X Games is the Super Bowl of action sports, a gathering of the most talented -- and slightly crazy -- thrill-seekers and envelope-pushers from across the globe. For four days in Los Angeles, the nuttiest skateboard, BMX, FMX, MX and rally athletes throw down to see who has the wildest tricks, the smoothest skills and the biggest bal-- um, the most guts.
X Games 2010 was a good one, with no shortage of shredding going on; five of our own left with gold medals -- because that’s how Red Bull athletes roll. Read on to get the low-down and see the highlights that earned the hardware, and don’t forget to keep checking into our X Games Central page for athlete and schedule info, as well as the latest word every day from X Games 17.
Daniel Dhers Gets Back on Top
BMX Park powerhouse Daniel Dhers locked in gold medals at X Games in ’07 and ’08, but lost his kung-fu grip on the top spot in 2009. More motivated than ever, he returned last summer to shut down the doubters, crushing the X Games concrete in his third gold-medal performance. He just picked up the win at the BMX Masters in Germany last weekend, so he’s riding the momentum for gold medal number four in 2011.
Pedro Barros Serves Notice
At just 15 years old, Brazilian bowl shredder Pedro Barros took the field by surprise and rode the X Games Park course straight to a gold medal with solid tricks and a confident style. With dialed 540s and big transfers, Barros let everyone know there was a new boss in town, and with multiple contest wins under his belt since, he’ll be the man to beat this year.
Ashley Fiolek Goes Back-to-Back
Ashley put on one heck of a show at X Games 2009, staging a last-lap takeover of the lead and charging on to her first gold medal. Things got even sweeter in 2010; she didn’t bother waiting until the end of the race, leading every lap to seal up the back-to-back wins. Can she do it again this year? If you know Ashley, you know she’s got the drive to make it happen.
Sheckler Shreds the Street Set-Up
Ryan Sheckler tweaked his ankle at X Games in 2009, so he was looking to kick a little ass in 2010 and put the course in its place. That’s just what he did, pushing into the lead after his first run. He looked to be unchallenged until Nyjah Huston one-upped his score. Never fear, Sheckler came through in the clutch, laying out a killer run including a kickflip to boardslide, backside flip up the gap and a Cab 360 lipslide down the rail. Check out some guerilla footage of his runs below.
Travis Pastrana Moto X Freestyle and Speed & Style gold
Travis Pastrana has had more than a little luck at X Games, earning a total of 17 medals to date in five different disciplines. Although he ran into some bad luck in Rally in 2010, he still managed to up the ante on his medal count with two golds, killing it in Moto X Freestyle and Speed & Style. He competed in four events in 2010, but his schedule is even more ambitious in 2011. He’ll be throwing down in Moto X Best Trick and RallyCross at X Games, but between the two events, he’ll be flying from Los Angeles to Indianapolis to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut at the Kroger 200. Good thing he’s got wings.
Here’s Pastrana’s Speed & Style Final round with Nate Adams:
As an added bonus, after Travis locked up the Freestyle gold, he casually returned to the course to spin a double backflip:
Of course there were additional Red Bull athletes at X Games 2010, and of course they brought home additional medals. Ronnie Renner earned silver in Moto X Step Up while Robbie Maddison took the silver in Moto X Best Trick and Levi Sherwood landed behind Travis in Freestyle for silver. Tarah Gieger crossed the line right behind Fiolek for silver in Super X, and Ryan Decenzo picked up the bronze in Skateboard Street.
Check out our X Games Central page for all the info on X Games 2011, happening July 28-31 in Los Angeles. Keep an eye on the site for killer photos and updates from the wildest scene in action sports.
Oh, and Ryan Decenzo has made it to Round 3 of the X Games Real Street event. Go here and cast your vote for him before July 18!
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