankings, each teams’ scores averaged the Special Olympics athlete and their teammates’ time.

The pro-athlete roster consisted of twelve of the world’s best action sports athletes raced Special Olympics athletes in competition including: Victoria Arlen, ESPN SportsCenter host and Special Olympics Champion Ambassador, Hanna Faulhaber, Elisabeth Hosking, Chris Klug, Sage Kotsenburg, Scotty Lago, Craig McMorris, Nico Porteous, Mons Røisland, Tom Wallisch, David Wise and rapper, singer and songwriter Yung Gravy.

Defending champions Special Olympic athlete Daina Shilts and Olympic silver medalist Mons Røisland paired up again for back-to-back win capturing gold medals in the snowboarding competition with a combined team score of 29.4 seconds. The gold medals in skiing were awarded to Special Olympics athlete Haldan Pranger and Olympic skier Hanna Faulhaber with a combined time of 26.3 seconds. Halden earned silver last year with pro partner Aaron Blunck.

Unified Snowboarding

Special Olympics AthleteX Games AthleteCombined Team Score
Daina ShiltsMons Røisland29.4
Catherine DarrowElizabeth Hosking30.246
Henry MeeceChris Klug30.247
Cody FieldCraig McMorris31.1
Ion Adrian FrantsiScotty Lago33.5
William EthridgeSage Kotsenburg1.05:54

Unified Skiing

Special Olympics AthleteX Games AthleteCombined Team Score
Haldan PrangerHanna Faulhaber26.3
Luca VergnanoNico Porteous27.0
Tanner JadwinDavid Wise27.6
Palmer LyonsVictoria Arlen29.1
Jacqueline TrudeauTom Wallisch29.7
Oceane GendreYung Gravy35.2

Special Olympics Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. Since 2013, X Games’ broadcast partner—ESPN—has been the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports and supports unified activation around the world.

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