Sunday, 29 April 2012

X is for… the X Games

The X Games consists of two annual sporting events, showcasing the best in extreme winter and summer sports. The first Summer X Games took place in June 1995, with the first Winter X Games following in January 1997. The X Games currently consists of 7 different sports: moto, rally, skateboarding & bmx in the summer; skiing, snowboarding & snowmobile in the winter.

X Games highlights

The X Games are seen by the competitors as the ideal platform to attempt new tricks and break new ground in their sports. Although the ultimate objective is to compete for the medals on offer, there is also a strong emphasis on entertaining and thrilling the crowd. Music forms a big part of the X Games too, with a number of rock bands and DJs performing at the Games.

Some of the most spectacular feats at the X Games include Tony Hawk achieving the first 900 on a skateboard, Heath Frisby perfoming the first ever snowmobile front flip, Torsten Horgmo achieving the first first landed triple flip in a snowboard competition, and Anthony Napolitan landing the first ever double front flip on a bicycle.

X Games superstars
Shaun White on his snowboard

Shaun White is arguably the biggest superstar in the X Games, winning medals at every Winter X Games from 2003 to the present (12 golds), as well as 2 gold medals at the Summer X Games. The American snowboarder and skateboarder has also won consecutive gold medals at the Winter Olympics in the snowboard halfpipe event.

Tony Hawk is one of the most successful skateboarders of all time, with "The Birdman" claiming 9 gold medals over the first 8 Summer X Games. When Hawk landed the first 900 at the 1999 Summer X Games, he failed to complete the trick on his first 10 attempts. Regulation time had finished, but the announced stated "We make up the rules as we go along. Let's give him another try." In the spirit of the X Games none of the other competitors protested, and when Hawk landed the trick he won the gold medal in the "Best Trick" event.

The X Games is perhaps the most fun and entertaining major sporting event. Despite the increased popularity and attention the event has received since the first games in 1995, the spirit of the game still remains strong, with the event sure to provide many more highlights in the future.

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