Commentary

WE'RE NOT THE FIRST TO REALIZE THAT ACTION-SPORT ATHLETES DEFY EASY DESCRIPTION, BUT WE MAY BE THE FIRST TO ASK WINTER X STARS TO TRY DESCRIBING THEMSELVES. ONE LOOK AT THEIR SELF-PORTRAITS AND YOU'LL BE GLAD WE DID

Updated: July 10, 2012, 2:48 PM ET
By Alyssa Roenigk

Mike Metzger

FREESTYLE MOTO X

HOME

Perris, Calif.

411

Owns five X Games medals, including silver from 2004 Winter X. He's injured and will not compete this year.

HIS WORDS

"I call this watercolor 'The Flying Eyes.' This is the extreme

supercreature I become when my helmet is placed upon my fragile, bald head: a bit insane, a lot crazy and somewhat uncontrollable. Eyes wide-open and ready to fly, the beast is unleashed and ready to ride."

Eddie Wall

SNOWBOARD SLOPESTYLE

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Mammoth, Calif.

411

Edward John Louis Wall IV finished ninth at 2004 Winter X; he's best known for hitting rails and booters in the videos Promo Copy and Video Gangs.

HIS WORDS

"I'm into art and photography, and I just recently bought the Hasselblad camera I used for this shot. With snowboarding, I travel 10 months a year, living out of backpacks and board bags in the never-ending search for good snow. This is why I show the road in the background. It's the back road from Reno to Mammoth, and I drive it all the time."

Caleb Wyatt

FREESTYLE MOTO X

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Medford, Ore.

411

Landed the first backflip on a 250cc bike, in 2002; last winter, he won his first X gold.

HIS WORDS

"My mom helped me with this chalk drawing. It's based on photographs of my many hairstyles over the years. I had bleach-blond dreads last year, and another time it was accidentally blue; the dye was supposed to be black. This year, my head will be shaved. The sword represents The Sword in the Stone, where the little kid pulled the sword out of the stone after the tough guys failed. That little kid was me. All the big-name guys weren't doing much, and little ol' Caleb landed the first-ever backflip."

Anik Demers

SKIER X

HOME

Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada

411

Five Winter X appearances; best finish was gold in 2000

HER WORDS

"I created the idea for this piece, and my friend Stephanie Tittle helped me paint it. French is my first language, and to me, la joie de vivre is to be surrounded by the elements of the earth. The flying dress represents how free I am and that I'm a girl in a sport dominated by men. Footsteps along the street, running from mountains to the ocean, represent my dream of living between snow and water. I am in the middle of my life picture."

Isi Gruener

SKIER X

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Solden, Austria

411

Best of five X Games scores: silver medal in 2001 UltraCross; won his first

World Cup Ski Cross race in October 2004, in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

HIS WORDS

"This photo says everything about me. I'm a quiet guy, and I like the quietness, especially when I'm freeskiing. If there are troubles around me, I do like a turtle. I hide myself in the armor and come out when it's all over."

View the Gallery

More than 30 action-sports athletes submitted self-portraits to The Mag for this issue, and while we had room for only six, all 30 will be on display in Aspen during Winter X. The art will be sold after the Games, with proceeds going to charity. Check out the entire gallery and vote for your favorites on EXPN.com (keyword: art).

Alexis Waite

SNOWBOARD SLOPESTYLE

HOME

Bend, Ore.

411

Finished 10th in last winter's X Games debut; day job is designer and co-owner of a clothing company, Wize Designs.

HER WORDS

"I believe the whole story is more important than one aspect of a person. I am three-dimensional, with layers and personalities, and so is my portrait, which I made out of materials I found in my mom's house. In one of the photos, I am calm and balanced. In the other, I look mischievous. I am both people, and I'm evolving, changing and growing."

Alyssa Roenigk

ESPN The Magazine senior writer
Alyssa Roenigk is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com whose assignments covering action sports, Olympics and football have taken her to six continents and caused her to commit countless acts of recklessness. In 2012, she joined the X Games TV broadcast team and ordered additional pages for her passport. Follow her on Twitter at @espn_alyssa.