The Winter X Games is renowned for the biggest and burliest snow cross courses in the world with huge jumps and features from top to bottom, as well as for putting six athletes in the start gate instead of the usual four.
That bigness has resulted in a few injuries over the years, and this year the shocker was a season-ending knee injury to Whistler's Ashleigh McIvor. McIvor, who has been injured before, was following a group of guys down the course during training when she got caught in the slipstream of another skier.
The result was too much speed heading into the last section of rollers, overshooting the transition on the last roller and landing flat. She tore the anterior cruciate ligaments in her left knee on impact, the same knee she injured at the X Games in 2005, and has already undergone one surgery.
McIvor, the Olympic champion, said she was disappointed - her whole family was going to travel to the World Championships in Deer Valley, Utah to watch her, and can't cancel their tickets. However, she also promised that she would be back in competition next year.
"I've definitely seen better days, but things could be much worse," said McIvor. "I just have to keep it all in perspective. I don't have a head injury, and I don't have a spinal injury. This will heal and I'll be back. It's all part of the game."
The course at Aspen is big by even X Games standards, and following McIvor's injury the organizers changed the final jump - the biggest that many athletes had ever seen. McIvor liked the course before her injury - she's always favoured more technical courses over race-style courses - although she later questioned the decision to go as big as they did.
"I was really excited to run the course here in Aspen," she said. "It's always the biggest and burliest on the circuit. I'm so glad I got one flight in off the massive last jump before hurting myself on a smaller jump that I hadn't event through to be scared of. I just came into this triple a little too hot and overshot it, landing way out on the flats."
McIvor is the second gold medallist from Sea to Sky to suffer an injury. Less than two weeks before Maëlle Ricker fractured her hand after getting caught in some netting and crashing at the FIS World Championships in Spain. At the time she was in second place and chasing down the leader.
McIvor will not return to race this season. It's unknown whether Ricker will return.