The X Games is a sports event, controlled and arranged by the U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN (with coverage also shown on its sister network ABC), which focuses on extreme sports. The inaugural X Games were held in summer 1995 in Rhode Island. Participants compete to win bronze, silver and gold medals, and prize money.
The Winter X Games are held in January or February (usually in January) and the Summer X Games are usually held in August, both in the United States. The location of the Winter X Games is in Aspen, Colorado through 2014, while the location for the Summer X Games has been in Los Angeles, changing to Austin in May 2014. The X Games also has international competitions and demos around the world that are held at varying times throughout the year. The games are shown live on television.
The Winter X Games are, as described by ESPN (2008), a competition compiled of the greatest winter action sport athletes from around the world competing on an annual basis. The competition has day and evening events including skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. The first Winter X Games took place at Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California, in 1997. The following two years, the Games were held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado. The two years following that, the Games were held in Mount Snow, Vermont. Since 2002, the Winter X Games have been held at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, and according to ESPN they will continue to be held there in 2014.
The competition often features new tricks such as Tony Hawk's 900 in skateboarding, Travis Pastrana's double backflip in freestyle motocross, Heath Frisby's first ever snowmobile front flip in Snowmobile Best Trick, and Torstein Horgmo's first landed triple flip in a snowboard competition. Concurrent with competition is the "X Fest" sports and music festival, which offers live music, athlete autograph sessions and interactive elements.
The X Games gained media exposure due to their big name sponsors, top-tier athletes and consistent fan attendance. As the Journal of Sport Management (2006) explains, Generation X and Generation Y are the two demographics most highly valued by marketers. This creates a broad approach on marketing towards that certain demographic, which is why the X Games marketing and economic outlook is so “out of the box.” According to ESPN (2008); The Winter X Games inaugural year, 1997, was televised to 198 countries and 38,000 spectators attended the four day event. In 1998, the attendance dropped to 25,000 spectators. But just two years later, a record attendance of 83,500 people attended the Winter X Games' East Coast debut. The X Games and Winter X Games continue to grow with the popularity of action sports and the athletes who compete in them.
The Interactive Village is described by ESPN (2008) as the designated X Games Sponsor Booth area. It is usually located by the main entrance of the event and it offers activities for attending fans. Activities include scheduled autograph signings, giveaways for spectators, athlete demos, climbing walls, video game experiences, and the chance to try new and upcoming products that are presented by sponsors. This area exists at both the X Games and Winter X Games.
The Snowskate Park is an actual layout provided by the Winter X Games sponsors in order to provide real-life interaction for all spectators. The Snowskate Park posts a schedule so that fans can enter the park in order to “play” around or show off their skills. The schedule usually includes: open park for the public, invitational practices, special kids' events, experienced snowskate sessions, and competitive sledding.
As part of the X Games, there have been performances by various rock bands over the years, as well as a DJ being on-site at all events.
The X Games have made it a point since its founding to stage an eco-friendly event. Such measures include using biodiesel fuel in their vehicles and organizing recycling campaigns.
Winter X Games
Winter X Games VIII in 2002 was the first time that an X Games event was televised live and also had coverage by ESPN's flagship news program, SportsCenter. Viewership across the three networks that carried coverage of the event – ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2 – exceeded last year's household average by 30% according to Nielsen Media Research. The event also reached record highs in several demographic categories. To accommodate the first-time live coverage, nighttime competitions were added, resulting in record attendance for the Aspen/Snowmass venue.
The 2002 Winter X Games were a huge year for ESPN and the X Games. It was the first year that the games were held in Aspen Colorado at Buttermilk Mountain. The Games continued to add new events including the ski slopestyle event and the ski superpipe event. The most memorable incident of the 2002 Games was when the entire 2002 U.S. Olympic freestyle snowboarding team showed up to compete in the Winter X snowboard superpipe event, just weeks before the Salt Lake City Olympics. Also in 2002, ESPN announced the establishment of the X Games Global Championship. The Global Championship featured two distinct venues hosting competitions in summer and winter action sports simultaneously. It consisted of six teams of the World’s top athletes, grouped together by their region of origin, to compete in the four day event. The winter sports were held in Whistler Blackcomb Resort in British Columbia, and the events included snowboarding and skiing.
In May 2011, ESPN held a bid to select three host cities in addition to Los Angeles, Aspen and Tignes (France) to form a six-event calendar for the next three years beginning in 2013. In May 2012, the selected cities were announced: Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany; and Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil. The two European cities have hosted Summer Olympics in the past, whereas Brazil has provided several X Games competitors. The other six bid finalists were Lisbon, Portugal; Quintana Roo, Mexico; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; and Whistler, Canada.
The 2013 schedule consisted of:
- Aspen, January 24–27
- Tignes, March 20–22
- Foz do Iguaçu, April 18–21
- Barcelona, May 16–19
- Munich, June 27–30
- Los Angeles, August 1–4
Summer X Games
Winter X Games
Summarized from EXPN.com
Summer X Games
- 1995: Extreme Games – Newport, Rhode Island & Mount Snow, Vermont
- 198,000 in Attendance
- 1996: X Games Two – Providence & Newport, Rhode Island
- 200,000 in Attendance
- 1997: X Games Three – San Diego, California (June 20–28, 1997)
- 221,200 in Attendance
- 1998: X Games Four – San Diego, California (June 1998)
- 233,000 in Attendance
- 1999: X Games Five – Pier 30 & 32, San Francisco, California (June 25 – July 3, 1999)
- 275,000 in Attendance
- First professional sporting event (full event) broadcast live on the internet.
- After eleven failed attempts, the skateboarder Tony Hawk finally landed a 900-degree spin (the 900).
- Travis Pastrana won the first ever motocross freestyle event at the X Games, after dislocating his spine the previous spring. He also scored the highest ever run of 99.00 points.
- 2000: X Games Six – Pier 30 & 32, San Francisco, California (August 17–22, 2000)
- 2001: X Games Seven – First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (August 17–22, 2001)
- 2002: X Games Eight – First Union Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (August 15–19, 2002)
- 2003: X Games Nine – Staples Center & LA Coliseum, Los Angeles, California (August 14–17, 2003)
- Brian Deegan landed the first ever 360 in freestyle motocross, earning him the bronze in FMX and gold in big air/best trick.
- Ryan Sheckler became the youngest X Games gold medalist ever at the age of 13 in skateboard streetpark
- 2004: X Games 10 – Staples Center, Home Depot Center, Long Beach Marine Stadium, Los Angeles, California (August 5–8, 2004)
- Nate Adams became the first person to defeat Travis Pastrana in the freestyle motocross event at the X Games.
- Danny Way won the first ever skateboard big air event.
- Jeremy McGrath made his first appearance at the X Games, winning gold in motocross step Up, and bronze in supermoto.
- Chuck Carothers wins motocross best trick with the first body varial done at X Games
- 2005: X Games 11 – Staples Center, Los Angeles, California (August 4–7, 2005)
- Removal of inline skating from competition.
- Shaun White failed to land the 1080 in skate best trick after 29 attempts.
- Jamie Bestwick pulled off the first ever double tailwhip flair in the BMX Vert Best Trick event.
- Travis Pastrana won gold in motocross freestyle again and became the most decorated athlete in motocross
- ESPN signed a contract to keep the X Games in Los Angeles through 2009.
- 2006: X Games 12 – Staples Center, Home Depot Center & Long Beach Marine Stadium, Los Angeles, California (August 3–6, 2006)
- Travis Pastrana landed the world's first double backflip on a dirt bike, and won motocross best trick with a score of 98.60, the highest current score in best trick.
- Kevin Robinson landed the double flair for the first time.
- Travis Pastrana won the inaugural X Games rally, beating the former World Rally Champion, Colin McRae by .52 seconds after the latter rolled his car with two corners to go at the Home Depot Center.
- Chad Kagy landed the first flatwhip double tailwhip 540.
- Skateboarder Nyjah Huston became the youngest athlete to compete in X Games at 11 years old.
- 2007: X Games 13 – Staples Center, Home Depot Center & Long Beach Marine Stadium, Los Angeles, California (August 2–5, 2007)
- Jake Brown was hurt after landing the first 720 in big air competition. He fell from 40'+ and landed on his backside and back on the flat. The force of the fall knocked his shoes off. After 8 minutes laying motionless, he walked away with help. He suffered a fractured wrist, bruised lung and liver, whiplash, ruptured spleen and a concussion.
- Ricky Carmichael won the first ever motocross racing circuit.
- Mat Hoffman returned to competition in BMX big air.
- Simon Tabron made an X Games first, doing back-to-back 900s in BMX vert.
- 2008: X Games 14 – Los Angeles, California (July 31 – August 3, 2008 )
- Danny Way clipped his shins on the lip of the quarterpipe after a 20+ foot freefall during the big air competition, which the commentators refer to as the "second worst fall ever at the X Games" (the first being Jake Brown's the year before). After spending a few minutes with paramedics, Way limped back to the ramp and went on to nail the trick he had fallen on, coming in second place.
- Ryan Sheckler won gold in street skateboarding, his second gold medal at the X games.
- Kyle Loza won his second gold medal in the motocross best trick competition in two appearances by performing a never-before-seen move named the "electric doom."
- Skateboarder Andy Macdonald won his 15th X Games medal, surpassing Tony Hawk as the all-time leader in skateboarding medals.
- Rally racer Travis Pastrana reclaimed the gold medal by defeating Tanner Foust in the rally X final.
- Jim DeChamp fell while attempting the first ever frontflip on a motocross bike
- Tarah Gieger of Puerto Rico won the gold medal in the first-ever women's supercross race.
- Jeremy Lusk won a gold medal in the freestyle motocross (FMX) event.
- 2009: X Games 15 – Los Angeles, California (July 30 – August 2, 2009)
- Skateboarder Jake Brown won his first gold medal in the big air competition.
- Danny Way won the inaugural big air rail jam, a contest which he created.
- Paul Rodriguez won the skateboard street
- Anthony Napolitan landed the first ever double front flip on a bicycle.
- Kyle Loza became the first person to three-peat gold motocross best trick in controversial fashion by using the same trick he used to win in 2008, the "electric doom", especially after the judges had said that "innovation" would win the gold that year.
- Ricky Carmichael fell and hurt himself on motocross step up. Due to the circumstances, dual gold medals were awarded to Carmichael and to Ronnie Renner.
- Blake Williams became the first non-American rider to win FMX gold
- Jamie Bestwick wins BMX vert for the third time
- Pierre-Luc Gagnon won gold in skateboard vert for the second consecutive year.
- In his first X Games appearance, the retired IndyCar champion Kenny Brack won rally X gold over the defending gold medalist Travis Pastrana. In a TV first, co-drivers Jen Horsey and Chrissie Beavis commentate live inside the racecars.
- Ashley Fiolek, 18, won the women's motocross super X, becoming the Games' first deaf medalist.
- 2010: X Games 16 – Staples Center, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California (July 29 – August 1, 2010)
- Travis Pastrana competed in four events after pulling out of best trick at the last minute. He came back to freestyle after a 3 year break and took gold, pulling yet another double backflip, the first in X Games freestyle competition. He had troubles in rally, costing him gold in rally racing and the chance to compete in super rally, but came back on the bike and won his first gold in motocross speed & style, beating Nate Adams
- Ashley Fiolek won the women's motocross super X for the second year running, becoming the only rider to do so.
- Matt Buyten won gold in motocross step up, beating the former champion, Ronnie Renner.
- Jamie Bestwick became the first person to 4-peat with a win in BMX vert.
- Pierre-Luc Gagnon became the first athlete to win in skateboard vert three times, beating the silver medalist, Shaun White.
- Garrett Reynolds became the first athlete to win BMX street three times.
- Cam Sinclair made what some call the greatest comeback in action sports history, winning his first X Games gold medal in best trick by pulling a double backflip, the trick that bit him hard in Red Bull X Fighters only 8 months before, leaving him in a coma for seven days, and having him retrain his body, learning how to walk and, eventually, to ride again.
- Ryan Sheckler won the X games gold medal in skateboarding street seeking redemption after his X Games XV mishap.
- 2011: X Games 17 – Los Angeles, California (July 28–31, 2011)
- Shaun White earned his second gold medal in skateboard vert, breaking Pierre Luc Gagnon's 3-year winning streak.
- Liam Doran took gold on his debut in the rally car racing event after beating Marcus Gronholm in the final.
- Nyjah Huston came first in the men's skateboarding street, his first X Games gold medal since his participation in the event at the X Games XIV.
- Travis Pastrana fell while attempting a rodeo 720, or as he called it "the toilet paper roll", in Moto X best trick, breaking bones in his foot and ankle. Despite the injury, he competed in RallyCross three days later using hand controls mounted to the steering wheel.
- 2012: X Games 18 – Los Angeles, California (June 28 – July 1, 2012)
- Bob Burnquist won his fourth Big Air gold medal, and his ninth total gold medals
- Ronnie Renner won the gold medal in Moto X Step Up, breaking the previous record height of 37' by 10' making it the highest ever at the X Games with 47'.
- Jamie Bestwick 6-peats with a win in BMX vert.
- Garrett Reynolds 5-peats in BMX street, the only competitor to win BMX street in its 5 year history at X Games.
- Sébastien Loeb (Citroën DS3), by then eight consecutive times World Rally Championship winner since 2004, claimed gold on his debut in the X Games’ RallyCross event. He dominated silver medalist and WRC rival Ken Block by about 10 seconds after Block (Ford Fiesta) was hampered by a tire puncture during the second half of the main final.
- Jagger Eaton becomes the youngest person to compete in the X games
2013: X Games Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
- Jake Brown lands the 1st ollie 720 in skateboard big air, earning the bronze.
- Mitchie Brusco lands the 1st body varial 900 in skateboard big air.
- Bob Burnquist wins his 3rd consecutive gold medal in skateboard big air, earning his 23rd X Games medal, and landing the 1st lein air rodeo flip 720.
- Jamie Bestwick wins his 7th consecutive gold medal in BMX vert.
- Bryce Hudson wins moto x step up as an X Games rookie.
- Laia Sanz wins women's moto x enduro x as a rookie, defeating 2-time defending gold medalist Maria Forsberg.
2013: X Games Barcelona, Spain
- Mitchie Brusco lands the 1st 1080 in skateboard big air, earning the silver. He also became the youngest skateboard vert medalist (16), earning the bronze.
- Bob Burnquist wins his 4th consecutive gold medal in skateboard big air, earning his 24th X Games medal.
- Alana Smith wins silver in women's skateboard park, becoming the youngest X Games medalist (12).
- Jamie Bestwick wins his 8th consecutive gold medal in BMX vert.
- Chad Kagy lands the 1st front flip flair in BMX vert.
2013: X Games Munich, Germany
- Bob Burnquist wins his 5th consecutive gold medal in skateboard big air, earning a record 25th medal, landing the 1st switch ollie 540.
2013: X Games Los Angeles, California, United States
- Elliot Sloan wins his 1st gold medal in skateboard big air, defeating Bob Burnquist, who earned his 26th X Games medal (bronze).
- Vicki Golden wins her 3rd consecutive gold medal in women's moto x racing, defeating Meghan Rutledge, after Rutledge crashed across the gap. She also became the 1st women to compete in a freestyle moto x competition, earning bronze in best whip.
- Vince Byron lands the 1st 540 double tail whip in BMX big air, earning the silver.
Winter X Games
- 1997: Winter X Games 1, Big Bear Lake, California (January 30 – February 2, 1997)
- 38,000 in attendance
- 1998: Winter X Games 2, Crested Butte, Colorado
- 25,000 in attendance
- 1999: Winter X Games 3, Crested Butte, Colorado
- 30,000+ in attendance
- 2000: Winter X Games 4, Mount Snow, Vermont (February 3–6, 2000)
- 83,500 in attendance
- 2001: Winter X Games 5, Mount Snow, Vermont
- 85,100 in attendance
- 2002: Winter X Games 6, Aspen, Colorado (February 1–5, 2002)
- 2003: Winter X Games 7, Aspen, Colorado (January 30 – February 5, 2003)
- C.R. Johnson wins bronze in ski superpipe
- 2004: Winter X Games 8, Aspen, Colorado (January 22–25, 2004)
- 2005: Winter X Games 9, Aspen, Colorado (January 29 – February 1, 2005)
- 2006: Winter X Games 10, Aspen, Colorado (January 28–31, 2006)
- Jeaux Hall landed the 1080 in the half-pipe contest after 17 attempts
- ESPN signed a contract with the Aspen Skiing Company to keep the Winter X Games in Colorado in 2012
- 2007: Winter X Games 11, Aspen, Colorado (January 25–28, 2007)
- Peter Olenick landed the first double-flip (The Whiskey Flip) in halfpipe competition history, starting a revolution and setting a new standard in superpipe tricks.
- 2008: Winter X Games 12, Aspen, Colorado (January 24–27, 2008)'
- 2009: Winter X Games 13, Aspen, Colorado (January 22–25, 2009)
- Levi LaVallee attempted the first double backflip on a snowmobile
- Shaun White won the first back-to-back golds in snowboard superpipe
- 2010: Winter X Games 14, Aspen, Colorado (January 28–31, 2010)
- 2011: Winter X Games 15, Aspen, Colorado (January 27–30, 2011)
- Kelly Clark landed the first 1080 by a woman in competition, in women's superpipe.
- Torstein Horgmo landed the first triple cork in competition, in men's snowboard big air.
- Shaun White became the first to four peat in the superpipe in X Games history.
- Sebastian Toutant wins gold as a rookie.
- During the snowmobile best trick, the brothers Colten and Caleb Moore successfully landed a two-man backflip but were disqualified because judges ruled the event as an individual sport. Daniel Bodin later took gold for the event.
- 2012: Winter X Games 16, Aspen, Colorado (January 26–29, 2012)
- Games dedicated to the renowned freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died on January 19, 2012
- Shaun White won snowboard superpipe for the fifth year in a row.
- Heath Frisby landed the first ever front flip of a snowmobile, in snowmobile best trick.
- 2013: Winter X Games 17, Aspen, Colorado (January 24–27, 2013)
- Tucker Hibbert became the first winter X Games athlete to six-peat in any event with his sixth gold medal in Snowmobile SnoCross.
- Shaun White won snowboard superpipe for the sixth year in a row.
- Elena Hight became the first snowboarder, male or female, to land a double backside alley-oop rodeo during a halfpipe competition.
- American snowmobiler Caleb Moore became the first X Games participant to die from injuries sustained at the event. He died on January 31, 2013 from complications of injuries suffered in a crash on January 24.
2013: X Games Tignes, France
- Iouri Podladtchikov lands the 1st cab double cork 1440 in men's snowboard superpipe.
|1998||San Diego||Crested Butte||Phuket|
|1999||San Francisco||Crested Butte||Phuket|
|2000||San Francisco||Mount Snow||Phuket|
|2003||Los Angeles||Aspen||Kuala Lumpur|
|2004||Los Angeles||Aspen||Kuala Lumpur|
|2006||Los Angeles||Aspen||Kuala Lumpur|
Starting in 2013, the X Games expanded to 6 full competitions hosted around the world.
|Aspen, Colorado||January 24–27, 2013|
|Tignes, France||March 20–22, 2013|
|Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil||April 18–21, 2013|
|Barcelona, Spain||May 16–19, 2013|
|Munich, Germany||June 27–30, 2013|
|Los Angeles, California||August 1–4, 2013|
From May 16 to May 18, 2003, the X Games held a special event called the Global Championships, where five continents (two countries in North America) competed in 11 disciplines. The event was held in two locations, the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (where 7 of the events, including in-line skating, skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross were held), as well as in Whistler, British Columbia (where the superpipe events for snowboarding and skiing took place).
The final team results were:
- ESPN announces bid process for the X Games and Winter X Games – ESPN, May 17, 2011
- Devon O'Neil, X Games expands globally, Xgames.com, May 1, 2012
- "About International X Games". Archived from the original on 2007. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- "Snowmobiler Moore dies week after crash in Winter X Games". cbssports.com. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to X Games.|
- X Games official website
- X Games Asia official website
- Planet X – X Games Australia
- The Official X Games Community