The X Games are presented twice a year as a summer competition and a winter competition with live coverage on ESPN and ABC. The X Games events usually consist of skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, and BMX biking. Many athletes who compete at X Games also compete in world championships or represent their countries in the Olympics for their particular sport.
The first wave of athlete invites include those invitations to compete sent automatically to all medallists with sport disciplines returning in the following year.
X Games promise an incredible weekend of extreme sport in Skateboarding, BMX, Moto X and Flat Track racing disciplines.
Big Air is a discipline where the competitor rides a vehicle (for example a snowboard, skateboard, ski or a motocross bike) down a hill and performs tricks after launching off very large jumps.
BMX Big Air Champion Colton Satterfield will be defending his title as he makes his ninth X Games appearance in 2017 in BMX Big Air.
A half pipe is a hollow semi-circle made of concrete. Skateboarders skate up and down two opposing ramps and perform tricks when they reach the top. There is also a competition for the most air off a jump and the best trick.
In street competitions, competitors take their vehicles around a park of obstacles and perform tricks. In Skateboard Street Nyjah Huston is the one to beat, having won more prize money in skateboarding competition than anyone else in history. Other skateboarders to watch include Matt Berger and Kyle Walker.
The highest jump.
In skateboard vert, competitors on a skate ramp or other incline transition from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane in order to perform skateboarding tricks.
Tom Schaar is a 17-year old skateboard prodigy, who began competing at X Games in 2012 and was the first to land a 1080 on a skateboard. Another one to watch is Raven Tershy from Santa Cruz, California and Lizzie Armanto who took silver in 2016 who will compete in Women’s Skateboard Park.
Jamie Bestwick, is the undisputed king of BMX Vert, winning every X Games Vert event since 2007 except 2015. He reclaimed gold in 2016 and is hoping this will be the start of a new winning streak.
Motorbike riders have similar events to the BMX bikers. As well as a “supercross” race around a dirt obstacle course with steep jumps.
Moto X Freestyle
The two main types of freestyle events are Big Air which is also known as the Best Trick in which the rider has two chance to cover 22.8m (75 ft) from a dirt-covered ramp. The style, trick difficulty and originality provide a score out of 100.
The other is when riders perform two routines on a course that has multiple jumps. Each rider is given a score from a panel of judges looking for style, trick difficulty and originality before providing a score out of 100.
Josh Sheehan will be the one to beat in Moto X Freestyle and Moto X Best Trick. At Austin in 2016, Josh took his first gold in Freestyle, and was the only X Games athlete to compete in four disciplines, being QuarterPipe, Best Whip, Best Trick, and Freestyle.
Jackson Strong is also a competitor in Moto X Freestyle and Moto X Best Trick and a strong crowd favourite. In addition to defending his Moto X Best Trick gold medal and his reputation for being the first rider to land a front flip at X Games, Strong is definitely a competitor to watch.
This is stunt riding that has 5 disciplines including street, park, vert, trails and flatland. 5-time X Games gold medallist Kyle Baldock from Australia will be the one to follow as he aims for gold in BMX Park, BMX Park Best Trick and BMX Dirt.
Other names to look out for in BMX Dirt are Kevin Peraza, Ben Wallace and James Foster who took a clean podium sweep in 2016 taking gold, silver and bronze respectively.
Axell Hodges took silver in his first visit to the X Games in the category of Best Whip, and this year will be competing again in Moto X Best Whip, Moto X Step Up and Most X Quarterpipe High Air.
Winter X Games
The Winter X Games have taken place in Aspen Snowmass for last sixteen consecutive years, hosting 200 world-class action sports athletes competing for prize money and for medals. The games feature winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling. Competitors in those sports face off in a variety of different ways. Joe Parsons is the most decorated snowmobiler in X Games history, earning three medals at a single X Games winter event
Skier-X and Snowboarder-X
In Skier-X (or ski cross) and Snowboarder-X (or boardercross), athletes do not race individually, but rather they go head-to-head, going down the mountain four–at–a time. The courses feature a variety of terrain, including jumps, moguls, and bank turns. Ski cross became an Olympic sport in 2010.
In Slopestyle, skiers or snowboarders have to navigate their own route through a course that has similar features and obstacles to the Skier-X and Snowboarder-X course. The aim in Slopestyle is not to complete the course in the shortest time, but to use the features to perform tricks and are judged on how well they perform them. Other competitions rate the athlete for performing the best trick or getting the most height (or in technical terms, most air off a jump). Jossi Wells is known as one of the most versatile skiers on the planet. Wells won his first X Games gold medal in 2016 for his SlopeStyle performance
Mark McMorris from Canada boasts nine X Games medals, competing in both Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air.
The X Games Snowmobiling competitions include Snocross. This is a competition where athletes race around a track on snowmobiles that contain both obstacles and steep jumps.