Gamers Shouldn't Get X Games Medals, Veteran Skier Says

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Freestyle skier Kristi Leskinen, who won a Bronze medal at X Games IX in 2005, has spoken up to criticize gaming’s involvement with this year’s Winter X Games. Writing on Twitter, Leskinen said she “totally respect[s] gamers,” but claimed medals should only be earned through “through blood, sweat, and tears.”

Congratulations to @EvilGeniuses on winning the @XGames Gold! #HaloWC pic.twitter.com/PQjLfnKbut

— Halo (@Halo) January 31, 2016

This year’s Winter X Games, held this past weekend, saw Halo 5: Guardians teams battling it out at the Aspen Invitational on the grounds of the X Games and in partnership with ESPN.

Matches were streamed live on Watch ESPN and some segments aired on ESPN’s national networks. The professional team Evil Geniuses won gold.

According to Leskinen, because the risk of injury when playing a game like Halo 5: Guardians is not on the same level of skiing or other physical activities, gamers should not be awarded with X Games medals.

“As athletes sometimes we risk it all to win X Games,” she said. “No gamer in the world deserves an #xgames Gold Medal #couchgames #athletesonly”

You can see the rest of Leskinen’s tweets on the subject below. For a decidedly different take on the matter, you can also read GameSpot’s interview with Halo boss Kiki Wolfkill, who talked about how Halo 5’s appearance at the X Games elevates the profile of competitive gaming.

The members of Evil Geniuses aren’t the first to win X Games medals. MLG partnered with ESPN for Call of Duty and Counter-Strike events at the X Games event in Austin, Texas last summer, with the winning teams taking home gold medals and cash prizes.

As athletes sometimes we risk it all to win X Games. No gamer in the world deserves an #xgames Gold Medal #couchgames #athletesonly

— Kristi Leskinen (@KristiLeskinen) January 31, 2016

Actors win Oscars, Musicians Grammy’s, Action Sports Athletes win X Games. Respect to all gamers, my point was they simply aren’t the same.

— Kristi Leskinen (@KristiLeskinen) January 31, 2016

Baseball players win the World Series, Football players with the Superbowl, Hockey players win the Stanely Cup. Respect to all!

— Kristi Leskinen (@KristiLeskinen) January 31, 2016

@GrandPOOBear I totally respect gamers, but I believe “X games” medals should only be earned through blood sweat and tears.

— Kristi Leskinen (@KristiLeskinen) January 31, 2016

@GrandPOOBear My opinion doesn’t come from a lack of respect. It comes from the injuries & risks and history of medals one.

— Kristi Leskinen (@KristiLeskinen) January 31, 2016

What do you make of Leskinen’s comments? Let us know in the comments below!