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Shaun White is back for more gold. Hannah Teter has returned for redemption. Sarah Burke will hit the slopes in a new discipline that carries a big purse.

The 13th edition of the Winter X Games opens to the public today and runs through Sunday in Aspen, with more than 250 athletes from 15-plus countries vying for five-figure, first-place prizes in 13 events.

Scheduled to participate in two snowboard competitions, White, a 2006 Olympic gold medalist, holds the Winter X record with 11 medals. His seven Winter X golds are tied for the most with Tanner Hall, the three-time defending skiing superpipe champion.

Also a 2006 Olympic gold medalist, Teter finished fourth last year in snowboard superpipe, won by Aspen resident Gretchen Bleiler, a silver medalist in 2006 in Turin.

The 500-foot-long pipe, which was 20 feet in height in 2008, has been raised to 22 feet.A Canadian with two Winter X golds, Burke is favored in the debut of women's skiing slopestyle, in which competitors race on a 3,500-foot course with rails, jumps and gaps. A snowmobile best-trick contest also will be held for the first time.

Other big names to watch include Tucker Hibbert, the two-time defending Winter X snowmobile SnoCross champion; Lindsey Jacobellis, a 2006 Olympic silver medalist in snowboard cross; Daron Rahlves, a 12-time World Cup winner in downhill and the super-G; and Travis Rice, a three-time medalist in Winter X snowboard events.

ESPN announced in October that Winter X will now feature equal prize money for men and women. Winners are expected to earn at least $30,000.

According to ESPN, eight Winter X Games 12 broadcasts reached a record average of 863,000 homes, up 17 percent from 2007. The network reported its most viewed Winter X telecast (1.1 million homes) the final night, when White won the snowboard superpipe.

Winter X will remain in Aspen at least through 2012. The deal was set to expire in 2010 until ESPN and Aspen Skiing Co. agreed to the extension Wednesday. The games originally rotated among sites but this will be Aspen's eighth straight year.

β€’ β€’ β€’COMPETITIONS

SKIING BIG AIR

What: Skiers compete head to head on a 65-foot gapCompetitors: Four total2008 winner: Jon OlssonWho to watch: Simon Dumont, Charles Gagnier, Jacob WesterFinals: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

SKIING MONO SKIER X

What: Disabled skiers race over tabletop jumps, banked turns, rollers and gapsCompetitors: 12 total2008 winner: Kees-Jan van der KloosterWho to watch: Kevin Bramble, Chris Devlin-Young, Tyler WalkerFinals: Sunday, 2:30 p.m.

SKIING SKIER X

What: Heats of six skiers compete in a fusion of motocross and downhill racingCompetitors: 30 men, 18 women2008 winners: Daron Rahlves, men's; Ophelie David, women'sWho to watch: Stanley Hayer, Magdalena Jonsson, Casey PuckettFinals: Sunday, noon

SKIING SLOPESTYLE

What: Skiers must overcome obstacles such as rails, kickers, jumps and gapsCompetitors: 20 men, eight women2008 winner: Andreas Hatveit, men'sWho to watch: Jen Hudak, Jossi Wells, Colby WestFinals: women's, Saturday, 10:30 a.m.; men's, Sunday, 2:30 p.m.

SKIING SUPERPIPE

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What: A 500-foot-long pipe that's 22 feet tall puts skiers to the testCompetitors: 16 men, 10 women2008 winners: Tanner Hall, men's; Sarah Burke, women'sWho to watch: Grete Eliassen, Mirjam Jaeger, Peter OlenickFinals: men's, today, 7:15 p.m.; women's, Friday, 5:30 p.m.

SNOWBOARD BIG AIR

What: Snowboarders give everything they've got on a 65-foot gapCompetitors: Four total2008 winner: Torstein HorgmoWho to watch: Kevin Pearce, Travis Rice, Andreas WiigFinals: today, 8:30 p.m.

SNOWBOARD SLOPESTYLE

What: Freestyle maneuvers are performed on a course with rails, hips and tabletopsCompetitors: 20 men, 20 women2008 winners: Andreas Wiig, men's; Jamie Anderson, women'sWho to watch: Eero Ettala, Claudia Fliri, Jussi OksanenFinals: women's, Saturday, 12:15 p.m.; men's, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

SNOWBOARD SNOWBOARDER X

What: A course with tabletop jumps, banked turns and gaps is a snowboarder's dreamCompetitors: 30 men, 18 women2008 winners: Nate Holland, men's; Lindsey Jacobellis, women'sWho to watch: Tanja Frieden, Markus Schairer, Seth WescottFinals: Saturday, 1 p.m.

SNOWBOARD SUPERPIPE

What: The most popular Winter X Games event includes all kinds of crazy tricksCompetitors: 20 men, 20 women2008 winners: Shaun White, men's; Gretchen Bleiler, women'sWho to watch: Ryo Aono, Torah Bright, Hannah TeterFinals: women's, Friday, 7:45 p.m.; men's, Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

SNOWMOBILE BEST TRICK

What: Riders show their most creative moves in the first-year competitionCompetitors: Three totalWho to watch: Chris Burandt, Blair Morgan, Aleksander NordgaardFinals: Friday, 9 p.m.

SNOWMOBILE FREESTYLE

What: Riders make jumps as long as 100 feet look easy on 500-pound snowmobilesCompetitors: 10 total2008 winner: Levi LaValleeWho to watch: Daniel Bodin, Heath Frisby, Joe ParsonsFinals: Sunday, 7 p.m.

SNOWMOBILE SNOCROSS

What: Packs of riders take laps around a track featuring rollers, jumps and tight cornersCompetitors: 32 total2008 winner: Tucker HibbertWho to watch: D.J. Eckstrom, T.J. Gulla, Brett TurcotteFinals: Saturday, 8 p.m.

SNOWMOBILE SPEED AND STYLE

What: The event combines freestyle tricks and SnoCross racing in head-to-head actionCompetitors: Eight total2008 winner: Levi LaValleeWho to watch: Steve Martin, Sam Rogers, Paul ThackerFinals: today, 7 p.m.

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